Why no quality manager would touch Arsenal with a barge pole

By Tony Attwood

In the last two years of Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal there was a campaign by some supporters to get rid of him; a campaign amplified by the professional and amateur media to such a degree that it became the norm – the daily news story.

There was an assumption among many of the writers and broadcasters that this departure would result in a rapid improvement in Arsenal’s playing style and position in the league.

In the past year with Uno Emery at Arsenal there has been a campaign by some…. well we can just repeat the first paragraph of this piece because the situation is the same.  Get rid of Emery – the daily news story.

But what I don’t understand is why people think that when their strategy failed (in their eyes) last time, we should do exactly the same thing again.  And then presumably again.

Because the central problem is not getting rid of Mr Emery but of getting someone else to come to Arsenal.  For potential candidates who are really excellent managers will take a look at the club, and realise that

a) There is a massive media campaign going on against Arsenal on an hourly basis which means the incoming manager would be under attack from day one.

b) There is a fan base that has turned against the team and now appear (at least to me) to be taking a “prove to me you are good and I will give you my support” attitude.

c) There is an ownership of Arsenal that world-wide is not renowned for investing in its “franchises” nor in getting them to win things.  In fact with only one or two notable exceptions, Kronke clubs don’t win stuff.  Why manage a club owned by people who don’t win things?

d) The fan base appears to want and expect a rapid improvement, but it is very unclear if the owners will allow the new manager to buy many players of if rapid improvement can be achieved in the face of this endless media attack on the club and its players.

e) There are many people – a very large number of people in fact – who are making money out of pedalling the story of Arsenal as a failure.   They also make up 97% of what they write or say (at least that is the percentage of transfer rumours that are untrue each summer).  This is what they do.  They are hardly going to stop now.

And above everything else, the managers who might come to Arsenal will be looking at the media and reading things like this:

“I’ve seen enough” – Loads of Arsenal fans rip into “worst player on the pitch” against Vitoria

That was published in FootballFanCast.   The player is Maitland-Niles, a very talented young footballer who has come up through the ranks and is in the club as a reserve defensive midfield player who can also play full back.

Attacking such a player is pretty pointless.  We know he can play better, we know all players have up and down periods, and we know that for most players the only way to come out of a down period is to have games.   And he is not our first choice.   (These self same supporters would presumably also have called for the removal of Bergkamp and Henry during their first months at the club).

Now this sort of attack means that the fans who write this stuff are now demanding that even the back up players have to in perfect form for every game.

The fact is that game last night, disappointing as it was, meant very little.  We are still going to qualify, we can still choose whomsoever we like for the knock out rounds, and this is a way of giving back up players games.  And yet you get headlines like that quoted above.

Would you want to manage a team which has this sort of stuff written day after day?  Would you want to play for such a team, when you could go elsewhere?

And if that is not enough to convince any decent manager not to touch Arsenal with a barge pole then a few more, released in a ten minute period this morning should do the trick…

  • ‘Best news in a while’, ‘He’s leaving in Jan’ – These Arsenal fans delighted with Emery decision (This Is Futbol)
  • Paul Merson: Arsenal should be ‘breaking the bank’ to appoint 46-year-old (The Sport Review)
  • This should be his last game for Arsenal’: Some fans slam Arsenal star after Vitoria draw (Red London)
  • “Please don’t go” – these Arsenal fans react after learning player has agreement to leave in potential big-money deal (Read Arsenal with a story about Aubameyang leaving)
  • ‘Xhaka’s time at Arsenal is over’ – Fan rant will see Swiss star sold, says Groves (Goal.com)

Of course the problems then have knock on effects as with the Star writing “Shkodran Mustafi ‘cupped ear’ celebration shows Arsenal stars are sick of moaning fans.”

So we have the problem.  Any manager good enough to take Arsenal back to trophy winning mode or a top four position (something that Mr Wenger delivered regularly for 20 odd years but was denounced for because top four is not a trophy and the FA Cup was not the league title) will be looking at that and think, “no I don’t fancy working alongside that lot.”

