Morning all.

That title is the one you’ll most hear from those who don’t really want to be seen to be somebody who is advocating a change of direction when it comes to a new manager at a football club. We had it under Arsène, although in the latter stages that was dominated by people so obsessed with keeping a legacy manager beyond his years, that it could almost have been argued it was a cult.

It’s the standard response designed to deflect away from the real questions, like:

  • Is the current way of working, actually, y’know – working?
  • Can this team perform better than it is?
  • This overarching message of “well who else is out there?” is a red herring though and having spent some time debating with the two Charlie’s on LoveSport last night, it’s got me thinking this cold November morn, once again about the Unai Emery situation.
  • It’s got me thinking about the current predicament and as we discussed on the show, how we something needs to change, because right now I think we can all agree it isn’t working.

    Like I said, the “well, who else would you have in?” Question is a deflection tactic, but it’s also a moot point. Firstly, because none of us fans have any real power to select the manager and neither should we, because we’re not qualified. If we were qualified, we’d most likely be working at a football club carving out a successful career. But we’re not. I’m here writing a blog on the tube on the way in to my marketing job and you’re here reading it.

    But, if it were my job, I’d have a lot more time to be scouring the planet to look at ways in which we can improve the current plight of The Arsenal and the manager would be top of my list right now. Why? Well you can’t sack a selection of current players and just start again. You can make more backroom changes that aren’t pitch side related and over the long term that might make a difference, but it won’t have the immediate impact, so your options are limited to:

    1. Waiting until the transfer market and buying some very expensive players
    2. Making a change in the manager who picks the very expensive players.
  • I’ve seen people talk about the cost of relieving Emery of his position with 18 months on his contract to go. Yes, I’m sure there will be a cost there, but I bet it’s not as expensive as losing out on Champions League football. And it’s certainly not as expensive as buying two or three top quality players in specific positions.
  • So making a change – assuming you think that’s the right thing to do – is the only card you might have to make. If it was the only card I could play as part of my job I would bet you a shiny gold coin that I would have statistics, names, options and detail on a host of individuals who could come in and do a better job than what we’re seeing from Emery right now.

    That’s what we have to hope is happening at board level right now because we can’t continue playing this horrible football and dropping points. There has to be a ‘point of no return’ with this manager.

    Yesterday we heard ‘noise’ from Arsenal that Raul and Vinay has reiterated their support for Emery and the commitment that the club would get back on track. Of course there was a few leaks where that got out and so now it’s common knowledge what they said. I wouldn’t expect anything less to be honest because they’re hardly going to tell everyone that the walls are crumbling down around them and they need a new captain at the helm. So I’m not surprised there.

    What I am surprised about is how broken the club appears to be in terms of the players and their delivery. We’ve had the Koscielny strike situation, the ostracising of Özil and to a lesser extent Torreira, the stripping of the captaincy from Xhaka and now we’ve got Aubameyang looking pretty fed up that he’s been told who he can and can’t talk to. Our newly appointed captain in veiled angry messages to those at the club because they’ve been saying things to him that he doesn’t like. The new captain who won’t sign a new deal.

    Arsenal Football Club behind the scenes appears to be as much of a mess as Arsenal Football Club on the pitch. Something has to change and change soon. The only card Raul and Edu seem to have – as I said above – is the manager card and by the time we get to Christmas that could be too late for this season, depending on how results go after the international break. In that respects Unai is a lucky man because we have four ‘winnable’ games in Southampton, Norwich, Brighton and West Ham. Anything less than 10 points should cost Unai his job. Otherwise we should be looking at that board and asking whether or not they are the same as previous boards that have failed to act in the face of crisis.

    “Who would you get anyway?”

    Anyone right now. Make that change.