If Emery is to make Arsenal a success, he needs to be as ruthless as Guardiola

Can Unai Emery do a Pep Guardiola at Arsenal? by Akinnubi

Hello Gunners, this question has been bothering me since our opening day defeat against a seemingly under-strength Manchester City, and I hope he (Unai Emery) can/should do a Pep Guardiola at the Emirates.

Although Unai can’t try to emulate Pep’s spending largely due to the worth of both owners (you definitely can’t compare Stan Kroenke’s worth to Man City Owner’s worth and Stan has a lot of teams) as evident by the Manchester City defense on Sunday (with the exception of the GK Ederson who was bought for an amount close to £40m) costing over £200m (Mendy = 45m, Laporte = 57m, Walker = 50m, Stones = 50m), which is almost the same as the amount the entire Arsenal starting XI cost (around 220m), but the quality I want to see Unai Emery replicate is the ability to drop an under-performing player (like when Aguero was dropped for the then 20-yr-old Jesus) or a seemingly unfit player (like Yaya Toure) or a player who doesn’t fit the new system of play (like Joe Hart).

When you look at the three players highlighted above,they are all arguably Club Legends who have been integral to the success enjoyed by the Club in the preceding seasons, and were the first names on the team sheet for some seasons prior to Pep’s arrival.

After Pep’s arrival, the first to lose his job was Joe Hart who didn’t need to play a competitive game before the Coach decided that he wouldn’t fit the new system, so Caballero was used till Bravo came in, and that was the end of Joe Hart at the Etihad,a situation which can be likened to the one Cech is facing after his largely unimpressive attempts at building attack from the back.

Also Aguero, who has contributed at least 20 goals in all EPL campaigns since his arrival, and has one of the best goal ratio of all EPL strikers with 100+ goals was benched for the unproven (compared to Aguero) and young Gabriel Jesus due to Aguero’s inability to carry out Pep’s plans for his forwards.

Now let’s come back to the Emirates where we’ve won at least a few trophies (inc. Community Shield) since the 2013/2014 season which includes three FA Cups and Three Shields. With Arsene Wenger leaving at the end of last season following huge protests, his loss of almighty power and the gradual slide out of the top four, with Unai Emery being the man
selected to replace him.

Unai Emery’s first competitive match saw him face Pep’s (the man I hope he’ll take after) Man City, and let’s say the truth,it was far from a praise-worthy performance, with Emery criticised by Pundits and Ex-Players on his team selection.

I’m not one to ask that a player be dropped after one bad game in a new system (even though Pep did that with Hart) but can he drop one of our so called ‘STARS’ after consecutive far below average performances?

I hope so, looking again at the Aguero situation where he came back fighting following Jesus’ injury and has since become an important player again under Pep. How great it would be to see a rejuvenated Ozil, Ramsey, Xhaka, Mhkitaryan, Bellerin or Mustafi (mentioning only the starting players who have divided opinions amongst fans) fighting to cement their position in the starting line up due to the emergence of a 20-yr-old.

So, I hope Unai Emery will do a Pep Guardiola at Arsenal, replicating not only the Catalan’s ruthlessness in team selection but also his ‘success’.

Only time will tell.


  1. Grandad says:

    You cannot rejuvenate the likes of Mustafi and Xhaka who have never achieved anything for Arsenal and never will.It is clear to most rational fans that these two players ,along with Kolasinac are simply not of the quality Arsenal need to recover from the malaise which set in under the previous Manager.Emery will hopefully identify these weaknesses and replace them,albeit at a considerable financial loss, with players who can meet his aspirations to make Arsenal great again.

    1. GB says:

      Whilst I agree with you regarding Xhaka and Kolasinac, I think Mustafi is doing alright. He had a decent game against City. By the way, I’m puzzled by the term “under-strength” used by the article writer. They looked pretty strong to me.

