Emery dismissed as useless, Santi Caz a traitor, Pochettino’s managerial triumphs

Untold Media: how the different “outlets” reported the decision to appoint Emery

Seeing what the media did in response to the news that they had been quite wrong in suggesting Arteta’s move to Arsenal was done and dusted is quite illuminating, as the media has immediately divided into camps.

But interestingly, none of the drainpipes, sorry outlets, seems to have been able to apologise for telling us all it was the wrong guy that they tipped – except we are going to admit it.  We ran one article with a smattering of what we hoped was inside information, and we got it wrong.  There, we admitted it.  It wasn’t that hard.

So off we go with today’s approach.  And here we can see how the media divided into various camps…

1: Those who carried on regardless

European giants emerge as shock candidates to sign Arsenal favourite

That was in Gunnersphere telling us Jack Wilshere is going to PSG, without even a mention that their manager was coming to us

Arsenal ‘maintain interest in Porto full-back Danilo Pereira after asking for updates on injury …

The Mirror (above) just kept running its pre-arranged drip feed of transfer rumours on players we are going to sign but in reality probably never will.

2: Those who focused on the perfidious nature of Arsenal supporters

‘Leech’ – Some Arsenal fans are beginning to turn on 77-cap man

Football Fan Cast did its thing by not talking about the manager but telling us about the Arsenal “fans” who expressed negative feelings about Santi Cazorla leaving Arsenal to return to his former club, which seems a fairly awful way to say cheerio to such a wonderfully talented man

3: Those who felt Arsenal had behaved in a morally unjust manner

Unai Emery to Arsenal: Ian Wright blasts Gunners over Patrick Vieira approach 

The negatives are of course everywhere.  The Express had dear old Ian being furious saying “Arsenal getting in touch with Vieira for the manager’s job was tokenism. It’s embarrassing,” although when you look at it, it seems Vieira was already considering leaving NYC not to go to Arsenal but to go to Nice.  Which of course will be very n…

4: But it wasn’t Arsenal who said “no” to Arteta

The reason Arteta rejected Arsenal

This is always the underlying theme – that Arsenal, through its meanness, dithering, incompetence and poor showing on the pitch will never, ever get anyone they want, or ever manage to do anything properly.   It’s always last minute, desperate, second best, hopeless disorganisation.

That headline comes from Arsenal Mania but they claim it was TalkSport who reported that Arteta walked away from Arsenal because they would only give him £50m to spend.  It seems very unlikely however, since even Untold had the £50m story two weeks ago and the Sprout was still running the Arteta to Arsenal story up to yesterday.

5: The right man for the job

Unai Emery’s grasp of detail can succeed at Arsenal after PSG problems

It takes a bit of searching but yes there are some who think that this management appointment could work, and so move against the prevailing wind to run a positive piece.   The Guardian’s article tells us that, “The tactically astute and well prepared Spaniard will find a more receptive audience in the Emirates dressing room than with an unruly PSG squad.”

Of course the Guardian’s resolutely anti-Wengerian stance then has to be restated, but if one can pass that by there are interesting insights…

“He is a supremely detail-orientated and tactically astute coach, and although this style of management did not play out well in Paris, the Arsenal squad will experience a heightened level of structure in their preparation. “Emery put on so many videos I ran out of popcorn,” former player Joaquín quipped, “he’s obsessed by football, it’s practically an illness.”

“Where Arsène Wenger’s teams may have descended into the painfully one-dimensional, Emery’s outlook is one of nuance and precision, which may well suit Arsenal’s developing team rather more than the entrenched, haughty collection of Parisian stars.”

6: What Tottenham fans think

‘Slightly annoyed’, ‘Big mistake’: Tottenham Hotspur fans give verdict on reported Arsenal

Considering reactions by supporters of the Tiny Tots on Twitter to Arsenal’s new manager seems a bit of a desperate way to cover the story but that is what HITC has done, with fairly predictive comments such as “Unai Emery? Really!? He’s like a Basque AVB. Not fit 2 wear Wenger’s boots.”  And also “Knowledge of Premier League? Experience of PL? Ability 2 command respect of players? Stellar playing career? Won a top League?”

