Emery promises pressing and hard work for all the players

Unai Emery and Ivan Gazidis held their first press conference today and the pair spoke about the players, the future, and how the selection process worked.

First, on the process, Gazidis said:

“We formed a three person committee – led by me and supported by Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi. We had clear criteria that we were looking for. Entertaining football, values and developing young players. We created an eight person list. All eight took part in extensive interviews with the three of us and none of them withdrew their interest. We were in the fortunate position to be able to make our choice.

Our first interview was on 25 April and our last was on the 15 May. A formal recommendation to the board was supported by a 100-page dossier with a great degree of background information.

All of the board members were energised and enthused by our decision.”

This contradicts what all of the reporters, including David Ornstein, said about the selection process and who the board were hiring. I want to stop here and say that reporters like Ornstein should not be confused with click-bait merchants. If Ornstein said that the club were selecting Mikel Arteta as the next manager then he verified that information from a direct source and typically reporters at the BBC have to verify with two sources or more.

So, I’m still not sure what happened but according to the manager, there was only ever one choice and it was never Arteta. (edit) I think it’s possible that there were two unanimous options sent to Josh Kroenke and that he was given the choice and chose Unai (edit). Ivan spoke about the chemistry between them and Emery’s extensive preparation as being the main reasons for the selection.

Unai apparently had complete dossiers on every player with specifics about how he would help them. That’s very exciting from my perspective because I think that’s been missing from Wenger’s team for a while – Bellerin was the best right back in the League three years ago, Mustafi clearly has problems, Cech has been sliding backwards for three seasons, Xhaka has talent but lacks defensive awareness, Iwobi is a talent who needs coaching, Wilshere never reached his potential, Ramsey is a superstar in the making, and Ozil often doesn’t bother with both ends of the pitch. Plus Chambers is raw, Holding is raw, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, etc. I can imagine that from a CEO perspective this is also highly attractive: here you have a man giving specifics about how he is going to increase the value of your main products.

I just want the team to play better football and Unai promised that:

“I believe we can grow with the players we have. The objective is to work hard together and with these talented players. It’s very important for the club, after two years outside the Champions League, to work to be the best team in the Premier League and also in the world.”

He was also asked directly about Ozil and said:

“He’s one of the biggest talents and I want talented players here. I want to spend time with him and the players. I want them to feel inspired to be here. We all need to give 100 per cent, that’s what I’m looking for.”

I’m not going to read too much into this other than to take it on face value that he wants all of the players to give 100% to his new system and to the coaching that he will offer them. And what is his new system?

“My idea is to be protagonists all the match. We play against all the teams with this personality, with I think the history here is one. They love playing with possession of the ball. They like this personality. I like to be protagonists with the ball.cAnd when you don’t have possession with the ball I want a squad, very very intensive, for the pressing.”

To recap: Emery is promising to make the players better, to get the team playing possession football, and to have them pressing intensely when they lose the ball. Yes please, all of that.

Finally, Unai spoke in English for parts of this interview and kudos to him doing so. I speak Spanish and wouldn’t dare to give an interview in Spanish!


P.S. he was already asked about his record of never winning against Pep and Mourinho. Expect that to be a running theme allllllllllllllyeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaarrrrrrlooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong.


  1. Spot on about the likes of Bellerin and Iwobi, and what coaching can do. To that”d add Kolasinac, who I think will be tremendous player for us, even if at the moment, he cant pass to save his life. But I think he’s terrific. Iwobi has monster potential. AMN looked the part against Manchester United, and was publicly acknowledged and hailed up by Pogba right after the whistle.

    Watched the Unai unveiling, live. Showed a lot of balls to take the news conference in English. I respect that, because he was painful on the ear, frankly. But he seems a studious guy, and Ive confidence that by Christmas he’ll be smoother.

    Confirmed my suspicion that he blew them away in his interview, and that his emphasis would be working with the raw material he has, more than with imports.

    Gazidis said a couple of interesting things…
    1. They interviewed 8 people, and Emery wasn’t the last
    2. The process, and first contact started WEEKS ago
    3. No one withdrew, the other 7 were given the bad news
    4. Emery knocked their socks off with his detailed knowledge of individual players

    It suggests to me, if you believe Gazidis, that they passed over Allegri — if reports of his interest were true — and reports of Arteta turning it down because he couldn’t get what he wanted are baseless. It also ascribes to Arteta, a level of leverage that someone of his background simply could not have had.

    I think that a lot of journalists simply didn’t do their journalism, relied on speculation and rumour, and it shows the virtue of waiting till you hear something concrete. Arseblog got caught with their pants down. Arsecast was recording an “Arteta gets it” piece when Ornstein tweeted the news Emery’s appointment. And the initial reaction on Arseblog, frankly, was irritation that Gazidis made them look foolish. Ivan seemed to relish rubbing it it, but he did so subtly.

    It’s been pointed out in this debate that no spoke of Emery before Monday. On the Arsenal blogs and in the press, is what was meant 🙂

    Im not some Unai fanboy. He’s not my first choice… Allegri was. And I wanted the Arteta experiment. Emery lacks Wenger’s charisma, dry wit, sheer, effortless je ne sais quoi. But he looks a good fit.

    (repeat much of this post from an hour ago, on the now dead thread)

    1. I mean the likes of Arseblog and Ornstein didn’t get this wrong because they’re stupid or hasty. They got this wrong because they had sourced information that turned out to be wrong. That tells you that either 1. There were forces in the club who wanted Arteta who wanted the information out there to try and pressure the board 2. There was a change of heart or 3. Multiple candidates were presented to the board and the thought was that Arteta would be chosen. There’s no way there was the quality of smoke around Arteta if there wasn’t a good deal of truth behind it.

      1. You dont hire someone by presenting multiple candidates to the board. You consider multiple candidates as part of the hiring process (longlist, then shortlist), and make ONE recommendation to the board when your interviews are done.

        You dont have to believe Gazidis, but that’s in line with virtually every executive hire that I know of.

        I like and respect all those guys. Arseblog is a morning staple along with my coffee, but it aws rather amusing to read between the lines of their main reaction yesterday. As Shard pointed out, there’s doubt as to whether Ornstein actually baldly declared that the job was Arteta’s.

        1. Claude,
          As far as I know, Ornstein quite pointedly DIDN’T declare the job was Arteta’s. But he DID state he was the frontrunner, favorite, was likely to get it, etc (or words to that effect; we can all go back and read if we want).

          So, while Tim’s reconstruction in the article leaves out the possibility that Gazidis and co just “had a change of heart,” “got cold feet,” etc (or maybe it was always just really, really close between the two Basques, and things tipped in the direction of Emery at the last minute), I don’t understand the resistance from some on here to accept the overwhelmingly dominant narrative from EVERY NEWS SOURCE INCLUDING THE BBC AND THE GUARDIAN that Arteta was very close to getting the job.