The power is with the media and the bloggers who have decided that knocking Arsenal is good for business and by and large that is not a very helpful situation.

38 Replies to “Why no quality manager would touch Arsenal with a barge pole”

  1. Quite right you are in many respects, as the club doesn’t preset itself as an attractive place to join. There’s no doubt how passionate Arsenal fans are, but when it comes to being supportive, we’ve gotten worse over the years. Liverpool fans had to endure many years without silverware, yet they gave the team all the support.

    Not even Lionel Messi could play well under these conditions. While I expect the players to be held accountable for their performances on the pitch, and the Manager held responsible for failures, we the fans equally share blame in out team’s failure. No decent manager would want such conditions. And while fans are quick to hail the likes of Saka and Willock, how long before they’re booed too?

  2. Once more you leave out the most important thing of the whole situation. Every thing you write is somehow understandable and mostly true. But the most important fact here is that it is not about getting rid of a manager in general, but getting rid of Emery, who is one of the worst coaches I have ever witnessed at a top club. He is destroying everything Wenger has build. We are worse than we ever have been under Wenger and still declining game by game after he is in charge for 18 months already. Watching our team playing the way it does breaks my heart. We are fhe wirst team in the league defensivley and we are more than lucky offensivley. I, for example, do not turn against any of our players. Not against Xhaka, not against Ainsley, not against Mustafi or anyone else. I was never a fan of the Wenger out movement. But Emery is a different story. We owe him nothing, because he gave us nothing. He is destroying all the values this club holds dear. I never imagined that Arsenal Football Club can play such abysmal, obnoxious and boring football. But he showed me, that there is a manager out there who can get everything so wrong, to make this possible. When I read about Psg and Sevilla fans when he arrived, I already was a little worried, cause many of them were over the moon when he left, though he won things there, because they said that his tactics, his team selections and his relation ship with the players were abysmal as well. I did not believe that back then. Now I do. He is like a plague, killing our beloved club from within. So, yes, I agree with you, that negativity or anger are never the right answers from supporters or the media on a negative series, but Emery is a different case. He deserves this, because it is not made up and what he does is dangerous in the longterm and the shortterm.

  3. Tony I take it you are very satisfied with the way UE is performing at Arsenal with the players at his disposal .
    You’ve seen improvement over the last 18 months and you see what he’s trying to achieve , also you think there is no one who would want to become Arsenals next manager because of the media .
    I’m 67 and been watching and supporting for 60 of those years , you’ve mentioned Billy Wright’s time at Arsenal in the past a manage who was lost in what he wanted to achieve and was replaced by Bertie Mee and in short while we were reaching finals and eventually the double , an improvement
    UE is in the same place as Billy Wright , lost in how to progress , can you see this in his decision making .
    I know times have changed but I’m sure if someone was approached to manage the Arsenal there view of media wouldn’t stop them it would be a pinnacle of their career .

  4. If u guys won’t support arsenal anymore then just get out. Arsenal football club did not end with Wenger.

  5. Joe 71 I am sorry I have not been able to explain my view clearly. I am not saying that Arsenal ended with Wenger, far from it. Merely I am reminding anyone who wants to read that when Mr Wenger was being hounded out of the club the point was made here that just changing managers was no guarantee of success, and that given the negativity surrounding the club at the time, it was more than likely that most of the top managers available would not be interested in managing Arsenal. Further that it was likely that the negativity would continue because it had become a habit and so results would decline.
    It gives me no pleasure to have been proven right, but the debate moves on… what on earth can be done to rescue the club from the control these journalists and bloggers and commentators on the radio and TV have over the club?

  6. One of the things that this and last season should show, but no one writes about is that Arsenal have not really been good enough to be a top four club in some time. Arsene Wenger had the punching above their talent level by playing attacking football and forcing teams to beat them.

