Emery’s comments, Leicester’s managerial problems, more stats and the score we want.

By Bulldog Drummond

Mr Emery’s commentary this week will be music to the ears of those who make a living by telling the rest of us how Arsenal will never get anywhere without a major rebuild.  He said, “I think we need to improve a lot. Our demands need to be very high. The supporters can enjoy it with us but also we’re speaking with our reality every day.

“We need to improve because, for example, the match against Fulham was a very good result and a very good game for 90 minutes. But in the first 45 minutes I thought we needed to do better.”

Claude Puel is also a manager who gets criticism, some Leicester fans believing that the club should be getting a place in Europe each year, and as he is not delivering that, well, he should go.  But leaving that aside he had some interesting thoughts these last few days when he spoke of Lacazette.

His view is worth noting since Puel managed Laca at Lyon, and he said, “His first game at the beginning he was always a striker but to find a place and get game time in the team he started as a winger.”  Which undoubtedly gives him an extra idea of how to fit in with Auba.  Puel added, “He is a complete player with good transition with the ball and without the ball. He is always available for the team.

“He works all the time and he has kept his clinical edge and I am not surprised about his quality and his good work with Arsenal.”

As for us, we are (as of course you know) attempting to win 10 consecutive games in all competitions for only the sixth time, and first since a run of 12 which incidentally finished in October – 11 years ago.  We are also the top scorers in the second half in the Premier League –  so maybe we can arrange to kick off at half time…

And just to elaborate on a point that I was making in an earlier piece, we have won 22 consecutive Premier League home games against teams outside the top six of last season.  The goal tally is 64 to 11, which makes it 3-0 or 3-1 per game.  4-0 as I noted before will take us to third in the league.

What helps us even more is that they have not won an away fixture against any of last season’s top six clubs for 16 games.  The last win was a beating of Manchester City 3-1 in 2016.

What might help even more than that is that Leicester have let in 27 league goals away from home this year – equal with the almighty West Ham.

But two big problems for Leicester remain, after having won the league a couple of years back.  One is expectation.  There really are some Leicester supporters who expect at the very least that the club should be challenging for a trophy each season, rather than slipping back into mid-table obscurity.  Hence lots of “Puel Out” nonsense on Twatter.

The other issue is money.  The owners got their get out of jail free card at the end of their recent court case against the Thai government, but they have not solved the funding problem at home.  After the title win, most players got almighty pay rises along with new contracts which are still jogging along.   But each player’s worth on the PL stage has declined as the club has slipped back to mid-table, and so the players are harder to sell.   They reluctantly sold the real jewel in the crown of the title winning year, but now they have players who are being paid more than they could probably ever pick up elsewhere.  So not that many want to move on.  And why should they?  Would you move in order to take a pay cut of £1.5m a year?

So there is a lot of opposition from Leicesterians to keeping Puel at the club – but even a change of manager won’t change the finances.  Their natural habitat is mid-table with occasional sojourns into the second tier.  It will take a brilliant manager and a load of luck to get them back to the top six, without a huge extra input of cash.  And even with that cash nothing is guaranteed.

But to be fair, they are doing some things right.  When we went to watch the under 23 game at Leicester this season, we found a decent if modest ground.   Apparently they are also about to move into a new training complex that cost £100m, so that bodes well for them.

But it doesn’t mean they are going to win tonight.

More anon.


2 Replies to “Emery’s comments, Leicester’s managerial problems, more stats and the score we want.”

  1. Your shock would be lessened if you bothered to do your research properly. As this site sets out quite clearly, we are linked to the Arsenal History Society – in fact it is written by the same people – and on that blog there was fulsome commentary of Mr Wenger’s birthday and an interesting related fact. It went up at about 8am on his birthday. You only had to look.
    Commenting critically without bothering to look really is rather silly.

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