Emery Needs His Own ‘Arteta’: Cesc Fabregas

Great news that Emery has officially joined us and what a passion, professionalism and persona did he bring to his first press conference! He said all the right things for which he will have been briefed by the club, no doubt; but you cannot help thinking that this is a man in the middle of his football management career who is overjoyed to have arrived at our club.

After the departure of our long-serving leader we have lived in a management vacuum, so it is great that the search for a new maestro is over. I reckon with Emery we got the right man in all aspects. He comes with a fine CV with experience at the right level, offers youthfulness and passion for the game and the club, AND will be able to build further on Arsene’s legacy.

Some may believe that he does not represent enough change from the Weng-Era. But why totally change what has been good for us and has become our identity, our reputation and our values? Emery will build on this but with his own approach which will be quite different from how Arsene went about. All approaches have plusses and minuses but Unai has the advantage of starting anew and exactly at the same age as when Wenger joined the club in 1996. On another blog, ArsenalArsenal, the excellent blogger Shard put it best: ” Emery not different enough, I totally get that! And yet, I think he might be different in just the right ways!” 

Unai has been through two interesting years at PSG, where one or two players were force-fed into team by the owners for many, many millions of Euros, thus making them more important than the manager by default. It is reported that Emery struggled to get his players to play his system of football as he was being undermined by those self-adoring ‘purchases’. I guess if you go to the PSG BoD and say the players are not listening and I want to side-line one or two obnoxious individuals for a while to re-stamp my authority on the team, you will be told to look after their assets – meaning they should play every week. No doubt this was a nightmare scenario for a driven and visionary manager who relies on togetherness, hard work, discipline and tactics as his guiding principles. Welcome to Arsenal is all I can say.


It is clear that Unai’s command of English needs working on and it was the same for Guardiola when he joined MC. He made a clever move for his fellow countryman, Arteta, who is pretty fluent in English. I reckon Emery will need to do the something similar as language is key, both for press conferences and team management.

So who could be Emery’s Arteta? It could be Arteta himself of course, but I guess he will stay put at MC now. Cazorla has left and his English was not great either, so that is a pass as well. Of course Nacho and Bellerin, and Ospina if he stays on, can help in the dressing room and during training, but ideally he will get himself an assistant-manager who speaks both languages well.

Xabi Alonso was mentioned in conjunction with Arteta, and maybe he is the answer. I am not sure how good his English is, and he probably has a Scouse accent which is to be avoided at all cost. 🙂

The one player-manager who would fit the bill perfectly is the prodigal son, Cesc Fabregas. I know he is still under contract at the Chavs but surely they would let him go for a small price?  Would he do it?! In a heart beat.

Any suggestions?

By TotalArsenal.


119 thoughts on “Emery Needs His Own ‘Arteta’: Cesc Fabregas

  • Good post,

    I’ll repeat a bit and say the one change we need most is structure and system. It’s no longer enough to let great players play and adapt, or to try to always force your flowing game to the other fellow. That leads to 5-1 at home and 0-1 or 2 away to a lesser squad. In this, the game passed Arsene by or perhaps the game in England got too much parity courtesy of much money.

    Different in the right way indeed!

    So, now we will see!

    Cheers — jgc

  • TA, good post on thinking ahead.

    With you 100% on not demanding a more drastic change from Wenger. To start with Wenger offered plenty. Secondly Emery’s press conference yesterday clearly has shown a major change in philosophy. He used the word protagonist (front footedness, attacking) which is Wenger’s and also the word pressing which he emphasized. That is the change and it is a big change.

    Too much change would necessitate a complete overhaul of the system which we do not have the funds for. In accepting the job Emery would have satisfied himself that the majority of the squad would fit well into his system. On the other side Ivan and co. would have satisfied themselves that Emery fits closely to the structures in place at Arsenal.

    It’s usually best to work from the point of view that the experts must know best. Everybody should just get behind them and Emery.

  • AH

    I see you’re still having those Cesc-y dreams! 😀

    Cheers from here — jgc

  • jgc … agree with you totally. Most people think of change in terms of only change in personnel. Quite often change in structure and system, as you termed it, goes a long way. When Klopp arrived at Liv, the fans where clamouring for a massive overhaul in players. Klop insisted that the players were good enough. Over a period of 3 seasons and minor turn overs in personnel Liv has become a big force.

    I won’t be surprised if little is done to our back line personnel wise.

  • Cheers fellas. 🙂

    Getting the management bench right is an important next step. Let’s see who will be added and whether Bouldie survives. Cesc (and Dennis) next to Emery would be more than a dream, Geoff; it would be orgasmic! 😉

  • I guess Emery will need to decide what to do with Holding and Chambers. Are they ready for first team football now? If so, why not use them? If not, we will need to buy at least one new CB. I believe Mustafi can be a first team CB as long as he is combined with a General CB next to him. Chambers may be ready for more first team starts but I reckon Holding needs to go on loan at say Cardiff or Huddersfield and build up strength and experience.

    One thing that would excite me is to swap Elneny with Mustafi from midfield to defence and defence to midfield. Especially with a Sol/Tony like CB next to Elneny this could really work. I also believe that Mustafi would make a mean DM next to the calm and organised Xhaka. A bit left field, but…

  • I like the way Emery spoke using English during his unveiling. It speaks volumes about the Newman.

    We have a few issues to sort out for the team, and there could be no holiday for him as he transitions from PSG to Arsenal. He has similar workaholic traits compared to Le Prof, and could someone tell me what is the Spanish equivalent of Le Prof?

    Holding and Chambers still looks like they will be backups for another season or 2. Unless Emery is able to extract the best out of his current players, and be a team that is red hot from the word go.

  • I came here, like I have the past few days, only to have a look at the discussion since I felt I had nothing more to contribute. And I see I’ve been quoted in the main post.. *Humbled*

    Haha. Anyway. Cesc Fabregas? No way. Why would Ramsey and co respect the guy who refused to play and forced his way out. I could forgive Cesc, but not forget what he did.

    If anything if we’re to sign a player to be Emery’s general on the pitch in the way Arteta was for Wenger, maybe Nzonzi. (Now that’s my bias) He’s got history with Emery, he knows the English league, and he fits our team needs. Why not?

    But assistant who speaks Spanish and knows England and Arsenal? Hmm.. Not sure that’s easily available. Henry maybe (I hope not) Does Freddie speak Spanish? Reyes? Edu?

    Don’t think the language part will be much of an issue though. Emery will learn quickly it seems to me. Because he’s obsessive about coaching and if that holds him back, he’ll give his all for it. It took courage and confidence to do his interviews in English.

    One concern I have with his pressing philosophy, is how it plays out in England. No winter break. Does it affect preparation? Need heavier rotation? Will he be able to demand that physical effort and keep it up throughout the season. It helps we don’t have many guys at the World Cup, but still. I like the idea of pressing though.

  • What I found most interesting and impressive from yesterday’s press conference, was the preparedness Unai showed during his first meeting with the management team. The fact that he’d studied the present Arsenal squad, had dossiers on each player and had already worked out how he would improve individuals and certain aspects of the their play, that showed an encouraging adherence to detail.

    I think we may have got the right man at just the right time for this team and their present skill sets.
    Players who we may have thought were superfluous under the last regime may well get a new lease of life under our new man and the coaching he brings to the table.

    Total, Emery will probably bring in a few of his ‘old muckers’ from his Valencia/Sevilla days to assist him in his new career at Arsenal, let’s hope a few of them are multi lingual.

    Otherwise we should maybe employ Ray Parlour to give them a few lessons on local vocabulary? 😉

  • Hi Shard

    I thought you nutshelled it with that paragraph, so well done. 🙂

    Re Cesc, I can see your point a bit, but everybody is allowed a mistake or two in life; and he was desperate to return but it was not to be. Honestly, it is a wish more than anything else, as like you I cannot see it happening. I rate him highly though and reckon he will become a good manager if indeed he would choose to go down that path.

  • Good comments Shard.

    I think his grasp of English is sound enough. It will grow quickly in fluency with practice including forced practiice. Speech is always a lot more difficult to deliver than training instructions where one can get by with not too many phrases and aided by body language.

    He must have a formula for the pressing like the 6 seconds press. My worry there is whether we have the men who can be up to it. I can bet on (excluding the defenders) Welbeck, Laca, Mkhi, Ramsey, Xhaka, Elneny, Iwobi (that’s already a lot). I worry about Ozil and the new Wilshere.

    More proactive energy is all AMN needs to be up there with the best and these younger ones (including Nelson, Willock, Nketiah) might respond even faster to Emery pressing demands.

  • JK– “El Prof”. (Though me? I’d rather not. 😉 )

    Shard– IMHO Nzonzi fits this club well. Rabiot too.

    TA– Near season’s end, I felt better about Chambers and Holding playing first-team. Last January there was a rumor of a Holding loan to Burnley (would have made sense then). I think we are past that point. Buy an experienced CB. Live/die while this trio of youngsters as they grow together. We have Monreal. Elneny in a pinch. (Still would not trust Mustafi to change his stripes. Have a ‘reply/post’ written addressing those issues. Just didn’t fit well within PE’s recent post’s narrative.)

    Bellerin’s English is quite good.

    Found this partial list from a year ago–
    Spanish speakers – Ospina, Mustafi, Bellerin, Monreal, Ozil, Perez
    German speakers – Cech, Mertesacker, Mustafi, Ozil, Xhaka
    French speakers – Cech, Koscielny, Elneny, Xhaka,
    Polish speakers – Koscielny, Bielik
    Italian speakers, Mustafi
    (Oddly this list did not include English.)

    Also read where:
    Mkhi speaks 6 languages though not Spanish.
    Auba does speak Spanish among several.
    Laca has been taking English lessons since 2016.
    Elneny speaks English reasonably well.

    Here hoping everybody is learning to speak ‘Defense’ this Summer. 😉


  • Your last paragraph is an interesting one, Shard.
    “One concern I have with his pressing philosophy, is how it plays out in England. No winter break. Does it affect preparation? Need heavier rotation? Will he be able to demand that physical effort and keep it up throughout the season. It helps we don’t have many guys at the World Cup, but still. I like the idea of pressing though.”

    The important thing is to use the whole squad throughout the season as much as possible. Everybody should be top fit and understand the system of football, tactics and all position on the pitch requirements. The one who did this to perfection was Van Gaal with Ajax; and it takes a while before everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet. Wenger to me appeared over-dependent on the availability and form of his first team players; as soon as two or three were injured our form would dip considerably. With a more systemic approach in which two or three players become experts in every position on the pitch, over-dependency on players should reduce. Simultaneously, it allows for rotation of the squad and keeping up the pressing.

  • Kevsky 🙂

    Ray Parlour hahaha the Romford Pele!!! It would liven things up for sure.

    I reckon he cannot afford to appoint assistants who do not speak good English, but let’s wait and see.

  • There is only one Prof on this blog and he sips kiwi-flavoured sauvignon blanc and comments on the blog when the rest of us is cuddling up to the missus 🙂

  • One thing is that if we succeed in adopting an effective pressing style (defending from the front) then a primary cover has been provided for our defence, in which case there wouldn’t be that desperate need for a DM type of holding midfielder. Liverpool for example use Henderson who is in on way a DM.

  • Hahaha JW, yes the language of defence (proper spelling) is much needed.

    I believe that Emery will pick up the language quickly and I loved his humble effort to speak English during his very first press conference. Things like this the English really appreciate so a good move by him.

    Still, an Assistant who speaks both languages would be ideal.

  • The idea that Ozil would not fit a pressing team just does not wash with me at all. Mesut is an athlete, very fit and flexible in approach. In the Wenger teams, Ozil’s role was to find space without the ball so he could receive it to release pressure on the defence/midfield and set up a new attack time and again. When you watch him in a football stadium you will realise he seldom stands still and is always thinking ahead. Emery is very lucky to get him and he will build a team around him no doubt.

  • Good point, PE. But we also need to be solid when we are being pressed and/or we are sitting back to absorb pressure. For this we could do with having a quality DM in the squad. Say we play against Pool or Citeh, I would like us to start with a DM or two.

  • Nice post TA. Shard has probably hit the nail on the head with Fabregas. Maybe in the future when he has retired as a player and has done other things in a coaching sense, (away from the EPL), and there is more distance between him leaving us and going to Barca and Chavs, then a role at us may be more palitable.

    Also I think that at 31 he is hitting the prime period for an MLS or China playing period so is not likely to hang up his boots right now, but at 31 I don’t think I would want him taking up a squad place with us. We have lots of options in his role and emerging youngsters to give time to.

    I think Pep’s English was already quite good so Emery is perhaps a bit more like Poccetino was. It probably doesn’t even have to be a Spaniard to sit by him. Someone like a TH14 or DB10 can easily face the cameras if needed. Will be interesting who becomes his main right hand man.

  • GB 🙂

    Good to see you here. I had forgotten how young Cesc still is and that is a good point re his footballing career. He will want to play 2-4 years of more football.

  • TA, You’ve got mail… 😉

    Yeah, that ^ article, I fear is bringing me back around…

    Arsenal are making me feel like Silvio from the Sopranos… Maybe I can explain below…

  • Hey Seventeenho!!! 🙂

    Good to see you back here. I read your email this morning and it was really good to hear from you. Will mail you back soon.

  • First off, I DON’T get what Shard is saying. For me, I want Wenger…so anybody who channels the man who built the Emirates–works for me… Unai (Arsenal) Emery–UAE, like those little oil rich countries who seem to magically improve football teams when they arrive, is channeling AW quite nicely I think…

    No, no, Shard, IMO, always expresses things nicely… If only we could get him writing here on the BKesque…

    Kev (and Amy Lawrence…) is right… Doing the presser in English sets the exact right tone. Arsenal should aspire to be a great club in WORLD football, not just in England. That’s the legacy of what Wenger brought to the club and where the focus ought to be. A lot of folks want to go backwards these days (Brexit, Brit-core, nationalism, tribalism, call it what you will…) but I want NO part of that. If Arsenal are looking outwards, they might just be able to draw me back in…or something…

    Need for a translator? No thank you. Let Cesc work out Abramovic’s visa problems…

  • Yeah, TA, I’m not sure if this blogging thing is for me, but consider me very impressed by the new manager. Truth be told, however, I think Arteta would’ve been pretty impressive too. In general, I’m always amazed–and not a little jealous–of these kids/men, who take their football and use it to see the world and learn new languages and cultures…

    On that note, a few posts back, having spent a couple of days once in (beautiful) San Sebastian, I was actually hoping to learn a bit about the beaches and the gutters there and maybe about Arteta’s experience growing up on and/or in them. U(A)E is from just northeast of Donestia (the Basque name for San Sebastian), directly on the frontier with France. The thing about that area is that the people have their own (crazy) language (Euskera) but they speak the languages of the recognized nations clearly and correctly, which is lovely for the traveler. In other words, they are immersed in the power of language and words and thus, like Wenger before him, I would expect Emery (as I would have Arteta) to be a pleasure to watch as he uses them…

    That said, I think folks are jumping the gun, wanting to ascribe things like a “pressing” philosophy to the new guy. To me, taking his word (which sounded to me more like presion, or just “pressure”) and using it as a take off point for all the usual worries (or hopes…) is just as lazy as…thinking that Ozil is a lazy player…

    Don’t get me started on lazy thinking or Arsenal “supporters” and their narratives and all the rest. Not. Good. Enough. (For me…) Or maybe, It’s. Just. Too. Damn. Depressing…

    The thing people should REALLY note is that Emery did not promise winning. That’s like somebody who tells the truth. Over here we’ve got a guy (our president) who promised so much winning that we’d get sick of it… (So, maybe, like for every other problem, the real answer should be something that rhymes with chump…)

    In the meantime, you can’t promise me winning?… WTF!!! Emery OUT!!!

  • I’m not so down on Cesc, TA… Mostly just arguing that football is an international language and that the new guy speaks it just fine…

    What a player, that kid (Cesc) was/is esp. in terms of maxing out limited athletic ability. (Though he wore the same number, he was no Vieira, right?… Guess who is our new #4?… A guy who actually made the world cup and can be seen up there near my screen-name…) Cesc did leave us in a bit of a lurch there back in 2011…when sticking it out might’ve allowed more time for him to build further into “the new Xavi…” I agree with those who note that he’s got some good playing years ahead of him, esp. as–like many others, including Santi Cazorla and Arteta–he’s morphed into more of the deeper lying field general…a la the guy he was picked to replace (Xavi)… On the downside, watching him all these years, Cesc never really got the hair thing figured…

  • Now it is time for Retsub and also JNYC to give us a shout. Just let us know you are okay; if you don’t want to blog that is fine of course. But I want to know whether my buddies are okay……. 🙂

  • Assistant manager!!!???!!!

    I’ve got a keyboard, thus I DEMAND the top spot… Trust me, two bad results and EVERYBODY will know more than UAE…


  • I think people will give Emery time, Seventeenho. I don’t think Arteta would have been given too much time, though. I am so happy we dodged the Arteta bullet.

  • OK, I’ve got to run (literally)… Is nobody gonna do a post on the new shirt numbers (and what they mean)… Or the world cup omissions (and what they mean)… All I can say is that I’d REALLY be pumped up (and maybe forced into true love for SIR Kroenke and his Emery-ate) if the #10 kit were given to the guy who gets that 300k/week…

  • I don’t understand this “give time” thing… Is it a results business or is it entertainment? Do you mean that Emery can afford to lose more than Arteta? Is that what the people really want?…

    😉 😦

    Time, like results–or anything else that feels important–seems in the eye of the beholder…Is there never enough (time) or always too much?…

    OK, now THAT feels like something to think about while I trot on the trails…

  • Happy running, Seventeenho. Disappointing results will be offset against a sense of being on the right road, so to speak. Supporters know it will take a while to get things right again, except for the dumb ones, but that is life my friend.

  • Your presence 17ht, is why I do not blog here. 🙂

    Not because I dislike you, mind. But because your quality writing makes anything I have to say either superfluous or pale in comparison.


  • Can you and I have a ‘mark my words’ moment TA?
    I’ll bet we won’t be dodging any Arteta bullets– in three years– when he takes the reins from Pep at City.

    Another of my reasons ‘in favor of Arteta’.
    Sometimes it’s ‘subtraction-by-addition’ that works long-term.


  • Not meaning to reply for HT — Shard.
    Having read (and replied with) you elsewhere?
    You ought to stop by regularly.


