Unai Emery: Big game, no excuses!


Did you like my headline? I was trying to be motivational. I say that sort of shit when I get paired with my GF in table football. Never helps, but you gotta sound the big man in front of the lads.


The Monday MEGA GAME is here!

The next level in sports entertainment.

Arsenal vs Watford.

A clash of the Titans.

A matchup of good vs evil.

Winner takes… well, nothing. But if we win, it’ll put us in mighty fine shape to finish the season in the top 3 of all places.


Liverpool put Chelsea at a disadvantage in the race, defeating them in a 2-0 victory. There were no Gerard like slips yesterday. Sarri is once again a massive fraud.

Now it’s over to Arsenal to crank up the pressure and keep pushing on in this very exciting race.

What adds even more importance to this game now is that Spurs play City this week in the Champions League then the league at the weekend. Both games are AWAY. We could genuinely bring top 3 into play again.

… or we could bottle it and make things really difficult for ourselves because we’re weak minded and feeble.

I have no idea how Emery is going to operate.

This evening, unless Mavrapanos has had some sort of Maldini like transformation in training, will likely see Mustafi in defence. A huge worry for everyone involved. There’s a great Getty image of Emery looking at the German the way we all look at the TV screen when he careens into an unnecessary slide tackle or throws out an elbow for no meaningful reason.

I don’t want to guess how he’s going to take on the starting 11. I think we need to be careful about how we line up, but I think I’d gamble on a strong starting 11 and then take players off once we’re ahead… vs start weak, go a goal down, then chase a game with our best players.

One thing worth noting is we had Napoli beaten early and took off Laca and Ozil on 67. I actually thought that was a more interesting point when I started writing it. I think I was hoping Ramsey had also come off, and closer to 55 minutes. Ignore that… but know we could do it against Watford if we have a strong first half.

Despite the worries, our record at Vicarage road isn’t that bad. We lost last season, but we’d won our previous 4 in a row before that. This is a good Watford team, no doubt, but if you want to fight for CL, you have to be able to beat a team that’s sitting in 10th. They’ve lost 3 of their last 6, dropping full points to United, City and Liverpool.

Sure, they can be impressive on their day, but I think things are going to have to go really well for them for that to happen tomorrow. Key for us is to not let their physicality get into our heads.

My one worry with them is they’ve had a full 7 days to prepare for us… not pesky midweek game to deal with. They’ll be packed full of energy, they’ll be revved up and they’ll have a game plan they’ll be confident of executing. We’ll have a bit of rust in our legs after the win on Thursday that we’ll have to shake off quickly if we’re to overcome them.

Momentum is hugely important now. Tensions are up, confidence should be on-point… all we need is a focused week of victories. We really need the best of Emery here. We need the best of our players. We need the best of luck.

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