      1. Hackinubee says:

        True they looked strong but that definetely won’t be their starting XI if everyone were fit with KDB,David Silva and prob. Sane to come in.

    2. jon fox says:

      Precisely! You can add Bellerin, Elneny and Iwobi to that list. All should be sold as soon as replacements can be found, which cannot be now until Jan at least. Wengers dross will haunt our progress for some time yet.

  2. sam says:

    drop Ozil from the starting 11 with Lacazette9 and Auba playing upfront with Ramsey playing behind them in a traditional system my just give us an immediate solution.


    Torre. Mhkitanya


    Laca9. Auba.

    Man City first 11 is not better than this team.

    1. Shekar233 says:

      Dont you ever include that headless chicken ramsey in the team again…he is absolute waste of space in the team. All he can offer is running for 90mins like a headless chicken. How the hell is he not signing that stupid contract that is put in front of him which is said to be on par with auba and laca is beyong me.

      The fact that not a single team wanted him with a cut price citing his contract ending next year tells volumes about his ability. If he runs his contract down then he will also be snapped up by a similar mid table team like west ham, just like wilshere( for me wilshere is way more talented and skill gull than ramsey, only of he could stay fit for 3-4 seasons at a stretch he would have been a very good player).

      If this emery’s new tactics of high pressing is to be implemented then it has to be made clear that no player (even if he earns a 300k/week) is guaranteed starter in the team unless he is willing to put in the shift.

      For now the formation should be 4411.


      Replace laca with ozil in the 60th min as laca will he the most tired player as he will need to press a lot more than auba and also come back to offer help in the middle.

  3. RSH says:

    Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, and bellerin’s positions need some serious considerations then. They’ve been mainstays in too many average performances. Ramsey is at least capable of producing big moments, but Ozil it’s time to pull the plug on. Somebody suggested a few days ago not playing with a CAM anymore and having a more industrious midfield that can get the ball to our forwards and that might be something worth trying. Still, it’s a hard thing to feel confident in doing without a proper winger. Either way, many of the players that felt safe under Wenger need to be dropped because they aren’t good enough and have been living off reputation alone. Lichtsteiner is better than Bellerin. This is just a fact.

    1. jon fox says:

      Your last two sentences( especially) are so true . I would use the analogy of a gourmet meal being better tahn stale bread. No comparison at all between the tough, and hard to beat Licht and the weedy, useless Bellerin.

      1. Shekar233 says:

        Wow jon, you seem to be developing some real hatred on bellerin. You re picking on him so very often. Only if i could know what wrong did he do to you personally that you have such deep lying grudge on him.

        For me bellerin did reasonably well against city. And he is still 23. And can learn a lot more under emery than he ever did under wenger. He just had 1 very bad season since he came in to the first team, i.e. iin 4 seasons overall. Amd that is not exclusive to him, our entire defence had a disastrous season during the same season that bellerin performed badly.
        You seem to be ok with players like ramsey who had almost 10 years at arsenal and is yet to put consistant top level performaces for consecutive seasons.

        I think it is very unfair to criticize bellerin based on wenger’s era. You yourself have been saying that wenger never coached the defence and you want bellering to learn the whole art of defending on his own going through youtube videos? I think a wise man like you should know better.

        Give the kid atleast a year under emery. He has just been in the first team for 3 odd years and last season he played the highest number of games than any arsenal player as there is no backup RB.

        I think we do have a future firat choice spain RB in bellerin. Hope he lives up to his potential.

