From as slick as Emery's hair to as crooked as his teeth, what is going on at Arsenal?

Is it time to start Ozil again?

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Dear oh dear. The only way to describe our recent performances. On paper we started the season so well, the 22 unbeaten run (we all had 49 on the back of our minds, don't deny it). But just where did the magic go?

From an optimistic perspective the start of this season was what we expected and a whole lot more. The team finally starting to get that togetherness we were lacking under the final days of Wenger, we seemed to have a resurgence of fighting spirit, Sokratis looking like prime Martin Keown, Rob Holding looking like he was starting to fulfil his potential and Lacazette and Aubameyang banging in the goals weekly. It got to a point where no matter if we were winning or losing during a game, it was almost certain we would be getting a result.

From a realist perspective, the upcoming loss was inevitable. This being as we hadn't won any big games, and we were almost relying on luck, more than good performances, as we only had a handful of them. These being against Everton, Leicester, Liverpool and Spurs. All these games (apart from one) had one key theme starting behind the strikers but that would be a whole other article. But it is a matter of fact, without him on the pitch Arsenal struggle to create many chances, even in his cameo against United Özil was the only player receiving the ball and moving it forward. With an injury to Mkhitaryan, who certainly isn't on Özil's level and Ramsey already with his bags packed for Juventus you'd think Emery would want to keep his most creative midfielder, but as I said that's a separate article.

But as the unbeaten run came to a crashing halt at Southampton, as we saw a returning Koscielny looking like Bambi (I don't blame him at all as he was forced back in the team), Xhaka not being a centre back and Lichtsteiner being as useful as a gun without a trigger. Since then not much has improved, having won only 4 of our last 10 games, including losses at home to Spurs to get dumped out of the Carabao Cup and against United to get knocked out of the FA Cup. To add to this injuries to Sokratis, Mkhitaryan, Koscielny, Welbeck and Bellerin (the latter two out for the season) things are looking bleak at the Emirates.

But... Let’s be positive, and look at what can be done (I'm begging you Emery please). With a shift of formation, playing Özil behind Lacazette and Aubameyang with Xhaka and Torreira behind him (wishful thinking, I know) we would, in my opinion start to look like more of a threat going forwards, as well as more stable in possession. Which brings me on to my next point, Emery needs to establish a style of play, counter-attacking or possession, as at the minute we seem to be in limbo between the two. As Solskjaer has done at United, choose a style of play and stick to it and I believe we will start to see a renaissance at the Emirates.

In summary all I want is for Emery to put some faith in Özil, let him show his worth again, and to adjust the style of football we play to either possession or counter-attacking, not both, as we can't. We've shown that.

As always I always support the players, and we can play like the Arsenal we know and love again. COYG!


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  1. itsRonagain2

    Jan 29, 2019, 12:28 #113021

    Morning lads. On UE, i agree with the time scale suggested by Rob of fans having a serious look at how hes done in or about Summer 2020. The man seems such a driven Coach, who knows only too well he had to change a culture at the club as well as the team and a couple of years from now is the least he should get without major criticism. Ultimately though, how well he does will depend on funding and can any of us see much of that being made available? Its doubtful isnt it. Perhaps one or two of our younger players will really make their mark on the team. I hope so. GG made his name by backing his emerging talent as did Bertie Mee when he put his faith in Kennedy and George. Our best teams have always been created on the back of our youngsters. When you look at our history Arsenal actually arent very good at spending big are we! PS - SKG Joe Baker rules Ha Ha !!

  2. markymark

    Jan 28, 2019, 22:14 #113020

    I see that Football clubs just as Swiss Watch company’s employ brand ambassadors . In the case of Esha Gupta, she should be relieved of her duties . Astonishing racism !

  3. markymark

    Jan 28, 2019, 21:30 #113019

    Judge Unai in May! I’m only half joking.... Welcome back Ron


    Jan 28, 2019, 20:25 #113018

    Oh dear, oh dear! It's really back to the previous dark days amongst the AFC fraternity. I think the headline re slick hair & crooked teeth says it all in an unfunny, unpleasant way. My sensible wife has pointed out that her Jurgen's previous vulpine, yellow teeth have been magically made brilliant white since he has started to make some progress & the Media now fawn all over him. And this is one of the more sensible sites, along with Arseblog imo.! Elsewhere it's a mixture of "Emery is rubbish" (despite the 3 Ropey trophies )and "bring back the French Messiah" (Untold of course). Unbelievable stuff. The reality of what Dick has largely inherited is now hitting home but if only the Holding & Bellerin long term injuries had been avoided, Sokratis being unlucky & Koz not been damaged by that clumsy oaf Lukaku then Friday could & should have been different. I'm pretty sure Dick thought he was beginning a long term project but now I think he will walk. A shame because he & Stanley were, for a short time, on the same page. They were both seeking BALANCE ( Dick is always banging on about squad balance). Unfortunately, Stanley meant BALANCE SHEET because that is all he is about & which makes him a total disaster for AFC. I am with Ron on this - I really don't care much anymore. And I was foolish enough to believe that we really were at the start of a new era.

  5. RobG

    Jan 28, 2019, 19:40 #113017

    Truth is, we're about where I would have expected us to be. It was clear that he would need several transfer windows to change things and if we can't sign anyone this time around, then this window doesn't count. It's going to take him until at least the summer of 2020 to get the changes he wants. And that assumes that we're not priced out of the market by a combination of player inflation and someones desire to take money out of the club. I think he has a heck of a task on his plate and I'm not going to start moaning, even slightly, in the meantime.

  6. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Jan 28, 2019, 18:31 #113015

    If Ozil has to play it must be behind the two upfront - nothing else will suit. Ron, good to hear from you again, a few of us were saying how right you were about Henry and how bad he would have been for Arsenal - he certainly took Monaco to new depths. You were bang on mate and thank god it never happen, do keep in touch even if it is only to remind us how great Joe Baker was!

  7. itsRonagain2

    Jan 28, 2019, 14:46 #113014

    Hi Tony. Good to hear matey. Yes, Henry. He ll be back in front of his wall to wall body length bedroom mirror now preening himself, repeating his im so beautiful chant, ready to make his grand entrance back into the failure squad in that studio, telling others what proper good management requires! ha ha.

  8. itsRonagain2

    Jan 28, 2019, 14:32 #113013

    I think Ozils a clever player, but not a strong one. If he played in a league in Europe he wouldn't receive the type of criticisms he gets here as befits a more physical league. He has really good vision and can see good passes. He can only ever function in a team that has great players around him to respond to what he does and players with the same game nous as he has hence why he looked so good at Real Madrid and the better German sides. He cant and wont become a transformed player and at 30 he looks like he doesn't want to try to be. Staggeringly poor decision to give him such a good contract, but thats the modern Arsenal isnt it. They seem to make decisions on the hoof with little real planning, thought or strategy, pretty much as many of the other clubs appear to do. I think in modern footie luxury players like him are obsolete. Charging back and covering and tackling arent in MO s repertoire, hes just not built for it. His only use can be playing in a hole behind the two front men but 'hole' players have been phased out now, its all energy bursting press press press etc. MO is a throwback but could still be great in France or Spain i think, or at say Man City here. Among a team of ordinary players which AFC are in the main, he ll never thrive. Is it his fault? I dont think so as it was obvious what he was before they signed him in my view.

  9. TonyEvans

    Jan 28, 2019, 14:21 #113012

    Hi Ron - good to hear from you. I don't post much these days due to fairly terminal apathy towards all things football related. My old passion for Arsenal just about keeps me from letting go completely. Great shout of yours a while back re Henry being a disaster for Arsenal should he ever get the managers job - what happened at Monaco certainly bears that out. All the best, mate.

  10. John F

    Jan 28, 2019, 13:51 #113011

    Ozil strikes me as a player who has talent but does not have the passion for the game.He must be happy just to take a wage otherwise if he had any pride he would demand a move.I f we are to be stuck with him then I do think isolating him serves no purpose.He should be used for the games where it is obvious that the team is going to put ten behind the ball and not for the team's who attack us as he just disappear s.As for the lack of creativity it must surely be down to the lack of width in the side that Dic k has inherited.He has had to try different tactics to work out just how to compensate for this which explains the unsettled formations.It is funny how Spurs get all the sympathy for their injury crises but it was a Man ut d tactical master class that beat us and nothing to do with most of the defence being injured.The jury is still out for me regarding Dick ,give him money to get some width and let him work with a fit settled back line then judge him.Welcome back Ron good to hear from you.

  11. itsRonagain2

    Jan 28, 2019, 12:14 #113009

    Morning lads. Thought i d drop by seeing as ive not done so for many months. Hope yr all good. I have to say i dont really follow things footie too closely these days but do keep a check still in a very general way re all things Arsenal. As far as the coach is concerned i cant make my mind up really. He seems a very genuine man doing his best in awkward situation. Is he a good coach? His defensive nous seems lacking doesn't it. Poor as the defenders we have are, i would have thought that he would have at lest made the unit tighter if nothing else. I think it ll be many years before the club challenges again for the title. The PL is becoming a title for 3 clubs to compete for really, possibly 4 if Liverpool carry on developing. Utd will soon be back up there i feel. Generally, i have to confess that i cant see too much different to the later years of Arsene in truth. I believe that UE took the job knowing there would be little in the way of money to re build. Otherwise he simply wouldn't have been appointed. SK was never going to bring in a man who would give him pressure to invest in Arsenal was he? We are what we are, a club content to be 5th - 7th ish and fans at long last need to accept and acknowledge it. SK as much as AW was always the fly in the ointment at Arsenal. Good to see a few of the old names still on the site, but many have left clearly.

  12. peter wain

    Jan 28, 2019, 09:38 #113008

    never going to happen the comic has not got the tactical nous. We need to buy better and mre players and that is not going to happen. Why we are not in for a quality centre half is beyond me.

  13. Bard

    Jan 28, 2019, 09:13 #113007

    I quite enjoyed the post but then we got to the bit about 'putting faith in Ozil'. I realized sadly mate that if thats your solution then you havent been paying attention this last three seasons. Ozil is on his way either this window or the next. He has had any number of chances to shine but he puts in a shift once every 3/4 games. Not good enough in the modern game.