    For a decade that approach covered over a lack of investment but with a lesser coach that lack of investment is showing. What is also showing is that in spite of getting more money to spend than Arsene Wenger ever enjoyed, Unai Emery cannot reshape the club.

    Granit Xjhaka, Lucas Torreira, Dani Ceballos, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and Joe Willock (among others) have been played out of position to make room for Mateo Guendouzi and force Mesut Ozil from the team. Arsenal have two world class players; Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, and Ozil. Where is Ozil? Not even in the team.

    Emery did the same thing to him last year, benching him after each good performance then calling him back to save the season when he started losing badly. The issue is not “Is Ozil worth 350,000 per week.” He is not. Who is? The fact is, Arsenal signed him to the deal. The fact that he is overpaid does not in any way change the fact that he is one of Arsenal’s two best players. As far as the whole ‘he does not defend’ mantra, neither does Aubameyang.

    Emery should have learned form his man-management failures at PSG. He could not manage top talent like Cavani and Neymar. He had a chance to learn his lesson; but the first thing Emery did upon arrival at Arsenal was target Mesut Ozil and try to force him out. Ozil and his agent have both said, repeatedly, that he will not leave until his contract is over. Why would he? He’s making 18 million per year. Who in their right mind would walk away from that kind of money?

    Rather than accept that Ozil is in the team, Emery, despite not having better options, benched him two years in a row, then faced with the utter collapse of his team, brought him back. If Ozil was at Man City and it was choice between Ozil and Bernado or Ozil and David Silva; by all means, force him out and use the cash to sign players you need more. Arsenal do not have better players or even players in the same talent arena as Ozil.

    Lucas Torreira has played more minutes at attacking midfield than Ozil this season. Everyone who’s seen him, including , no doubt Lucas Torreira, knows he sucks at it. Joe Willock is not a #10. He never will be. Reiss Nelson, nope. Mateo Guendouzi? Never in a million years should he be playing in an attacking role over Mesut Ozil.

    Emery’s failures at Arsenal run deeper than Ozil but his inability to understand simple man management dynamics and contract realities when they are staring him in the face is shocking; especially considering what happened to him at PSG. For example, if he wanted to get rid of Ozil, why not feature him. Man U, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and even Real Madrid are dying for a creative genius like Ozil but none of them would sign Ozil when his manager and club leadership are openly saying he is not in the team because he is not training hard enough . They’re lying of course; Ozil is out of the team because they want to force him from the club; but big teams do not sign smaller teams’ problem children. It’s too big a risk. So Arsenal have effectively insured that they will have Mesut Ozil on the books for two more seasons.

    Tactics and players’ dissatisfaction with Emery’s training methods would not be issues if the team was winning; but he Gunners are mired in fifth and looking morel ikely to drop deeper into the table than rise. This stretch of games was tailor made for a typical Arsene Wenger rocket up the table. Instead Emery’s Arsenal have stumbled do 5th with another tough period coming their way. The gunners have five very winnable games between now and their near-certain defeat at home to Man City. It is hard to imagine Emery still being the coach if the Gunners are ot in the top four when they kick off against the Citizens.

  7. I agree with you a lot as I have said on over sites why would any top coach or player want to come to arsenal when all you hear is the fans rubbishing the players and coach ever week win or loose, I have stopped watching arsenal fan tv as it is the same thing over and over we should sack the coach or player, The problem I see is that the fans forget that emery had to beg borrow and steal to get the players we got and I am shore that no top coach will come to any side that will not give him bucket loads of money. would the fans be complaining if The VAR had gone in our favour we could have another 5 points.