That last comment is quite interesting when compared with the Tottenham manager whose honour list consists entirely of having won “Manager of the Month”.

7: He’s just rubbish

Unai Emery’s bad resume worse than Mikel Arteta’s lack thereof

Sometimes the language of “Pain in the Arsenal” is a little hard to grasp, as when they say, “he is even more in the realm of complacency than Mikel Arteta.”  But the writer’s view is plain, in that “if he couldn’t reach the heights of Champions League glory with the unlimited budget of PSG, then what the hell is he going to do with his pocket-book clamped shut by the stingy board at Arsenal?”

I think that the writer has forgotten exactly what happens in Champions League games with certain referees, but even without that, it is hard to see how this could be judged in advance to be worse than Arteta who has never taken control of a club for a PL game, so we don’t know how he would cope with referees.  Or management.

So there we have it.  The knives are out and the poor guy hasn’t even arrived yet and thus pretty much more of what we have been used to from the media thus far.  In with the new manager, in with the old commentaries.  It was ever thus.

But here’s a little postscript which we rather liked

Manchester United might have signed the wrong Arsenal player.

That’s from the Manchester Evening News.

Other wild and wacky tales….


47 Replies to “Emery dismissed as useless, Santi Caz a traitor, Pochettino’s managerial triumphs”

  1. When Arsene arrived at Arsenal in those dim and far off days of 1996 the internet wasn’t available as it is today. So those who can’t see more than they want to see had little or no knowledge of football beyond this side of the English channel.

    The internet is a wonderful means of communication. Unfortunately it means we have to put up with an ever flowing serge of bubble gum thinking packaged as
    ‘intelligent comment’.

    A classic example of this ‘bubble gum’ thinking can be found in a comment in the previous blog.

    ‘Arsenal are a skin flint club’. This because last season they only spent about 100 million in transfer money and this compares unfavorable in the commentators opinion with the spending of PSG and alike.

    Simply by reading a few pages on the internet you can discover for yourself that Unai’s football record and in particular his ability to find unknown players and turn them into top players.

    Doesn’t this remind us of someone we used to see at every Arsenal game.

    Sadly this ‘simple act of reading for yourself’ seems to be something that the bubble gum thinkers of football can not do.

  2. ever since it was published, i have cherished this wonderful piece of football-columnist “expertise”:


    try it on … it’ll cheer you up all the way through your “hard day’s nights”

    i’ll never get over the loss of AW, but i’m French, and from what i’ve seen of him, emery seems a very decent guy, whose passion for football may well match that of our great man.
    his PSG 4-0 win over barcelona was very, very, impressive, the 1-6 loss in the second leg was just a refereeing horror movie; eventually, what he has achieved at the helm of the PSG loony bin deserves respect, to say the least

    we also have to remenber that, thanks to AW – and to Löw, and Descahamps, and Southgate, who “omitted” Laca, Jack, and Mustafi -; without spending one single penny, he could start next season with a very attractive eleven, having benefited from a full pre-season preparation:


    Welcome Unai

  3. Thanks for the link Le Gall. A classic example of what I have come to call ‘bubble gum thinking’.

    My suspicious mind thinks that Unai resigned from PSG because he knew he was coming to Arsenal. It was only a matter of Au revoir Arsene and the right moment to say Salut Unai.

  4. amused listening to BBC correspondent saying most people got it wrong rather than the media were wrong

  5. A very funny link , Le Gall , even if those so called ‘experts’ were not actually trying to be humorous !
    Hindsight , like karma can be quite a bitch. Am looking forward to more jokes from them.

  6. The moaner Alan Smith is at it too. These former players of George Graham are turning into an embarrassment:-

    Alan Smith:-
    “They’ve gone for the experienced option rather than the left-field. Obviously Mikel Arteta might not have wanted it in the end, but Ivan Gazidis spoke initially about wanting to make a bold and brave appointment.