  • It would surprise me if Arteta would do well in management, JW1, but you have been championing him now for months. Let him start by managing a team and let’s see how well he does. And if you are right I will give you all the credit in the world. 🙂

  • But Shard, I don’t blog here (any longer)… The Wenger Out folks won… 😦

    The other reason is that…the Wenger Out people won and (thus) I don’t like talking with foolish people… esp. if they won’t bite on my #10 kit insinuations…

    In other words, please stick around…

    In the meantime, Emery didn’t promise winning!!!!! Arteta in!!!!

  • Hi T A thanks for the intro, still alive and kicking thanks. Guess it was s long hard season, with little pleasure to be honest. I will get behind whoever is appointed, I would have been fine with Arteta but I know very little about Emery other than his track record and I quite like the idea of a new interesting character being appointed. As long as he is not related to Dick Emery I. am sure he will do just Fine, but don’t expect Wenger like miracles, because in fairness to Emery he hasn’t inherited a decent defence like Wenger did

    I have probably been avoiding doing this because it’s somewhat negative.
    I doubt many will agree with me, but here are my thoughts,.

    Get a new keeper, Cech is mediocre at best. Ospina needs longer arms. Top keepers earn points, sadly ours don’t

    Holding and Chambers. May come good and somewhere in Mustaphi I believe is a talented player. Maybe Emery is the man to discover it.

    I have doubts about Bellerin. On the rare occasions he does take players on he sttruggles to put in a decent cross

    Nacho is a top guy but probably getting a little past it?

    zhaka is a great passer of the bull. But is a sloppy defensive midfielder.

    If Rambo gets sold I would be mildly upset to say the least

    I would be sorry to see Jack go as well

    Not entirely convinced by Lacazette yet, but he did better towards the end of the season.

    Ozil when he is good he is very very good but when he is bad he is awful.

    High hopes for Mikky, I bet he would love to shove it down Mourinho,s throat

    Aubameyang totally the man. Every so often we see a striker who we know will be up their with the top scorers Smith, Henry, Wright etc. Unless he gets injured 25 goals a season … no problem

    If Cesc came back I would love it and I suspect so would he. I would like to see Nzonze (spelling) come in as well.

    Shard come and play on BK it’s s darn site safer than the old blog where we used to get death threats.

  • Haha. You made me laugh Retsub. I see that site is back online now, but haven’t been there.

    Oh, I see 17ht. You remained Wenger In just like me. But we now have a new man in charge.. By which I mean Gazidis of course 🙂

    Maybe the holdup with Wilshere’s contract is the no 10.

    Yes I was on board the Arteta train. Something seems to have been rewired in TA’s brain. How could a football purist and Cruyff proponent go against his words and want Wenger out, and then not see the charm and potential of Arteta In. Strange times we live in.

    Oh jw1 is here as a regular. Fancy that. Cool. I will try. (I’d reduced my blogging but new possibilities, new things to discuss. And some old friends. All good)

  • Retsub, great to hear from you. I think you summed up your feelings re the squad as we got to know them from you over the season, so no surprises. Let’s hope the Emery will reinvigorate to get the best out of them.

  • Come on Shard, Arteta was a pipe-dream and the club had no evidence whatsoever that he could actually manage a team. Arsene, I love him, but I have been saying for a few season that we could do better (or indeed worse). It was time for a change both for the club but also for Wenger.

  • Dutch political parties asking questions about the Rwanda shirt sleeve sponsor deal for Arsenal today. There is a feeling that foreign aid is paying for the sponsorship deal…. Apparently it is worth about 10m Euros each year (3 year deal)…

    I didn’t know shirt sleeve sponsorship was allowed; did I miss a rule change?

  • “But Ramsey is probably not the ideal partner for Xhaka. Granit is a deep lying playmaker, he’s not a destroyer- even if his defensive instincts have improved in 2018. Pirlo had Gattuso. Alonso had Mascherano. Modric has Casemiro. Xavi had Busquets. Xhaka does not have this kind of partner.”

    Ramsey in or out does not really bother me much. But I agree with Arseblog that Xhaka needs a different sort of midfielder next to him. It is possible that Rambo moves into the hole, like this:

    Defence x4
    —— Xhaka — New Signing/Elneny —–
    ——————Rambo (Jack) ———————-
    Mesut ————— Laca ————– Auba

  • Yes TA. The new deal with Emirates meant that we can have a sleeve sponsor.

    Nothing more than paying for advertising on our shirt. But to use foreign investment? Maybe the board should scrutinise the deal carefully to see where the money comes from. I know that alot of people will be resorting to underhand tactics to be able to achieve their goals, but this is beyond my limits.

    I hope that the money from the tourism sponsor is clean, and that is used for the community sports awareness.

  • Just finished a long shift, hey 17tino, sorry I missed you, I thought you may still be up there somewhere in the Appalachians.

    I don’t know if you saw the Burnley game 17, but the fans (no hating the fans now buddy 😉) certainly gave Wenger a great send off, and as I heard on the Arsenal Vision podcast, the fact that we were out of europe showed that the respect to Arsene from the fans was genuine and not driven by the prospect of silver-wear.

    I think 17tino, with all due respect, that you might, if you give Unai a chance, get your Arsenal mojo back, it gets under your skin mate, they’ve pissed me off more times than I care to remember but I still, after all these years, spend far too much time ruminating over all things bloody Arsenal.
    I wish I didn’t, but mate, those great times, those big wins, you can’t beat it.
    Well maybe some shapely blond bit of skirt perhaps, but you get my drift. 😄

  • As for shirt numbers, well it’s all much ado about nothing to me, I’m more interested in the bloke in the shirt, but it’s a kind of a promotion for the youngsters I guess. They start off with 50 something or other on the back, but when they get down to the 30’s it must make them feel as if they’re progressing into the senior squad, good for morale and confidence.

  • Total, interesting that european politicians are concerned that aid support for Rwanda could be paying for sponsorship on Arsenal’s shirts, I would have thought that the club would have looked into the source of the payments, well I would have hoped so?

    Surely the aid that Rwanda gets from the EU is targeted at certain projects, and if not why not?
    I’m also sure that the Rwandan Tourist Board wouldn’t be a recipient of any of that aid in any case – but I could be wrong, as I often am….

  • 84, I would imagine, well I would certainly hope, that the tie up with Rwanda isn’t simply about them paying Arsenal money and that there will be some kind of football related reciprocal work done by Arsenal, maybe in the community in Rwanda?

  • Hi all.. Nice to see some old friend reunited..
    This new era really give an impact.. To this site also.. hehehe..

    TA.. I’m with the most of others about Fabregas.. Just curious why you mentioning about Fabregas..?? He ain’t Gunner anymore.. He didn’t give anymore respect to us as the fans also didn’t to him.. And he will play for 3-4 years ahead.. So, it just won’t happened..

    Interesting about our new Manager speech..
    Speaking at his first news conference as Arsenal boss at The Emirates on Wednesday, Emery said: “[I want my team to play] with personality.
    “This personality for all the minutes of a match: protagonists. I like the possession with the ball, I like good pressing against the other team. I prefer to win 5-4 than win 1-0.”

    I prefer to win 5-4 than win 1-0.. wow.. what a nice words.. love it.. hehehe..
    So, it’s mean we will see more attacking football.. I must welcoming back the football that we used to play.. attack and attack.. hehehe..

    But will it be 4-4-2.. just like our Glory time..??For he used to play 4-2-3-1 scheme also..
    Will we need another striker/winger..?? Zaha or Draxler..??
    Will L’AMOR be good enough..??

    Last, What happened to Meyer.. Why we aren’t sign him.. ?? Any news..??
    What do happened with Wilshere..?? No more news..??

  • Yeah that was a good quote by Emery – I guess you could counter that by saying I would rather win 1-0 than lose 4-5. 😀

  • Kev, 84,

    Apparently, Paul Kagame, the Rwandan President, is a fervent Arsenal supporter… It all depends where the money comes from/ how the deal is financed and what they believe they will get back for it. Like you say, let’s hope the club has looked into it before they agreed the deal.

  • Let’s hope so T A. I think the change was needed as many of us (myself included.)hoped Wenger would turn it around for far to long. In my opinion one of the problems we have had at Arsenal was we were pretty loyal to our players. We all hoped Diaby would come back, to a lesser extent RVP was constantly injured whilst at Arsenal, but we persevered and he eventually stayed fit for a few games and who benefitted? Man Utd. Same story with Rambo, where Arsene persisted with him through a long bad spell after he recovered from the Orc attack (what a tragedy they were relegated), to quote Henry hehehehe. Rambo in my book is one of our top players now, but probably looking at the whole picture, should have been let go a few years back, as was the fate of Eduardo. Jack is somewhat similar.

    Then we have the guys out on loan, is Jenkinson still on our books? The Costa Rican guy who has been on loan forever and whose name escapes me? Lucas was one I liked but obviously Wenger didn’t, maybe there is room for him in the squad?

    If I had been Wenger I would probably done somewhat similar, big softy that I am. I really hope that Emery is a lot tougher in this respect. If he doesn’t think players aren’t up to it, let’s unload them, for their own sake as much as ours. If we are going to challenge again we can’t afford any passengers in the squad even if they are out on loan.

  • Hopefully the new management structure will resolve the personal piece out of the equation. Don’t get me wrong I think we should tlook after players like Diaby fairly from s financial perspective, but hopeffully the sentimental responsibility will be dealt with outside of Emery,s remit

  • It is often hard to tell how a player’s fitness and health will develop, Retsub. You are looking at it with hindsight. Wenger also looked after players to show others that the club cared and that they were in good hands. It fits with the values and there are, as always, plusses and minuses to this approach.

  • Thanks T A
    Agree He never seemed to get a decent chance and certainly showed some talent, plus it must be pretty demoralising being loaned out season after season.

  • The problem with Campbell is that for an attacker he is not scoring enough goals. He is very good with the ball, dribbles well and has good football intelligence but I guess the goals are coming hard for him.

  • Of course T A it’s always easier with hindsight and I did add I would probably I would have done the same,..but maybe this is the time fo be a little more cut throat in this respect.. I know you feel differently about this, but as an example, I don’t believe we can win the league with our current goalkeepers. If we truly are on a very tight budget, this might be a struggle given other needs. But would certainly be amongst my priorities. Yes Cech and Ospina have done good jobs for us, but we need more than that IMHO

  • Woke to see that the new era is truly began. A full house. Unai is so charming it’s easier us to let the past go.

    Ramsey’s is a tricky issue. Manc can always be a reference point. What put them apart from others was that their goals were coming from everywhere: Aguero, Jesus, Sterling, Sane, Brunye, David Silva. We are not as blessed.

    We can count Laca, Ramsey and Auba who just joined. Others are no goal scorers, Ozil, Welbeck, Jack, Iwobi. Yet the toss seemed to be on whether its Ramsey or Laca who should be sold. I don’t think we can afford selling either. If we sell we should replace with another goal scorer and nothing much would have been achieved.

    My hope is that with his micro managing style Emery would get Jack and particularly Iwobi able to improve their goal haul. The more I look at this squad the more I get convinced that Emery’s greater focus would be to get more out of what’s already on ground. As an experienced coach he knows very much about the grass looking greener on the other hill.

    This summer might not be very active. We need to remember that that earlier this year (Jan Window) we sold 3 big ones and brought in 2 big ones.

  • Retsubster, I would not mind a new GK and have some doubts myself re Cech and Ospina. But it is a position I have little knowledge of and I feel GKs look a lot better when they are protected by solid defences. Ospina is on the smallish side for a GK but I love his energy and decision making and he got us to a few finals and semi-finals with it. Cech is calm and organised, made many incredible saves for us this season and could still be great in a more supportive set-up. Imagine a Sol/Tony like CB in front of him and together they could sort out the defence. In a nutshell, I find it hard to decide whether we need a better GK or not.

  • The goal scoring is not the problem, PE. We scored plenty this season and you forgot to include Mkhi who will also chip in next season. I happily score a bit less if it means we concede in the region of 25 rather than 50 next season. 🙂

    But yes from a goal scoring point of view we should keep both Laca and Ramsey, unless replaced appropriately.

  • TA, thanks. Mkhi escaped just before my fingers hit the keyboard. He looks to me a good potential for goals but his history doesn’t seem to confirm. (?). We keep our goal scorers and work on other areas.

  • T A see you got me going again your fault… kidding

    I remember about 2 or 3 years ago somebody probably on. This site allocating goals around the team. It never quite works out that way. But it’s sometime since we have had a real poacher in the team who wil regularly get us 25 goals a season. I think we have him now in Aubameyang.

