Are Arsenal any better now than under Wenger?

It is interesting that Unai Emery has W2 and L2 in his first four League games, because last season Arsene’s Wenger’s Arsenal side was exactly the same at this point; W2 L2. The goal difference under Emery this year is 8-8, while last season it was 7-8, so not much difference there either.

So it will be very interesting to see how the next six games pan out for Emery (which are all winnable) as Wenger only lost one of his following six matches last season. So are we yet seeing anyting different from when Le Prof was in charge? Paul Merson certainly doesn’t think so. “I would say no different at the moment,” Merson said.

“I’ve watched Arsenal and if you didn’t know, you would still think Arsene Wenger was the manager.

“I watch Arsenal play and it’s like watching a testimonial or a charity match.

“The game’s open, no one’s really tackling anybody, it’s like ‘you have a shot, we have a shot’.

“I thought the week before they did well to beat West Ham because I thought when it was 1-1 West Ham were going to be the team that nicked the game.

“So they’ve done well to win that game but there’s got to be a lot of improvement.

“But it will take time, it will take time. Managers don’t just come in and change it like that.

“This has been embedded in these players for a long time, they’ve been at the club a long time some of these players.”

I know pundits have to make some sort of comment as it is there livelihood, but it is probably a little unfair to judge a new coach after just four games, especially with new players and a new system, but there is one thing we can safely say in Emery’s defence. We are not any worse than we were under Wenger!

Darren N


  1. qoni says:

    time will tell – four matches are so few to make comparisons. one is certain, that nine or eight of the players playing are the same of those under wenger. so it seems that emery has the same habits of those of wenger. he bought new players to let stay as substitutes. gooner = for ever

    1. gotanidea says:

      Emery has to gradually integrate the new players, to avoid the rift that could happen between Wenger’s favorites and the newcomers

      The old players that are not good enough to follow Emery’s system would slowly be excluded, starting by being substituted earlier

      1. ozziegunner says:


    2. Neil says:

      Interesting read ! We have spent last then Tottenham and way less than Chelsea man Utd/ City and Liverpool. Any wonder we can’t win the league!

  2. Nayr says:

    Pundits will say anything to stay relevant.

    i have watched all our games and we are definitely better off,way better.

    i like the forwad passing,the shots,overlapping fullbacks,adjusting our tactics to the opponent.

    my only worry is our defending.

    we really need a big commanding pacy centreback like HARRY MAGUIRE OR KALIDOU KOULIBALY.

    Commanding presence at the back.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Agree. The only benefit of having Wenger over Emery is Wenger’s vast experience in Premier League

      I also like the frequency of the forward passes and the substitution of the underperforming stars

      The divas seemed to hate it, but they have to prove they can keep up with Emery’s system

      1. Phil says:

        Considering the first two games were Citeh and Chelski that is an encouraging stat to read.Have you got the statistics for shots on goal against us?That would be interesting to read and will no doubt highlight the problem which as we all know is the defence.

  3. Not at all. We still have the same pain watching arsenal game. Our defence still the same Sh$$$$%t

  4. Uchman says:

    Another stupid and idiotic post, during everything To tarnish the image of our greatest legend, soooo ridiculous and insensitive!! Wenger Gave us amazing 22 years, trophies, wealth, fame, beautiful stadium, beautiful training centre, wonderful brand of football, our fan base trippled under him, let emry achieve @ least half of what wenger achieved then we will start comparing,

    1. Phil says:

      As usual you have taken the post completely out of context.Nobody is having a pop at Wenger(although myself and a few others would happily do that if you want an argument).Just try to resist having to defend someone who is long gone.Emery inherited Wengers squad and the comparison the post is trying to make is glass half full not glass half empty

      1. ozziegunner says:


    2. Sarmmie says:

      Believe me, if the players can adapt to Emery’s style, he’ll win more than what wenger won in 22 years, he could even start this season with an European trophy that Wenger never delivered
      Wenger’s best years were his early years at arsenal
      The last 10 years have been nonsense, arrant nonsense, and don’t let the fa cups deceive you, a big team deserves more than that

      1. ken1945 says:

        Sammie, the other big teams you are talking about are?