    “I wouldn’t describe Emery as that. It’s not a safe one. Nothing is safe in this game but if you look at his track record with Valencia and Sevilla, particularly, on a limited budget competing against the big boys in Spain, he did exceptionally well.

    So here we have the narrative about Arteta ‘turning down Arsenal”.

    This is how those on the WOB side work, it is almost as if they have to talk Arsenal down. They’ve essentially joined the medias side.

  7. media can criticize Emery based on his PSG Performance, but 5 trophies in 2yrs is a great job. If he got us one every season i would be happy with that. His Seville and Valencia records are very impressive, he was up against Barca and Madrid, the richest and probably most favored.
    At PSG his European record is not that good but look at the refereeing horror at Barca and Madrid are in the final going past Juventus and Bayern!!!

    Among the managers available he is arguably the best best choice.

  8. Probably Wenger’s achievement less talked about! Vieira, Pires, Bergkamp, Arteta, Henry, Per are all in football management.
    How many under SAF, Big Sam, Mourinho, Roy Hodgson?
    Probably more noise makers( pundits) than managers!

    After the end of their playing career players can still contribute to football.

  9. Sincerely, let’s hope the media reports that Unai Emeritus has beaten Mikel Arteta to the Gunners boss job appointment will stay and not take a twist after seeing the purported appointment of Arteta took a turn yesterday with Unai Emeri looking to have emerged to overthrow his fellow Spanish compatriot, Arteta to the Arsenal manager’s job.

    While I am skeptical on the said likely appointment of M Arteta as the new Arsenal first team manager when news first broke out, the same skepticism cannot be said I hold on Unai Emeri if he becomes the Gunners boss
    For, Unai Emeri has a good track record of many Titles winning experience to his credit at some clubs he has managed before. This is against Mikel Arteta who has no top team managerial experience to his name, talk less of him to have Titles winning experience on his CV.

    Had Ivan Gazidis, the AFC CEO succeeded in forcing M Arteta into our throats us the Gooners as the Gunners new boss, this will not only amount to a kind of show of incompetence mentality by the AFC CEO, but will equally could have amounted to gambling with the on the field success of the club in next season’s campaign has he had his way to see Arteta appointed as the new Gunners boss.

    But thank God! The majority of the AFC board of directors were alerted to the immerse danger the AFC CEO planned to plunge the club into, but took the emergency step to block the him from gambling with Arsenal chances in winning Titles next season to which appointing M Arteta will seemingly represented if he were to be appointed as the new Gooners boss.

  10. Will the media apologise to Arteta for claiming he was the one who demanded that Colin Lewis was sacked?

  11. Instead of moaning about what the press are saying, how about giving your opinion on the appointment ;

    Good, bad?

    Also, the guardian is right, arsenal did become ‘one dimensional under wenger’.

    Slow build up, sideways passing, no genuine width apart from predictable overlapping full backs, undisciplined midfield play and lack of physical presence in the middle of the park etc

  12. I think once again Alexanderhenry you have stumbled into the wrong site. But I tell you what. I would happily publish an article by you to explain how with “Slow build up, sideways passing, no genuine width apart from predictable overlapping full backs, undisciplined midfield play and lack of physical presence in the middle of the park” Arsenal managed to get a home record last season as they did, better than any club save Man C. Yes Man City scored 7 more than we did at home, but that was all and no one else was near us.
    Come on, write a full article on how we did that with slow build up etc etc etc, and send it to TonyAttwoodofLondon@gamil.com and I will publish it, whether I agree with you or not.

  13. Slow build up (Barcelona), sideways passing (Barcelona), no genuine width apart from predictable overlapping full backs (Barcelona), lack of physical presence in the middle of the park (Barcelona)…etc etc

    A few of your observations there transposed onto the world’s greatest passing team. I’ll grant you the undisciplined midfield play but I’ve seen all the other big teams guilty of that this past season. The point is that basically you’re talking rubbish. Arsenal need a new goalkeeper, two top quality centre backs and a deep-lying playmaker almost identical to Sergio Busquets, if such a man exists in football elsewhere. Xhaka isn’t that man, neither is Ramsey. Gilberto was as close as we’ve come. We need that again.

  14. @alexanderhenry

    I hope you take up Tony’s offer, it is extremely fair. Perhaps you could go onto your beloved LeGrove blog and have some of the regulars give you some help, I know they will be more than happy to slam Wenger.

    Put your money where your mouth is mate.

    Perhaps you can also explain how this clueless Manager came out of austerity (£20 million net PROFIT between 2005 to 2013) and won three FA Cups in 4 years, reached a Europa League semi-final and the Carabao cup final, despite slow build up, sideways passing, undisciplined midfield play. You may want to look at last seasons FA Cup semi final against man City and the final against Chelsea for your ‘evidence’. Perhaps you can also include why Olivier Giroud was a donkey playing for Arsenal.

    There is nothing wrong with wanting change or a new Manager. That is a fair opinion which you are entitled to. However, what seems to happen is that in order to convince yourselves that ‘I Know Best’, you deliberately go out of your way to ‘ignore’ evidence that counters your opinion. Which in itself suggests you know Wenger isn’t half as bad as you thought.

    Go on big man, write your piece and educate us.

  15. The media:

    Last week, Arteta will be announced as the new Arsenal manager in 48 hours. Source: Late night at a pub.

    Now, it’s shock horror Arsenal next manager will be Emery, it will be announce within the next 48 hours. It’s Arsenal dithering again. Source: Unidentified sources.

    Next week, Donald Trump will be the next Arsenal manager. He will make ‘Arsenal great again’ by building a wall to keep that pesky ball from the net. Source: Piers Morgan handed Trump an Arsenal shirt.

  16. Tony Atwood

    Nice try but i’ve got a better idea. Why don’t you write an article on how those tactics contributed to our worst league finish for over 20 years.

    Off you go then…

  17. Tony Atwood

    If you’re going to throw down challenges it would only be fair if you gave me the opportunity to argue my case instead repeatedly blocking me. You seem to pride yourself on being fair minded.

    Just a thought

  18. @polo

    Amazing isn’t it the amount of rubbish the media recycle. When will the morons who believe it all suddenly smell the coffee?

    In the last two weeks:-

    1. Arteta will offered the Arsenal Manager job
    2. Arsenal have no ambition
    3. Arteta turned down Arsenal
    4. Arsenal are dithering over Arteta
    5. Vieira upset he was only asked as a token gesture
    6. Arsenal are dithering
    7. Arsenal don’t know what they are doing
    8. Ian Wright says it is disgusting Vieira was only asked as a token gesture
    9. Chris Sutton says Arsenal are a joke and don’t know what they are doing
    10. Henry Winter says “Arsenal need a complete clear out a strong, experienced, individual to address the failings. They need a Diego Simeone type. Someone who is tough and can get into that soft dressing room, that soft boardroom – there is a soft executive feel at that club. There is a malaise that runs right through the club”

    It is truly incredible the amount of utter crap these clowns come out with and nobody challenges it. Instead, they lap it up and recycle on social media.

    Arsenal have won 3 FA Cups in 3 years, made the final of the Carabao Cup this season, the semi finals of teh Europa League and have a home record only bettered by the half a billion quid investment at the club bank rolled by an oil state.

    Meanwhile, Spurs have been waiting 57 years for a league title and 27 years for an FA Cup.


  19. Either you have entered into this blog without reading the rules of conversation that we have or you are deliberately flouting them. I’m not going to rip up the rules that those of us who have developed the blog over the years have up with, just for you. If you don’t like our rules, go somewhere else.

  20. I can’t do that because I don’t believe that the tactics resulted in the worst finish in 20 years. And I am not going to write something that I don’t believe in just to pander to some bizarre approach to running a blog that you seem to believe in.

  21. Why do you cherish the write up so much? Sanchez hasn’t been spectacular for united, same as mkhitaryan for us

  22. Well, I’m sure media is not animate. It’s people who make comments in the media. Also outside of the media I’m sure people like you and I made comments on the matter. This media witch hunt in kind of funny sometimes

  23. I’m sure every club has objectives which it communicates to the manager before appointment and every season. Emery knew what was expected of him at PSG and he simply didn’t measure up. I hope he does better with us

  24. @Tony, I believe that’s a fair request. It’s either you want a debate or you want to silence dissent. You can’t come here and put your point across, then block him when he attempts to put his across. We both know he hasn’t broken any rules of debate here.

  25. tony ,so what was it that resulted in our worst finish in 20 years if it wasn,t tactics, eh, bad management maybe….

  26. And I believe that there is a need for some basic rules as to how the conversation works, which have been set out on a page permanently available on the site. I did not institute those rules at first, but without them the site, which was intended as its name suggests, to be a place for discussions that were not happening elsewhere, became dominated by people who wanted to argue against the point of view adopted by the site’s policy. Dominated so much that they made reasonable discussion by those who agreed with the fundamentals of the site impossible. So we have different views.

  27. Or maybe not. Certainly an explanation of that worst finish for 20 years would need to take into account how the club managed to stay in the top four all that time, the extraordinary imbalance between home and away results, and so on. Certainly an explanation that does not include a fulsome explanation of how that home/away difference could happen would be incomplete. I’m still working on that, and am hampered by a singular lack of anyone publishing a fulsome analysis of that, a comparison with other clubs that have suffered the same, and explanations of why and how it can happen.

  28. IMO, if that were the case, why not just inform him he’s broken the rules of debate and move on, instead of coming here arguing your own point then blocking him when he tries to counter. Also for the purpose of enlightening those not among the “site’s fundamentalists” maybe you should publish those posts and use it to show how the young man broke the rules of debate on the site

  29. The comments page is there and it is utterly obvious how the rules are being broken. And Untold is, and has for years been swamped by comments that break our rules. To do what you suggest would be impossible.

  30. Jonathan.

    There are many variables. You could argue that much is down to the players, poor finishing poor decision making, etc without always blaming the Managers tactics. I have watched us lose games where we have had a ridiculous number of shots on target and where clearly our tactics allowed us to dominate the other team. I would also add that if a Manager is tactically useless how do you rationalise that with the consecutive top 4 finishes when bottom of the net transfer spend in 2005 – 2013, the 3 FA Cups in the last 4/5 seasons and reaching the Europa League semi final. A semi-final we should have won but for poor finishing and a shocking mistake by Koscielny which were not of Wengers making.

    I would also argue that Arsenals home record, second only to Man City does not support the claim of tactical naivety or the fact the club needs a clear out. In 19 home games we averaged 3.6 goals per game and won 15 matches.

    I certainly would like to see an analysis of the away form after Christmas, which does not make any sense.However, some of the rabid venom spat at Wenger is pathetic but I guess we now live in an age where everyone is a football expert, without having to prove it.

    Finally, why would someone go onto a blog that has a particular point of view and expect an easy ride? If someone who defended Wenger dared comment on the LeGrove blog, they would have received disgusting abuse and language. Incurable diseases, the ‘c’ word, death wishes etc were all aimed at Wenger, so I doubt it would be possible to have a sensible debate with that type of blogger.

  31. There have always been many variables for everybody, every time. There were many variables when we went unbeaten, there were many variables during Leslie knightons era, during George Graham’s era, during any and every era including at Stoke’s FC that just got relegated. It’s why you employ a manager, to manage these variables and produce a winning structure from it.
    I would also believe the dichotomy between home and away form has plenty to do with tactics too. As is commonly mentioned here especially seasons ago when it suited the narrative, “teams come to the Emirates and pack the bus”, that alone suggests a difference in tactics used by teams when playing away as against when playing at home. Thus its common knowledge that if you don’t get your tactics right away from home, you risk a loss. Granted other factors are involved, but you will need to do better to convince me that tactics isn’t a key factor involved in our poor away form this season

  32. The point about tactics could be right Blue, but then that puts the emphasis on the manager, not on the players. I was trying to emphasise the point that the results last season do not necessarily mean that the players are awful and need to be kicked out.