    He might even become Arsene legacy

  • Sometimes, it is easier to just read the comments here (well, pretty much because as I think to react to something, someone else has responded appropriately; and then, the phone rings and …distractions; then it’s another day). Lol.

    Starting with the Cesc discuss, it is unlikely he will be Emery’s choice, assuming he considers it necessary that he has “his own Arteta”. With the number of Spanish speaking players we have on the team, it shouldn’t be a problem if the new man relies on say Monreal or Bellerin to pass the critical instructions.

    Let’s not forget that despite what most will want us to think, the team Wenger left behind isn’t half bad and wouldn’t require a major overhaul, so Emery has the basis for relative success (Wenger’s was a problem of over-familiarity and thus, some inevitable complacency in the players). He will come with his own trusted backroom staff and they will have their methods. If he needs a team spokesman, he can go with any one of Monreal, Ozil and Bellerin, in that order.

  • PE, good points regarding goal scoring as we certainly should be expecting a lot more from those guys in the midfield dept.

    I know that I’m in the minority here but I don’t think that Cech is finished, he can imo, still do a decent job between the sticks.
    With our limited budget I feel that there are other areas of the squad that are in more need improving atm than goalkeeper. Plus we don’t know what a change in goalkeeper coach will bring?

    Both Arsenal and Chelsea have been linked with 21 year old Dean Henderson of Man Utd.
    He was on loan at Shrewsbury Town last season, played 38 games and got into the PFA League One team of the season at the PFA awards recently.
    He is out of contract this summer and isn’t prepared to sign for Man Utd as they already have three top goalkeepers in situ. He’s also English, which would help with our home-grown quota, so watch this space….

  • Kev, I agree with you, shirt numbers are overrated. It’s the man in the shirt that matters. For instance, Xhaka has moved up from 29 to the 34 shirt. That doesn’t mean he is being demoted, but rather, it’s reported the number has some sentimental attachment for his family, being the number he wore first, as a Pro. His brother promptly took up his shirt at Basel, as he left. Cech may have taken up the No. 1 jersey, but if we bring in Leno and he’s chosen as the real No. 1 keeper, he could wear 33 and it won’t matter.

    Now, some players make a fuss about certain shirt numbers, agreed. Ozil must be eyeing Jack’s No. 10 shirt, for instance, but that has never affected output and, hopefully, the players haven’t all jumped the gun to take up numbers before a new manager was announced.

    Shirt sleeve adverts are allowed, depending on the deal with the shirt sponsor. For long, Arsenal had been prevented by the terms of the Fly Emirates sponsorship; many clubs break kit sponsorships for maximum value and this is where Arsenal has been behind its rivals on the commercial front, as we tried to be loyal to the guys who helped us build the stadium with a huge long term deal, paid upfront. Things have changed a bit since the last renewal.

    Rwanda is a growing economy; second fastest growing economy on the continent and one of the better tourist destinations these days. It is reputed to be one of the cleanest cities in the world today and one of the best places to do business (ease of doing business index) today. They are better known for the genocide which took place many years ago, which warranted all the EU aid, as part of the settlement process for the new found peace. But, that country has forged an unexpected unity since and made rapid progress under Kagame (who, as TA stated, is an avid fan of our club). Part of the deal was based on the stat that an Arsenal jersey is seen 35m times every day. Such exposure will be of benefit to that country while Arsenal benefits from greater visibility, merchandise sales and the £10m a year. The club will be visiting Rwanda over the summer and during the years to come, in different (coaching clinics, advisory, football developmental games, etc,) capacities. Win-win, I am thinking. As for the source of the money, that’s been well addressed above. It is even ridiculous to assume Rwanda can not afford £30m over 3 years, outside of Aid or grants, in a partnership to boost tourism and image.

  • From the Web;

    Dutch politicians are up in arms with Arsenal’s new sleeve sponsors after the Rwandan development board have parted with a reported €35 million in order to have ‘Visit Rwanda’ on the Gunner’s sleeves for next three years.

    Dutch figures are angry about the fact that the country is willing to give Arsenal such a large sum of money, despite the fact the country receives aid from the Netherlands. African newspaper ‘The East African’ also reports that Rwandese president Paul Kagame is an ‘ardent’ Arsenal fan.

    Speaking to Dutch news outlet VI, politician Joël Voordewind criticised the countries decision advertise with the London club:

    I am indignant that a country where we provide solid financial assistance has now become a whopping 30 million euro shirt sponsor of a major English football club.
    Isabelle Diks of of political party GroenLinks also voiced her disapproval of the deal:

    Of course our development aid does not go to the government of Rwanda and it is good that Rwanda tries to give the economy a boost. But it is disheartening that this kind of spending is being made, while the international community is trying to do something about the terrible poverty in the country.
    On the other side of the coin Rwandan development board CEO Clare Akamanzi has welcomed the partnership and Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, has championed the deal, claiming that “the Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day around the world,” and that the partnership represents good business for the country:

    This is an exciting partnership which will see us support Rwanda’s ambition to build their tourism industry. The country has been transformed in recent years and Arsenal’s huge following will bring Rwanda into people’s minds in a new and dynamic way.

  • Cheers Eris, great comments.

    Yes, I read a great article about Rwanda about three years ago.
    To me, every time I read about that country, it seems to be positive, a shining light about what can be done with what seems clean politicians, a rarity in this corrupt world of ours.

    Great to read about the work that Arsenal will be doing in Rwanda then Eris, that should also bring some joy to the people there.

    Yes, it’s right to ask questions about how aid is spent, there’s maybe not enough questions asked in many other areas of the world about this. Maybe it’s because the country giving the aid is getting something in return and they’d rather we didn’t know about it?

  • To add my twopence to the “Press” or protagonist argument and whether we have the personnel for it. For me, we’ve been doing defending from the front under Wenger and have scored a good number of goals from dispossessing opposition defenders in their own area (think Alexis on Cahill; Theo on Terry; Lacazette, Coquelin closing down ?? to release Ozil for one of our goals vs United at the Emirates, and so many more of such). My point is it isn’t as if we’ve been lacking guidance on that front because the trio of Ozil, Giroud, Coq, Ramsey and Alexis were always seeking to win possession from the front. The problem is when we fail to do so and the pressing midfielders have left gaps behind them, we’ve lacked the structure to prevent the consequent goal concession, especially away from home.