        CL 8 out of the ten years of “nonsense”
        Top 4 8 out of the ten years of “nonsense”
        3 FA cups out of the ten years of “nonsense”

        Just ask Liverpool and spud supporters if they would class that as “nonsense” as they are currently two of the big teams you so proudly preclaim we are.

        If emery can win just the same amount of trophies, finish in the top 4 twenty years on the spin and thereby qualify for the CL the same amount of times then he might be considered Wenger’s equal. Let’s wait and see if he can do all that, win three doubles AND PRODUCE A TEAM OF INVINCIBLES over a twenty year period.
        Meanwhile, just don’t toss the history of the club away like a petulant schoolboy, show some class and respect the greatest manager this club has ever had.

        How some of the other top teams supporters wish they could boast of a record like that.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          It’s going to be very difficult with Kroenke having full ownership, no scrutiny on where the income goes and his US sporting franchise history of non investment.

  5. Nayr says:

    gotanidea as usual a very good and intelligent response from you mate.

    also check out this stat i saw today

    ? | The Most Shots On Target This Season So Far: ? Man City (36) ? Arsenal (30) ? Fulham (26) ? Liverpool (26)

  6. Grimlar says:

    Wenger was a very good manager at the start of his time at Arsenal, not so good at the end.

    The reason Wenger needed to go was that he was stuck in a rut, unable or unwilling to see and fix the problems the team had.

    In that respect I would have to say, so far Im satisfied with what Ive seen from Arsenal under Emery. Yes, its too early to say for sure, and there may well be no significant improvement in results as yet, but the potential for improvement is there.

    As for Cech, personally, I would tell him to stop messing around, pick the ball up and throw it to the nearest defender, keeps possession the same as passing it out and much less stress for both Cech and the defense.

    As for Leno and Torreira, Im sure Torreira will get a start soon, (probably with Xhaka,) and Leno Im sure will be playing in the cup games to start with, then more league games as the season goes on.

    1. summerbreez says:

      I think Arsenal had some good results with wenger with some majestic attacks So far we have some good goals but we use to attack more often with wenger except we had dry periods where our strikers were not scoring we used to dwell with the ball in the midfield now we dwell with it at the back
      with some good goals
      The mood and unity of our players will result in the new surprise of the premier league the players are gelling well results show a continuous improvement this should continue with emery
      We need to defend better and attack more

  7. Declan says:

    I agree with Mers, but if anything the defence is even more suspect, at present that is. There is a long way to go and it will take time for things to improve. Regarding the shots on target stats, I read recently we have the highest number of shots on target against us than any other team so what does that say? I think the next 6 games are vital.

    1. Phil says:

      And that is backed up by Cech playing so well (although not with the ball at his feet).

  8. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    I think it’s too early in the season to judge if Emery’s Arsenal is better than that of Wenger’s own. What is important now is for the Gunners to keep winning in the PL after they’ve beaten West Ham and Cardiff to recover from their slow start to the season. True, if their next 6 matches in the PL are winnable ones being that it will not include a big game, Arsenal should try by every possible means to win them all not dropping points, which if they do could see them drastically improved on their League position in the table to give them encouragement not to soft pedal in their PL campaign but keep paning on to top the table before the turn of the year.

  9. ken1945 says:

    Why does it matter?
    Wenger’s gone and Emery’s here.

    1. Durand says:

      Short and sweet, well said Ken. Wenger is gone, I appreciate what he did for the club, let us appreciate what Emery is trying to do. This constant compare and contrast between the two serves no one, only further divides a healing fanbase.

      We disagree at times, however I appreciate the experience that you, Phil, Jon, and some others have to share. You and the others help bring context to managerial changes that many of us (myself included) have not been through.

      Wenger’s success his first decade has bred a degree of impatience in me. As the league changes, our manager changes, so also our expectations must change.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Durand, it is only four games under Emery and it has got to take him at least two seasons to bring his style and vision to our playing style.
        All these people who try and compare everything with Wenger, even the decision to ban a certain drink after training, are wasting their time.
        It’s a new era and I want to see Emery take our club forward, not keep comparing and living in the past.
        One thing I have to compare though, is that both men seem like perfect gentlemen and when I watch Maureen I am so proud to support a club of our standing and history.

