Is Unai Emery ruthless enough to drop under-performing players?

One of Unai Emery’s main ‘Selling Point’ (or at least one of the only ‘positives’ so far) is supposed to be that whether you’re a big player or not if you’re not performing then you’ll be dropped (with fans pointing to his treatment of Ozil as an example).

Now, after five games this season we’ve kept one clean sheet and have already conceded eight times facing close to 100 shots (the 31 against Watford boosting the total). Looking at our only clean sheet and our best performance defensively this season, the starting players were: Niles, Sokratis, Chambers, Monreal.

What has changed since then (apart from the oppositions of course)? Chambers has been dropped (not for his bad performances though) and Monreal sold (although he played twice after that Newcastle game). Our starting four has been: Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac.

The full-backs more or less pick themselves with injuries limiting our options but with Chambers around, has Emery not seen enough to drop one of Luiz/Sokratis for him? Since the pairing started, we’ve conceded at least once from either of their errors.

Luiz losing Barnes against Burnley, Luiz again giving away a penalty and running towards Salah vs Liverpool, Sokratis vacating his space and challenging for a header with Kane (even though his teammate was already challenging for the same header) and both of them literally giving Watford goals Sunday.

But the thing is, he has NEVER dropped them, and it doesn’t look like he will anytime soon and one has to ask if this ‘ruthlessness’ is only limited to a selected group of players or if he truly has it in him to drop ANY underperforming player, although the evidence so far points to the former being the case.

By Akinnubi Oluwamuyiwa


  1. Well he dropped Mustafi and Ozil
    And recently gave Ozil another chance. I don’t think that’s a problem

    I have issues with his team selections sometimes

    I hope he drops Xhaka from the starting lineup for the foreseeable future and uses guys like Torreira, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Wilock. When Bellerin comes back Niles can play central midfield also

  2. Unai has got no tactics, give him the best in the world and he will still underperform. He is just the wrong man for the Arsenal job and obsolute low budget Wenger.

  3. Emery is very dull and vindictive. He will not drop Xhaka, Luiz, Socratis, reluctant to drop Mattheou but is very quick to drop, Lacazzette, Torreia and Ozil

  4. His failure to leave out Sokratis and Luis is a symptom of weak Management I’m afraid.Dropping them, and for that matter ,Xhaka, is entirely justifiable and in my view would strengthen the team defensively,therefore I am at a loss to understand his reluctance to make what is a straightforward decision.He is paid to “manage” the team,and while I like many was prepared to give him a season to settle in, his team selections and tactical naivety in the first five matches casts doubts as to whether he is up to the job.Another matter which concerns me is the fact that because of his broken English I find it difficult to understand the meanings behind his words.Are the players having the same problem?

  5. “Sadly, we were not able to deal with them well. I feel like we are literally giving goals to the opposition, it is up to us to progress in that respect,” – PEA

    Now he’s been spotted coming out of a club late midnight after the game, he looks all dazed, tired and depressed in the pictures.
    I really hope his form and abilities don’t drop, because so far the club has been surviving on his goalscoring contributions.
    Really I wouldn’t blame him!
    I’ll get tired and depressed also when I see my coworkers constantly destroying the work and efforts I put in at work. I’ll be forced to turn to other stuffs, really working alongside the likes of Xhaka,Sokratis, Luiz can drive someone nuts.

    1. Really Arsenal players are not having problem all of them, those are having problems are very few. Players like Xhaka, Luis and Sokratis are players I think having problem and they are the one the manager favors the most .Niles should be shifted a central midfield.

  6. To be fair, Emery and the new regime have been very good at identifying the rubbish/injury prone players, and moving/trying to move them on. They have done a lot of good work in such a short space of time. The likes, Miki, Mustafi, and possibly Ozil, only remain at the club because no one wanted them.

    They haven’t got everything right (no club ever does), but overall, it’s been very positive. What baffles me though, is that how can seemingly no one see how bad Xhaka is? We did badly need a winger, but our defence should have been the priority, so didn’t we spend big on a WC CB? Why did we sign Luiz, who clearly was never going to improve our defence? Like I said, all clubs make mistakes with players, but I feel the 3 examples I have just given, are blatant errors that defy logic! These never should have happened.