  8. As this is my first post, I would just like to thank you Tony for a great site, where your views are always well balanced and for the work you do on The History of Arsenal site. I have been a supporter for 60+ years so like Steve Vallins I have experienced the ups and downs over that period. I feel privileged to have enjoyed the fantastic Wenger years but like any enterprise, there inevitably came a time for change.
    Whilst supporters and indeed pundits have always been able to express their feelings vocally at matches and via the media, social media now makes it so easy for all to post incessant inane comments, most of which are uneducated drivel and made up gossip. I do not accept your assertion that ‘no quality manager would touch Arsenal with a barge pole’ Top managers today are quite used to a barrage of criticism and Manager of Arsenal Football Club is and always will be a highly sought after position, I believe!!
    I’d also like to believe in Emery’s “project”. We actually have a good squad of players, clearly with some exceptions, but he seems unable to get the best out of them. I cannot warm to his style, passion yes, but not 90 minutes of wild gesticulating and shouting instructions which should have been imparted in training. Whilst making allowances for his imperfect English, he is a terrible communicator. If he communicates to the players in the same manner and it seems to be the case, as they look terrible confused, then that alone makes him unfit to be a manager… anywhere. Who knows, maybe everything will suddenly click into place, we’ll thrash Leicester on Saturday and go on to reach a top 4 place this season, I’m not holding my optimistic breath!

  9. Tierney has just come out in staunch defense of the manager. Good for him! He seems like he is very keen to please and does put 100% in to EVERY game he plays. I like his loyalty and he will be captain material in the future.

    But let’s face reality, the club has been on a downward spiral for 4 or 5 games, made MUCH harder by several incongruous VAR / Referee mistakes. Had we not had those, we would probably have had some positivity and won a couple of the games since. We could realistically very probably have been in 3rd, pushing City for 2nd.
    We were cruising to 3rd last season and imploded in the last 5 games. Last season we also had a run of 23 games unbeaten.
    There is nothing wrong with players or manager. We just need to get out of the downward spiral, which we will, hopefully soon.
    In football, things change within the space of a couple of weeks. Some good results, some positivity and everything will seem different.
    How many titles did United win, having been slated for terrible starts to the season? Probably 4 or 5. The difference is that they had some assistance from referees, whereas we get none, rarely even a level playing field. What we have achieved despite that is phenomenal.
    We currently sit 5th, hardly a disaster, so let’s give Emery the chance to turn it round and get the best out of this amazing group of players.
    The future is bright and we just need patience. Things will come good soon enough!

  10. Tony

    You made the claim that, “These self same supporters would presumably also have called for the removal of Bergkamp and Henry during their first months at the club.

    May I respectfully request that you don’t refer to these dissenters as “supporters”.

    By definition, supporters support. People who moan and complain and boo are not, by definition, supporting the team or the club.

    Please can you refer to them by a different name which better suits their approach to the club. I’m not a linguistic genius by any stretch but “disrupters” would seem to fit the bill for me.

    Oh and to answer the question, yes. Without doubt these people would have hounded both Henry and Bergkamp out of the club.

  11. If ever there was a time for a siege mentality from the more respectful ‘dissenters’, it is now.

    Those of us who are a bit older (me and some of the ‘commenters’ here) have longer memories. We can see that we are actually doing ok in 5th, especially against the unrelenting referee, media and ‘dissenter’ vitriol.

    Alex Ferguson used to create a siege mentality even when they got 80% of all decisions in their favour, while we got 80% against. He was such a master of manipulation and still, to this day has not admitted publicly that they had points handed to them on a plate whilst we got them docked. Maybe he didn’t realise cos it all went so swimmingly for so long after we had the audacity to go 49 games unbeaten. As the media and referee darling, he knew they got almost ALL decisions week-in, week-out, yet still twisted things to claim they were victimised. It got to the point that referees were terrified to give a decision against United. It sounds so far fetched and yet us ‘oldies’ all know that it happened, season after season.

    The media is shining a negative light on Arsenal just now, having done it with United and Spurs just as much but it will be different soon. It always goes in ups and downs. The older among us have the patience to ride the storm and wait for the new dawn. A couple of good results will make things seem a whole lot better, even for the impatient, mainly younger ones.

