How well has Emery done so far? by AndersS
We are nearing the completion of the first 3 months of Emery’s reign as a manager.
In business you have an unofficial rule not to expect a new CEO to come forward with big decisions and big changes the first 100 days in charge. Ample time is given to the new “chief” to assess the state of affairs and to decide how he wants to move forward, including time to decide if he needs changes to his key personnel.
A reasonable and mostly well working “rule”.
But not so often used when it comes to football managers. They are mostly expected to produce results straight away, or at least to show clear changes in performance, that promise better results in the near future.
So how has Emery done so far, with less than 100 days in charge?
The team he took over was in a downward spiral, which started at least 2 seasons ago, and we had just finished the season in sixth place, a massive 37 points behind the league winners and 12 points behind the famous fourth place, which many used to see as a minimum target.
We routinely not only lost to other teams competing for top 4, but recently also got humiliated in those matches.
Players were showing obvious signs of giving up in matches, when we fell behind.
Reports have afterwards shown, what many suspected, training had become undemanding and unmotivating for the players.
Players had lost a lot of confidence.
Even bottom of the league teams had lost all fear of playing against Arsenal, and actually considered Arsenal an easy team to play against, as there was no organized defending.
This is where Arsenal was, when Emery took over on July 1’st.
When taking over he had 6 weeks before Arsenal was to start the new season against Man City, who incidentally admitted to holding back when beating us 3-0 in the spring. And then facing an away game to Chelsea the following week. 2 matches, that could easily end up in 2 losses and put him under some pressure, which indeed was, what happened.
If that wasn’t enough, he was also without several key players for big parts of the preseason training and matches.
Taking all this into account, you could argue, Emery has done unbelievably well so far.
Sure, we are only in 6’th place in the league, but we are only 6 points from no. 1 and we are 1 point from no. 4, and considering that Chelsea, Man C and Liverpool have only played one match against another “Big Six” team, our situation is in theory better than, what the table shows.
However, all is not good. Looking more closely at our performances, it is so obvious that our old habit of giving away too many chances, even to mediocre teams, is still not showing signs of going away, and eventually that will cost us many points, if we don’t improve.
Should we already have seen improvements in that area? Or are we in a situation, where our players are so bad at defending, it can only be improved long term, and maybe only with several players replaced?
I believe Emery is well aware of the problem, but he doesn’t want to turn us into a team “parking the bus”, which most likely would give much fewer chances to the opposing team. He wants us to be able control the game, to attack and defensively to have the whole team adopt high pressing and hard work. I like that.
It is too early to conclude if Emery will permanently improve us, as we all hope.
But for his work so far, I will give him 8 out of 10, or maybe even a 9.
How do rate his work so far?