          It’s appropriate to be skeptical of the gossip rags, but also appropriate to take the real (albeit possibly misleading) evidence from the media seriously when that evidence becomes an avalanche.

          1. Pretty much this. I know its part of the culture to hate on the media these days but outlets like the Guardian and BBC (and for the matter Arseblog, who doesn’t gather a lot of info but only discusses well sourced stuff) have a long track record to show they don’t get sucked into the morass of nonsense so if they all indicated that there was a strong reason to expect Arteta, I’m going to believe them.

          2. I don’t get this PFO. I don’t think Claude said Arteta wasn’t close. He just says that Arteta was never recommended to the board.

            I think the media told us that Emery was not on the list and was a late call up/rethink by the board. It seemed logical at the time because they were convinced it was going to be Arteta, but Gazidis not just said what happened, but mentioned the dates of the interview with Emery and when the process began and ended. He might lie, but that specifically? He also brought up the flight to Atlanta specifically to show that the media did not have the line into the club that they claimed.

            To me, this seems the news had bad intel, and got careless (unlike Ornstein who, as I recall, was specific in what he reported.) and like Claude says, are unwilling to accept it because it makes them look bad.

            This seemed like the opposite of a rushed/impulse hire.

            Don’t forget that some of the media would be relying on ManCity sources to get info on Arteta, who probably informed them that the interview went well and that Arteta was making plans for his future in London. (House hunting, assistants etc)

          3. Im not resistant to that notion at all. OF COURSE he was very close to getting the job. He made the shortlist. And probably interviewed well 🙂

            You note yourself that perhaps he wasn’t the only one who was close. That’s how hires go. I’ve chaired them, I’ve been part of a team making them, I’ve successfully and unsuccessfully put myself myself through them. Im not elevating myself by any means. Im saying that there are dangers in being too declarative before the process is done, and some journalists and bloggers got egg on their faces (and i exclude Tim from this).

            My read is that, for a novice (and likeable novice who received a huge groundswell of goodwill and support, including from this gooner) he did very well and didn’t look out of place in the role. That probebly got relayed (<< conjecture)

            One thing you need to understand, though. There's a difference between journalism and reporting. Journalism is not an exact science. Neither is reporting, but it is a different, more reliable beast. The journalism part is reading the tea leaves. The reporting part is telling us what actually happened. There's a difference, and a lot of folks seem confused about the two. So individual journalists can give their best read — but no one is infallible, even Guardian and BBC reporters. Especially with anonymous sourcing, perception-led journalism.

            That is what I think the Arteta buzz was. It had the makings of a great story.

          4. Shard, that’s correct. So Arteta being seen in London morphed into “househunting in London.”

          5. Excellent point from Claude about the difference between journalism and reporting facts. Football writers have long been allowed to blur the two.

            Personally I was very sceptical from the minute Pep started talking up Arteta in relation to the Arsenal job. No way the process was gonna be that sign-posted.

            I don’t care what Ornstein, the Guardian or the BBC said or didn’t say. The press are not entitled to an insider view on everything. And at no time was Arteta the “front-runner”, because there’s no logical reason to back up that assertion. At best he was one out of the group of younger guys like Vieira and Nagelsmann we talked to.

            Gazidis ran a very tight ship on this one. I said on this forum that the club would have been happy for people to talk about Arteta because it was effective expectation management. Once you’ve lowered your standards to rationalise Arteta, you shouldn’t be disappointed with anyone.

            But of course people still found a way to turn it into some kind of let-down.

          6. Who was, or is, Ornstein’s source within Arsenal that allows him to get almost every major scoop? Gotta be Gazidis himself. Ornstein probably asked Gazidis last week about the state of the managerial search and Gazidis told him that it’s ongoing, but that at the moment HE really liked Arteta. Which would be consistent with the narrative out there that Arteta was his man… but not necessarily Sanllehi’s or Mislintat’s.

            Nobody in the wrong here. Ornstein tweeted what he heard, Gazidis guilty of being honest off-the-record about his personal preference, but one that hadn’t been vetted with the others yet.

          7. OK, at this point I can’t be bothered to sort through which of you said exactly what in which comment where, so I’ll just say this (and I’m sure we’re all tired of the discussion):

            1. I’m cool with the assertion that Arteta was close but, as far as anyone (including Ornstein) knows, he was never offered the job, or even all-but-offered it (aka “verbal commitment”), or something close to that (he may well have been, but Ornstein didn’t say so, so we shouldn’t assume he was).

            2. I reject the view that he wasn’t the frontrunner (in pole position, favorite, very close, etc. whatever wordage you want to use), since Ornstein (and every other reputable media outlet, including the Guardian writers, Arseblog, etc) claimed he was. Though *perhaps* it was neck and neck between the two–something that wasn’t reported–in which case, there were two frontrunners all along and charges that Gazidis “got cold feet” are off base and unfair.

            3. I reject any claims that Arseblog and others “got caught with their pants down”. Many, many, many reputable journalists (and there are more than Ornstein) said it was their understanding that Arteta was going to get the job, or was almost certainly going to get it, or words to that effect. No reputable journalist said otherwise (though Ornstein was slightly more measured). In that case, it was acceptable for Arseblog and others to cover it as they did. They never announced “Arteta has gotten the job”; they said things like “it looks like it’s going to be Arteta,” “all signs point to Arteta,” etc. This is how Mangan and his crew work, until things are officially announced by the club or Ornstein.

            4. Kaius says, “And at no time was Arteta the “front-runner”, because there’s no logical reason to back up that assertion. At best he was one out of the group of younger guys like Vieira and Nagelsmann we talked to.”

            (Setting aside the *evidence* that every well-connected journalist in England including Ornstein *said* he was the frontrunner…)
            Do you have a “logical reason” to back up the assertion that he *wasn’t* the frontrunner?? Do you have a good reason to rule out the possibility that he was the frontrunner at some point last week and then they changed their minds? If not (and you don’t), then you are–ironically, but quite blatantly–making the *exact same* mistake you’re accusing the other side of making.

          8. Ok. I’m still going to try and clarify this.

            The point is not that Arseblog and many in the media got it wrong. That’s fine. That was based on some sources. They did jump the gun (heh) but big deal…

            The problem is that they then refuse to accept that and instead said that Emery was a late candidate, Gazidis got cold feet etc. In effect saying we weren’t wrong, the club did something wrong/rushed.

            Instead of holding their hands up and saying yeah we had some (incomplete) information which we interpreted to mean that it was basically a done deal to appoint Arteta.

            I even believed them about the lateness of the Emery option, but when Gazidis laid out the process along with the dates, I think it’s fair to say the club didn’t do an about turn on anything or make a last minute choice. There was no ‘neck and neck’ because it wasn’t a race. Arteta did well. Then other candidates interviewed, including Emery, who stood out as the best and was recommended. The media just reported incorrectly. Which they don’t want to accept.

