From Martin :
A little surprised at the recent reactions to some of Arsenal’s recent results and performances.
We all agreed that (1) Emery had inherited something far less than satisfactory in culture and quality, and (2) he would need at least 18 months and transfer windows in that time till we began to see a team that was his and (3) three years to see the finished article like Guardiola’s City and Klopp’s Liverpool.
Just as there was some semblance of continuity in the defence, and young players like Holding and Bellerin were starting to show the coaching they were obviously getting, it was all change and makeshift again, and against the best teams, such as Liverpool, you will always suffer.
Emery football was what we saw against Spurs.
But there is not enough depth, and quality for that to be played week in, week out,
Wenger also left Emery the contract Ozil was given! and I have to think this was deliberate in some way, as Wenger is not stupid. He would know full well what the implications would be, existing players wanting more money, players coming in wanting the same rate, and until Emery has his own squad you cannot really judge his work. It takes time to reverse the dereliction of duty that gave Ozil that contract,
Emery is trying to get players to do things they have not been asked to before, and its demanding. Some are struggling but getting there, and some you feel will just never meet the demands,
Look at Guardiola in his first year.
He inherited an awful back four with two Arsenal cast-offs (yes, Arsenal cast-offs) at full back and a suspect goalkeeper, and they lost a few games,.
But he won many more due the attacking talent, which is much the same as Emery and Arsenal this season,
Also, it’s a tough league. Arsenal get criticised for losing at Southampton, but City lose to Leicester and Spurs lose to Wolves and there is none of criticism levelled at Emery,
It’s the comment nothing’s changed that irked me.
A lots has changed, the demands on the players have increased, the crèche culture has been removed, superstars are no longer pandered to, the problem is that some of the players he HAS to use need replacing with those of the ethic Torreira brings, and in some players it’s just a lift in quality,
Personally, I did not even consider 4th in league at the start of the season.
The fact we are in the running speaks volumes to how much change there has been, and I suspect Arsenal will go close to 4th close. If they make it, that would be a major achievement.
Hopefully, we will leverage better quality coming into the club with Champions League as the carrot.
Forget the Liverpool game. It was not pretty but it’s also obvious that Liverpool are playing on a different level to everyone else at this time, and if your defence is not at its best you will be sliced apart by the pace, power and trickery in that front four
Bellerin and Holding would have had tough days and Arsenal would likely still have fallen, but there was an understanding developing on that side of the defence and then you are going to Liverpool with a make shift back line.
I’d iike to see the promotion of Ainsley Miles, Saka, Willock and others to the first team squad, and we hope to see Reiss Neilson back next season.
No other top team has these players sitting on the bench, and it’s another sign that Emery has a light squad, and needs to see all these young players in training and playing, to find out which ones will be really up to it. When he gets the players he wants, the demands will be very high and everyone will need to be up to it.
So I submit a lot has changed in six months.
But until there is a turnover in talent, and Wengers handling of contracts in recent season is history. The only players running down contracts should be those the club does not want. To me the reaction from media is again knee jerk, which it really should not be, as they are the ones paid to see the bigger picture, yet get drawn into sensationalising.
This time next season I will expect to see a very different Arsenal in terms of personnel and performance, a team starting to position themselves at top table.
Until then the results will look very Wenger-like. But the foundations are being laid for a significantly improved future.
Thanks Martin, for your calm overview.Many reactions, including mine at times, are knee-jerk.