    We can even get better at pressing, now we have the likes of Mhki and with Elneny finding his best game. Where Emery can improve us is what we need to do if the opposition beat the press. This is where a proper DM comes in. I am convinced that it is in not recruiting a proper DM all these years, that we have left our defenders open to quick counters, thus exposing the keeper. Emery can do something about that by bringing in such a player to act as a screen (I am not too sure about Nzonzi, though) in front of the defence to give them time to assess and respond to imminent danger, as against the “hit and miss” approach our defenders tend to adopt.

    Even if that’s the only addition made to the first team, it would make a great difference to our results, going forward. A new keeper and CB would be a bonus and more a kick up the backside for our keepers and CBs.

  • Kev, …. you are right in saying that Cech is still a good shot stopper. That would have sufficed in the days long gone. These days GKs must be ball players too. You can’t instruct your team to be playing out from the back and make them one passing option less. That leaves them handicapped, and the double mind to pass to the GK or not can lead to errors (poor Mustafi). Joe Hart is a great shot stopper too but Pep was adamant he wouldn’t work with him because of this reason. Likely, it’s same reason he couldn’t make the England squad. As a possession based team we need a ball playing keeper.

  • Cheers, Kev. I’ve got to agree that it’s proper to question how aid is used by recipients (he who pays the piper calling the tune, and all that). Thanks for the article too.

    My concern is how the donors cannot see the benefits of such a deal. Personally, I’m already, now, thinking I’ve got to visit Kigali myself, to see things first hand. It’s a brilliant sponsorship idea! So long as Rwanda hasn’t breached any stipulation regarding use of the monies received, they should be trusted to make the right decisions. Then, there is the presumption the country has no other revenues aside from the aid…..

  • Eris, …. I’d rather say we have been doing some uncoordinated high pressing, but real pressing eg Liv and City is drilled into the players. The 1st rule is that it must be by a coordinated group. And their are variations of it, pressing men, pressing spaces, blocking passing lanes, overloading the man with the ball, combinations of these and finally the response if the opposition beats the press.. It is an art that has been raised to a high leve.

    If Emery could get it going then our weakness when the opposition have the ball is.over and we are a different team.

  • If I wasn’t like Dennis Bergkamp when it came to flying Eris, then Rwanda would certainly be the kind of country I’d like to visit.

    PE, I get all that mate and you are correct and if the opportunity arises to sign say Leno, then I’d go for it – not that I’ve ever seen him play. It’s just that I feel we have more pressing (it’s that word again) needs in defensive midfield and centre-back that need attention primarily.
    It’s all down to what we can afford I guess…

  • Pressing…. well described, PE. The thing with the way Klopp does it is that the team is a tired wreck after 75 minutes and concede goals late into games. The up-side is they do it with suc( intensity early on, that they are able to score goals and unnerve many sides. I much prefer the City style, which keeps it selective and hence, sustained over the whole game.

    Let’s see how they press and win against Madrid tomorrow night, then (okay, that’s my “soured grapes” mode in full effect). 😎

  • Foreign aid rarely (never?) comes without strings attached. There is no accusation of impropriety. Just that the Dutch politicians apparently feel that Rwanda should ask them how to spend their budgets 🙂

    Arsenal have said they’ll be holding football camps in Rwanda for young players and coaches. That they’ll send some players (men and women) to Rwanda as ambassadors etc. They’re our ‘tourism partner’

    I think the Rwandan target is not Europeans, but the growing number of African tourists. And Arsenal is among the most popular clubs in Africa.

    If for 30m over 3 years, you can boost tourism, which boosts infrastructure and job growth, then surely it’s a case of teaching someone to fish rather than giving them a fish. No reason for the Dutch or anyone else to interfere anyway.

  • Eris. …. agree with you. Somebody described Klopp’s as ” lunatic press”.

  • As for the sleeve sponsorship its best to assume the two parties innocent until proven otherwise.

  • Thanks for background info, Eris and others.

    Let’s hope that the sponsorship leads to more independent sources of income so the aid support is no longer required over time. It does seem an expensive deal for Rwanda at say £200k per week – that is a hell of a lot extra tourists.

    Will be interesting to see whether and how it will change tourism in Rwanda. It could turn out to be a clever move.

  • Pool finished fourth despite all that pressing (and praise for them). They are a good cup team, like Arsenal, but have a lot to do to come close to winning the league anytime soon. I am hoping that we find a more efficient way of playing football in the league.

  • I am with you, Kev, except my nr.1 priority is not a DM – as I feel that Kola, Mustafi or even Nacho could be very good DMs – but a Sol/Tony like bastard of a CB. That one position would make a hell of a difference.

  • Kola, Mustafi, Nacho as DMs.. Haha. Ok TA. You might have surprised me with Wenger Out and No Arteta.. But this re-establishes your Total Football credentials 🙂

  • My No.1 priority is a CB. A replacement for Per. Someone experienced, who reads the game well. (And ideally isn’t as slow) I don’t know who that is but I wouldn’t be opposed to Jonny Evans. I also wouldn’t be opposed to selling Mustafi and getting either Sokratis or this Soyuncu kid who looks the business.

  • Happy with Lichsteiner. A veteran presence at RB on a free. It was either that or go a young route (younger than Bellerin) I think this is better.

  • I like DMs. And I like DM-CM partnerships. My favourite ones are Petit-Vieira and Zidane-Davids (Juventus), but I feel that an energetic defender, with good positional sense and passing ability can be turned into one. A quality, organising CB is much, much harder to find though.

  • Hi all..
    TA.. if Emery can deal with infamous 34yo RB.. Why don’t he do the same with Cazorla..??

    Like the rumour about Perez back to Emirates.. He need a second chance..

    For DM.. Nzonzi will be great..
    Is Cabaye a DM..?? Hehehe..

  • Shard, 18 minutes on the board and expecting immediate responses, are you? 😉

    TA, touché, on Liverpool!

    As for Rwanda, hope it works out well for them. Let’s say over the next 2 years, they get an additional 2,500 tourists per week, with each spending $2,500 on the average, not including the parking cost for the aircrafts bringing them in, that works out to $6.25m/week. Might just be worth the trouble. I spent a short time in The Gambia, a smaller country, and can confirm from the stats, they receive over 100, 000 tourists a year (as at 2015), which works out to an average of 2,000 per week (they have high season during winter months, to be fair). Tourism is second highest income earner for that country. It is plausible that Rwanda can do more than 2,500 per week as even Africans are excited to visit.