          9. That quote was from Kaius, so Im going to leave the accompanying question to him.

            For me this is a mootest of moot issues and I’ve no idea why we’re still arguing the toss, but I’ll just say this….
            The press coalescing around the idea that Arteta was the frontrunner wasn’t doing so based on an empirical fact. It was based on…

            an interpretation ….

            of a reported perception …

            …. from an anonymous source

            Albeit relayed by a very credible journalist. Albeit with the understanding that Ornstein’s background reporting is so impeccable, that there’s a good chance that his source is Gazidis himself (I think that’s a good call, Jack).

            Common sense tells me that Arteta couldn’t be a “frontrunner” given the strength of the field, all things considered (and they have to be). My read (and I have no evidence to back this up except Ornstein’s reporting which wasn’t as declarative as the interpretation of it) is that he was strongly favoured by the source, and did a good interv… nay, a VERY good interview But the process wasn’t complete. You’d have to believe that Gazidis lied about his timeline at his press conference. I dont see the gain for him in doing that, when there are journalists who he talks to on background, who would know that he was lying. Arsenal staff — who are probable sources as well — who would know that he was lying. In other words, Gazidis timeline is a lot more credible to me than the fevered speculation of a bunch of journos. Who were interpreting info they hadn’t directly received.

            Arseblog was recording a podcast on Arteta’s elevation, when the news dropped that it was Emery. Sorry, their pants weren’t down round their ankles. They’d been completely removed.

          10. Shard,
            No one reputable that I read claimed after the fact that Emery hadn’t interviewed earlier (it would be utterly bizarre if the first time they’d interviewed him was in the last few days). The claim is rather that after the interviews and relatively late in the process they switched their focus, from being deep in negotiations to bring Arteta in (or at the very least having him as the frontrunner, and saying enough to him to lead him to believe that he was close), to deciding instead to offer Emery the job. (There’s nothing wrong with them changing their minds, by the way, or leaning one way and then leaning another, provided it’s done for the right reasons.)

            I don’t see how it’s wrong of the media to stick to this story if it’s still based on good evidence/sources. Gazidis saying they interviewed Emery a while back (no doubt true) and that he was their first choice (obviously true in the end as he got the job and no one pulled out, but it’s not like Gazidis is going to let on about anything to do with the process up to that point), does nothing to change this.

            Somehow you’re under the misapprehension that what Gazidis said today proves that the media is getting it wrong in claiming that Arteta was the (or a) frontrunner last week, before Arsenal decided to go in another direction. And you’re essentially accusing of all those saying this of intellectual dishonesty and purely trying to save face. I don’t think that’s warranted.

          11. I remember reading in one of the UK papers Telegraph? Independent? That Emery was not on the shortlist, and that an agent got them in touch late in the process. Fine, that is not a credible reporter.

            What about Arseblog then saying Gazidis developed cold feet. Isn’t that accusing the club of doing something wrong, rather than accept that their information wasn’t as conclusive as they interpreted it to be?

            I’m surprised you’re more protective of the reputation of the media and blogs who got it wrong, than the club who ran a good, thorough process, and then face insinuations, if not accusations, of playing it by ear or lacking courage.

          12. Claude,
            1. Why do we have to think Gazidis is lying about the timeline? He said they made the recommendation to the board last Friday. He may have fibbed about that by 24 hours or so, but I agree we should assume he’s not. So that means (on my interpretation) that between early/mid last week, when the Arteta rumors really started catching fire, and Friday, they switched from focusing on Arteta to deciding to go for Emery. This was obviously news to all the journalists, including Ornstein, who were kept in the dark. Arteta then apparently was still thinking he would get the job over the weekend, and they told him the bad news Sunday night or Monday (this has been reported in numerous places in such a way as to suggest it comes from Arteta’s camp). The fact that Emery had interviewed a while back is irrelevant.

            2. Your reconstruction of events is at least as speculative as the journalists’ you’re criticizing. The alternative reconstruction–involving the claim that Arteta was the frontrunner until late last week–fits the facts as we know them just as well.

            3. You also seem to be assuming that literally everyone else is basing their stories entirely on Ornstein and his tweets. This is just silly. Other journalists have connections at the club, and do reputable (though sometimes more speculative) stuff. (And some journos are full of it and not to be trusted, of course.) For instance, the guys at the Guardian don’t just make up stories based on Ornstein tweets. Ditto others.

            4. So Arsecast was doing a show based on the assumption Arteta was getting the job. So what? You’re free to use the expressions of the English language as you see fit, but to me being “caught with their pants down” suggests they’ve done something a bit foolish that they should be a bit embarrassed/ashamed of, and hopefully they’ll learn their lesson in the future. I fail to see how this is the case. They cover and discuss Arsenal with humor and opinions for the fans. They were doing so on Monday based on what they (quite understandably) thought was going on at the club at the time.

            5. At this point we’re obviously just going round and round in circles. I reckon I’m done on this topic.

          13. Shard,
            1. whereas I’m not at all surprised that you are defending the club to the hilt, insisting that they “ran a good and thorough process” (ooh, ad hominem low blow!).

            2. If we want to talk about Andrew Mangan’s (shall we say) strong dislike of Ivan Gazidis, and whether it’s warranted, I’m down with that. It seems to me he typically interprets Gazidis’s words and actions as arising from the worst possible motives. While I don’t love Gazidis, I think Mangan’s overly critical, and the line about “getting cold feet” might be unfair. But (a) it almost certainly stems from Mangan not liking Gazidis, rather than from Mangan trying to save face by defending last week’s Arteta story, and (b) criticizing Mangan for the “cold feet” remark (which may or may not be accurate) is consistent with still thinking Arteta was the frontrunner last week before Gazidis and friends changed their minds.

            3. I really am going to stop now.

          14. “He may have fibbed about that by 24 hours or so…”

            OK, this officially just got jokey. Have at it, mate 😀

          15. I just don’t get what you mean by ‘frontrunner’ and why this is so important to you? I don’t think anyone, except maybe Kaius, disagrees that Arteta did very well in the interview and was considered a strong candidate by the club. (I wanted Arteta too you know and still do in the future)

            I do not doubt the media had their sources and their reasons, but with the exception of Ornstein, they reported incorrectly and have trouble accepting this when it shouldn’t be a big deal. Why do you think Gazidis started with the jibe about rewrites and ‘those who know don’t speak..’ Because the media response has been to point fingers at the club (blaming them for flip flopping, and harming Arteta’s career among other things) instead of silence if not a mea culpa.

            I’m not Gazidis’ biggest fan either, but fair is fair.

            Ok I’m done too.

          16. I have no doubt Arteta interviewed superbly. I just doubt he was the fabled “front-runner”.

            You know, because we’re a professional football club that respects merit and achievement.