        1. RSH says:

          Bellerin is just all pace. I’ve never seen him be impressive defensively. Hope you’re right about him getting better, but he’ll have to do that out of the XI, because he’s a liability when he plays. It always seems like the opposition scores from his side of the pitch. And he has no idea how to deal with wingers that cut inside, which is most wingers in football now

        2. jon fox says:

          Wrong tense concerning BELLERIN. I am not “developing”( present tense) but instead I long ago “developed”( past tense), a poor opinion of Bellerin. I have never seen , not even remotely, any proper defensive nous in this ill disciplined player. He is outmuscled, out jumped, can’t tackle, can’t cross and can’t mark. Most of all he can’t stay in the position he should be in when we are under pressure. All he has is speed and without a football brain and discipline that is a total waste. He just cannot defend at all. WENGER JUST MADE YET ANOTHER OF HIS MANY BAD BUYS. COACHING IS NOT A CURE ALL. IF YOU HAVE LITTLE OR ZERO PROPER ABILITY, NO AMOUNT OF COACHING WILL MAKE YOU ANY GOOD. And I am not OK WITH RAMSEY!

      2. Welbeck says:

        Bellerin has regressed in recent times perhaps because of a lack of competition but Lich can give him a wake up call. Kolasinac was great when he arrived, people often said he was better than Monreal and now some fans say he isn’t worthy of the shirt.

        The point I’m making is these players can improve with a bit of coaching and tactical drilling.

        If you follow the Welsh team, you’d probably agree that Ramsey is a good player who has to curb his instincts to play a different role for Arsenal (he and Bale are the best Welsh players since Giggs).

        I am positive we will improve under Emery with the same players we have now.

    2. Totally agree these are the players especially Ramsey Ozil and Xhaka that rarely put in a good performance and Bellerin is a quick but has no brain when the ball is at his feet, they will all need replacing asap.

  4. Phil says:

    Other than Lacazette when he came on nobody up front were able to get into the game.Was Ozil any worse than Aubameyang Mykitarian or Ramsey?Do we drop all of these players because of a disappointing result against the best team we will face this season?We must improve against the Chavs on Saturday on that there is no doubt.We must penetrate more as an attacking force than we did against Citeh but let’s not hang Ozil out to dry because of one performance.

    1. Me says:

      Ozil neither turns up for Arsenal or Germany.
      I would like nothing more than to never see him in an Arsenal shirt again – defrauding the club of millions…
      The man is an absolute disgrace…

      1. Andrew E says:

        5 times German player of the year, World Cup winner, 92 Germany caps and 50 assists in the EPL. What a disgrace!!! It’s not his fault that he has been surrounded by average players until this season so judge him at the end of the season after he has had a chance to play in Emery’s new system (but not on the wing as was proved on Sunday). This goes for most of the other players trying to take on board a completely new system for which patience is required.

        1. RSH says:

          until this season? The attack is the same as last season and he was still terrible. And he was inconsistent when he had Sanchez to play with as well. You can’t keep blaming every player around Ozil. We see him putting in bad performances on a regular basis. At least in this City game he wasn’t hiding for once. This time he was just poor. And that was down to the quality of his individual play

    2. pires says:

      Stop defending Ozil.He was pathetic.For a player of his quality AND salary he has to give more to the team.

      1. Daniel says:

        Oil created 4 chances in that game. Don’t make oil a scapegoat for a teams failure.It’s one game,city would have beaten anybody.Thats the hardest I’ve seen our players work in years and let’s not forget Pep struggled In his first season in EPL and almost missed out on top4.All pundits should go and rest and stop screaming bullshit.This is Wenger’s team Unai will trim the fat. He’s a winner

        1. RSH says:

          again with the chances created stat to fall back on and make him look good. We all watched the game. He did not create 4 opportunities. You need to do more than read off a stat sheet

          1. Hackinubee says:

            Four chances?How? Oh!Maybe from corners and Free Kicks.. Next topic please?

