Another defeat away from home, under the lights, in an intimidating atmosphere, to an organised, physical, newly-promoted team. We’ve been here before haven’t we, Arsenal fans?
And following yet another insipid display, this time against Sheffield United, the #EmeryOut campaign is growing ever louder:
Never thought I'd see the Arsenal fanbase united though. Kudos to Emery, he's managed to bring everyone together in support of #EmeryOut
— Shiv Whorra (@shivwhorra) October 22, 2019
We need #EmeryOut chants at games. Do absolutely everything to make it clear that he has no business being at this club.
— Will (@Interwesting) October 22, 2019
Emery soooooooooooo useless, really doesn't understand what's formation is like #EmeryOut pic.twitter.com/lnaoX0XaYC
— unrepentant gunner (@ErastusFavour) October 21, 2019
It’s increasingly clear the Spaniard doesn’t fit at the Emirates. Now there’s only one man who can save the day: Mr Arsene Wenger.
1. Arsenal are better under Arsene
Unai Emery was brought in on a remit to revitalise a stagnant side that had lost its way and deliver Champions League football. He has failed miserably on both counts.
In particular the stats comparing Wenger’s final 47 Premier League games to Emery’s first 47 at Arsenal make for damning reading:
● Wins: Wenger 26 / Emery 25
● Goals scored: Wenger 90 / Emery 86
● Goals conceded: Wenger 59 / Emery 63
● Clean sheets: Wenger 17 / Emery 10
The Gunners also average fewer shots, less possession and concede more attempts on goal under the Spaniard. Put simply, Emery has conspired to have Arsenal play even worse football than when he arrived, despite having now spent some £200m and being in possession of a far better balanced squad. Careful what you wish for, eh?
2. Ivan Gazidis has f*cked off
During the last nine years of Wenger’s increasingly tough tenure, smooth-talking chief executive Ivan Gazidis was the man he relied on in the boardroom to help coordinate transfers, contracts and the day-to-day running of the club. The problem being Gazidis is to running a football club what Cadbury’s are to making hot drink containers.
Gazidis has since left to repeat his magic at struggling AC Milan – fittingly his parting gift to the club was the recruitment of Unai Emery. His replacement, “Don” Raul Sanllehi, is now delivering real results in the transfer market and the restructuring of the club.
If Arsene returns he’ll once again be able to purely concentrate on what’s happening on the pitch, rather than off it – just like his hugely successful Highbury years.
3. Arsenal’s new generation can’t be wasted
Le Professeur’s ability to develop young talent is second to none, and the current crop coming out of Arsenal’s academy is the best in a generation.
Of course, Arsene will already be very familiar with them, but with 18 more months of first-team exposure, the likes of Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and the incoming William Saliba would no doubt thrive under the Frenchman. And Arsenal need them to come good.
4. He’s gone full Benjamin Button
Shoot over to PaddyPower.com now for all the latest football odds
When Wenger drove out of the Emirates Stadium for the last time in May 2018, he cut an exhausted, weary figure. The last few years of managerial stress had clearly taken its toll. But boosted by a year-and-a-half of taking it easy, 70-year-old Arsene is now going full Benjamin Button on us. He appears to have regressed in age.
He insists he’s now fully rested, recharged, and ready to take his place in the dugout once again. So why not do it at the place he still calls home? We hear his arse groove is still dented in the manager’s seat, after all.
5. He prioritises the Premier League over the Europa League
Throughout his 22 years in north London, Wenger never strayed from his belief that the Premier League was the absolute number one priority, the true measure of a team ahead of any lucky cup run.
Europa League aficionado Emery, meanwhile, clearly feels differently; his fielding of weakened league teams towards the end of last season in favour of prioritising Europe ultimately cost the Gunners fourth place. And the cup final gamble backfired badly in Baku.
With Spurs in freefall and Chelsea still finding their feet under Frank Lampard, this season presents another golden opportunity for the Gunners to clinch a top four spot. Wenger would give everything to make it happen, something Emery seems to be reluctant to do.
6. We miss the #WengerOut banners
Arsene’s return would inevitably also lead to the resurrection of the pan-global phenomenon that is the #WengerOut movement.
And yes, while this does essentially go against the entire case we’re arguing, deep down everyone misses seeing crudely drawn and poorly Photoshopped #WengerOut banners popping up in the most random of places, don’t they?
7. He can speak English fluently
Shoot over to PaddyPower.com now for all the latest football odds
Woah there friend, don’t click off – we haven’t gone all hard Brexit on you here. Hear us out.
There have long been murmurings that Emery struggles to translate his ideas to the squad on the training field, leading to confused players and tactics. This was confirmed by 18-year-old winger Bukayo Saka last month: “Sometimes when I don’t understand, when the coach is trying to communicate with me, I have a better communication with Freddie [Ljungberg] sometimes, he speaks better English.”
The erudite, fluent Arsene never had such issues issuing instructions. And the muddled Gunners really could do with some clarity right now.
8. At least they played well when they lost
Just stumbled across this video on reddit. Arsenal play 14 passes at 1-0 down. They end up retreating 15 yards to lose the ball.
Unai Emery has been here 18 months and this is the best he can do. Sack him, he’s an embarrassment. pic.twitter.com/b5qOcCArsY
— TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) October 22, 2019
Make no mistake, defeats like the one we saw in Sheffield were the hallmark of Arsenal sides in the Frenchman’s latter years. But at least they tried to play good football along the way, even if peak Wengerball ended up falling short on the night.
It was certainly far more enjoyable viewing than having to endure David Luiz and Sokratis re-enacting a tedious game of Pong before hoofing it out of play.
9. He’s not Unai Emery
Ultimately, this is the kicker. After 18 months at the helm, Emery has finally managed to unite the club’s fractured fanbase. Unfortunately for him, they’ve come to the decision that driving the club forward is simply too big a task for him.
So it’s time to say “good ebening” to Unai and a warm “bonjour encore” to Arsene before it’s too late. Non?Shoot over to PaddyPower.com now for all the latest football odds