          17. Love Arseblog, but Andrew is, I think, dead wrong about the club getting cold feet at the last minute. Or, you know, they picked their best candidate after a process! Don’t understand the need to spin it negative. I think it comes from Andrew’s dislike for Gazidis.

          18. Shard,
            I could ask you the same thing: why is this “so important” to you?? You’ve spent about as much time as I have arguing over it.
            For my part, it’s really not important to me at all. I just have too much time on my hands (papers need editing and I’m procrastinating) and obviously a pathological need to keep arguing my corner when I think I’m right and my opponents’ arguments have obvious flaws.

            By “frontrunner”, I mean he was, at some point last week, seen by those making the decision (perhaps just Gazidis, perhaps all three, though Ivan is clearly the guy who matters most) to be the likeliest to get the job. (Perhaps practical steps were made along that road, like checking with City to make sure things would go smoothly from their end; going into details as to who Arteta hypothetically might want on his backroom staff, etc; perhaps some of that even led Arteta to believe he would get it; or perhaps those details were all just hearsay.)
            Anyway, the word is really not that hard to understand.

            When you’ve got no more arguments to make, always a good rule of thumb to make a sarcastic but non-substantive comment designed to make your opponent’s arguments look silly.

            Cheers to all. I’ll say this in parting: I’m now feeling pretty optimistic about this Emery chap, as I think most of us are, so let’s just get along for a bit, shall we?

          19. PFo, when you make sh1t up in real time, right in front of our faces, I can’t take you seriously.

        2. Massive respect for Arseblog as well. It’s one of the first 5 sites I log on to every morning. It is a beyond excellent gooner site.

          There’s no shame in getting something wrong. Everyone in the media business does sometimes.

    2. I have to take some issue with Arseblog, unfortunately. For years – years! – he’s continually sniped at Gazidis, and in my view it’s been unwarranted. He’s attacked him for being invisible, and now he attacks him for being too visible. He says if Arsene had to go, why does Gazidis get to keep his job? What’s Gazidis done to keep it?

      Well, here’s what he’s done: he’s taken a system where one man held all the power for 22 years, and turned it, over the course of a couple of years, into a modern system. He’s modernized the scouting, analytics, medical department, and contracts. He’s decentralized power and reduced key man risk. He’s also increased commercial revenue at a time where we’ve stagnated on the pitch. Now’s the time to see if he’s done a good job of it all. But I think Gazidis has been careful to work within very entrenched power structures to create something modern and – hopefully – effective.

      1. Yes to all of that. And the Guardian article I link below is informative here.

      2. Agreed Zed. Ironic that Arseblog is so fixated on Gazidis. The Guardian article about Gazidis today had a little reminder about how Arteta left us to pursue his coaching career, and it wasn’t Ivan’s fault:

        “Gazidis oversaw the purchase of the data analytics company, StatDNA, but Wenger was not a fan. Gazidis wanted to find a role for Arteta after he retired as a player at the club in 2016 but Wenger had warned that “you cannot create artificial positions”.

        A criticism of Gazidis is that he picks his battles so carefully he avoids having them at all; that he did not do enough to fight Wenger for so many years and, consequently, the club was allowed to drift. There was the sense he feared that to fall out with Wenger would be to lose his job.”

        Let’s not forget Arsene had a direct line to Stan. Ivan had to tread very carefully. And he could have left to go work on the US World Cup bid. But he stayed the course.

        1. Arseblog has also criticized those who attack Arsene personally (agreed), but on more than one occasion has done so to Gazidis. It’s unbecoming.

          1. Agree with you on Arseblog and Gazidis.

            In his defense, Mangan’s rock & roll through and through; he just has a natural bias against “the man”.

          2. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of his. Generally he’s thoughtful and balanced, and we usually agree. This seems to be a rare, and ugly, blindspot.

            Thanks for sharing that article, Bunburyist. Very interesting stuff.

  2. Well that was quick.

    Did Ornstein say Arsenal were going to hire Arteta? As I recall he just said Arteta was in pole position but the process was ongoing, which I suppose means that he was told Arsenal liked what he had to say. Actually the Arteta to take over story might even have come from Arteta’s camp. Because that doesn’t fit with what Gazidis just said at all. And no one knew that Emery flew to Atlanta to meet the Kroenkes.

    Anyway, moot now. Except it’s something to keep an eye on. Will the club, and Gazidis, call the media out on their lies/mistakes/narratives more often now?

    I like what Emery apparently brings. I hope to see us play better, but I include good attacking, instinctive play in that too. It’s a tough ask to combine the two, but hopefully following on from Wenger will make it easier to impose just the right amount of structure.

    I was thinking that I would be struggling to find the words in Spanish just like Emery was in English, and would do much worse (I learned to a basic level over 10 years ago and not had much cause to practice) Emery handled the tough questions well. Sidestepping what he didn’t want to answer and getting his message across. It probably helped that the media felt they couldn’t grill him due to his English. I think Emery also said/implied that he’s been told he’ll get the players he wants to add to the team.

    I’m excited about next season and want to see how the players respond to a new approach.

  3. I’m happy.

    Let’s keep in mind now – this is a committee effort going forward. Players aren’t of good enough quality? We can blame Mislintat. Players have contracts run down to their last year without re-signing? Sanllehi’s and Fahmy’s fault. Youth system seems to be bereft of future first teamers? Per, wtf?

    If the team seems disorganized, wrong tactics are being employed, players not improving, listlessness – that’s on Emery.

    Things I don’t think we’ll hear from Emery; that the players were jaded, the team tired, the squad apprehensive and ffs, no more handbrake analogies.

  4. As always, it’s the hope that kills you…
    but this is great stuff out of the gate. This emphatic delcaration of intent is especially positive for the top academy players like Nketiah as well to have a guy who instead of drawing wolves on a chalkboard,will have a detailed, individual development plan for anyone in an Arsenal kit.

    I’m excited.

  5. I think both Emery and Gazidis made all the right noises. IG seemed to make some digs at Wenger when he spoke about transfer funds always being available to the manager.

    Emery wasn’t my first choice (Jardim), but I like the fact that we didn’t get star struck in the recruitment process and just opt for the glamour hire. Emery brings industry to the role and from the press conference, the message seems clear that they are going to demand commitment, discipline, hard work, and application.

    I see him tasked with evangelizing the training methods at the club, and coaching players into improving their game and performance on the pitch. I hope most of our squad keeps an open mind to his methods and ideas. I am excited to see what he can do with the likes of Hector, Holding, Chambers, AMN and Iwobi.

    Since he seemed to have developed Krychowiak will he be able to repeat that with our own polish player Bielik with a possible return to his original position as DM? I would certainly be interested in exploring the possibility.

    Oh and all those great puns/word play on the manager’s name. Exciting times!

