“I think we made some decisions not good” Emery shifts blame for Arsenal’s poor form

Unai Emery says it was poor decision-making that caused his Arsenal team to struggle for form just before he was fired by the club.

The Spaniard was Arsenal’s first manager post-Arsene Wenger, and he led the Gunners to the final of the Europa League in his first season.

Despite getting financially backed in the transfer market, including the signing of Nicolas Pepe, his second campaign at the helm started badly and it eventually cost him his job.

He has now admitted that the first half of his last campaign in charge didn’t go to plan.

However, he said that it was the club who made the wrong decisions that derailed their campaign even though he was happy with the way they supported him.

Emery told Football London: “The club supported me and I was happy with the players, the atmosphere and the supporters.

“Only the second six months of the second year when I finished in November I think we made some decisions not good for the club, but not for me, the decisions of the club.”

He was replaced with Mikel Arteta some weeks later and the rookie manager helped the Gunners to win the FA Cup at the end of that campaign.

Arteta is looking to guide them back to a top-four place, and they are on the right track to achieve that.

Tags Unai Emery


  1. Emery should never have been allowed to start the second season. Everyone could see he wasn’t up for the job, (well everyone except one on this site anyway, right Foxy).
    Now seems to be keen to blame everyone but himself.

    O.T.- interesting to see how AC Milan are doing with Ivan Gazidis as the CEO. They spent next to nothing, but targeted the right players. Perhaps there is more to come from him at some point, as most seemed to blame him for everything that’s wrong even now at the club, when it seems all he did was back the Managers at all times.

    1. We could also say Phil, that it’s interesting to see how Villa real are doing great under Emery. For someone who the job was too big for at Arsenal, he seems to be holding his own quite well. Could we also say the job was too big for gazidis at Arsenal?

      1. Gazidis took all the flak re signings, contracts etc. But did he not only support the Manager at all times?
        And Villereal? A small town club an hour from Valencia with an enthusiastic fan base who expect very little. A bit different to the atmosphere he walked onto at Arsenal.

    2. Kudos Phil…although we fundamentally disagree on our assessments of Emery as a top quality manager, it’s good to see someone else raising questions about the whole Gazidis blame game, which was largely propagated by Wenger apologists

      In my opinion Emery had not only developed the kinds of teams, while in Spain, which would have performed well in the Premiership, he likewise was the most successful manager in PSG history. Unfortunately he will be most remembered for their disastrous second leg against Barca in the Champions League knockout round…what is clear now, following the Tuchel firing, that managing any Neymar-centered team is a tough ask for anyone, regardless of pedigree…as for his time at Arsenal, his inability to have any say regarding recruitment, combined with the problems that would befall any manager following Wenger and his failure to endear himself enough to an already fractured fanbase meant that, unlike Arteta, he wasn’t able to survive an extended period of poor results…on top of all that, it’s well-known now that there was an on-going power struggle that permeated our executive branch…unfortunately for us, Raul won the day and the far more valuable Diamond Eye was shown the door…it would have been interesting to see what Emery and Sven might have come up with considering their respective histories

      As for Gazidis, I was a once proud hater of his seemingly smarmy charms, yet upon further examination, I now believe he cared more about winning trophies than anyone we employed during those final Wenger years and his public declarations about our financial wherewithal was actually a direct shot at Wenger’s ineptitude in the transfer market and he was no longer willing to be his muted whipping boy

      1. RVL
        Great comment, raises an interesting question about Gazidis and how things went down while he was at the club.

        I’m with you 100% on Sven “Diamond Eye” and think we could really use his pedigree at the club now.

    3. A nonsense second paragraph, esp! If you are seriously trying to defend the appalling GAZIDIS while here, you are seriously unwell, NONPAL!

      1. Good one Jon! I know you’re not a member of the Gazidis fan club, which at last look has only 2 members that are non-related, but I’ve been doing some serious deep dives into both his time at Arsenal and with the resurging Milan…those in the media who have taken a more critical look at their turnaround have almost unanimously suggested that he was the architect…it really makes me think about a lot of things that happened during Wenger last 7-8 years, some of which was mistakenly blamed on Gazidis, who was clearly an outsider and a much more logical target of the fan’s derision…just to make it clear, I was never a fan of his even when I was openly expressing my displeasure for Wenger, but that certainly doesn’t mean he wasn’t actually a well-intentioned individual

      2. Aaah Captain Mainwaring- @Never have I been more sure that Unai Emery is the right manager for Arsenal than I am at this time”. Remember that Captain? Immediately after Anfield 2019 You humiliated yourself then and continue to this day PAL.
        So, let’s actually look at the Gazidis issue. He no doubt shielded Wenger for his abysmal transfer dealings. He also took all the flak for kronke not spending, which is a fallacy when you look at the nett spend of Arsenal Football Club since 2015-16 season. But of course you and your one dimensional gob is always right PAL? Except when your not. Which is more often than you would care to admit. Still, no matter how many times you get it wrong Big Gob, never will you embarrass yourself as you did over Emery. And that PAL is fact and reality, two words you spout but very rarely ever aspire to

        1. Good to see how you hang on my every word foulmouth. You are too much in awe of my way with words to ever admit how jealous you are of me!

