ARSENAL (H); THE PREVIEW

29/11/19

As Arsenal limp their way into a newly rejuvenated Carrow Road, Andrew Lawn chats to Joe White, co-chair of Arsenal Gaygooners, about what he thinks has gone wrong in N7

Andy - Unai in, Unai out or Unai shake it all about?

Joe - I’m usually not one for rushed decisions but the performances for me are what is most troubling. We look woeful. The tactics look confused. It’s time to say goodbye.

Appointing Poch in his place would be a laugh.

What's happened? From the outside it looks like nothing has happened for about 6 years and that's the problem? Drifty.

Poch would be humorous and a potential Sol Campbell as Number 2. But I’d much prefer Max Allegri.

I think the issue has been from the top. We’ve stagnated for a fair while - and that seems to coincide with the Kroenke’s. I want to see people with passion for the club, who bleed the club.

It just all feels stale at present and above all we need to keep our top players. Losing Ramsey was ridiculous and Koscielny too.

With that in mind, would a new manager be the solution? Unai came very highly rated after all? Are dissenting voices also owned at Sir Chips and his gang, or is it all focused on the dugout?

I think the issue is no one knows where exactly to apportion blame or their anger. The anger at the tactics has to fall at Emery’s feet but the systemic issues are more at the Kroenke’s.

Sir Chips has little impact or influence on the footballing side of things where we’ve had huge changes - not just Wenger, but Gazidis too and the change of structure with Raul and Vinai.

I think for the fans, we need to start seeing performances and that needs managerial change and regaining control of the dressing room. Whether that is Freddie until the season (akin to Olé) or if it’s Allegri to shore up our defence or Poch to see if he can rebuild us like he turned spurs into a fighting force.

I think there’s a desire and taste for change that I haven’t seen since the EU referendum...

Say you got the call, what would be the first things you would do?

I’d hold a team meeting and a group bonding session. That dressing room needs repairing. Start from scratch and get them focused on being a team.

Oh and let them know that I expect them to give their best and to fight for their place. Class and integrity. Victory through harmony.

Nice. On to Sunday, how do you see the game panning out?

Well I joked with the infamous Di Cunningham that Norwich would dominate us in a 0-0.

However, given our defensive woes, I’d expect Norwich to score. It was nice to see Lacazette scoring again at the weekend and Auba’s pace could be crucial.

I’m going for a bitty goal fest with periods of arsenal brilliance coupled with lacklustre defending leading to Cantwell getting a goal and assist.

I can certainly see goals. What have you made of our return to the Premier League so far?

I think we’ve seen what many expected sadly - a struggle with some glimmers of wonder with Pukki’s starting form and the City game.

Where others spent heavily, you kept your trust in your team and I admire that but I’m not sure you have the depth (or finances to use in January) to stay up. I hope I’m wrong though but I think you came up a season or two too soon.

Looking forward, what would success look like for Arsenal this term? Lose Sunday and get a new manager in in time for a rebuild for next season, or struggle on and finish top 6 and head back into the Europa?

I’d rather not lose... I think a new manager sooner rather than later could make top 6 a reality and a chance of top 4 if others falter.

Europa is fun for the travel, but I want to be back in the elite. I can’t see that under Emery.

Well no, but bigger picture, if you lose on Sunday, that might be better long-term for us both? Come on, let's shake hands on 4-3 thriller, which we nick at the death.

I’m not sure my heart could deal with that but it is more likely than an Arsenal win at the moment...

I’ll be enjoying a drink with the Proud Canaries and my fellow Gaygooners post game regardless so as long as the drinks are flowing, I’m sure we’ll all be happy.

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