Is Emery too negative to be Arsenal manager?

I asked a few times last season was Unai Emery too negative to be Arsenal manager, and I am left with the same conclusion after the NLD. Let’s get this right, questioning the manager doesn’t mean you have to disrespect him or try and drive him out. There are some things he does very well, yet sometimes you have to accept there are individuals who just don’t suit a club. That’s what the Kroenke family have to decide in the summer, when it comes to deciding if we extend his contract.

I, like many gooners, grew up with Arsene Wenger, so maybe took attacking football for granted. I was used to two up front, two midfielders moving from left to right with two attacking full backs. Even when we were not winning titles a DM would be partnered by a Fabregas or a Cazorla, someone who would create and dictate the tempo.

The last time we lifted a cup, as a side who had failed to finish top 4 against the champions, with the Ox as a full back, Ramsey with Xhaka, Ozil in front of them with Sanchez and Welbeck up front. This Sunday, at the expense of a front three, our coach felt compelled to field three defensive players.

So, did we just take Wenger’s ethos for granted? Is it in fact a lot harder to play a free-flowing style? Maybe it takes more bravery then we think to trust your flair individuals to express themselves? Is that the difference between a great and good manager? The greats have their own principles and coach their squad to adhere to their outlook. The good doubt themselves?

For a month we have waited for Auba, Lacca and Pepe to play together yet it’s one step forward, two steps back, with one of the most uncreative midfields we have played with at the Emirates. It was another big fixture where too much focus was put on our opponents’ strengths and not ours.

Guendozi and Torreria will give you everything, but at home we only need one person doing this job. By having those two next to Xhaka, it stands out that they can only move the ball sideways. There is zero reason a Ceballos and Ozil couldn’t start with a sole DM.

Even at half time, 2-1 down, he waited to change things. Arsene Wenger would never have left 3 number 10’s on the bench at the expense of 3 DM. Nor Sir Alex, nor Pep Guardiola.

In the last campaign, Liverpool finished a point behind City. It was the difference between a 20 plus points gap the year before. As much as Klopp as done to close that gap, look at how he has always asked his men to play against the champions. Yes, his tactics tried to counteract what they were good at, but he always believes that his men can do can do damage.

Will Emery ever believe in us enough? Will he ever believe we are good enough to attack our rivals? If not he’s not the right man for us…

Dan Smith

65 Comments

  1. McLovin says:

    I think Emery has high hopes for Mavropanos and Holding to step up this season. I really hope they come good now that they are near full Fitness.

    That being said, what does UE see in Xhaka?!

    Off topic, but can you believe that we won’t be playing on Saturday until beginning of November? What’s up with the late Sunday and Monday kick offs?

    1. Agu Emen says:

      Europa league means Thursday – Sunday
      The late game on a Sunday?
      May be Arsenal is higher rated than MU in the TV ratings now.

    2. Francis says:

      Probably there is some clause in his contract to play him every match other than when he is injured

  2. gotanidea says:

    Yes, he is too defensive when meeting the big oppositions. He should’ve gambled with a more adventurous method instead, since he has a half-a-billion squad at his disposal

    He should have not been worried about the backlash from the media and the fans, as long as Arsenal lose courageously

    Regarding Wenger’s method, it is far away from being attacking, brave and free-flowing. It looked pleasing to the eyes, but he actually just played very safe by emphasizing on ball possession, retention and did a lot of sideways/ back passes

    That was why we rarely saw high risk CMs like Guendouzi in 2006 -2018. Even Fabregas, Carzola and Ozil rarely risked themselves and seldom created sharp through balls

    Probably because Wenger instructed them to play cautiously and focus on ball recycling

    1. Phil says:

      But at least Wenger focused on creativity.He would never have had THREE midfielders lacking creativity.Although I fo accept that a Guendouzi operated as a B2B midfielder on Sunday and played very very well.

      1. gotanidea says:

        At least Wenger got three FA Cups during that period, which are better than nothing. But I was never fully entertained when that old squad wasted their time doing recycles

        I know it’s not easy for a midfielder to achieve Pirlo’s level and it takes a lot of flair to break the opposition’s defense with through balls

        That’s why Emery should have instructed Ceballos, Ozil and Xhaka to create more crosses, because I think they would be better if playing wider

        1. Phil says:

          Just cannot agree with you on that-Ozil is not effective out wide.Ceballos showed at Anfield he is not comfortable out there.And Xhaka is the least likely wide player in the squad.

    2. Sanjeev Hurjan says:

      The manner in which the game is played today, has changed significantly in the past few years. During the Wenger era, maintaining possession of the ball afforded you many possibilities! Today, keeping possession and trying to be attractve on the eye, will not win you championships! What will, is a well laid out strategy with able players capable of doing a specific job! These are all good players were talking about and if you give them space, irrespective of who they are, you give them the opportunity to showcase what they can do. Eliminate this space and irrespective of who they are, they can’t do anything. With the best formation and players, you would still loose the game if you allow your opposition the freedom to express themselves…

  3. Phil says:

    Is he too negative? Emery was various at Anfield which was probably the right approach.What he did get wrong was the line-up and tactics.
    Against the Spuds he was far too cautious.He went with THREE CM and ZERO creativity for PAL.With Emery he seems to just ignore the obvious all the time.If we the supporters can see it why can’t he?

    1. Phil says:

      Typo on the tip line -Cautious not various

  4. Nonny says:

    Too negative .?
    Too negative is when you
    Concede the number of goals
    Conceded last season and your
    Not looking at possible options
    Been negative is thinking our
    Current back 4 can go to anfield
    And play into their hands, been
    Negative is our failure not to see
    How bad most of the players are to
    Me the only negative thing about
    Emery is playing xhaka week after week.

    We can brag about our front 3 but what
    Else do we have to brag about defenders are
    Shit And midfield still lacks balance we can
    Hype our players and make what we like
    Out of them doesn’t make them world class
    but we are still lacking in Many departments
    am patiently waiting for Injured players to
    return maybe they will Help make some of our
    players to play better

    GUENDOUZI called up by France days after man
    Of the match performance against the spurs,just
    Imagine the boost in confidence this will give him
    To play even better.

    1. Munster says:

      I will not worry about my couch Nonny,I stand by the man. I continue to support him and it baffles me the much hate for the man on here and about his tactics just over a year of his appointment, coming off the back of 22 years under another man.I still ho easy with UE until this season. He has my backing which ever way,I like the look of our team and I still maintain this guy can get us playing good football.

  5. Nonny says:

    Emery’s greatest weapon is his ability to tactically out class other managers before his employment we knew it and the board also knew it against smaller teams we can play to our strength without tactical twisting but against more superior opponents emery will always want to be tactical all this we already know to suddenly say Emery is this and that is totally outrageous if we wanted a coach that will always want to impose a particular pattern of football to every team he faces we knew that wasn’t Emery’s way and there are so many managers that thinks that way yet we went for emery. Why suddenly do we want the man to be what he isn’t we should be concerned about the personals his fielding other than the tactics we got what we bargained for

  6. SAGooner says:

    Just because we want to, or HAVE to, say SOMETHING, we are totally overanalysing every breath a player takes on the field, and we are beibg hypercritical of every move UE makes. This season is just starting, with many new players in the team. Please do us all a favour and give the team more time to develop before we take UE and his tactics apart.

    1. Phil says:

      What tactics? Like his Midfield disaster at Anfield allowing both Liverpool fullbacks the full freedom of the pitch when everyone knew that these two both provide their attacking width? Then playing PAL at The Emirates on Sunday with no midfield creativity? Not exactly tactical genius there pal.

      1. Munster says:

        Well you can bring up your tactical genius Phil, let’s hear you.. The coach played to the strength of his team.You won’t be talking about the diamond of it had worked,many other managers do it.he did not went with the diamond last season at Anfield and we still got some thrashing.. Give it a break minimal team will go to an Anfield and get a point. UE is just building his team tell me how long it too arsene to get things rolling even with minimal competition.. Emery inherited a dross team and for me I see improvement already..

        1. Phil says:

          But it didn’t work did it? And was never likely to so why hi with it? You didn’t need to be a tactical genius to know it would not work as soon as the team was announced at Anfield.We were far too narrow in midfield with nobody picking up their fullbacks.Or did you see something different to everybody else?

          1. Durand says:

            Phil don’t bother, apparently one cannot question or criticize Emery. Despite 12 new players, new management team, and him focused mainly on coaching it’s not his fault. Dross players repeating the same mistakes, yet Emery continues to pick them and has not corrected these error prone wrestlers.

            Why play 3 DM’s with PAL up top? That’s certainly not to our strength, isn’t that why we promoted Willock? Isn’t that why we loaned Ceballos for his experience and creativity? Wouldn’t Ozil have offered more?

            His lack of style and philosophy still have many scratching their heads, wondering what is our identity.

            I don’t see Emery as a solution or a long term candidate as manager. I’d love to see what Freddie could do. He worked wonders with the youth, played great football, and understands the Arsenal DNA.

        2. RSH says:

          Why would anybody criticize a winning formula. But it wasnt a winning formula was it? And nobody has to prove their tactical genius unless Arsenal are paying us Emery’ wages. It’s the managers job and his staff to figure this stuff out, which they clearly haven’t, and we looked completely unprepared for the spurs match even though Spurs were nothing special last weekend.

    2. Duncan Otieno Odero says:

      Yeah , last season our team performed so well during the first leg of the EPL . The second leg was a disaster coz our bench was lightweight . What Arsenal did was empower the thread bare bench which will inject Adrenalin once the regulars are worn out . What Unai Emery is doing is to blend the likes of LUIZ,TIERNEY,CEBALLOS, WILLOCK,NELSON,MARTINELLI & PEPE asap through a baptism of fire to bring a character out of them . I’ve seen CHARACTER in our first four epl matches which lacked in our previous transitional squads . Klopp,Trent Alexander Arnold and Andy Robertson admitted that after the game at Anfield . The games at St.James park and at the Emirates versus Burnley and Spurs showed REAL FIRE IN THE BELLY .Let’s not be pessimists coz even Klopp & Guardiola never hit the ground running Until they transformed their squads in their own identities and ideals .Simply give this guy this season and the next to see his brand .

      1. Andre brooks says:

        U idiot Wenger is best coach arsenal have ever had Emery can’t compare.i can see your a young fan .Emery had got the worst of man u ,Chelsea and Tottenham and still couldn’t made top four last year and I believe if was Wenger in finals against Chelsea he wouldn’t lose it cuz he did against them when they won the League with Montréal,per and holding at back and xhaka outclassing kante remember with a far worst squad than what Emery had last season and if Emery can’t get top four with this squad that he has and what’s happening with other competitors he should be fired

  7. Nonny says:

    My team when everyone is fit and if the injured players perform as expected also based on current form of our players right now.

    ________________leno_____________________

    Bellerin_holding_chambers/socratis__tierney

    ____guendozi_____luiz_______cebellos________

    ____pepe_____lacazett/auba____auba/martineli

    Bench = torriera,willock,ozil,Martinez,xhaka,Niles

  8. Innit says:

    I defended him ALL of last season and this summer. After a fantastic summer I was ready to defend him further but he has made some poor lineup decisions so far this season

    I’m not against him yet but I won’t be as easy as last season. Signing good players is great but a manager still needs to make good tactical decisions

    He needs to make better decisions pretty quickly. One would be to drop Xhaka. Also perhaps start Chambers more

  9. gee says:

    The line up for the world beating record breaking Hudderfield @ home last year

    Leno: Bellerín, Mustafi, Sokratis, Lichtsteiner; Torreira, Xhaka; Guendozi, Kolašinac, Aubameyang. Lacazette.

    Note 2 attacking players. 9 defensive minded players

    Line up against UK most dangerous teams and one of the most dangerous in Europe Crystal palace @ home.

    Someone claimed he was too defensive meeting big opposition LMAO

    Arsenal: Leno (6), Koscielny (6), Mustafi (3), Mavropanos (6), Jenkinson (5) Guendouzi (6), Elneny (6), Kolasinac (6), Ozil (6), Aubameyang (7), Lacazette (6)

    Note 3 attacking players – emery was being adventurous that day. 8 defensive minded players

    Line up against Spuds on Sat had 3 attacking players the rest were defensive minded players.

    I can see from the comments there are a few who are giving this guy credit for doing very little. He has failed in everything he said that he was going to put right and in some cases has made some areas of our team worse.
    He has a lot to prove for me.