          And to think that way back we had a sort of bond over both wanting Wenger out. Much water has gone under the bridge since then, foulmouth, and since you call me Captain Mainwaring, I will use the most obvious name for you; “STUPID BOY”! How well it fits you!

  2. And to TRVL- yeah we disagree on Emery who I thought was very timid. He should have DEMANDED Zaha, and not just settle for Pepe. And the way he allowed us to fall away like we did at the end of the 2018-19 season was his downfall in my mind, resulting in a no show in Bako when we should have at least competed with the Chavs. But football is all about opinions, and looking at AC Milan now,you actually do wonder if the wrong person became the fall guy

    1. But Captain Mainwaring- it’s not a case of hanging onto your every word. Don’t flatter yourself PAL. But with you feeling you are above everyone else because of your so called superior educated mind, that you go to Greta lengths to tell everyone about at every opportunity, I merely remind you that you actually know nothing about football. You never answer even the most simple questions put to you because you cannot. You are laughable PAK, which is why when questioned you slink off and hope you haven’t been found out. PAL- you were found out long ago.
      When you realise this is a football site where different fans have differing opinions then you might actually get listened to a bit more. But you just Big Gob your way through as many articles as you can and try to intimidate contributors. Even yesterday you couldn’t help yourself PAl could you. Offer nothing about football, but pulled someone over the fact he addressed people as Mr. Pat called you Pedantic. Most will just call you Pathetic. You might intimidate done PAL but never me. I have chewed up and spat out far more educated people than you in life and you would never survive in this world without hiding behind hour typewriter. Yeah- PATHETIC that’s about right

    2. While I do agree that Emery has to shoulder some of the blame, it’s difficult to imagine anyone weathering the storm, considering the circumstances…we didn’t know at that time, but the shit show that was going on behind the scenes was such that it would have been a tough ask for any manager to put their stamp on that squad…I’m still not sure if Zaha was the answer, as he primarily roams the left flanks and that would have created some formational issues, but I think if we had used that Pepe money more wisely we would be farther along now, as we likely wouldn’t have gone for Willian

      On a side note, I think Emery’s generally awkward demeanor and somewhat unusual facial expressions have always been somewhat off-putting for the casual observer…I remember when I used to watch him when he was dominated Europa while at Sevilla, I always use to be fascinated by his uncomfortable looking mannerisms…even though that has nothing to do with coaching and shouldn’t matter whatsoever, as we had numerous glorious years with the Grinch who stole Christmas at the helm, it probably affected his ability to connect with a fanbase that was already struggling to come to terms with the language barrier…let’s face it, if he’s not winning, he’s a tough PR gig, fortunately for him, he’s done a lot more winning than losing over his career

  3. Well TRVL- I was disappointed when they gave the job to Emery. He failed at PSG which is an impossible thing to do when you think about it. The loss to Barca as well probably done him. I know he got us 5th but that was poor when you look at how we should have finished. With the games we had left we should have got THIRD.
    Then the absolute capitulation in Bako. We just did not turn up. How could that have been allowed to happen. We had the beating of Chelsea that season but he set us up wrong, the players never looked comfortable in the system, and as soon as we were 1-0 down we were never coming back.
    I think he’s found a level at Villarreal that suits him. Nice little Club that has very low expectations. Fans are amazing though- was there for CL semi in 2006

    1. The following was written on the eve of his signing with Arsenal:

      PSG has quickly become a circus (albeit an expensive circus), and some managers are smart enough to avoid betting their career on that situation.

      Arsenal is a chance for Emery to build his own club from the ground up. Mind you, PSG gives the manager a much larger transfer kitty, but the owners seem to be interested in buying superstars rather than a team. As a result, once you get the superstars on a squad, the expectation is that trophies follow. A lot of times football does not work that way. Emery may not be ‘warm and fuzzy’ like Klopp, but he clearly wants to work in an environment that is much closer and constructed in a way to create a team attitude. Is there any major club in Europe that is less likely to create that environment than PSG?

      How unlucky that he should land in North London, as the successor to the club’s winningest manager, regardless of how things ended for Wenger, with a dysfunctional executive branch and a clubhouse chalk full of uncertainty…so the answer to the author’s aforementioned closing question is yes, Arsenal during Emery’s tenure…this isn’t to suggest he wasn’t culpable for some of the wrongdoings that happened at the club, but realistically, even if Sven had stayed instead of Raul, it would have taken several windows to reinvent this particular wheel, especially with our self-sufficient model

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