        1. Durand says:

          Nothing to argue about with your post Ken. I would only add from my individual preference that I would have liked Emery to stay on sidelines and shake hand of the victorious manager. Maybe Emery did in tunnel or locker room.

          I mention this only because many pundits and media seize on anything disparaging, and make a meal of it.

          Also as Wenger used to say, judge him in May. A season with professional players managed by a professional should show results. If nothing else than an understanding of his new system and the ability to show that on the pitch consistently.

          That’s a reasonable expectation I feel, and I would hope all would give them the time to prove this.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Durand, absolutely correct on the judgement issue and I just fail to see why we, as supporters of AFC aren’t excited by the new era.
            I am so looking forward to watching Emery sorting out players, style of play, handling inevitable problems, it’s really like having a new club, with all the old traditions and history to dwell and reminisce on.
            Of course we as fans query some of his decisions, but that doesn’t mean we don’t support him.
            My old sparring partner Jon Fox would always bang on about realism and that is what we should have with Emery. sadly some on here don’t seem to want to “suck it and see”.

            I must have missed the situation regarding handshakes, what was that about?

          2. Durand says:

            The loss to city and Chelsea he immediately walked down tunnel, but shook hands after West Ham. Maybe he met Pep in tunnel or locker room, I don’t know. Same with Sarri i believe.

            I can only watch what tv shows here in States.

  10. inkfight! says:

    Not yet.

  11. Ian wrights bruva says:

    It is to early to make any sensible judgement but for the sake of comment Merson is correct. We still look fragile and the performances at the moment suggest we might finish in a postion to just about get us in a European spot.

    However it’s early days so emery may slowly stamp his mark on the team, to compare his few game in charge to wengers achievements are unreasonable as no other manager will achieve what Wenger did for our club.

    I hope the new man can get us some silverware and start to build his own team.

  12. Alldwayfromafrica says:

    We really need to stop allowing comments by pundits determine our discussion here…cause they say the most ridiculous things…there as obviously been some changes to the previous era…we are trying new things even though it has been a struggle..we clearly not where we want to be but you have to be ignorant to saying we haven’t improved at all…

  13. Andrew E says:

    Does anyone take Merson’s comments seriously??

  14. Sue says:

    He actually said our football is like a charity match or a testimonial!! Ouch!! ?

  15. Grandad says:

    Apart from Socratis Emery is using the same defenders who failed us last season namely Bellerin,Mustafi, Czech and to a lesser extent , Monreal.Rightly or wrongly be is giving them and Xhaka the opportunity to improve on last year’s mediocre performances.To date I have not seen any improvement as evidenced by our failure to keep clean sheets against teams which will in all probability be fighting relegation namely Cardiff and West Ham.If we fail to beat Newcastle I suspect he will make changes in defence and hopefully he will play Torreria from the start.Emery seems to me a level headed guy and I am confident he will go on to do well at Arsenal.

  16. ozziegunner says:

    In defense of Paul Merson, it is hard to disagree with anything he says. I did not read into his comments any underlying criticism of Arsene Wenger, except that Unai Emery has inherited much of the team. To compare results between the first four games of last season and the first four of the current season requires also noting the quality of the teams faced in thosr games and whether home or away.
    Any new manager who comes into a new organization whether football or any other business, no matter what his knowledge base, experience or preparation, cannot start making massive changes from the start. gotanidea is spot on regarding Emery’s need to integrate the new players into the squad, by having the players accept that the new players are performing better under Emery’s system and they need to lift their games. Emery appears to have the squad on the whole, behind him and team spirit appears good.
    The differences I have noticed is the intensity of the training sessions; the early substitutions in games to replace underperforming players or for a change in strategy and the fight shown in the team when one or two goals down.
    The main area of concern, as raised by Merson, is the defense and it is to be expected that there will be some teething problems in adopting the pressing style. In my view once Totreira and Lichtsteiner start and the other players adapt, there will be marked improvement.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs