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.