Time for Emery, Pochettino and VAR to sod off elsewhere

Date published: Sunday 10th November 2019 9:08

Send your thoughts on whoever else needs to lose their job to theeditor@football365.com


This one’s on the fans
Dear Arsenal fans,

Do you get it yet? It’s been since 2009ish but you’ve lived under the delusion you’re important, so, some truth:

Leicester are superior to Arsenal in virtually every department on the pitch. The result wasn’t a shock, it was expected. It’s what you expect of Brighton go to Anfield, basically. In fact, Aubameyang is the only Arsenal player that would improve Leicester – that’s it. So even though people like JazGooner write in saying “we’ve got an amazing squad” (LOL) the truth is, Auba aside, not one Arsenal player is good enough for Leicester. Arsenal haven’t been a competitive PL side since 2005, fact. 14 seasons. Leicester fans are humble and understand their place in the football food chain, as a result, they’re a more successful domestic team than Arsenal this past decade. Arsenal is just a rich club with no ethos, nothing.

If your fans had been more demanding starting ten years ago, Arsenal would be up there. Instead, you celebrated “Top 4”, “last 16 CL qualification” and “financial self sustainability”. Metrics that simply don’t exist at the big clubs. Arsenal’s deterioration isn’t down to Emery, it’s been a car crash since Vieira walked out! But hey, you should pretend Arsenal were super successful until Emery showed up. Just imagine what Allegri would do with Mustafi, Xhaka, Chambers, Luiz and Guendouzi! Hahahaha the delusion!
Stewie Griffin (SAD!)


Bad ebening
Dear Eds,

Unai Emery perpetually looks like a Die Hard villain who has just realized he might have underestimated this John McClane fellow.

That’s all.


If anyone can bear to watch it again, I encourage anyone who wants to truly understand why Arsenal fans hate Emery so much to watch the Leicester game (or at least highlights) and see how little pressure Arsenal players put on Leicester.

Attack after attack, they stand off and allow themselves to be played through. I pointed it out to my non-Arsenal supporting friend, and he was hypnotized by it.

Do I hate the pointless passing out the back? Yes. Do I hate the terrible substitutions and appalling inconsistency in game approach? Yes. Do I hate his atrocious approach to man management alienating our best players and leaving Xhaka out to dry (like a coward)? Yes.

But worst of all, Emery fails to make Arsenal competitive on any part of the pitch with any consistency. Second to the ball, time after time after time.

He makes the team significantly worse than the sum of their parts.

Is he clueless? Or is he incompetent? Who cares. Bin him, and bin him now.
Tom (utterly livid with the defending for when Ndidi hit the bar, utter travesty, and didn’t even lead to a goal) Walthamstow


Role reversal
I remember, even towards the end of Wenger’s time, when a mid-table club came to the emirates. They’d put all ten men in their own half, soak up long periods of pressure, and then try to hit us on the counter. We’d press and try and pass our way around the penalty box with swift one touch moves till around the 70th minute, and if it was still 0-0, Wenger would throw on a sub who’d inject pace and play direct passes into the box. Within 10 minutes, we’d be one or two goals up and then the tiki-taka passes would start and the fans would start with their “oles”.

It feels so weird being that mid-table club now, watching arsenal play 70 mins with ten men behind half line, and then going 2-0 down and hearing the Leicester fans and their oles. The worse part is that emery had no plan. The five man defence looked so lost throughout the game. There seemed to be no real coordination, and the two forwards played the majority of the game hugging the by-lines, playing hopeful crosses into the box for torreira or ozil to collect.

I wasn’t one of the emery out brigade up until this moment. Even watching the players so directionless, uninspired, and haphazard in defence isn’t new to me. What stands out most is that despite not having a shot on target for 68 mins, and the first attempted direct pass to a striker coming in the 62nd min, emery had no plan b, no clue what to change, and stood there as bemused as the appreciably vociferous away supporters. The first sub came after we were 2 goals down. The revert to a more familiar back four, with two attackers came after we were 2 goals down. The tactics didn’t change at half time, the players didn’t look any livelier after returning to the pitch, and all in all, it was a flat boring (barring the ten minutes of end to end football) match from an arsenal supporter’s point of view.

