How Unai Emery is being sold short by Arsenal

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 26 April 2019, 13:06

The World Snooker Championship is well underway but nobody needs a break more than Unai Emery.

Already his capabilities to manage Arsenal and drag the club back into the highest reaches of the Premier League are being seriously questioned.

An insipid away defeat at Wolves on Wednesday does not look good granted.

But anyone who expected the Gunners to come roaring back after the declining twilight years of Arsene Wenger’s crumbling empire knows as much about football as Emery does about potting balls on green baize.

Yep, Arsenal have been dreadful on the road this season - the least number of away wins out of the top six.

And it’s interesting that in his final season in La Liga with Seville, Emery failed to win a single match away from home. So this is an improvement!

But given what Emery walked into last summer it is remarkable that Arsenal are challenging for the top four of the Premier League at all.

He inherited an unbalanced squad with a huge wage bill and there is little prospect of the required large scale improvements happening any time soon.

The money men at the Emirates are selling him short with budget restrictions. And all the while his only saleable asset, Aaron Ramsey, is walking away in the summer for free.

Mezut Ozil has become a millstone around his neck. Costing £350K a week and under contract for another two years unless some mad fool takes him off Emery’s hands.

There are players draining that club while the valuables are being given away. Any Chancellor of the Exchequer putting this forward as a budget would be laughed out of Parliament.

It’s going to take Emery a long time to unravel the mess behind the scenes at Arsenal. He needs to buy a centre half and a left back in the summer but where the money comes from God only knows.

Following on from Arsene Wenger was never going to be an easy job. Once the most prudent of all clubs, Arsenal now don’t spend big but they haven’t spent well either.

Midfielder Lucas Torreira offers hope for the future but he has run out of gas halfway through his debut season in the physically monstrous Premier League. That is understandable.

Arsenal have an eye on Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser and he would be a quality signing to add drive to a midfield that often gets overrun.

Emery gets stick for poor results because firstly his command of English is not so great that he can get his message across.

He is also making the mistake of trying to shoulder the blame for bad games upon himself. He’ll learn.

Jose Mourinho was always quick to throw certain players under the bus in public and ultimately it destroys the relations between manager and dressing room.

But it does leave a stain over some players who many feel don’t put in a shift. Ozil is one of those. Paul Pogba is still feeling the heat after the departure of Mourinho from Manchester United.

Emery is new at this game over here on and off the field. His tinkering with the formation and selection has annoyed fans. He doesn’t appear to know his best X1.

People are still trying to work out his philosophy, whether it’s for a pressing game or counter attacking. Those are things a coach should arrive armed with at a club like Arsenal - but there is some mitigation as Emery didn’t realise his personnel would be quite so flaky.

Arsenal are one point behind Chelsea in the battle for fourth place. They are nine points better off now than they were at this stage of last season as Wenger’s reign was in its death throes.

They are in the semi finals of the Europa League so a trophy is still possible.

It takes time to revive a giant like Arsenal. Emery is probably ahead of schedule but needs the support of those above him to make one of the biggest clubs in the world one of the greatest again.

And not everyone can go about their business like Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan.

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