  12. Are you actually happy with this Manager throwing people under busses while producing woeful football with a squad of good talent? The negative spotlight has been around for decades. The boo boys too. I will never ever boo an Arsenal player, but there is something not right with the way we are being coached / managed right now.

  13. Tony, even if everything you say is correct, we still find ourselves with a manager who is clearly incapable of managing our team.

    So, because, as you say, none of the superstar managers would consider managing us, we must stay with someone who cannot do the job?

    Are you happy to watch us sink down the table, continuing to play embarrassing and mediocre football?

    I must wholeheartedly agree with Mike and many others who have commented here.

    I said at the start that UE was not suitable and the chickens are certainly coming home to roost.

    Even with the referee bias and the media hatred, we are where we are because of our manager is totally inadequate and cannot motivate his players.

    Are you happy with 6 shots and one shot on target against the equivalent of a 1st division team, when they hade 15 shots and 4 on target?

    Even if it was an experimental team, and he was trying things out, as some have suggested in his defence, how is it possible that we can have only one shot on target, with 65% possession.

    In my view, the damage has been done and is simply getting worse.

    This must be brought to an end now, otherwise, real disaster might follow.

    So if we do not get a superstar, a younger manager must be better than what we have now, even if just for the short term.

  14. A good question to ask the fans that wanted Wenger out would be when you were saying we want our Arsenal back is this how you wanted it?

  15. If our position is so poor, what of United and Spurs? Should they have sacked their managers? They have had equally poor performances and are doing very badly. Worse than us.

    Performances are bound to be poor when some supporters continually slag off players and the manager. Almost all players are victimised at some point by a few of those on AFTV and some of the more moronic, self-entitled blogs. Some of these so called supporters are just killing this club. They only seem to want a reaction. Maybe to see that they have some say in what goes on. Meanwhile, their constant criticism of everybody in the team and the manager just makes the players more nervous. Of course they will play badly when so many ‘fans’ are on their backs.

    Emery has proved that this team can play excellent football when the supporters get behind them. The whole footballing world in the UK is saying the same thing. The quality of some of the so-called supporters are the biggest problem with this club. Do you recall the Wolves chant the other day? ‘Xhaka’s right, your fans are sh1te’. Home fans booing the captain off the field before the end of the game is something that is hardly ever seen in any team in any division ever. This has had a hugely negative effect on performances. It’s obvious, surely..
    Arsenal will improve when the majority of fans actually start to support the team. The home fans could learn so much from the excellent away fans. If the home fans were as positive and vocal as the away fans, Emirates would be a fortress.

  16. Most of the ‘quality’ managers are justifiably in full employment, but there are a handful of out of work coaches who would probably jump at the chance of working at a prestige club like Arsenal.
    Solari, Allegri, Ranieri, Mourinho (hope not) and one from left field who might get a big fans welcome; Sylvinho. All probably better than what we now have.
    The popular choice seems to be to give the job to Freddie until the end of the season and then review the situation.
    I’d take that and I think the players would respond to such a popular character.

  17. I’m sorry when was this excellent performance of which you speak? Home fans have been fickle for a lot of years now, possibly worse since Emirates.

  18. Do you have a short memory? Remember the victories against Spuds and Chelsea. United too. Unbeaten for 23 games, until the refs got their hands dirty again and screwed us over. Something went very right until the refs intervened at the end of last season. We needed 3 or 4 points from 5 games and yet we were not allowed that. That to come 3rd.
    People just don;t realise what a negative effect the fans can have on when they blame the team and can’t see who the real villains are.

  19. Arsenal pay the manager well
    Arsenal pay their players well
    Arsenal have more money for transfer fees than all but a handful of clubs in Europe, even if they’re viewed as “thrifty”
    Arsenal get more media coverage than almost anyone, even if much of it is negative

    There will never be a shortage of good managers looking at the resources available to this club and thinking that they can change Arsenal’s fortunes, and the narrative around the club. Frankly, anyone looking at the situation and thinking they can’t significantly alter it probably isn’t worth a sniff anyway.