I never thought I’d say this, but I think we need Mourinho to come in. Not for the trophies, not for the medals, not for the champions league football, but just to put fear into the players again. To rile them up when they’re playing below expected standards, and to teach the defence how to organise and handle pressure. I won’t be too happy to watch him run down the touch line when we sneak a 1-0 against one of the top 4, but I’ll be glad he brought the confidence to win again into this side that looks so bored and uninventive now.
Bamboo (Can’t belive I’m stressed about the bet I made with a friend on arsenal finishing above united this season) 


Chelsea for the title?
Any derby is difficult, especially it seems in recent years for Chelsea, however we took on a very decent Crystal Palace side who have surprised many this year and won 2-0, kept a clean sheet and played very well.

Very impressed with Frank Lampard’s tactics too, by choosing to play Reece James on the right against Zaha instead of the slower Azpilicueta, James put in a top performance and reduced the threat Zaha brings to Palace.

9 points clear of fifth, it makes me ask myself are Chelsea in the title race? One can dream.
Mikey, CFC (Leicester are looking the real deal also, maybe a new top four is forming)


Time’s up for Pochettino
I saw a question raised in an article elsewhere, asking whether Spurs have reverted back to some sort of mean/average this season. In my opinion, we have sunk even further than that. Immediately before our rise to being a top 4 side, we were challenging for top 4, usually falling short and ending up in the Europa.

Pochettino is the reason we went up a level to a top 4 club, he’s also primarily the reason we now look like we”ll struggle for a top 6 finish. With every respect to a well drilled and highly effective Sheffield United, the fact we scraped a lucky point against them (joining – eg – Newcastle (defeat) and Watford (another lucky draw) at home), sums up where we are. I get the argument of the anti-Levy bridgade, I really do. The truth is, however, that Poch has had a squad of internationals at his disposal, and won nothing. He has that same squad and had added to it with a big spend this summer including our club record signing (facts which easily get glossed over). Sessgnon is one for the future but N’dombele and Lo Celso look like a continuation of Poch’ extremely chequered transfer record, which was also the case at Southampton.

The players absolutely cannot be absolved of blame. We have several players showing their true colours including the utter flake that is Eriksen (which this site weirdly raves about despite him never turning up on a big occasion – ever). However, many of the under-performing players are Poch players, which speaks volumes.

I, like many, are truly thankful for Poch turning us into a top 4 club but it looks like that is well and truly over for a minimum of this season. We “nearly” did this, we “nearly” did that. Bully for you.

A new manager on a short term deal until the end of the season, with a guaranteed extension if we win the FA Cup, is in order. What for Poch? I’d genuinely wish him all the best, but think he’d get eaten alive in Madrid (Spurs fans are used to being without trophies!). I personally think United would be the most effective move as Poch could replicate his ability (which should not be doubted) of raising a club up, in United’s case, making them a top 4 side again (probably leaving us in their wake). I fear, however, that is the limit.


Don’t be d*cks
It’s the evening before I make my common pilgrimage from London to Liverpool and as ever there are the usual pre-match thoughts floating around my head… What midfield will we start, how many pints is enough to not feel the cold while being able to make through the first half without wetting myself, will my wife give me the obligatory three day silent treatment for abandoning her with the kid all day… but there is a new one… will I leave Anfield to the shame of another attack on the City bus.

It’s already well advertised by supporter groups on the social media that the bus will be getting a greeting. I saw the All or Nothing doc on Amazon… that was not us at our finest. But again, the powers that be plan a crunch match for 4:30 giving everyone plenty of time to get well oiled before the game so the chances of enthusiasm turning to malice are increased.

I’m often one to take firm views on other team’s fanbases… certain italian clubs should be banned until the fans learn that planned assaults by Ultras (or whatever nonsense name they have) is not part of it, other teams should be banned until they can go a season without mass racist behaviour. I’d hate to have to get off my high horse because we gave Gavin from autoglass a highly lucrative job in the L4 postal area.

It’s Sean Cox’s first game back at Anfield and that should also not be marred by that sort of behaviour. (Not that I’m equating what happened to him with what happened to City).

Can’t wait for tomorrow and hoping we all do the club proud by firmly and colourfully welcoming City without overstepping the mark.


1 billion people globally living in shacks (i.e sub human living conditions) is a disgrace. People dying of preventable diseases is a disgrace. Someone being ruled offside because of a pixelated foot cannot be put into the same ‘disgrace’ bracket.

But good grief that was ridiculous. Sheffield United’s first goal was quite frankly a thing of beauty and they throughly deserved it, but them upstairs chalked it off. It’s the sort of decision that makes any sane man think ‘that’s all folks, this is not for me…’

We have thrown the baby out with the bath water. The ‘clear and obvious mistake’ has been replaced with a ‘let’s look for the absolute minutiae discrepancy’ to ensure that we validate the reason to even be in a job. It’s pathetic and if you are human then you hate it.

Someone with any gravitas needs to sort it out immediately. And given the global reach of the Premier League ‘product’ I’m sure they will – people hate more the idea of losing money than they do eradicating slums.
Barry, LFC


Clear and obvious
Hi Ed

There is such a clear and obvious answer to VAR for offside at least.

The on-field decision stands unless there is a clear and obvious error – meaning the on-field decision has to be wrong by some distance. Decide the tolerance – could be 50cms or 25cms –  and only if it is outside this range is the decision reversed.

The rationale being that the most egregious errors get corrected but the marginal offsides are decided on the field of play. This could drastically cut the number of contentious reviews, as most of the time the officials don’t get it wrong by that much.

It’s true decision could still be reversed by 1cm – someone was 26cms off rather than 25cms –  but the number of reviews would be greatly reduced.

Kind regards
Barry, New York


Worst VAR overturn of the year. I’m sure you’ll receive many of these emails so I’ll try to add some extra reading. I’ve sent a previous email that was published that talked about how many actions (NFL calls it a football move) before a goal can be reviewed to disallow a goal. A play that may or may not have actually been offside was judged despite 2 cross field balls then being played before the shot on goal. I could muster the energy to pass along such a ridiculous overturn in the same way I would pass a kidney stone had the offside been on the assisting cross.

And I forget the phrases used by the English FA, but I thought VAR was supposed to be for obvious errors and have as little impact on the flow of the game as possible? Leave it to the EPL to reinvent the wheel into a trapezoidal shape and screw up something that is already being used successfully in sports around the world, including the same sport on the same continent. One simple way to fix this for offside calls in particular is so painfully simple I don’t understand why we need to continue to suffer through these amateur uses of replay. The ref can rewind as many times as he likes up to a maximum of one full minute and offside calls must be watched in full time. We would still hear the same groaning we’ve always gotten in the mailbox but at least only clear and obvious errors would actually come into play.

I’m a supporter of replay but the EPL badly needs to catch up to the rest of the world. Use the round wheel.


VAR is stupid. Thanks


Goodbye, football
15 minutes in. Ndidi blocks Aubameyang’s goal-bound shot with his arm. Accidental, but under the new rules that’s a penalty. The ref missed it but that’s what VAR is for. So I assume we will get the penalty.

No penalty.

Utter bullsh*t. Against Palace we had a winner ruled out for no reason (something almost everyone in the football world agrees on) and now a clear penalty under the new rules not given.

Has VAR just been brought in to f*ck off Arsenal fans?

Whatever happens now in this match doesn’t matter because the officials have once again found a way to conspire against Arsenal. I’m no fan of Emery’s (quite the opposite) but surely he must be having an affair with Mike Riley’s wife to so much go against him.

I have been slowly going off football recently and VAR (and the lack of use of it when it should be being used) is doing a great job of finishing off that journey for me.

TV off.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC


Genuine question: did they?
And I bet that MOTD don’t even show it, which is pretty normal practice for any decision that has gone against Arsenal where as anything going our way get shown 20 times and gets commented on ad infinitum by those muppets, Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy.

Not that I watch that awful show any more.
Adonis Stevenson, AFC


Is there a football recession coming?
Long time reader and fan of F365 and this great mailbox – kudos to those at F365 towers.

I’ve recently been in the market for a new job and before preparing for interviews I would typically research the company annual reports to understand everything better – it’s fantastic the insight you see within these about how a business is operated. It got me thinking about PL club reporting and how more and more every couple of months or so the media publish articles around the state of finance in football with a variety of angles (often an Ozil/Sanchez isn’t in the team but earns £X per second). I can’t help but notice how public the financial side of the game is in the public eye yet how greater control / sustainable business practice are not being forced upon clubs (or at least doesn’t appear to be, happy to be corrected).

For the Norwich/Watford game on Friday, the build up involved interviews with the Norwich owners and Sporting Director which gave such a refreshing context to things – when quizzed about the club’s greatest achievements they said that getting out of debt and having a football club for the fans that competes in the top 26 teams in the football pyramid for years to come was better than chasing glory and putting the club at risk. The Sporting Director openly talked about going down and it being in line with expectations / okay (which maybe isn’t what you want to hear as a fan) but pointed to the numbers and said our wages reflect what we can afford and moving out of that range would be irresponsible.

This inspired me to have a poke around PL numbers to see how others are doing it and I was very surprised at some things I seen. It is a very worrying side of the game which totally changes the lens of how you view each clubs on field performance/achievements and understand the pressure each season of under/over performance brings. Some clubs appear to be really rolling the dice paying outside their limits (maybe temporarily) to finish higher and higher which looks like it could blow up in their face should it not come off but as Sarah Winterburn highlighted ( https://www.football365.com/news/manchester-united-wages-and-a-confected-fury ) it’s commercial deals and TV deals driving the larger proportions of club revenues which enables big wages so you cut your cloth accordingly (i.e. United are a big brand with big deals so can pay large salaries) and generally as you get better and improve you can grow your wage structures accordingly or vice versa.

The wage to turnover ratios are so important to operate within and 60% is the guide given for PL teams but the big thing I wonder now is what’s going to happen with all the news of TV deals and commercial deals dipping in values in the coming years – PL TV deal for 2019-2022 is reported to be £4.4bn, down from £5.1bn previously or Chevrolet + Manchester United reportedly not seeing the same value of £410m sponsorship after years of transition. Will the clubs who are practicing stringently now have an advantage when these reduced revenues kick in? Why is 60% a guide and not enforced?

Allow me to divulge, below are some selected PL club accounts published at Companies house for 2017-2018 which are rounded to keep it simple…

Club | Revenue | Wages | Profit
ARS | £403m (5th) | £240m (5th/60%) | £70m
CHE | £448m (4th) | £246m (4th/55%) | £30m
LEI | £159m (10th) | £119m (9th/75%) | £2m
LIV | £455m (3rd) | £264m (2nd/58%) | £125m
MNC | £500m (2nd) | £260m (3rd/52%) | £10m
UTD | £590m (1st) | £296m (1st/50%) | £26m
TOT | £381m (6th) | £148m (6th/39%) | £139m
EVE | £189m (7th) | £145m (7th/77%) | -£13m
WHM | £175m (8th) | £107m (11th/61%) | £18m
BUR | £139m (13th) | £82m (18th/59%) | £45m
CRY | £150m (12th) | £117m (8th/78%) | -£36m

The standout ones that caught my eye though are the contrasting extremes of Everton/Palace with Spurs/Burnley. Can Everton really afford to underperform as they are (13th at the time of writing) and maintain a ratio like this – they’re paying the 7th highest wages in the league yet make half the turnover of Spurs who pay 6th highest, surely this is untenable and will have consequences? Palace and Burnley are 12th and 13th respectively in terms of revenue (£11m difference) yet Palace pay £35m more in salaries (makes Sean Dyce achievements even more admirable!)? Or take the United Chevrolet example; In 2014 £410m was the value of a 7 year shirt sponsorship but has 5 years of transition and not challenging for title impacted the value perception which is why younger player acquisition is happening? Either way the football economy (revenues) look like they are going to take a pinch with reduced TV and sponsorship values so wages should naturally be impacted presenting risk for some clubs – like every recession those who didn’t have a buffer often feel the hit harder.

I’m by no means an expert or finance guru but keen to know how experts/fans of those clubs feel about this and mailbox views as the league would certainly be a lesser place without competitive stalwarts like Everton/Palace.
SP | London (PL Fan, thankfully no longer in the job market!)

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