Martin Keown believes he knows why the fans have turned against Emery

Martin Keown explains why Arsenal fans turned against Unai Emery this season.

Unai Emery’s preference to play Granit Xhaka over Lucas Torreira is the reason most Arsenal fans turned against their manager this season, according to Martin Keown.

Torreira joined the Gunners from Sampdoria last season and has quickly turned into a fans’ favorite.

His performances helped the club reach the final of the Europa League as well as finishing inside the Premier League’s top five.

However, Emery started this season with Xhaka as his choice over the Uruguayan and Keown believes that was when things began to go wrong for the former Sevilla boss.

Xhaka has fallen out with the fans and he has been stripped of the club’s captaincy this season. While Torreira has now played the last two league games for the club.

Torreira has not played enough

“Torreira has not been playing full stop. I’d like to see him in the Arsenal midfield,” he told the Metro. “Whether you play him as a deep-lying midfielder or you play him wide or with someone else sitting deeper or two either side…it doesn’t matter as long as he is in the team.

“He hasn’t played enough for me. I would have thought it would have been very obvious that he has to play. He’s tenacious. The Chelsea game at home, the Liverpool game at home last season, he was playing in that team and Arsenal looked better for it.

“This is why I think the fans went against Emery because Xhaka played no matter what when Torreira had to sit on the bench.

“Ceballos plays one game for Arsenal [against Burnley] and was absolutely brilliant but he’s back on the bench. Maybe it’s Xhaka he needs to take out.”

The thing is this, Arsenal has not won while Xhaka has been out of the team either. It is far more than what Keown claims in my own humble opinion.

The team selections time and again have been very suspect going back to the end of last season. The formations have simply been bewildering confusing both the fans and players.

Some will argue that ostracising Mesut Ozil has not helped. Then there was allowing Aaron Ramsey to leave on a free transfer.

And it is not just been down to the manager either, the players have made monumental errors and been found wanting at crucial moments from Aubameyang right through the team to Leno.

Let’s not forget the board’s role in all this as well. Blaming Emery for everything and trying to pinpoint one thing is a flawed reflection of the reality of the situation.


  1. Innit says:

    I agree. Xhaka (other than great passing) like Mustafi and Ozil is pretty useless on the pitch

    Torreira and Guendouzi are my favourite Emery signings
    Wenger never would have signed a quality DM. He didn’t believe in DM

    BUT Emery has hardly used Torreira and when he did he wouldn’t let him what he does best being a DM

    1. Phil says:

      Eh-I seem to recall Wenger buying
      Were these not DM’s and all bought by Wenger.
      I also recall Wenger wining every single trophy he won ( with the exception of Chelsea 2017 final) with a DM in the line-Up.

      1. Uchman says:

        U even forgot to mention flamini,sometimes I wonder If our fans has very short memory!

        1. jon fox says:

          Or maybe some fans wrongly consider Flamini who had one good season to be a good DM. He was not. Simple as that!

    2. jon fox says:

      Were you even aware of who played for Arsenal in Wengers first 12 years ? It seems not. Never heard of Viera, Petit, Gilberto? That is the trouble when mere kids write tosh- they have no actual personal experience of the years they include. Do your Arsenal history if you wish to be a clued up fan and learn properly about even, comparatively RECENT,history!

  2. Mogunna says:

    Not at all,he is just a total wrong casting, Wenger suit way too big as Arsenal for him!

  3. Mogunna says:

    He is a coach for borsmoth or Wolves who maybe too attacking for him lately.

  4. Mogunna says:

    Kroenke is our coach really, he got Ceballos and used Xhaka to not play Ozil and have him leave club on his own. Giving Xhaka captaincy was part of that Anti Ozil plan.

    After Kos, Ozil should he captain, there before Xhaka of course as well! Extending his contract showed commitment, he could have made more money living free for Bayern or Barca then instead! Way more in endorsement with such exposure as champion!

    They paid this amount as it would have cost way more to let him go free, and bring a replacement. 120 minimum then. They saved, made money by giving them this 40M four year contract! Made that choice first to try tosack him!

    That what started mess, nothing else! Kroenke

  5. jon fox says:

    Yes Admin Martin, your namesake Martin has given us one important reason why we fans have turned against Emery but, as you CORRECTLY add, there are many other reasons too. I rack my brains and still fail to come up with ANYTHING AT ALL that has not got actually worse under Emery , even from the shambles Wenger left behind. Let me be kind and say at least the keeper is still decent, plus his deputy. And that says it all. NOTHING , SAVE THE KEEPERS, IS EVEN AS MEDIOCRE AS IT WAS PREVIOUSLY. It is worse, and that is quite an “achievement” for any clown to achieve. I had thought all the clowns at our club were in central defence, plus Xhaka. But I am clearly wrong. One is managing and he is the worst clown of them all. But our biggest clown will soon move away and we can then, only then, begin the long process of once again becoming an elite football club and STOP being a circus! Though we could do with some lions and ringmaster with a whip!

    1. jon fox says:

      I did not mean to imply that Leno is mediocre. Nor Martinez. Not at all. It was clumsily phrased!

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