Ins and outs, comings and goings – all the ups and downs of Arsenal’s week [News Round-up: 23rd Jan 2019]

Arsenal News Round-up: 23rd Jan 2019



He is going – is it a serious blow?

This isn’t a contrarian view for the hell of it. But then this entire situation is complex for sure. There are reports, as of Thursday, that Emery says there is no problem. Gab Marcotti, the respected Italian/American writer said on ESPN FC that it was due to changes following the Gazidis departure.

And the German newspaper Kicker, which usually is deemed fairly reliable, has said that Bayern Munich has made no approach for him. So then, we don’t really know what is happening. The story broke from Raphael Honigstein, himself a respected German writer.

If Mislintat does leave though, is it really terminal for our recruitment needs? There are many clubs who do not utilise similar personnel but have been successful nonetheless.

Southampton, Manchester United, and even Chelsea are examples. Whilst Soton isn’t a big club, it has produced many players either historically or today, who have been firm fixtures in top clubs. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Luke Shaw, and Bale at Real Madrid, are current instances. They base their youth policy on a sound infrastructure, and not on one man per se.

We can do the same. And we have in the past. Our youth set-up hasn’t been bad, in terms of making top-level stars. The likes of Adams, Thomas, Merson, or O’Leary were from many years ago – but even Wilshere, who didn’t hit the heights with us, still played many times for England. Maitland-Niles has gained plaudits from pundits and rivals alike, as have Smith-Rowe and Nelson. Iwobi is seen universally as a player with potential.

So whilst Mislintat leaving is an untimely blow, it’s not as damaging – possibly, as one may think. This could turn out to be baseless/foolish optimism, but we will have to wait and see.

Ozil/Emery rift – is it a rift?


Mesut Ozil, our best player technically and highest-earner, has been left out of the side for tactical reasons. This has irked and baffled many since it’s often been made to be a euphemism. In that Emery really is thinking that Ozil doesn’t work hard enough, and ultimately isn’t up to it.

Whether this is true or not is moot. Clearly, there is something happening, but does this mean there is a rift?

Who knows? Lots of things happen in football clubs that fans aren’t privy too. Some are comparing this to the Mourinho/Pogba affair, but there is no evidence really of the same thing occurring.

Whatever is happening, maybe the head coach and our German superstar need to come together and state there is no rift. Or say they are willing and able to work professionally. It would at the least provide a clear front, and lessen angst or anxiety amongst the fans.

Ozil was retained largely for the PR, especially since Alexis was leaving at the same window. However, whilst many do question his consistency, we cannot knock his quality, and if he can help us get top four, then all the better.

But then it still remains unknown as to the exact interactions and relationship between Unai Emery and Mesut Ozil. Fan speculation only adds to the tension, and some clarity from the club and people involved could lessen it.

Emery Out? (please….)


A pose of dismay – what I and I’m sure others are thinking and feeling concerning #emeryout

The defeat to West Ham, in addition to the earlier losses at Anfield and Southampton, and the draw at Brighton, have called into question – for some – Emery’s tenure at the club.

The West Ham game was pretty dead, especially in a creative capacity. And Emery’s tactical choices and team selection were questionable also. These were key points contributing to our loss at the London Stadium.

However, managers make mistakes. All people do – even the greats like Sir Alex Ferguson did, or Pep. Or those from many years/decades ago like Sir Bobby Robson or Sir Matt Busby.

To assert that because of some baffling tactical decisions, and the fact our defence is still weak, Emery deserves to go is ludicrously inappropriate.

Yes, the defence being weak is under his purview for correction. There needs to be better defenders, and also more structured coaching instituted.

But to cite him going is foolish. Who replaces him? Jardim? Conte? Mourinho?!?! Eddie Howe? Pochettino?!?!

And who says they would improve the defence any better than Emery has?

And a new man would require new methods, and this would imbalance things to an unhealthy end. Existing players may get disillusioned and uncomfortable. They could in turn leave – putting us back since our “broke” status cannot replace top players readily.

We’ve seen how the Mislintat supposed departure has irked many, and as a club in a hopefully positive transition, changing managers is the last thing we need

A new manager should only ever get sacked if he is doing VERY badly. For us, this would be mid-table, bottom-half, or relegation trouble. Moyes was in eighth or so when he got sacked from Manchester United. We would need to be in similar positions, and we’re not. Emery has done as well as he can, with the current squad, and he is providing input in areas that we need such as tactical flexibility.

I’m behind Emery since I believe he is doing what is needed and is the man to take us forward.

In a precarious state, changing him would be insane, and needless. Note that the Chelsea game was won in large part due to Emery’s positive tactics – the supposed Achilles’ Heel of recent games.

Petr Cech

Cech announced his retirement from football this week. He joined us from Chelsea in 2015, and despite a horrible debut and loss to West Ham, he recovered well to win the Golden Glove that season.

He helped us win the FA Cup in 2017, and whilst being current understudy to Leno, he stands amongst the very best PL-era keepers. Only truly Schmeichel and our own Seaman can really rival him. In some areas, he surpasses them, since he holds the record for clean sheets and has won numerous trophies in his career.

My favourite Cech Arsenal memories are his save vs. Liverpool in 2015 (which came after his West Ham debut and was excellent redemption), and the save to Deeney in 2018. It’s a shame that he lacked the cojones to score the pen, but it’s often how it rolls……

That said, Cech has been a legend in PL-history, and it would be sad to see a keeper of his renown go.



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