Emery happy with the progress Arsenal have made this season but is he right to be?

Anyone reading comments from Arsenal fans on social media or listening to the pundits on TV could not have missed all the criticism aimed at Unai Emery and some of his players, especially when we lost three games on the bounce recently.

But all the criticism has not deterred Emery from declaring his happiness at the progress the team has made in his first season in charge.

Specifically asked if he was happy with the team’s progress this season Emery said.

“Yes I am. Our progress I think – when we started the season we lost against Man City and Chelsea and we worked for this process, little by little and at the end of the season now we are with this possibility”

“I think when we started we would have been happy to have today these two opportunities in the Premier League and Europa League to reach our target”

I make him right to a certain extent, the problem is that we would have already qualified for the Champions League if we would have won those three winnable games against Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester City.

And it is from that standpoint that the criticism has grown. Emery is right when he states at the beginning of the season we would have been happy with where we are today but that was from a position of finishing sixth last season with just 63 points but once we went on our winning run and put ourselves into third position the ambitions of the fans changed and rightfully so.

So in conclusion, Emery is right and he is wrong, he is right based on expectations at the beginning of the season but wrong based on expectations when we were sitting third with Champions League qualification firmly in our own hands.


  1. Still gutted over the last EPL games, but he has been doing a good job in EL so far, considering the quality of the players he inherited

    1. Well said,at least someone who understands ,new manager,not his players,next year will see big changes,COYG!!

  2. winnable games against Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester City.

    Even city is a winnable game is there a game that is not winnable I doubt there is any in a game of sports..

    Bar palace those are a very difficult game

  3. Considering a reasonable squad that was inherited to Unai Emery I think he has did a fantastic job with Arsenal FC. Also not forgetting that we lost 3 important players Danny Welbeck , Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding all season Long due to injury.

    1. Bellerin and Holding are big losses and shiuld have tried to get someone in on loan
      Mustafi nowhere near good enogh and prob cost us 10 points which is 3rd place
      Ramsey getting injured also a blow as he was in a rich vein of form

  4. Well said Neil.Until we move on our low quality and aging defenders we are going nowhere as far as challenging for the League is concerned.In the first 15 minutes yesterday we could well have conceded three goals but fortunately our strike force pulled us through.Emery has done well in his first season as he inherited a very average, unbalanced squad and he has been hit by long term injuries to two of our better defenders.Our progress it has to be said has been limited and largely unconvincing due to the poor quality of the defenders in our first team squad.Despite his assertions I suspect a major clear out will take place this summer.

  5. In one view the new management of a far better squad in Chelsea and management change at United have played it’s part in keeping us close to them. Equally we have new management But our squad is not as good as either of our closest rivals for 4th. So knowing this we can expect them to develop for next season.

    I think one foot in the UEFA final and 1pt from top4 and more points then last year – we must consider as progress.

    But progress must not stop in thought. And it must be thought of at the end of the year that our squad needs signings…but more importantly some tough decisions and sales need to be made.

    And as must as the debate will continue, it’s pointless keep going on about certain players who must leave when we know the likes of Iwobi wont be sold. Maybe Mustafi, maybe Mhikt, Surely Jenkinson, Surely Eleny

    For now progress is being achieved…a season thus far a 6.5 out of 10 that could end as a 8 out of ten if we win the Cup or finish 4th or end as 9 out of ten if we get both targets.

    Progress will nonetheless need to continue in the summer

  6. There can be no rational doubt that a BIG clear out is going to happen and rightly too , this summer. Until loads of poor and unproductive players on FAR too much money are moved out , no permanent real improvement is possible . The club know that very well , despite the previous regime and Kroenke having tied their hands. BUT BIT BY BIT, THIS FINE MANAGER, STUPIDLY CRITICISED BY SOME NON TOO BRIGHT FOLK ON HERE, is loosening those chains that have tied us down and, slowly , we will make progress. Apart from Kroenke, PROPER PROFESSIONALS are NOW running our club!

    1. Totally agree with you elder Jon Fox. I always look forward to your comments even though yor bash me many times. I honestly think Emery has Improved us greatly. Under the old regime meeting Chelsea would have been a walk over cos there was never the needed spine in the club to face any big teams, but we believe we could beat Chelsea in the final if we meet them and that is a great psychological boost. well done sir

      1. I seen to recall giving Chelsea a right going over in the 2017 FA Cup Final AND last seasons Carabao Cup Semi Final.They have been in decline for a couple of seasons now.We just beat them to it

    2. Jon, don’t be too optimistic on the clear out. We don’t have many players that will be wanted by clubs with sufficient funds. In fact, I doubt we have 1 single player to sell that is wanted by any of Europe’s top clubs.