  10. Agu Emen says:

    “Why fans moan evin we’re doin great”#
    Emery missed CL qualification by one point in the league.
    He guided the team to the Europa league final.
    How is that negative?
    “I’m gonna kick you back in a minute”#
    20 players have been cut in 15 months.
    That’s the sound of us not calling you back#
    Did you know that Liverpool bought VVD for 70m.
    For 70m Arsenal bought an entire back 5 unit.
    Leno Martinez Bellerin AMN Tierney Kolasinac
    Sokratis Luiz Mavro Holding.

    #”truth hurts” by Lizzo 🙂

    1. Munster says:

      We are trying to rebuild under new management and set up a lot of people on here fail to realize that this turnover does not only affect the died of play the changes has been with everything arsenal fc.. For what emery is tasked with on the field of play, yes I can see some improvement and positives.. Some may be blind to it but I say they take up management and see how that fare.

  11. Ad says:

    Emery’s problem is he doesnt know and wont know his best team. He doesnt know how to utilise his players the best.

    There is no philosophy and style it seems all smash and grab. I havent watched a game where we have dominated starr to finish

    Playing a front three with no creative spark behind them.

    His decision to start xhaka when his midfield should be torriera guendozhi and ozil or ceballos in front

    What we have seen so far is what we will see all season.

    Its up to the board and the fans on whether they can accept that all season

  12. Dan kit says:

    He’s here till the end of the season so there’s not much point talking about his position..
    For me though he is a tactical disaster,his constant messing about with team lineups ,weird formations ,this constant playing out from the back ,the list goes on and on .
    I would love anyone on here to tell me one match since he’s been here and you thought “wow this bloke is good at his job”.
    He looks completely out of depth here ,I don’t know if it’s because we had a manager for 22 years and we’re given great football for most parts but he for me is not the answer after this seasons finished ,just hope the board dont wait to long before they see it also.

    1. Joe says:

      Chealsea away last season. Absolute tactical masterclass

      1. Dan kit says:

        How about the EL final away to the same team .

        1. Nonny says:

          How about napoli at italy

          1. Dan kit says:

            NApoli? Really ,2nd rate team in a 4th rate tournament .
            That’s what I mean scrapping the barrel here ,that’s because football under Emery is boring .

          2. Nonny says:

            Really that second rate team best Liverpool at their turf. I know if we had been beaten by the nipples they will not be a second rate team

          3. Nonny says:

            If you think football under emery is boring then yo missed Wenger last season

          4. Dan kit says:

            Who mentioned wenger ,this is about Emery .

          5. Nonny says:

            No this is about arsenal but if you think it’s all about emery and you didn’t enjoy the match against the spurs then you just choose not to. We have been improving game by game so if you choose to be blind to it, so be it.

          6. Dan kit says:

            No the article is about Emery ,read the headline ☝️

          7. Nonny says:

            Have seen many click bait about Emery

      2. Phil says:

        Was it? We lost 3-2 didn’t we? Can’t see how that was a masterclass unless you feel losing is worth it as long as we play well.And there were times in that game we did play well.Then Hazard came on for 25 minutes and murdered us.So where was the masterclass when that happened ?

      3. Phil says:

        Lost 3-2.What was a masterclass about that?

    2. Barbie1945 says:

      well if emery is that bad , then i do sincerely hope that they do get rid of him , and not give him the amount of time that they gave the french fraud. we were lucky we are not playing championship football these days , as a result of wengers disastrous last ten seasons.

      1. Dan kit says:

        This is about Emery you need to get over the wenger years now mate .and do t bother coming back with something funny or sarcastic because you made yourself look stupid the last time you did .

        1. Durand says:

          Dan Kit I ask myself the same question sometimes. I also ask why Emery doesn’t play to Arsenal’s strengths but rather tries to set up defensively to counter the opponent?

          Fine if we had a good defense, but our defense is woeful, adding more poor defenders only changes the quantity not the quality.

          Emery said when hired “I prefer to win 5-4 than 1-0,” insinuating high energy attacking football, but is that really his philosophy and style? Does anyone see that when we play?

          Emery also said when hired “I want the players to be protagonists without the football,” does that describe how we play under Emery?

          He has 12 new players, and the remaining dead weight is covered by depth. He has had a year to instill his philosophy and style on this team, to improve the defenders he has, and to erase the defensive errors we see repeated by the same players.

          Honeymoon is over for him, miss CL this year and miss top 4 then he has to go. It’s 6 teams fighting for those 4 spots, not the 4 horse race like in the last years of Wenger’s time.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Durand, the defenders that are coming back, Bellerin, Holding and Tierney (if they play to the level they were at before injuries), will improve the defence considerably…IF UE plays them of course.

            The challenge Xhaka made was so unprofessional, needless and mid-numbingly stupid, that no coach/manager could ever account for it.
            As was the sokratis attempt to “assist” xhaka that led to the first goal.

            My problem is that UE must be aware that these players are making these type of mistakes in every game, but still selects two of the current worst buys our club has made on a regular basis, despite their being other players available.

            As Dan says, the two year contract for UE was very wise and nothing will change until the end of the season. All true gooners want him to succeed, but the “honeymoon is over for him” and has nothing to do with AW.

        2. ken1945 says:

          Dan,I seem to recognise the “french fraud” retoric don’t you?
          Not worth getting involved with, unless you want to massage his ego.

          Seems barbie burke has left the old folks home, given himself a new name but continues to live in a past that only he seems to inhabit.

          As for 1945, immitation is the greatest form of flattery, just a shame that, in this case, the contents doesn’t live up to the numbers.

          Nitsram, just thick mate, just thick.

          1. Dan kit says:

            Oh I wondered who it was ,thought it was an poster who changed name ,now it makes perfect sense -MR Burke .
            All he’s posted in the last 4-5days as been about wenger and Ozil and sarcastic comments on my posts .
            Yes +1 on the Thick comment

          2. Viju Jacob says:

            He tried having a go at me, but I gently put him down…these smart arses should learn to stuck to the topic and not indulge in ad hominem attacks.

          3. Barbie1945 says:

            massage my ego baby ken, thats about all you can manage, you old fart, lol.

          4. ken1945 says:

            Managed to suss you out in less than three posts though didn’t I?
            Then again, that didn’t take too much did it, spotting someone with a vocabulary equal to that of a barbie doll lol!!

            Barbie doll sorts you perfectly and, as far as stroking your ego, you couldn’t even read that suggestion properly….I gave that piece of advise to your nemesis Dan kit, I couldn’t give a toss!!!

            Over and out yet again, you must try harder next time.

        3. Barbie1945 says:

          hahahahaahaa, yes sir big boss. qho made you the main man on here danshit. do you really think i care about looking stupid?. you silly little boy.

          1. Dan kit says:

            Like i said you’ve made yourself look stupid once again .
            Burke by name Burke by nature

      2. Nitsram says:

        Really, championship football? Are you being ironic or just thick?

      3. Drunk on Daniels says:

        You are such a joke . Arsenal and playing Championship Football. Dude calm down. Arsenal played eye pleasing Football and were known for their flair over the years. The current team with better players play crap and if earlier playing great football was down to Wenger: Now playing crap Football is down to Emery. Wenger’s players let him down his last two seasons was his complacency and own making. On the other hand Emery is putting up a team and praying for some miracles.

        1. Viju Jacob says:

          Let’s be fair to Wenger by acknowledging that the last two years he had to contend with boardroom politics after they wrested control from him. The gentleman that he is, just got on with what was provided to him as players.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Viju Jacob, what we must also recognise is the fact that AW didn’t get us into the CL two years running and that was why he left.
            He actually admitted that his contract talks led him to take his eye of the ball, so just as UE has to stand by his decisions, so does AW.

            A true gentleman I agree, but he stayed too long and who can argue with Phil’s thinking regarding his signings of xhaka and mustafi?
            I happen to think that Elneny was a very good squad player and worth the money, but that’s by the by.

            we just need to be patient and wait for the next manager who can be more successful…let’s hope it’s UE>

  13. Joe says:

    As y’all slate the manager for playing a highly ulcerative mid, I hope y’all realize this game had arsenal create more goal scoring chances than at any point this season.
    You might respond by telling me we’ve only played 4 games, to which I’ll ask you why you feel justified in your doubts already

  14. Nonny says:

    Granit Xhaka’s challenge on Son Heung-min was the fifth he has conceded since his debut in August 2016, the joint most in that time.

    Tottenham have dropped 42 points from winning positions in the Premier League against Arsenal; 11 more than any against any other side.

    Arsenal have lost only one of their last 27 Premier League home games against Spurs while Mauricio Pochettino has won only three top-flight games away from home against the ‘Big Six’ since he took over in 2014 ?

  15. DiDi says:

    The problem with Emery is not his attitude of being negative, but more with his capability.

    I have asked the questions many times and are waiting for Emery fans to answer. If Emery managed Liverpool last season, could they have won the CL? What will be the performance of Ajax if Emery was managing them last season? Sarri also proved that “1st year”, “need time” is only a limitation for certain type of managers.

    1. Nitsram says:

      Given that your question is entirely hypothetical and impossible to answer you’ll probably be waiting for a long time. You could ask would klopp or ten hag have won three consecutive europa leagues with Sevilla- but that would be equally as pointless.

      1. Durand says:

        Think the point being Emery would have set up to counter spuds, not setting up to Liverpool’s strength and unleash the attacking beast that is Liverpool.

        He did the same at PSG rather than playing to their strengths, as well as stirring up conflict with star players. In the end it caused him to miss targets and get sacked.

        Not sure if Emery learned that lesson, it appears he’s on the same track here, unless he changes his approach.

    2. Nonny says:

      I have asked the questions many times and are waiting for Emery fans to answer. If Emery managed Liverpool last season, could they have won the CL? What will be the performance of Ajax if Emery was managing them last season?

      What type of hypocritical question is this?

      If klopp was at sevila and emery at Liverpool
      Would sevila have been Liverpool for Europa
      League glory.sarri won Europa league with Chelsea
      At his 1st season gadiola is yet to make an European
      Final with a 1 billion pound squad is sarri better than
      Gadiola, I can go on and on and on if you want to ask a
      Question ask a reasonable one not this fantasy question

      And where is psg now last I heard of them and there great
      Coach they were humbled by man u. And stead rennes

  16. Viju Jacob says:

    Unai Emery has the distinction of losing the Ligue 1 for PSG, in the two years he was there; it also was peppered with ego tussles with Neymar and a few other star players that he benched at various times. Yes, he did fetch them a few trophies, but we all know Ligue 1 isn’t a tough league. Yes, he did bring three Europa leagues for Sevilla, but that is a smaller team where the manager doesn’t have to deal with star players.
    He has a good team at his disposal now but he screws it up game after game, as he believes in people scurrying all over the pitch instead of playing attractive football. There is not one game I can say that his Arsenal team won playing good football, because he doesn’t have a settled team with his constant tinkering. He doesn’t allow players to get game time on the pitch and develop a telepathic understanding. He doesn’t believe in having creative players in his team, but believes he can create that with workhorses.
    With his team selection and tactics against Spurs, it was the last straw for me, and I’ll be glad to see him go.

  17. ozziegunner says:

    Negative football and Arsenal had 26 shots on goal to Spurs 13?
    When the time comes for the owner/board/management to make the decision whether to extend Emery’s contract into the last year or not, they are not going to give a rat’s arse about the opinions expressed on here.

  18. Shinodakc says:

    I understand a lot why a lot are criticizing Emery, God knows I’ve done it as well but I don’t think all of it is justified. Against the Liverpool game, I was so annoyed after seeing the lineup, and then I was so pissed off after the game. However, after a day or two of calming my nerves, I actually realized that Emery’s plan almost worked at Anfield. Liverpool were limited to crosses, and they only scored one goal from those crosses & Socratis was at fault. Their 2nd & 3rd goals came from errors committed by Luiz, how was that Emery’s fault?
    Against Tottenham, we conceded 2 goals, again from errors. Even without creativity at the front, our own errors on the pitch were our undoing.
    Therefore, my biggest problem with Emery is his indecisiveness in removing error-prone players such as Socratis, Xhaka and Luiz from his lineups. We have only played 4 matches & those 3 players have already cost us 5 goals.
    Our main problem is errors from erratic players, get rid of that/them & maybe we can begin improving. That is Emery’s job to do, if he can’t see it & correct it, that’s what will bring him down.
    I’m not Emery’s biggest fan so far, but I’ll not bash him when some of his players are playing like clowns.

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