    There are plenty of good arguments about why not to make a managerial change, especially in the middle of a season. A lack of people willing to take the Arsenal job is not one of them. We won’t be getting Pep to leave City for us, but there are dozens of qualified candidates out there that would probably jump at the opportunity to try to be the next Wenger. FWIW, Chelsea’s managerial merry go round must seem like a far less stable opportunity, yet top candidate after top candidate keep taking the post. A big paycheck and the opportunity to bring in top talent will always draw good candidates.

  20. As I’m recovering from cancer surgery, I haven’t been able to get to the Emirates for some months, so I haven’t experienced this level of increased negative atmosphere (there have always been the serial moaners).
    What proportion of fans are booing? Is it one or two sections or is it the majority of fans?

    In most workplaces if someone is performing badly you don’t improve their performance by screaming, shouting and abusing them. Why is football any different?
    Anyone who’s played sport at any level knows that you improve performance by encouragement not abuse. The stupidity of the boo boys is that if they continue to abuse players for every mistake, those same players will stop trying, stop taking risks, will hide from the ball, and results will nosedive.

    We’re still FIFTH (check out the Spuds!!!), get behind the team, encourage them, build them up … or stay away.

    My big issue is with Emery as there is no clear idea of what his best team is, or how they should play.
    We have players like Bellerin and Holding back from long term injury so we have more defensive coverage (even Mustafi is putting in a shift); but the rest of the side seems a confusion – why does he always seem to play Laca, Auba and Pepe together in every game – it unbalances our ability to defend?
    Why won’t he play Torreira in his best role – defensive midfield – together with Guendouzi or Xhaka to provide extra cover for the defence ? We are too easy to score against, even by sides who we would have beaten quite easily under AW.

    Remember they saying “Be careful what you wish for”? Well the Wenger out crowd got their way and look where we are!!

  21. Sally Pally. With all due respect Xhaka was booed more because of his slow walk off the pitch in my opinion

  22. Yes, we are fifth, but can anyone really put their hands on their heart and say that we deserve to be?

    The 22 match run last season was a mirage.

    During that whole period and for many months after that we did not lead at half time once.

    The only thing we can be certain about is that Guendousi will always play, run around a lot and achieve precious little if anything at all.

    I would be happy to keep UE on if there was the remotest chance that it would benefit the club, but I can see that it won’t.

    The longer this drags on the more harm will be done and the harder it will be to recover.

  23. I really do not understand how teams below fifth place can survive.
    I mean considering the endless moaning, fake news, negativity Arsenal are getting, one wonders how teams in 12th or 18th or 20th place can cope.
    They lose more games, score less goals, take more goals, have no or less world class players, no stadium as nice as the Emirates, less revenue and less budget

    And what about european clubs with half the budget or less ? How on earth can they even field a team of players ? Or before that get them to sign up….

    What fascinates me is the passivity of management (unless they do stuff behind the scenes we are not aware of). They must be aware of the problem, they have means, they ought to have the best brains available to find ways to counter the destabilisation campaign, yet we don’t see a damn thing happening on that front. No support for players or manager, I’d say rather the opposite – they seem to throw them under the bus. And don’t get me started about refereeing. When will management start to act ?

    I believe the fact that fans were pretty much kicked out of the club ownership is being paid back with interest there – not that other clubs are any better. But Arsenal was different until the Emirates. Kind of like the guy who burns his car when it gets too old, rather then have someone else use it. The owners wanted the fans out of the club, they sure as hell got what they wanted. I’d be curious to know what impact this ‘war’ has on the ‘value’ of Arsenal.