      Ozil’s – salary makes him hard to sell and he wants to stay.
      Mikhi – is at the end of his career and failed in his last two stints.
      Mustafi – will likely not even fetch what we paid for him during a time when the marked was a lot lower.
      Xhaka – is to0 one dimensional to attract big money
      Monreal – has been offered a new contract
      Iwobi – is deeply flawed in the box when it comes to finishing and his peer group
      Elneney – will struggle to fetch more than 15million

      1. We’d get money for Lacazette, Aubameyang, Xhaka, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Holding, Torriera, Guendouzi, and Ramsey would’ve fetched a good fee. Ozil we’d get money for but why would he leave at his age to accept less elsewhere. We’d get very good money on most of those players. Wouldn’t get the Auba fee back unless a giant club like PSG decides to throw money at the problem. Lacazette would fetch the most I would say because he’s at a terrific age for a footballer. Iwobi we could sell and there’s teams that would take him, of course there is, sure there is 14 to 17 clubs behind us at any given stage, the price not be Liv sort of incomes. Then there is the young guns, some of them could fetch a pretty penny, might come back to royally bite us in the butt, but some of them would be almost worth the fee of some first teamers. Why? would you say not many would be wanted and no top clubs would want any one of our players, right after the lads got one step closer to the final, come on guy, bad form TAC.

        1. No point in selling Laca he is perfect for us and the for the way the manager plays.

          Not sure I agree with you that we should sell Holding or Bellerin or Torrierra or Geundouzie. They are all young and could develop into solid squad players. Of course Holding and Bellerin are iffy because of the ligament damage which is hard to recover from 100%.

          If we play Auba and Laca together no point in selling Auba. I don’t know what your definition of good money is but I really don’t think we will get more for Xhaka than we paid. Ramsey is not sellable so that’s a moot point.

          So I really think that of the players we should sell we will struggle to generate interest at reasonable prices. We should be making a profit on them.

  7. A B minus as far as I’m concerned … If we get to Europa final then it will be a small step forward if ww win it a bigger step … Neither and it’s no improvement …more importantly same weaknesses of character and competence remain and Emery has not provided a vision for the team … I think he is a better man manager than wenger but not a stylist … Personally if we don’t win Europa I wouldn’t be unhappy if he departed … He is a yday man if truth be told need someone younger and hungrier

    1. Can’t say I disagree. He failed to fix our awful defending and if you look at our goals allowed and goals scored they are not massively different than last season. So no improvement in that department. We all thought improving our defending was a matter of coaching something Wenger didn’t do but Emery certainly didn’t improve our defense.

      I was optimistic when Emery started, encouraged after 15-20 games but having witnessed the lack of improvement since I am disappointed.

  8. Maybe a more sensible question should be…has Unai Emery progressed from the beginning of the season?

    He still doesn’t seem to know his tactics for away games, what players to choose, how to handle players who consistently make mistakes, have favourite players who are always picked, sign a player on loan and never start him, lose to teams who we should have beaten easily, not yet qualified for the CL from positions that needed only the correct tactics and team selection to ensure this happened, lose at home in bothe domestic cup competitions, give new, improved contracts to five of the so called “inherited dross players”, oversee and therefore responsible for the long term injuries to three further”dross players”, responsible for the near empty stadium as fans protest against the sideways, backwards and defensive football, the measly transfer budget that he has been given, but not spent on world class players that The Arsenal have a right to expect and, finally, being employed by kronkie and trying to be a success in order to keep the boss happy.

    Apart from these attributes that our fanbase has always been intolerant about, let’s wait and see if we have secured CL qualification…even though that’s not good enough for our fanbase (well some of them anyway) as it’s not a trophy and only the Premier League and/or the CL trophy really count anyway.

    Of course, if he doesn’t do the above, we can blame everyone else from the previous decade…you know it makes sense.
    In UE we trust(ed).

    1. Ken1945, the article didn’t say Emery has perfected our team, it only said Emery is happy with the progress we have made so far. And truth be old your criticism on our manager is a bit naive considering the resources he has at his disposal. Do you expect him to rebel against Kronke for not releasing funds?

      And some of u calling for his sack and to recruit Arteta as our manager, can you mention a team Arteta has ever managed or a trophy he has lifted as a head coach…

      Let’s all be patient till the end of the season before we start marking the scores for or against Emery and his team.

      Yes I say in Emery I still trust.

    2. All trophies matter, for fans to state that the CL and PL is the only thing that matters is naïve and reeks of glory hunters, football is an all round game for people to enjoy and if it was trophy based we would only have a handful of teams in the PL, I have been going to Arsenal since 1973 and have witnessed the highs and lows and trust me there has been some lows, but also some great highs that;s football

    3. @Ken
      The way you see it is funny Ken. You’re obviously not happy with the treatment Wenger received for the targets he was reaching or failing to reach, so you don’t like that the targets are similar right now but the treatment is different. It’s funny because that can be turned around and put straight back at you too. You were happy to stick by Wenger, back him when we spent f all, get behind him because we want CL ball, etc etc. It’s just funny how stubborn you are about it, if the coaches were switched right now and the season panned out exactly as it has, it’s funny how some would switch sides of the argument. 20 seasons is why many said enough, time for something different, and Wenger did put this team together, he had ample time but not always ample money. I can understand why they are holding off from saying what they said about Wenger and say it Emery also, and why they’re being less demanding at this early stage – But I don’t see the why with you guys, why you are more demanding now that it’s a different manager and he’s only starting out.

