SHEATH YOUR KNIVES, LETS HEAR EMERY OUT.
Emery is proving to be something of an enigma. Is he a genius or is he simply meh? Nobody seems to understand him.
All complain that no pattern can be discerned in his philosophy assuming there is even one. Or are people able to see only that which they want to see?
Last weekend against Watford his team conceded 31 shots as they were pegged back after a 2 goal lead. Knives were out. He was leading the PL in shots conceded. Then he went to Frankfurt and conceded 24 shots running away with a 3-0 victory. The knives were sheathed. Meanwhile it surfaced that in 2015/16 season, one of the three consecutive years he won the Europa League with Sevilla, his team conceded the highest number of shots in La Liga. Isn’t this a very discernible pattern?
17HT has been singing this song that Emery likes to suck the opposition in so as to open up their rear for quick transitions. Unfortunately for HT only the echoes of his voice come back to him. At Arsenal, we are not used to being dominated in territory so we do not want to accept that what we are seeing is being deliberately managed. Whether it is worth it or not, whether we like it or not is another matter. There is a pattern. What’s more, we can’t yet tell if this pattern is only a stage in an evolving process: a teething problem as it were.
So how should we as fans respond?
I suppose we should show more patience. It is not for us to pass the hasty judgement (never easy when it goes wrong). The fortunes of the team is going to do that for us.
It should be expected that the four new signings this summer were considered tailor made to fit into Emery’s project and the promoted academy players would have been similarly assessed. So his project should be all set to begin to bear its fruits. Our hope should be that they are not sour fruits.
We should expect to witness more of playing out of the back. That most basic of Emery’s process has now been cooked in the Watford experience and am hopeful that we would be seeing a more intelligent mix of patterns there.
Emery is very passionate with his football. His philosophy is him. He can’t be another him and the little I know tells me that there is nothing as powerful as self belief in a cause. Who knows Emery might be rewriting football. That’s maybe why the football statisticians and pundits are finding it difficult to label him. Many want to write him off but are hunted by his track record. We, of the Arsenal world would do well to give him some space on the wheels by finding ways to manage our fears and hopes as he hurtles along. As I had said, the fortunes of the team would be the arbiter and bet that before the season is done we would know exactly were we stand with him.
Tierney plays his first match today with the under-23 team. He is a big part of the project. Holding is back with the first team and Bellerin is not far away. Saka and Willock dazzled last night. ESR is coming back from a long lay off. We know he has the potentials to be one of the best. We might just be on the cusp of seeing what Emery has for us. Sheath your knives please.