  5. Me says:

    Emery should be ruthless like Pep?
    Big difference is that Man City are operating on an unlimited budget and Arsenal are operating on peanuts.
    Guardiola has the opinion that a player is not good enough he sells them or uses them as a squad player and then spends 70 million to solve the problem.
    Arsenal simply cannot do that and do not have two or three players competing for places in the team.
    Even the much vaunted youth set up is not delivering what it used to.
    I won’t say we are in decline but we are being left behind because of a self serving owner who has no interest in the fans or in delivering success – he simply wants to make money.
    I have nothing against Emery but I feel that his appointment was for all of the wrong reasons – and all of them related to money.
    People like Hill Wood, Dein and Bracewell – Smith have so much to answer for in letting this parasitic leech into the club.
    Just as the city of St Louis was they think about Kroenke…

  6. pires says:

    Unai needs to be backed by MONEY.Otherwise it’s impossible to replicats Pep’s success.

    1. Uchman says:

      was wenger backed with money? Yet he achieved soo much success!

    2. Welbeck says:

      Money cannot solve all our problems. Spurs spent the 100m Bale transfer money on 5/7 players and didn’t get very far. Liverpool have spent massive amounts and have only now started to break the top four regularly. “Lesser” teams seem to buy cheaper players who turn out to be just as good as the megastars.

      Arsenal will never be able to spend petro-dollars like City, Barcelona, PSG, Madrid….. Arsene had us punching above our weight for a while.

      1. arsenal#7 says:

        Arsene had us pay astronomic wages to players that could barely play in Championship top teams
        110 for Ramsey
        70k for Welbeck
        110 for Walcott
        any $$ for Kolasinac/Xhaka/Mustafi/Holding/Chambers is a waste

        Look at some of the other succesfull teams that do not spend like MC but follow a model such as Atletico Madrid. Why a team like that can get to the Champions league final win La Liga win Europa league and beat Real or Barcelona?

        Good management from top office and the manager. Simeone would have been an ideal

        Yes Spurs are not winning titles but at least they play Champions League football something we may not see for a while.

  7. qoni says:

    emery is not at fault. kroenke is the culprit. shame on him for what is happening to our loved club. he and his fellow directors do not love the club but money. as for emery lets start a new chapter and drop the players that the last manager used to play. for example why not start with leno, lechsteiner, torreira, for a start. after only one match played i am not thinking of miracles, but please make changes. gooner = forever

    1. ken1945 says:

      qoni, but Kronkie and the board didn’t pick the team, choose the tactics and bench players that were bought to solve last seasons problems.
      Emery did and he will learn from his mistakes, as the Chelsea game will hopefully prove.
      Kronky and the board are responsible for many of the things going wrong at the moment, but let’s play fair!!!

      1. jon fox says:

        And Kroenke didn’t do those things when WENGER MANAGED EITHER, KEN. But he got 22 years , and a decade too long. Emery has had one game and the knives are out from many on here already. What a disgrace to judge on one game against the best team in England by very far. I don’t agree that Emery has even had time to make any mistakes as yet and am surprised at your negativity, which is very different from what you were correctly preaching, a mere month ago.

  8. Gifted says:

    The difference between Arsenal and Man city is that our bench has Welbeck, Iwobi, Campbell, Holding , Elneny etc while Man city has Gabriel, Bernard, Gundogan, Mahrez, Delph and the like..We are simply not good enough. In fact, none of the current Arsenal players would get into the Man city team bar Aubameyang replacing Aguero

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Lacazette a chance as well.

  9. GB says:

    Didn’t Pep finish about 20 points behind Chelsea in his first season. Everyone is losing their sh1t AND we have only played one game for fux sake!

    1. ozziegunner says:

      ?You are so right, GB; the unnecessary pessimism is so rife so early in a long season.

  10. gearoid de burca. says:

    while ozil still plays in our team we will win nothing . he brings negativity everywhere he goes. that and the fact that he is clearly a sick man means that he will never replicate the form that made him famous. i wish the manager would cut him loose regardless of the financial loss . the gain will be in the long term.we also need to give our new manager the time that is needed.

  11. Senile says:

    One big fault of Wenger that gave him that sort of ending to his Arsenal career is been loyal to his favourite and established stars to a fault.