  6. Isn’t it possible, just possible, that the whole Arteta sidetrack was intentionally laid to misdirect the hounds of the press, as well as the rest of us, while the selection committee got on with the process of hiring the candidate they wanted, without the distraction of rumors, speculation, accusations, opinion, loonietoons, etc.? We do have a reputation for trying to conduct business as quietly as possible, and this would have been an (surprisingly) astute way of keeping things under wraps until the biz with Emeri was done. Bummer if you’re Arteta tho’…

  7. Personally, I was prepared to give Arteta a two-year honeymoon, 2020/2021. Top six, no trophies next season (exactly what we have now), fine.

    I expect that a coach of Emery’s calibre should make us league and champions league competitive by 2019/2020 season. And probably win a domestic cup.

  8. A BIG YES to being the PROTAGONISTS (his English ain’t great, but love that as a one-word description for how I want us to play), to possession, and to (at long last!) PRESSING!!!

    Yes, yes, yes.

    1. If I didn’t have some shred of a real life to get back to, I’d be off to watch old videos of Valencia, Sevilla, and PSG games for the afternoon…

    2. As long as it’s not the protagonist of a dark 19th-century Russian novel!

    3. Protagonista in Spanish is used to describe taking the initiative, leading.

      1. He also kept saying ‘grow up’ because he was translating from Spanish. Crecer I believe. To develop, grow, thrive. I think that’s also the root word for ‘Creche’ in English.

        Yaay. I have some memory of, and reason to, practice Spanish.

        1. Similar roots. “Creche” is a French borrowing (entered English many centuries ago), which itself has its roots in Latin “crescere” (“to grow”). One of my favorite lines from Henry V is when the conniving bishops describe how the new king “Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night / Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.”

          Ah, Bill, you beaut.

          1. Yeah I meant Latin roots. I like looking out for (and sometimes getting thrown by) such similarities. Never at a scholarly level though..

            Last year I was in Poland, and I learned that Domo is house/home. Similar to Russian, Dom.. No surprise there. Dom is cathedral in German, I noted. One day I realised English has Domicile/domestic which is probably from the same root.

            I’ve never read Shakespeare. I would like to, but it seems like a huge time commitment, and a bit daunting.

          2. That’s because all the languages you mention have a common root: Proto-Indo-European. Roughly six or seven thousand years ago, “we” all spoke the same language in the same area (some linguists and archaeologists locate it near the Caspian Sea, or generally the southern parts of the Volga River).

            You get some awesome connections as a result, between languages that spoken by very different cultures (Sanskrit and English, for example, share words for many common things, like family members and numbers, but consonant and vowel shifts over the centuries mean there are slight variations in pronunciation).

        2. You could really tell he was translating Spanish to English in his head – I know because I’ve done the opposite! He said = “for explain”, which is literally in Spanish “para explicar” but translate s in English to “to explain”.

  9. Today was a long time coming. Enjoying every second of it.

    One of the best bits of tactical analysis I’ve seen of Emery system was this Piotr guy on youtube…


    …video, heat maps, the works. Certain players in our squad just can’t execute that intense pressing style. And we will need CBs and a DM who are truly comfortable on the ball, who know how to set the tempo, shield a ball and play one-touch with the keeper who is properly.

    Some big time changes coming.

    1. *keeper who is gonna be properly important to how we build-up play.

      Sorry about my consistent typos on this forum.

      1. Yeah, which is the main reason I have my doubts about Cech. Never super comfortable passing out of the back.

    2. the video was good but some of the stuff he said was wrong; his interpretation of some scenarios wasn’t what he thought it was. most of it was okay, though.

      fundamentally, i disagree with you. firstly, the idea that current players can’t play this way. it’s untrue. they can press to good effect. they simply need direction, which they didn’t get from the previous regime. look no further than oxlade-chamberlain and how people were saying they didn’t mind losing him. six months into his time at liverpool and he looks world class. the difference is he had direction from his coach; someone who took his talents and made him a better player, not draw wolves on the chalk board.

      secondly, petr cech is capable of playing out from the back. the problem is that arsenal players will play him dangerous balls back. no one does this, regardless of the talent of the keeper. bayern doesn’t. man city doesn’t. barcelona doesn’t. they don’t do it because it’s bad soccer but arsenal does it. it’s why cech looks questionable. it’s not his technique. also, i don’t recall seeing a frame in the video where psg passed the ball back to their keeper.

      1. Yeah I noticed that on certain events. So agree with you there.

        When I said ‘certain players’ I specifically meant Wilshere and Xhaka. AMN, Elneny and Ramsey can press. Iwobi has to get better and develop into a real 2-way player or he might not make it. I agree this unit just needs proper direction but we have to admit that there’s a quality gap in physical and creative terms. Our European rivals (economic rivals at least) are streets ahead of us in this area.

        I think Cech’s quite secure on the ball. I didn’t reference him at all. But yeah our defense is horrible playing under pressure. This video doesn’t show it but PSG are very adept at playing one-touch out of pressure in defensive situations and rely on the keeper to join in when facing teams who press them high. It’s risky but effective because beating the first line of pressing opponents creates space and wide-open passing lanes to attack. City have perfected that and really killed us with it in the defeat at the Emirates. We need to learn how to execute it and defend against it.

      2. Sorry quick follow-up Joshuad…

        …towards the end of last season after a couple of bad results in the league Guardiola was talking about 50-50’s in English football. He said something like the ability to win 50-50s is the biggest equaliser between the big clubs and smaller clubs. He felt that teams were taking advantage of City in the air.

        It’s why he was so desperate to buy Ederson, who is not the best keeper, but helps them keep the ball on the ground where they can show their quality. Lots of details like this we need to focus on if we’re gonna close that 37 pt gap.

        1. the problem is, to beat the press, it’s a team effort; a tactical skill, not simply technique. the biggest problem arsenal has beating the press is the guy off the ball, often referred to as the third attacker. they don’t make themselves available as easy options and they don’t talk. if you don’t do that, you’ll always struggle to break a press. this was the arsenal way and wenger clearly didn’t say anything about it so this bad soccer continued. i’m hopeful emery will clean this up.

          1. This vid of Sarri’s training sessions has been doing the rounds on twitter. Very relevant to what you’re saying.


            It’s maddening because these details are what made Wengerball work. Now we have non-existent ‘third man runs’, we don’t space properly for passing triangles, and what happened to our overlaps/underlaps, especially on Bellerin’s side of the field?

            Maybe Wenger coaches it but these guys just can’t execute?

  10. Gazidis addressed all the Arteta rumors (re: a done deal, that he withdrew, etc.) really well, I thought, and without actually naming Arteta. Favorite line: [something like] “There are those who speak and don’t know, and there are those who know and don’t speak.” Haha! Put me in the former camp!

    Actually, on Gazidis, and how he’s quietly and patiently orchestrated Arsenal’s restructuring, I found this piece really interesting: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/may/22/arsenal-ivan-gazidis-unai-emery-mikel-arteta-new-manager-wenger

    I’m excited about Emery, and to see how the team responds. I really have felt in the last couple of seasons that we have a group of players who are much, much better than their recent performances and our points tally suggest. I believe Emery will turn what’s “on paper” into reality. At least, that’s my hope. They’re going to get pushed in a way that I don’t think they ever were under the previous set-up.