  9. Of course he is going to say he is happy with the progress.
    I bet you that “Jose The Moaning One” would still assure you right now that before the day he got sacked at United, his team had made progress and still progressing

    I think we have seen glimpses here and there of the style of football Emery wants.

    But I would say in most parts we have been stagnant. Next season is when I am going to start getting more tough on Emery with his signed players. That’s dependent on if The Silent one (Kroenke) says something.

  10. I have my doubts about the manager’s effectiveness. He arrived as a breath of fresh air and the team initially seemed to respond with a new fighting spirit and high energy pressing game.

    However, as the season wore on the manager seemed to struggle to figure out his best formation and made some strange decisions both in choice of formation and in team selection.

    He has not managed to get rid of the ghost of away games (which also chased him in Spain where he had a poor away record. I think the guy outthinks himself.

    When it mattered most in the PL the team went backward.

    So, IMO the manager had a chance to bring something extra and lift this team above its potential, this is what special managers do. He did not.

    He is, however, a decent manager and far ahead of the previous one. But he is simply not good enough to deliver a top 4 place next season without serious investment which will not be forthcoming.

    1. things are changing, please inform me which coach/manager out there is assured or even capable of “delivering a top 4 place next season without serious investment”?

  11. In my mind the reason why he has had to keep tinkering is that he has struggled to cope tactically with a poor squad that has no wide players and he has been very unlucky with injuries.He has managed to get the team up for the big games by demanding that they work hard on the pitch. I thought Napoli away was a superb performance but he has been guilty of underestimating teams such as Palace.He needs another season when hopefully he will make use of some of the young players coming through and if he is allowed to strengthen the squad and get rid of the dross.His record in Spain of conceding on average 50goals per season is a worry though and may be his downfall if he doesn’t address this trend with the help of a proper defensive coach.

    1. Steve Bould has been completely useless as defence coach for a long time and has to go

  12. If you had said to me at the beginning of the season, we would be in with a shout of an Europa League final and top four, I would have declared that a fantastic achievement considering the awful mess Wenger left the club in.Now looking how badly our defence has been, our lack of leadership, the deadwood we have in the club, and how poor we have been away from home with the same mistakes creeping in in almost all of our games, I would state that nothing has change, the constant changing of formation, team selection in some games was a joke, Emery has been woeful in games and still doesn’t fully understand the PL, so I hope we make changes in the Summer.The defence has to be a priority, with too many old and slow players who can not play a high pressing game. Leadership and a spine is needed in midfield.Attack wise third highest goal scorers, someone one to come in to bolster our attack.

  13. I think with the players emery has inherited from wenger he has done well,
    But overall we are not playing any better football than we played last year ,
    But he should be judged after 2 seasons and if were not improving then get rid of him and get wolves manager,
    This summer try get rid of these players…

  14. Guy be realistic
    He could only work with the players he had. Do you think in January he didn’t want to buy players? Of course he did, but kronke didn’t give him money.
    Our problems at this club have started ever since Kronke got involved.
    I think with injuries and the crap Wenger, Kronke and gazidis left Emery has done well.
    Let’s give him a chance to buy some players of his choosing and see what he can do. Judging him now is stupid as he hasn’t even been given a chance. It’s obvious (or clearly not) that the same group of players would have the same failures. Let him get in 4 or 5 and let’s see after that.
    But you wanna be pissed with someone, look at our owner. All this poor management has happened on his watch.

    1. Dan, and Emery was honest with the supporters during the January transfer window, when he openly stated that funding had only been made available for loans, not transfers. Yet posters on this site have repeatedly slated Emery for not transfer in defenders, when none were available for transfer let alone loans.

  15. Klopp was a shrewd one, on his first season at Liv I reckon if he knew he wasn’t gonna make the CL then he was gonna avoid the Europa. Look how badly we performed on his second season, and look how close it was, Klopp made it by the skin of his teeth. If he had been playing European games that season instead of having a clear plan/path each week, things right now would look very different. European coaches are wily like this, he knew he had the support in that first season, even we have ours as a bit of right off at the beginning, he had that for sure over there. Wily coaches, I remember they used to settle on nil all scorelines before games (just taking long pots and whenever one went in you would see them then basically letting the other team walk ball into goal) this was when a draw got both sides through a group. I haven’t seen that tactic in years but I reckon Klopp would be one of them. So credit must go to Emery, he went for it in first season, with a not so big squad, he upped the training program, he has the ears talked off of them with his footage reels, and by doing so he’s hung himself out there like a what is it called, when you’re a something of your own success. I think you know what I mean. I really hope he gets there, this shows his character, and he shows up the Liv boss’s sneak attack tactics, I don’t care what anyone says because I know this is true. All the old timers will remember those tactics when managers had a gentleman’s agreement before the game, it was widely known but never admitted. It worked for Klopp here, actually righting the season off when a big gap opened up, but it is a bit chicken s**t you gotta admit. Also it probably made Liv spend more, some AFC fans have said over the years that us making the top four is bad because that is what this board wants, mission completed like, so then they’re happy with the squad for most part and will bank the money rather than delve.

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