The Arsenal crisis: Emery threatened with the sack, players under attack, sign of visa restrictions growing.

by Tony Attwood

I don’t think too many people predicted what would happen this season once there was no Arsene Wenger. What we were used to was a daily assault on the manager which had the benefit to a certain degree of reducing attacks on the players.  Of course some players were heavily criticised but generally the blame for everything was put at the manager’s door.

Indeed the Daily Mail has reported today that “Wenger had a bodyguard by his side at all games during his last two years as manager of Arsenal” which is rather ironic, since that newspaper sponsors a blog that was (and being unable to drop its old time habits still is) one of the most vicious attackers on every aspect of Mr Wenger’s life and style of management.

Since Mr Wenger has left the printed assaults on the manager have diminished as the media has responded with an absolute all out daily assault on almost every single player in the Arsenal first team squad.

And while it is true that many have moderated their language this season so that they say “Some Arsenal fans were outraged by…” there are signs that this fractional return to reason is now being ditched after just two games of the season with the Daily Mirror running the headline, “Fans unhappy with Bellerin” with the text “Arsenal fans were left fuming with Hector Bellerin’s performance in the Gunners’ defeat to Chelsea at the weekend.”

Just adding “some” to such sentences hardly makes them informative (in that there are always some who will attack anything) but it is a tiny step in the right direction.

All of which brings us back to the central issue is, does the media make a difference?   Does a lot of criticism in the media make a player more nervous, less instinctive and less able to execute brilliant and unexpected moves?  Do the remorseless, unending attacks make players who might otherwise come to Arsenal now turn away thinking, “actually I don’t fancy being treated like that.”

It is a real point because although players can get the adulation of fans in the stadium, that represents just 90 or 180 minutes a week.  The rest of the week there is a ceaseless onslaught by the media.

As far as I know, no one has ever done any analysis of how the media affects players – one would need a team of psychologists to get interested in the topic and for clubs to give permission for the players to be involved in the research.  And therein lies the problem.  Knowing that the answer might well reveal that players are

a) increasingly reluctant to come to Arsenal because of media treatment

b) feeling the pressure because of media treatment once they arrive

I can’t imagine any club giving permission to a university team to undertake such research, and even if they did a club like Arsenal would not want the results published and without the option of publication at the end, the researchers would not be interested.  So they would be very unlikely to co-operarte in such research.

In this situation however we can see the value of having a manager who is constantly under attack by the media large and small.  Indeed there was always that feeling that as long as the media attacked Mr Wenger it would lay off the players (at least to some degree) for nothing was really their fault.  It was always the manager.

But the media is never able to call a halt, it always has to go further and make bigger claims than its rivals.  For in journalism you are only as good as your last headline.  And now we have, after two games, comments that Mr Emery could lose his job as with today’s headline in the Star:

Arsenal news: Unai Emery told to make crucial decision or lose his job

And so of course the bloggettas jump on the bandwagon…

  • Awful decision’: Some Arsenal fans fume about match-deciding decision  (FootballFanCast)
  • Chances made, 29 Touches: Emery simply must axe Arsenal regular after abysmal performance (FootballFanCast)
  • Revolution is NOT Possible: Emery Has to Meet the Team Half Way: (Bergkampesque)

Inevitably the attack on the manager is not yet universal, and some are resisting

  • Gary Neville: Man Utd legend tears into Sam Allardyce after Unai Emery criticism (Daily Star)
  • Arsenal news: Unai Emery must be given time to shake off Arsene Wenger scent – Shearer (Daily Star)

And for some it is time to enter a fantasy world in which the inbound transfer market is still in operation

  • Midfielder rejects two giants to sign for Emery, deal almost complete (Football London)
  • There’s a £72m-rated star ideal for Arsenal to upgrade on Mesut Ozil with  (The Transfer Tavern)

There is even a realisation that with the UK set to leave the EU there is complete chaos in the Foreign Office where the previous “if the FA says he’s worthy we’ll give him a visa” situation has apparently been blocked by Downing Street.   So we are told “Arsenal were set to sign Morocco defender Hamza Mendyl this summer only for work permit problems to scupper the deal.”

Mendyl (who was part of the Morocco squad in the WC and therefore under previous rules should have had no trouble in getting a visa, completed a move from Lille to Schalke earlier this week.  Schalke boss Christian Heidel was asked about the transfer and said: “I think otherwise he would have gone to Arsenal.”

Which means that headlines like “Gunners eye Russian youngster” might be incomplete if the transfer can’t be arranged.  According to our old friend “reports” centre half Igor Diveev who is 18 was watched at the COTIF youth tournament.  He scored in the game against Argentina and currently plays for FC UFA.



9 Replies to “The Arsenal crisis: Emery threatened with the sack, players under attack, sign of visa restrictions growing.”

  1. Should Arsene Wenger, the former Gunners boss carry most of the blames for his not reading the handwriting on the wall in time to allow the ex-Gunner, Alexis Sanchez and the in-housed Gunners of: Aaron Ramsey and Bellerin to be sold to Man City for £60m plus add ons in the case of Sanchez with only a year to run on his deal at the Gunners then? But only to be forced to later swapped him for Mkhitaryan of Man Utd.

    In the case of Ramsey, Real Madrid reportedly rumoured to want him at £50m transfer fee some seasons back but Arsene Wenger was said to have blocked the move.

    It was in the rumour mill that was churning out players move away that Barcelona want to take Bellerin back to Camp Nou for a handsome transfer fee to move back to Catalonia but the move was effectively blocked by the Arsenal football professor, Arsene Wenger.

    Wouldn’t it have been better for Arsenal if Arsene Wenger had allowed these 3 ex and current Gunners to leave Arsenal for big moves for Arsenal when their football was selling like hot cakes? And reinvest the money a crude to Arsenal to revamp the Arsenal’s first team squad from their sales by bringing in other top quality players for Arsenal whose quality of playing could even be better than the quality the trio at Arsenal have in them?

    The big top clubs of Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the PL have at one time or the other sold some of their top quality players for big money moves to other top clubs who want them and later reinvest the money to sign other top quality players to revitalize their squads.

    Now, some Gooners have turned on Bellerin and Ramsey principally for their lackluster performances for Arsenal dating back to last season’s campaign and in this current campaign in the PL. And Arsenal are still looking to want to keep them at the club instead of to sell them aboard if they can get the good buyers for them. Then use the money they get from their sales to sign some top quality players in January window to revitalize their first team squad for the 2nd half of this season’s campaign.

  2. Thanks Tony for this and others like this previously.
    The media love to hit on Arsenal. It used to be Wenger now it’s going to be Emery. They criticize the players because they are playing for the club, they (players) are useless and all deserve to be sold; that’s what the machines are telling us in every print and picture. When a player is sold or dropped from the matchday team; it’s because the club is clueless and ‘Star Player leaves or misses a match.
    During the match on Sunday, Giroud was hailed by some so-called arsenal fans in their way to push some blames to the great man that has long left the club with great history achieved. The same so-called fans abused the manager for fielding Giroud match after match.
    My take is this, if as a fan, you don’t support your team always, good or bad times, you don’t deserve to be a fan. I know we will get it sooner than later, the goals will come, clean sheets will be recorded, hard fought and sweet victory will come….. like we say in this part of the world ‘good things happen to the hopeful ‘.COYG! One love. Gunners for life.
    OP: Not easy being a father. My two weeks old boy Jesse-Juxtin gives me great joy but out flies my night sleep. Am enjoying fatherhood.

  3. these media morons are hopeless … having said that, should man u keep underperforming, they might draw (our) enemy fire for a while; in france rumour (for what it’s worth, of course) has it that zidane is willing and ready to take over at o. trafford, if it so happens, all the gossipers will be kept busy for some time
    it is very ironic of course that the staunchest wengerists – i count myself in – should end up being unai’s praetorian guard, but before criticizing the new manager and his team, everyone should watch over and over again our second goal against chelsea (from 39’48” to 40’46″” on arsenal player): only top-class players, coached by a top-class manager can achieve such a buildup … and score, eventually.
    when i did, i had a special thought for mesut, whose very tricky back pass goes almost unnoticed, as too often with, and for granit: actually, the exchange mesut-granit is the true pivotal moment of this masterpiece … which should keep us all very hopeful
    try it on!

  4. emery shld be given time to prove himself first game was 2-0 lose and second was 3-2 lose so by the next game either draw or win and thats a gud perfomance. i dont see y peaple keep on ctisism to our new manager he needs time to strategize his new team othwiz big surport for the team.

  5. I hope that Unai Emery has a thick skin and the club has patience. Emery seems to know what he wants and how to get it…he just has to ignore those who will criticize not only his tactics but his choice of toilet paper, too…which tells you where they sit in my estimation.

  6. It hasn’t taken long before the
    hyper-criticism from the doom and gloom merchants has arisen.
    Having hounded out Arsene Wenger, they are dis-satisfied with Unai Emery after two games.
    He is a first class manager not a magician .
    And it may take a whole season before ALL the players under his command, truly bond into his methods.
    Until then, it behoves all true supporters of our great Club to give 100% support (as Untold does) to Club, Manager and Team. 😉

  7. The regular and loyal fans will support the club, manager and players , come what may.

    The rest are not supporters , but rather ,winduppers who have nothing better to do. They’d probably be better off if they got off their arses and worked hard at their jobs and paid more attention to their families

    Thank god they have no say whatever in how the club and the team is run.

    Carry on Unai and guys , we are behind you.
    Up the Gunners !

  8. When it doesn’t feel right , go left.

    ‘The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd.The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.’
    – Albert Einstein.

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