    I watched the press conference and agree with Tim that it took cojones to do (most of) it in English. He comes across as someone with integrity and class, which I like, and he’s a dead ringer for Count Dracula, which I also…like?

    Also, Visit Rwanda! Ah well. I guess Angry Birds was already taken, though I was hoping for Mortal Kombat.

    1. Yes about his class (and it should be being made more of by Arsenal fans, I think):
      One of the Get French Football News folks said he’s a classy guy and he spent a significant chunk of his last presser at PSG singing the praises of his replacement, Thomas Tuchel. Classy.

  11. I feel pretty hyped about Emery, the most hyped I’ve felt about Arsenal in years. Since we lost the league to Leicester it feels like we’ve been treading water, very excited to see what Emery can do. I think he will be able to get a lot out of these players, particularly our forward line. Hopefully we can sign a new CB, GK, and a DMF for him to work with, but even if we don’t make many signings I get the feeling it’s going to be an exciting journey.

  12. According to an article from Spain, Lucas Perez has been told to report for pre season training. It starts on 2nd July! They also said Emery wanted him at PSG in 2016 (forgive me if this is wrong. My Spanish isn’t great)

    Also, Bernd Leno’s club have signed a goalkeeper.

    Things move really quickly these days now that I have twitter.

    1. The Mirror interpreted this to mean Leno had “fallen down the pecking order,” and that’s why Leno would demand a transfer. Strange. Is Hradecky really considered a better keeper than Leno, or is the Mirror just being the Mirror?

      1. No, Hradecky is definately not better yet. He’s young and has potential but he’s definately a replacement. Leverkusen are used to selling players and they’re very good at selling them abroad, Leno is an ambitious guy who needs to go to a bigger club to stake his claim among a very crowded field of german goalkeepers. He has been making noises of leaving for some time and as much is expected. Kicker says he rejected Napoli already and it’s between Arsenal and Atletico Madrid, we can offe guaranteed first team football, so chances are good.

      2. Also it’s very common for german clubs to start doing their business early and prepared, especially a selling club like Leverkusen. The Bundesliga has a very deep pool of very good keepers, so it’s a good strategy to sell Leno on and replace him with an equally talented guy.

    2. Not sure about the PSG part.

      Definitely “he has always liked him” and they will meet to discuss his future.

      Would love to see more Spanish players brought in to the team. Loads of technical quality in Spain.

      1. Yup, and likely available cheap.

        “De hecho, el París Saint-Germain, con Emery como entrenador, expresó un interés firme por Lucas durante el verano de 2016.”

        1. Yeah – means, “In fact, PSG, with Emery as manager, expressed a firm interest in Lucas during the summer of 2016”

    3. I know this will get a reaction, but I prefer Lucas Perez to Danny Welbeck. I will bet you he’s in the squad come September.

      1. I like Lucas Perez too. I think he was unlucky with the timing of his injury and then just never recovered a spot. I’d like both of them to be at the club. Emery’s going to have to get used to heavier rotation if he’s going to enforce a pressing game, what with no winter break. Plus I think both can play on the wings and have good speed. Perez the more polished, but Welbeck’s athleticism will help in some cases too.

      2. I’m with you, actually, even knowing that he didn’t have a great season at Coruna.

        Some rumors today linking Welbeck to a move to Turkey, so you may get your wish.

      3. I’ll take em both, but I always thought Perez looked quality and, while he maybe should’ve shown more patience when here, it did seem like Arsene seriously underused him, even factoring in injuries.

      4. ditto. i didn’t want lucas perez to leave. he always looked good when he came on. wenger has his favorites, though. i wonder what that will mean for the costa rican kid (can’t remember his name). hope he has a good world cup. i didn’t want him to leave, either. theo walcott was ahead of them both but it wasn’t based on merit.

      5. Sorry lads, not for me. Danny can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a howitzer but he causes problems for teams and makes us a better overall unit in both phases due to his physical attributes, intelligence and work rate. You need guys like him. Lucas is a much better pure footballer but we already have lots of those.

  13. Regardless of how the process played out, any potential candidate who walks into an interview with a detailed dossier on all of his potential charges and includes how he intends to improve each and every one individually, not only merits serious consideration for the job but should probably get it. It also suggests that the man had thought about this long and hard and was probably not any overnight fancy or afterthought. This can only speak to the level of meticulous preparation that can be expected of this Arsenal team.

    1. So True! There is a team full of players dying for direction and wanting to grow.
      We’ll know pretty fast who is willing to put in the work and who isn’t.

  14. Who do you guys think made up the 8 person list?

    1. Allegri
    2. Emery
    3. Arteta
    4. ?
    5. ?
    6. ?
    7. ?
    8. ?

    1. Ornstein wrote a piece on BBC Sport on May 18th about the manager search, and funnily enough there were basically 8 people mentioned. I split them into two groups:

      The younger guys: Vieira, Henry, Arteta, Nagelsmann
      The more experienced guys: Emery, Tuchel, Allegri, Jardim

      I think that represented Ornstein’s best guess as to who the probable interviewees were.

      Unlikely that all of Tuchel, Jardim and Allegri went through the whole process because they’re all attached. So maybe we spoke to Ancelotti, Enrique and someone like Lucien Favre as well. 2 of those 3 didn’t announce they were taking the jobs at Dortmund and Napoli until after the Emery announcement. Just guessing!

        1. What I’m trying to get across is that Ornstein was circumspect about what he did and didn’t know in that particular article from a week ago. An excerpt:

          “Arteta and Vieira were definitely spoken to and – whether directly or indirectly – Allegri was too.

          In this tightly guarded process it is unclear if – and to what extent – there was contact with Julian Nagelsmann of Hoffenheim, Belgium assistant Thierry Henry, outgoing PSG boss Emery and Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim.

          What we do know is that Arsenal have held formal interviews and in-depth negotiations.”

          1. This is generally consistent with what Gazidis said today. What is notable is that the Ornicle stayed in his lane. In this case reported what he could independently verify, and in another relayed info — carefully — from a trusted source. Some of the other press kind of got ahead of their skis.

          2. Yeah, sneaky (or is it sneaking? I never know) suspicion that Buvac and Klopp’s bust-up was in Buvac being courted by Arsenal early on in the process (maybe he didn’t make the longlist but was just talking to his buddy Sven?). Then again maybe it had nothing to do with Arsenal. Maybe there was no real bust up. We’ll find out eventually in the summer, one would guess.

          3. Yeah, I think that’s all correct. Wouldn’t be crazy to assume those are the 8 names.
            Then again, Ornstein being unsure about Allegri–and the likelihood that, if he was being considered, Allegri is likely to have turned us down last week, which Ivan denied concerning the candidates–suggests that maybe he wasn’t interviewed. Maybe Allegri was sounded out (like, e.g., Enrique, early in the process) and promptly crossed off the list.
            We’ll probably never know…

          4. In what sense is Jardim attached other than just still being at Monaco? Has he signed a new contract or something?

            As for Favre, I thought it was something of an open secret that he was going to Dortmund for a while, but who knows.

          5. Favre has already signed for Dortmund, he was actually frontrunner for this season already, but Nice wouldn’t release him, so I doubt he was a serious candidate.

      1. I’m guessing Buvac was on that list, which is why (a) the rumors were that he WAS the next manager , and (b) he got sent home.

        1. Yeah, sneaky (or is it sneaking? I never know) suspicion that Buvac and Klopp’s bust-up was in Buvac being courted by Arsenal early on in the process (maybe he didn’t make the longlist but was just talking to his buddy Sven?). Then again maybe it had nothing to do with Arsenal. Maybe there was no real bust up. We’ll find out eventually in the summer, one would guess.

        2. I think we can dismiss the Buvac links. Sounded more like putting two and two together. The link came from a Croatian newspaper, so I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on it.

  15. I’m very excited about Emery. He exuded something I wasn’t expecting. Hunger. He was much more passionate, and had more fire than I was expecting. I liked his body language and was charmed by his earnestness, despite his limited grasp of English. As other have pointed out, Arteta represented the excitement of the unknown, and a big risk/reward. I feared Emery would trade a lot of the upside for a safer choice, but instead I find him exciting in a different way. Knowing about his extensive planning for each player, in addition to his personality/hunger makes me believe he was an excellent choice.

    1. Agree. I think his passion and hunger as you say really came through. Also, watching his interview with the site and not just the press conference, doing them all in English (except a few bits where he wanted to express himself better, like about Ozil), shows confidence and a willingness to learn.

      He’s said a few times that he likes to talk to players one on one and build a rapport. Many guys in our squad speak either Spanish or French, but since learning English is necessary for him to do his job, I think Emery will learn it quickly.

  16. “All eight took part in extensive interviews with the three of us and none of them withdrew their interest.”

    Anyone who says this with a straight face is a real master actor.

    Seriously, 50m budget for the likes of Allegri and Enrique and they say still want to be considered for Europa league football.

    That is LOL material.

    1. But Gazidis was talking about the interviewees. You’re assuming Allegri and Enrique were there. I think left out those who would have been contacted and either withdrew or were not considered since.

      He’s apparently said this now.

      “We went through a pretty wide-ranging discussion, challenging each other on as much as we could on preconceptions and assumptions we might have had going into the process.

      “By the way, all the way going through the process, Raul and I and Sven spoke to each other as little as possible.

      “Because we didn’t want to pollute each other’s viewpoints from the discussions we had had. We wanted to come to the discussion fresh when we had been through all eight of the finalist candidates.

      “We narrowed it down to three. We spent an entire day discussing among those three.

      “At the end of the day, three of us all wrote on a piece of paper, 1, 2, 3, and put them into the middle of the table.

      “And the choices were all 1, 2, 3 the same. And Unai was at the top of all of our lists.”

  17. A particularly 7am thread guys if I may say so, all the big hitters here, arguing passionately and eloquently about something that they all agree is not worth arguing about. Never change, gooners 🙂

    Emery’s emphasis on taking the initiative, possession and pressing is interesting. Based on this approach, you would expect Arsenal to up their work rate.

    In November 2017, as a team Arsenal were placed sixth in the running around a lot league, having covered roughly the same distance as City and Chelsea, and ahead of Liverpool. Spurs were a couple of places higher, but interestingly not that far ahead.

    In April 2018, Arsenal had dropped down to 11th, which I find pretty interesting. It implies that in the second half of the season we were sitting deeper and pressing less. I wonder if that had anything to do with our away form.

  18. I think Greg has it right — the recruitment has happened, it’s history and the selection was made, so to try and guess who did or did not get to an interview or withdrew, or not, is in itself is pretty pointless, but fascinating to read the diverse comments, so that’s why we all go to good blogs.

    OK, having said that —– I was curious with the Gazidis statement that they each wrote down their preferred 1, 2, 3 selections — and somehow they all voted the same. Confirmation bias?

    The piece of paper method seems a little imprecise, if they had not all voted for (say) candidate A.

    — What if they had all voted for different people (say) A, B, C, – would they throw the paper away and start again?

    — What if they all moved their vote in the second round and voted, C, A, B would they throw that 2nd paper away and start again?

    — What if they voted B, C, A in the third round? Would they go again for a 4th round?

    — They would each have voted for each of the candidates by the 3rd round, and in the next round maybe they would vote for their worst candidate just to get the job done, (say) C?

    Does anyone care? Do I care? No — but it shows how even an innocent comment from Gazidis can create queries — not that anyone has done that — umm, except me. Bugger! 😀

  19. Shard, house/ home in Polish is also” dom”just as in Russian.

    As for Emery’s language problems ,perhaps he can have some of the Spanish speaking players translate his instructions to others.

    There could be problems with this sort of approach however, as Bob Bradley found out managing Polish players in his title winning MLS first season.

    When Jerzy Podbrozny arrived at Chicago Fire in 1998 he spoke not a lick of English so Piotr Nowak , who had spent time in Bundesliga, was tasked with translating Bradley’s instructions to Podbrozny.

    Podbrozny had a real high opinion of his striker credentials so when told by Bradley, translated to him by Nowak, that he was to line up as an attacking midfielder before his first ever game in Chicago Fire uniform, he promptly replied:
    “Tell him to climb a tree and fu#k himself “ , which sounds even better in Polish .

    Bradley asked Nowak what Podbrozny had just said and Nowak laughingly replied he didn’t want to translate for anyone anymore,
    True story.

    1. Ok thanks. My friend was explaining to me how the subject word changes with context. Polish is apparently more complicated than most languages (Are you Polish?)

      I heard Domo in the context of ‘Let’s go home’.

      1. Born and bred although haven’t lived there for a long time.
        How did you find Poland ? I’m curious.

        1. On a map 🙂

          I liked it. I was mostly in Silesia, but traveled around a bit. I really liked Krakow. Warsaw was nice, but less fun. (Also the streets were teeming with police due to some political rally/demonstration) Saw the famous salt mines at Wieliczka(?), and a silver mine. Also went to Auschwitz.

          Attended a Polish wedding, which was interesting.

          I enjoyed the food and the people were nice. A few weird looks but that’s ok. It was a good trip.

          1. Man, I love Krakow. Sucha beautful city. I remember walking through the city at minus 30°C through thick snow in my Chucks because I forgot to pack other shoes…

          2. “Interesting “ – a code word for horrifying? 🙂

            Poland is a mixture of good and bad like most I suppose.
            Good old fashioned hospitality with an underlying hint of racism, sorry to say.

            You don’t have to hold back, I know my fellow countrymen well.

          3. Emob does seem to be the type of guy who would wear chucks everywhere.

            And Tom, everyone seems racist coming from our hyper-PC culture, especially if you’re an academic or urbanite. Much of the rest of the world has a different view on what “racist” means than we have cultivated here in the states, and they certainly wouldn’t describe themselves as racist. I’ll leave it at that. I only feel moved to say something because the low threshold for labeling an entire nation as racist climbs under my skin immensely.

        2. Nah nothing bad. The racism just seems to be wariness. More ‘benign’ than actual racist hostility. And more in the smaller areas.

          But mostly as you say, old fashioned hospitality and family values (if I may use that term without political connotations). That’s what I carry from Poland, apart from the beautiful cities. Also, it’s interesting to me to look at the commonalities we all share despite the differences in culture. That’s always struck me with travel.

          Oh and no. The Polish wedding with the free flowing vodka and the absolutely massive amounts of meat was not horrifying. Just interesting. As well as some of the customs of course. (I didn’t stay through the night though it must be said)

  20. Ornstein, on a must listen Arsecast today, brings some much needed nuance to some of the discussion around the recruitment process (on which Arseblog, btw, appears to have done a 180). And indeed, slays a few myths.

    I highly recommend a listen.

    1. I read Ornstein’s update on the process as he knows it and at the end of the day who cares. We got the best manager available whose ego is not so big that he can’t work with our new management structure. He doesn’t come demanding a huge transfer budget and thinks that he can in fact improve the players at hand (provided they buy in). I just want there to be no hard feelings on Arteta’s part should we have an opening when he is more experienced beyond being the number 3 man at City.

    2. Can you summarise? I won’t have a chance to listen until Tuesday. Can’t wait that long…

  21. i’m with greg and i could care less about how the process went and what reports were accurate, etc. what was impressive was the dossier he had on each individual player. that reminded me of a john grisham novel i read in the very early 90s called “the firm”. this is the only book that i’ve ever read, cover to cover, in a single day but i digress.

    in this book, the protagonist, mitch, is a hot shot harvard tax law grad who’s expected to take a job at a big wall street firm but is interviewing at this firm in memphis. during the interview, an associate (not a partner) from the firm is in the room and takes a jibe about where mitch did his undergrad (a small school where mitch played d3 football). mitch smartly replies about where this associate went to undergrad and their abysmal football history.

    mind you, this is an associate that mitch knows about, not a partner. the partners are impressed by how prepared mitch was to interview for a job that he had no real intent of taking. i can imagine the arsenal interview board were equally impressed by emery’s detailed knowledge of the players and his determination that he could get more out of them.

    1. I’m firmly in your camp as well.
      Don’t care one bit how the process went and who said what and when.

      Was the dossier compiled by Christopher Steele by any chance?
      Any Arsenal players into peeing Russian prostitutes?

  22. lol.

    The important question is what does Devin Nunes do with the info that Gazidis gave him?

  23. “A particularly 7am thread guys if I may say so, all the big hitters here, arguing passionately and eloquently about something that they all agree is not worth arguing about. Never change, gooners”

    Great comment. Arguing eloquently about something meaningless is perhaps my calling in life.

  24. “…….and they certainly wouldn’t describe themselves as racist”

    This made me smile, doc.
    How many racists do you know who freely admit to being such?

    I know none.

  25. When it comes to the idea of everybody being racist, for me I think it’s just an acknowledgment that most of us do have racial bias’ and prejudices that affect how we perceive people of different races or from different cultures, even when we don’t like to admit it.

    A lot of people think that if you’re not actively or consciously a racist, then you’re incapable of saying racist things or making decisions based on racial prejudice.

    Acknowledging our racism so we can dismantle it seems like the way forward.

    1. I think treating actual racial hostility the same as the normal racial/cultural/environmental bias we carry is dangerous. (I’m not saying you’re doing that)

      The latter is normal. It’s how we learnt to stay alive. Being wary of what we don’t know or understand. And no culture in the world actually promotes racism because building bridges is also how we stayed alive and thrived. (Except under certain historic contexts, which makes it harder and more political than just cultural) The cultural barriers vary but the intent is not racist.

      I’m not so sure we need to dismantle the unconscious bias. That implies actively looking for our ‘racist’ tendencies to destroy them.

      This is what leads to what are now called SJWs seeking racism everywhere, even in themselves, which I feel has the effect of solidifying race as a factor rather than reducing it. This forced dismantling I think prevents a true appreciation for the ‘other’ because they remain something alien. (Even when you’re saying don’t hate them, you’re still saying ‘them’ and implying that there might be reason to ‘hate’) It’s only when you just meet people as people, and despite their ‘racism’ most people will just see you as people once you try to connect, that you realise that the cultural differences don’t actually make anyone different.

      Accept your racial bias. But there’s no need to dismantle it because it isn’t dangerous. Once you learn that there is no danger, that bias will automatically go. To the point that you won’t even notice the ‘race’ anymore because it doesn’t register as a threat or even strange. (I say ‘you’ in general terms. Not you specifically)

    2. Jeremy, what it sounds like you’re saying is that we are all racist. If we are all implicitly by our nature racist, then who are the real racists?

      For me you have to draw a sharp line between people who may have some “impure” thoughts about race but, crucially, don’t want to have them and reject them, versus people who embrace those thoughts. For me it’s this latter category who deserve the “racist” label. Being human is about the choices we make, not the thoughts we have or our implicit nature. To be truthful with you, I think we are all animalistic by our very nature and racial prejudice arises from a part of that primal instinct to fear that which is not like ourselves. We can make a conscious choice to reject that fear, but having the fear doesn’t make us bad people.

      So, Tom, the people of Poland probably have more misunderstanding and fear about people of other races because their country is so predominantly white. That doesn’t make them all racists. The racists are the ones who embrace the fear and choose to commit acts of discrimination and violence against people who look different from them.

  26. I didn’t say all Polish were racist.

    Shard experienced Poland as a tourist and a guest.
    I’m sure his view might’ve been a bit different had he wanted to relocate there and buy a house for example.

    Look, I’m not trying to paint the whole nation with a wide brush, but I guarantee you I know more about this particular subject matter as it pertains to Poland than you could ever hope, doc.

  27. And just to finish on a more positive note so it doesn’t look like Im dumping on my own , there’s s lot to like about us Polish too.
    Hardworking, resourceful and pretty brave when it counts.
    You want to lead an underfunded army against all odds in a righteous cause? Sign us up.
    Scythes against muskets and cannons ? No problem.
    Cavalry against lightly armored tanks ?
    Bring it on , that’s just how we like it 🙂
    Racial tolerance just isn’t our strong suit.

    I can probably figure out why doc took offense to my comment though, him neing of Hungarian decent.

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