  • Mertesacker played very little part in games this past season so any defensive addition cannot be deemed as a direct replacement for him but rather strengthening of the position and as cover for Koscielny. We didn’t look short even on the ocassions Koscielny was out injured. For me, the area in which we lacked a specialist is the DM function and it’s something I hope we fix soon enough.

    Nzonzi is the romantic option (rumours over the years and his relationship with Emery) but I am not sure he will do better than some of the younger options currently in the EPL. I’ll go for an African (yeah, yeah. I know Nzonzi is one), say the likes of Idrissa Gueye, Mo’ Diame, Ndidi, Nwanyama, Daukoure (spelling; the chap in Watford) and one young chap in Stoke City, Alione Ndiaye. We look to be after Seri of OGC Nice, but I am not sure he is strictly a DM because he creates and scores goals too.

    Nothing is cast in stone. A DM may come before the CB or FB; the important thing is for the signings to come in, in time for pre-season.

  • Good news. Perez will join us for preseason, and Lichtsteiner is said to be close to signing for us.

    Anyone has Lichtsteiner’s stats?

  • I seem to be the only one who does not think very much of Lucas Perez. Last season at Deportivo he made only 7 goals out of 34 games all competitions. We already have Auba and Laca. Welbeck too, who though not a great goal scorer would fit easily into Emery’s pressing philosophy. Time also to start giving the prolific Nketiah more game time. I don’t see Perez as a premiership top four team player, which must always be our lowest measure.

    I’d group him amongst those to be used to raise money for improving the team.

  • On the free, Lichsteiner is a marvelous acquisition. He is protagonist no.1. Strong, brave, fast, direct, he can cross the ball well with both feet. Auba would love him. But at 34 he’d is a stopgap recruitment.

  • PE, we could use Perez as one that provides the assists.
    According to WhoScored, he scored 8 and made 6 assists. Maybe he would be better if he played under Emery?

    As for Lichtsteiner, he is a good player. But will he be forced to limit himself like Kola did last season? Or Emery will ask them to go all out?

  • Morning all,

    Eris, you have convinced me! 🙂

    PE, 84,

    We need some quality on the bench/ in the squad and Perez is a player who offers that without demanding first team play constantly (I would imagine). With the UEFA league and cup competitions, players like Perez and Campbell could play themselves into the team again.

  • As the squad is at the moment (number wise) there are only 2 spaces vacant (Per and injured Kos). Two new signings give a complete squad of 25 players. That means for every other player brought in, an existing squad member must be pushed out. E.g. if Perez comes in maybe Welb is out. Or Campbell for Jack. Don’t interprete too strictly. Just the principle of it.

    The juniors like AMN, Nelson, Nketiah get prefrential treatment because amongst other things they represent potentials that are not yet worth anything in the market.

  • Haha Goonereris. I went away to do some work which I anticipated would take about 45 minutes. Finishes it and came back to comment and only later realised it was less than 20 minutes.

    What I mean by replacing Per is that someone with his abilities, not his minutes. I also really want an experienced CB since I think that’s what we lacked last season.

    Perez had the 2nd most ‘key passes’ (passes which led to a shot) in La Liga behind Messi. Playing for Deportivo surely that’s a good sign. I would like him back in the squad.

    Pony Eye.

    Squad spaces.Hmm. Let’s see.
    Cech, Ospina, Martinez/Macey
    Monreal, Kola, Licht(?), Bellerin, CB, Mustafi, Chambers, Holding, Kos
    Elneny, Xhaka, Ramsey, Wilshere, Miki, Ozil, Iwobi
    Laca, Auba, Welbz

    That’s 22. Plus Perez. So that’s 23. After signing Lichtsteiner and a CB. Then some players will leave. Wilshere might not sign (which might affect our HG quota leaving us only 24 squad spaces) Ospina might be sold.

    AMN and Mavropanos. Both are still going to count as U21 players next season.

  • I’m not to fussed by the transfer links we’ve seen recently, I’d like to see Unai come in and have a good look at what he has, to work with them and see what extra he can get out of them. So a few low key signings with maybe one headline grabber would suit me fine.
    I’m as happy with a Mavropanos signing as I am for an Aubameyang as long as the players have the requisite quality and the potential to improve.

    The Swiss guy might be 34 but he played 38 games for Juve last season, so there has to be something in the tank. Some players’ physiology means their bodies pack up in their early 30’s (BFG) others can hack it into their mid 30’s (Pires), so I’m certainly not ageist in that regard.

    Total, I guess it’s down to you then mate, to organise the BK beano to Rwanda… 😀

  • Shard …. Thanks. The under 21 rule escaped me. At the same time for our front 3 we already have Ozil, Iwobi, Mhki, Jack, Welb, Auba, New entries are likely going to displace existing ones.

    Our back line on the other hand are only 6 for 4 possitions.

    That’s a great stat for Perez on key passes. I can imagine that from him left wide but Kola that wide is similar to him. On second thought he could be that left wide man, a position many have identified as needed by the team. His quick deliveries would suit Auba.

  • Wonderful praise by Marco Andreolli:

    “I had a bad injury that seriously affected my season at Sevilla but Emery was always available to me and listened to me, and there was one particular moment when we played in the Europa League final [against Liverpool] that made me really emotional. He arranged to have a motivational video shown in the dressing room before the game, which looked back over the entire season at Sevilla.

    Among the clips he had chosen was one of my injury, and one of me working on my recuperation. It was a way of making me feel part of the team, and it showed me that Emery knows how to look after everyone. I was truly touched by this gesture.”


  • TA.. nice post from the guardian..
    look like we find a good Wenger replacement.. hehehe..

    Back to lichsteiner.. I don’t really agree with your injuryprones argue..
    Look what happened to Van Persie.. and our little Mozart.. And St. Cazorla is as good as that.. And most of the fans want to see him back.. At least one year extend like wenger used to..

    But I am okay with Lichsteiner..
    Just feel sorry for losing Meyer to Hoffenheim..
    Stefan de Vrij is another opportunity to add our CB..
    Joao Moutinho also a great opportunity to get for free.. And how about bringing back our own Alex Song.. hehehe..

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