    As far as I am concerned, I’ve started watching Dortmund in parallel to Arsenal and when both teams play at the same time…I watch the Bundesliga game. The day those frustrateed fans trun against the owner and support the team, that day things might change. But turning against the players and manager is like sawing the tree branch one is sitting upon.

  24. @ jjgsol
    07/11/2019 at 8:38 pm

    Yes, we are fifth, but can anyone really put their hands on their heart and say that we deserve to be?

    Yes I can. We have been consistently robbed of points by corrupt officiating. We should easily be in 3rd position with at least 5 more points.

    Don’t criticise Emery because of poor EPL performance when PGMOL are involved. It’s a no brainer. Until the EPL is rid of the corrupt officiating, Arsenal will have to cope with media bullshit and some dumb support.

    Our game this weekend will highlight the areas of weakness. Either the PGMOL or our team selection and playing method.

  25. @ Chris
    07/11/2019 at 10:52 pm

    Excellent comment, specially the bit about shareholding.

    Can’t wait for foreign ownership to be thrown out of sporting establishments. Time also for the FA to be brought into transparent UK taxpayer ownership.

  26. OT surprised that Russian officials (double red) in Chelsea v Ajax didn’t raise eyebrows!

  27. @Menace. Don’t know about raised eyebrows, but it certainly got plenty of headlines.

  28. @Mark
    07/11/2019 at 6:35 pm
    Xhaka’s substitution was cheered and then he was booed. It really got to him because he had put his heart into the game and did play rather well. He’d maybe thought ‘I’m gonna give it everything, 110% and show the fans that I”m the right man for the job’. So you can totally understand why he was very upset by it. We all would be, including you or me. He was by no means the worst player on the pitch.
    With all the continual abuse, his performances were always going to deteriorate but he put in a shift as usual.
    I remember the same happening with Ozil, who the fans all want back, apparently.. I remember the same happening with Arshavin. He was being played at 80% fitness and his performances suffered because of that. And yet a lot of the home fans were booing him. I remember one particular game against Blackburn. My son and I cheered him and tried to encourage but it was too late for all of us to be heard. All of us who saw that he was our best player, just suffering a dip in form. The result is that he not long after had to leave due to HOME fan pressure.

    It’s always the same old story. Too many ignorant people can’t see the bigger picture. Players will have peaks and troughs in performance. But if the team performs badly, our best players always get the flack and it destabilises the whole team.

    That’s what has been happening recently. The players were very happy with Xhaka as captain. Now they are all negatively affected by nothing but fan pressure and ignorance. Nothing good has come of this. Emery is quite capable of seeing when a player doesn’t perform. He understand better than any of us how a player is affected by negativity.
    There is a limit as to what the players or manager can do with continual lies, deceit and downright bad behaviour from the ‘we want everything now’ fans.

    To manage or captain Arsenal right now requires nerves of steel and an ability to ignore the bad elements of the crowd. The manager needs to continually support players against this backdrop of ignorance and hatred. He needs to accept the criticism of him and still get the best out of his players, some of whom may be turning against him because they are not immune to the rubbish in the blogs, some on AFTV and all the places where negativity and hatred reign supreme.

    It is well nigh impossible because the younger fans can’t see that if not for the referees last season and this season, we would be in the CL from last year and 3rd in the table this year, pushing for second. It’s a horrible situation and the press feeds all the negativity while hardly ever seeing the bigger picture.

    When results improve, everyone is happy because they get their instant gratification.

  29. If anyone thinks Emery is the man for the job then you may as put him out of his misery now. This is a man who, at home, we desperately need a win, and he’s putting on a left back? (Against Wolves) What on earth?