  33. This point I totally agree with. It’s for the next manager to decide who is absolutely awful and needs kicking out or not.

  34. @blue

    I don’t disagree with much of that, of course the tactics have a role to play.

    My point is that I have seen tactics mentioned after games we have completely dominated and where the loss has been due to poor finishing or a mistake. Especially the latter. A good example of an anomaly would be the home game we lost to Manchester Utd where De Gea pulled off some outstanding saves. I don’t think we got the tactics wrong that game but we lost.

    Similarly in many some away games we have lost, we totally outplayed the opponents, suggesting tactics were good. My frustration and criticism is the number of individual mistakes from our defensive players.

    It may be a mixture of many things; confidence, bad luck, poor finishing and tactics. But blaming tactics alone, when the Manager is one of the greatest managers in the World seems too convenient. Especially for those who don’t like Wenger. I would probably have to watch every away game to be in a position to defend my argument more fervently or be persuaded other ways.

  35. Sometimes when you say you outplayed the opposition but lost, I take it you mean you got fooled by the oppositions tactics and got sucked in. An example would be our FA cup win in 2005, we were totally outplayed by man utd, but we probably had tactics set to park the bus. You may not agree with that example, but what about mourinhos 1-0 loss to barca when he was coach of inter in 2010, winning the tie and going on to win the CL. Barca may claim to have outplayed inter, however inter came with tactics to not lose by more than a goal, and as much as barca outplayed them, they got the result. Athletico Madrid’s final game in 2013/14 LA liga season was at the camp nou, all they needed was to not lose to barca and they win the league. Barca had to win to win the league. Barca played almost the entire first half in athletios 18yard box, finally scoring just before half time, immediately the 2nd half resumed we saw a different athletico who attacked barca viciously scoring within 5minutes, then returned into their half again and defended that draw till the end to win LA liga. Now those teams(arsenal in 2005, inter in 2010, athletico in 2014) played ugly football, but they all got the job done.

  36. Ps:I forgot the best examples I should have given. On 2separate occasions in recent years, arsenal parked the bus away and came away with 2inspiring 2-0 wins at top sides – at man city and at Bayern. Our football wasn’t pretty in those wins but the result more than provided the entertainment.

  37. Finally, I doubt anybody has blamed tactics solely. But if I decide to single out tactics as a major factor which can be fixed, as against things like motivation or finishing ability which I know nothing about, you can’t then accuse me of being overly simplistic. I know the possible reasons are too many, and as such I cannot discuss them all. However the manager should be able to consider them all and work out a solution, that’s what he’s paid to do.

  38. Yes blue but I think that last point omits the reality that only one team can win the league. An Arsenal manager can indeed work out a solution, but that still might not be enough. Indeed with the money that Man City has, nothing might ever be enough.

  39. True but that’s no reason to throw in the towel, athletico Madrid shows that money isn’t everything. Using tactics that worked they had to go to nou camp and get the result that helped them win the league over barca, they did. And really its not all about winning, but competing. Look at what happened after Leicester won the league, the other big teams seemed to acknowledge they had poor seasons and changed management. I’m not a fan of managerial changes, but calling a spade a spade means accepting you’ve not been good enough and changing something

  40. Unfortunately blue, when you say “And really its not all about winning, but competing” there are a lot of people who will reply “fourth is not a trophy”

  41. ‘athletico Madrid shows that money isn’t everything. Using tactics that worked they had to go to nou camp and get the result that helped them win the league over barca, they did.‘

    Arsenal is a big club and should be playing attacking football in every match whether it lead to win, draw, or lost. I might as well watch paint dry if every team use park the bus tactics. You only need to watch the last FA Cup match to see how boring it was when big teams play defensively.

  42. Until when we produce the squad that we can trust to deliver attacking football anywhere and everywhere(like the invincibles or PEPs man city this season) tactics will be relevant to getting results. I’ll rather a tactically disciplined display at Munich winning 2-0, to attempting and largely failing to play attacking football there and getting walloped 5-1

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