19 Jun 2019 10:22:06
Jeff Reine-Adelaide could have done a job for us this season.

Whether he would have become good enough to be a starter in the long term or not the jury is still out, but he offers a lot more than Denis Suarez..

Shame, I always like seeing youth be given a chance, but (other than Guendouzi) Emery doesn't seem to trust many of our young players. Everything crossed Freddie changes that.

1.) 19 Jun 2019
19 Jun 2019 13:18:08
I don't know how fair that is on Emery or not, but there's a number of young players looking nearer the first team than in ages. Holding would have been starting lots of games if not for his injury, Iwobi pushed on this season. Willock, Nketiah, Smith-Rowe all got pretty good game time. Maitland-Niles was trusted over Lichsteiner/ Mustafi for the majority of the season, although you can see there's not much choice there! AMN is a good example of what we should expect when playing youth though. Lots of promise in his good games, but his frankly shocking performance in the UEFA final is the flip side. I'm happy to accept it from a young player though, with the hope that they grow into a team and style that is well performing, but also allows room for some extra quality signings to fill the gaps.

2.) 19 Jun 2019
19 Jun 2019 14:08:37
All of those players were here before Emery arrived. Holding and Iwobi have been first team players for a few years, Maitland-Niles has been on the periphery a few years and broke through last year. And let's not forget between AMN's injury and form at the start of the season, Lichtsteiner was preferred as our alternative to Bellerin by Emery until his performances were SO shocking he had to be dropped. Willock and Nketiah were clearly not trusted - when we looked dead on our feet in the run in they didn't play. Smith Rowe, like Nelson, was farmed out on loan.

FWIW I don't think this is particularly controversial, Emery wasn't know for bringing youth players through at his other clubs, and he clearly doesn't trust our youth players - pushing for the signing of a crocked, unfit and average Suarez in Jan for more money than we let Reine-Adelaide move on for shows that. Freddie's new role suggests the club have this in mind.

(The exception is Guendouzi, but I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't been promised a certain amount of game time to sign with us in the first place)

3.) 20 Jun 2019
20 Jun 2019 10:43:23
Having 14 experienced players and 14 to 16 inexpensived players in the squad might be a good balance that with injuries suspensions etc will naturally create opportunity.
There seems little point in having Miki Elneny Litch on the bench on very good money that has no return on investment potential when you could have players who ballance the wage problem we have plus MIGHT one day return you a profit.
If Emery had gone down this route last season he'd and we would be in a much betrer position than we are currently because Emery now has all this doubt about his own abilty to organise motivate his team especially defensively.
Last season Emery had a clean slate this season he's going into the season with all eyes on his ability or inability to set a team up that isn't constantly exposed defensively every fan pundit and commentator will be looking to highlight any improvement and of course put the spotlight clearly where there isn't any improvement.
If somehow Emery can sort out the defensive side of his team and have lots of promising young players in his squad then he could yet win round the doubters, the huge questions are being asked of Emery now and he simply has to answer them in the first half of the season ahead.

4.) 20 Jun 2019
20 Jun 2019 11:56:29
I suppose a lot of it comes down to whether we look at Emery as a solution, the man to take us forward, the man to build a team in his image; or we look at him as a short term measure to steady the ship and get us back into the Champions League while the infrastructure of the club is built/ improved to bring the club into the modern era.

It would be great if he has a huge improvement over the summer, but my gut feeling is the latter, and to be fair to him, we were only one result away from Champions League football*. Either way, it should be an exciting summer.

*To be less fair his decisions arguably cost us the result we needed to be top-4.

5.) 20 Jun 2019
20 Jun 2019 15:07:51
I'd rather we waited for our champions league return until we can make an impression beyond simply getting out of the group stages.
8 last 16 exits on the trot did nothing for our reputation in world football and when we get back I'd like it to be different next time round.