    What will determine how well Emery will do is how ruthless he is with non-performing players. Dragging his feet for few matches about dropping those players will cost us points and his jobs at Arsenal. Dropping the stars of the team with little contribution to attacking and defending to the bench and rewarding those that will bleed for the team his crucial.

    In modern football, some decisions need to be taken as quickly as the next game. Preseason and novelty is over. Every game, every point counts. He got few things wrong in the First match. His tactics and team selection against Chelsea will give us a clue what sort of coach he is.

    1. Dani says:

      If you’re still looking for clues keep searching. Unai is a sensible coach. Do u know the mental and physical state of the players?No..he will also need to adapt to the physical nature of the league and the club and country as a whole.Let him work

  12. gearoid de burca. says:

    just for the sake of fair play guys, i want to tell you all that i have changed my name from ger burke to the irish version of it …. gearoid de burca. i do not want anybody thinking i am hiding behind a weird name , many thanks , and come on saturday >>.i am sure nobody is intrested in my name change , but just thought i would mention it .

  13. Kenyanfan says:

    No coach can ever win anything with this team.i wonder how wenger managed these lazy crop.i think he tried

    1. RSH says:

      he bought 95% of the players there lol

  14. Trebor says:

    Arsenal will never be the force it once was under the ownership of that cranky yank. He’s here for money alone, arsenal shouldn’t even be involved with a man that forces people out of there family homes for his own amusement. The man I is a dangerous crook. We are not Americans and should not stand for his money grabbing ways. It will come to supporters having to devalue the club in anyway possible, e.g. Not buying merchandise, not turning out at the Emirates stadium to get this tapeworm to sell up to someone who gives a shit. Sorry, I know that sound harsh but it true. He will always be arsenals poorest player. Action will be needed

  15. Uchman says:

    Though stingy wenger was the reason we aren’t buying big big players?

    1. Durand says:

      No we just blamed Wenger for starting the same rubbish regardless of form. Ramsey and Xhaka are the two standouts I’m referring to. Hopefully Emery will bench Ramsey the diva and Xhaka the sluggish.

      Both should be ashamed for being outplayed by Guendouzi; Xhaka did his best to turn invisible, and Ramsey too selfish to drop back and help the midfield. Torreria showed more in his Cameo than those miserable two.

      If Emery starts those two bums against Chelsea, then he deserves any criticism coming his way. Shocking lack of effort from those two, haven’t read a single comment defending either Ramsey or Xhaka thank goodness.

      1. Andrew E says:

        You’re right. Xhaka has had two years to prove his critics wrong and he hasn’t and as for Ramsey, he should be benched until he makes up his mind. Either agree the terms offered or go and if he tries to run down his contract, sell him in January. Metro report that he is asking for £300k per week!!!

        1. Sue says:

          ?? Durand & Andrew

          1. ozziegunner says:

            ???add me to these sentiments. Yes Guendouzi made mistakes, but he got back on the horse and kept battling to the end. Ramsey and Xhaka were shown up by a 19 yo kid playing his first game in the EPL. He had stated he has been an Arsenal fan since boyhood and he has achieved his dream in playing for the Arsenal. His passion showed; unfortunately the same can’t be said for others. They need to take a good hard look at themselves.

  16. Tim says:

    The mindless impatience of Arsenal supporters. A negative result against the best team in the country ,with Emery’s first competitive game in charge, and already some supporters are crying for his head.

  17. Malaysian gunner says:

    That Bellerin is fast is without doubt.The problem is he is both attacker and defender.
    The former boss wants his players to be attack minded.
    As a result against the top teams for the last he is bottom of the class.When hs is agoal down,he pushes ou t and even throws the kitchen sink. The result is ahigh ball and even with bellerin scapering back the gunners are 2 down and lose the game.
    As for his successor,he must be mindful of all out attack with ten players leaving acres of space.Especially passing here and there and everywhere slowing down the game is recipe for a disaster
    We have enough of these the last 10 years.

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