Emeryball fever strikes – I actually enjoyed the game, so did you

via @Arsenal Instagram

Emeryball is more than a style of football, it’s a disease that deteriorates your expectations.

I should be fuming this morning. I should be spitting BLOOD! But I’m not. In the grand scheme of 2019 Arsenal, that performance was pretty good.

We played some neat paces, the front three had some lovely combinations that focused more through the middle of the park, and Pepe looked much, much better.

Be honest with me and yourself. That wasn’t bad. Compared to some of the games we’ve won this season, it was pretty ok.

Therein lies the problem. Emeryball has us in a fever, symptoms include constantly reevaluating reality, then undervaluing what progress should look like. Fans are using whichever metric is on hand to support the dismal prosecution of ‘this is pretty ok.’

Last season we hung our hats on comebacks, early subs, the 22 game unbeaten run, DRIVE, DETERMINATION, PASSION, PLANNING, all the double sessions, Ozil dropped, Ramsey binned, a manager dancing down the touchline. We willfully ignored what the performances were telling us, because the rhetoric was like nothing we’d seen before, and we wanted to believe in the new dawn.

This season, we’re looking at the paper metrics, because looking up from the Premier League points totaller to see what’s really happening is too damn unnerving to consider.

‘The table doesn’t lie’, yells the blinkered cuck…

Oh yes she does, you’re at home with her reading Inverting the Pyramid, but as soon as you nod off, she’s fucking the next-door neighbour in the bushes… and his name is F.Shite-Performance. You’ll wake up to it eventually, but it’ll be in March when you’ve caught a nasty bout of Europa-League-itis. Third infection in three years, you might be a carrier.

Unai Emery isn’t a fraud, he’s just fallen up the stairs since Sevilla and the people hiring him haven’t paid attention to the details. The issues we’re dealing with now were absolutely obvious if you’d undertaken even the most basic of due diligence.

We hired in someone that failed at PSG because he couldn’t handle the egos of the dressing room. A manager that has no history of being able to organise a robust defence, averaging 49 goals a season at Sevilla, whilst adding 30% to a record-setting PSG defence he inherited. He couldn’t master the French or Russian languages. He has been in England well over a year and his press conferences still sound like he’s a struggling pedicab driver trying to flog you a Halloween tour of his city. He played negatively at Valencia and Sevilla. He was given the most expensively assembled side in world football and the players complained he spent too much time worrying about the opposition.

He’s now at Arsenal and we’re looking to nick a goal on the counter away at Sheffield United, and he can’t even pull that off.

The goods we are now critically inspecting are exactly what we purchased. So don’t complain. There will be no refund. This was all in the product description.

You can’t blame the players.

You can’t blame Edu.

You can’t blame the high winds of Sheffield. Mike Riley. The penalty shout.

It’s all on the manager.

Most curious fans are wondering what Edu and Raul see. They both know what good football looks like. They know what the kids are capable of, they know where the ceiling of our senior players sits… so what do they think of Emery? His vision? The atmosphere in the stadium? What do they think of our results given the context?

It’s intriguing to wonder what they’ll do should this continue. They have bet next summer’s money on making the Champions League. If Emery can’t muster more than 2 shots on target at a newly promoted team, what the hell do they think is going to happen when it comes to that nasty December crunch?

We are nearly in November. There has been no improvement in any area this season, and it ‘s hard to point to what shifted last year. The publicly available metrics we’re seeing all point south, I hear the private metrics are even more damning, there’s no organisation, we’re not doing the basics right, and we’re sitting here looking at that game last night thinking that the performance was ‘pretty ok.’

We hired a self-proclaimed protagonist that doesn’t want to provoke. He’s actually a pragmatist, but he only understands the negative football side of the equation. We don’t get the rock-solid defence, aggressive pressing, and the DIE for the cause attitude. How can you make it this far as a bad pragmatist?

I am constantly told there’s no way the club will terminate his deal during the season, but I keep asking myself how that can be the stance? Our strategy surely can’t be, ‘hope Spurs and United continue to be shit’… can it?

There are two coaches waiting in the wings that could make an impact. I don’t want to mention their names, but both can organise a defence, and both know how to make the top 4.

Bold leadership would make the decision early and try and rescue the team from the steeper challenge that’ll come if we allow the rot to continue. It should not take longer than 18 months to organise a defence. It should not take 18 months to define a style. We should not look like we’re day one of a transition, but that is where we are.

The reason we don’t have any of the basics in place is because we hired a manager out of his depth, the sooner we own up to that reality, the sooner we can attack this season and release the true talents of the most likeable/talented squad in 15 years.

Until then, get used to enjoying ‘pretty ok’ performances whilst losing to teams like Sheffield United away from home on a cold Monday night.

Emeryball fever; god bless it, at least I was too delirious to see the game for what it really was.

See you in the comments. xx

 

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