    Here are some cold hard facts:

    Arsenal have taken just 2 points from the last 9 available.
    Arsenal have won just 2 of the last 9 Premier League games.
    Since beating Newcastle 2-0 on April 1st 2019, Arsenal have won just 6 of the subsequent 18 Premier League games (and also got battered in a European final).
    o, despite a summer which regenerated a lot of the goodwill which was lost by the appalling end to last season, and which refreshed the squad in a way that the majority of people were happy with, we’re just seeing more of the same from Emery. Nothing has improved, nothing looks like it’s getting better, there’s no defined style of play, defensively we’re a shambles (just two clean sheets from 11 Premier League games), and you cannot tell me that the players are on board with this. They’re struggling because of Emery, and I believe the squad we have is capable of a lot better than this.

    At this point, we’re just delaying the inevitable by not replacing him.

  30. I think you’re assessments are largely correct, I would add these items below.
    1. No football manager has remained successful fior as long as Wenger did.
    2. It depends on how you define success, but Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham would love to have been as successful as Wenger was with Arsenal over 22 years.
    3. Wenger did stay too long, maybe 2 years or more.
    4. The board were complicit in his failures, they cashed in on the new stadium by selling up, instead of investing in the playing squad. Wenger bought into this, he could have insisted on more investment in the squad.
    5. Certain referees, the PGMO and the FA afforded Arsenal’s rivals unfair advantages and acted in a biased manner against Arsenal, occasionally.
    6. The board encourage the fans to dissent, they ask them to put up with austerity, then surrendered to the competition whilst charging amongst the highest ticket prices in the Premier League.

  31. “The power is with the media and the bloggers…”

    Tony, this is too much or was this post written by Sir Hardly? Surely you don’t believe the media and bloggers have control of AFC. If they did I’m fairly certain Emery would not be manager (or coach). I agree with Ian and others that Arsenal are still a top club in world football and would attract any number of quality managers. I just don’t think someone interested in Arsenal and with a C.V. worth considering would be put off the job by some media and blogging twits. Brand recognition, history, fabulous grounds, decent budget and a promising squad. So you’re telling me Manager X turns away from this because of a negative assessment in Football London? I just can’t believe that. I hate to be the one to break it to the bloggers, etc. but I think their opinions would be the absolute last thing a manager or player would consider (if at all) when deciding to join a new club. I’m surprised you’re empowering these morons.

  32. Goonersince 72 Power and control are not the same. The government has power and the mob has control of the streets. By saying this one does not empower the mob, but warns others of what is happening.

  33. The media set the agenda.

    They promote and praise the clubs they love, and denigrate and criticise the ones they despise, and in the wake of this the PGMOL, and in turn the Referees, follow their lead.

    The referees (and as such the PGMOL) are assessed and judged by the media and the media alone.

    During the match, after the match. In the studio’s, on the radios, in the papers, it is the ‘pundits’ that decide whether the referee has had a good or a bad game.

    And this is the rub because under what parameters do they judge?

    As far as I can see it certainly isn’t the laws of the game. Half the time they don’t even know the laws of the game.

    I’ll never forget a comment from Andy grey trying to justify an incredibly soft penalty given against us. Under that little microscope they get out on these occasions the slightest of touches could be seen. Yes a touch but never a foul. What did Grey say:

    “The rules don’t say there has to be a lot of contact, just that there has to be contact”

    Do they?

    Where in the laws of the game does it say that there ‘just has to be contact’ between 2 players for it to be a foul?

    Since when has football been a non contact sport?

    He was not even challenged.

    That was just one example of hundreds when these punters just make anything up to justify their prejudice.

    And that’s how it works.

    The referee’s are simply judged on how they match up to what is expected of them by the media, who are without doubt their judge, Jury, and Executioners.

    They referee the ‘team’ and not the ‘match’.

    I agree with Tony 100%

    The power IS with the media and has been for a very long time. The bloggers are just an extension of this power.

  34. What I meant to say was:

    The power IS with the media and has been for a very long time. The bloggers are just an extension of this power.

    Now that power is not directly over Arsenal but indirectly by as much as they set the anti Arsenal agenda which turns a lot of our own fans against us, as well as of course setting the agenda for PGMOL and the referees.

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