  7. Many of us said from the day after Burnley game that partnering Luiz with Sokratis is potential disaster. At least I said so. Chambers should hold one spot with with of them partnering him. Like Mustafi, Xhaka needs to spend time in Colney, not at The Emirates, and defensive midfield should be between Torreira and Guendozi, even though they are error prone; we don’t have any other option. AMNiles can be moved here once the injured defenders are back. #8 should be Ceballos and #10 Ozil, with Willock coming in as a substitute for either Ozil or Ceballos.
    Emery needs to decide on two players for every position that has two or more players. He needs to decide on his formation and not play favourites. The way he has handled the team, we have no captains, who should preferably come for Defence & Midfield. Leno is not vocal to be a captain and neither is Ozil.
    Emery’s biggest achievement is that he has not only confused our players, he has confused us too. What a royal mess!

    1. I can’t believe that it’s being said that a lot of good has been done in a little time.

      £200,000,000 in just two years has been spent and we are worse off than ever.

      The two cb’s that are causing us the most problems were bought in by the new regime and yet, the clamour is for two of the “dross” playersUE inherited to take over from them!!!

      The same goes for Bellerin, another “dross player”, who cant defend…but now seen as a saviour!!! Who did we get to, presumably, take over that role…Lichsteneir at a cost for ONE SEASON at over £3.000.000.

      Those who say we have got rid of the rubbish/injury prone players, had better start looking at luiz, sokratis, lichs and even Torreria wgo, it seems, needed three times as long to get over his international exertions, compared to players from liverpool.

      Who the hell will buy luiz and/orsokratis following the shambles so far this season?
      Why is UE playingsuch awful defensive football, culminating in the mind numbing stupidity of passing the ball to each other in the six yard box.

      He played our two most creative players, Ozil and Cabs for sixty minutes and then, within ten minutes, substituted both of them for what purpose?

      I don’t care if a coach/manager has been at the club for 244 months or 14 months, the football we saw against Watford was an absolute disgrace, completely amateurish, no leadership, unbelievable substitutions, players left on the bench while UE’s favourites are continually being picked, played out of position and then the captain says “we were scared” and the manager sees nothing wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!

      £200,000,000 of our money spent on dross players, with no backbone, mentally frail, not giving 50% let alone 100% and yet we are told they have got some things right, just give UE to the end of the season….what and let leicester, everton, wolves and overtake us?

      IT’S GROUNDHOG DAY YET SOME ARE SCARED TO ADMIT IT They got UE completely wrong, let’s move him out NOW

  8. no matter what tactic emery uses, he cannot go far with the players he has at the back. xhaka, sokratis, luiz, kolasinac are not good enough to play for Arsenal. after all they do the real playing on the pitch. blame errors. blame the players.

    1. By your logic. If we get VDV, Puyol John Terry Adam’s Campbell etc. Why do we need Emery.
      The point here is the tactics don’t suit the players we have and the coach we have doesn’t know the tactics that suits its players.
      Wenger with this team will play some mesmerizing football.

  9. What I really don’t understand is what Xhaka do in training to impress all the coaches he has played for, the last international break I read where the Switzerland coach said he’s one of the best midfielder he’s ever seen and that he’s a leader on and off the pitch, Wenger did the same thing and now emery that I thought doesn’t have favorites he’s doing the same thing. As for Niles am not gonna say anything about him again, that we can’t find a better Rb In our academy says it all about our academy.

    1. PSG soon realised Emery was not up to the job and got rid of him.Arsenal are a far bigger club than PSG.Start acting like one and get this Manager out before we go backwards even further than he has taken us so far.
      And to think how many were saying (me included) anyone would be better than Wenger.We have well and truly got what we wished for haven’t we?

      1. A far bigger club than PSG?
        More like the other way around.
        PSG are loaded and have Mbappe and Neymar – We have Xhaka and Luiz.
        Says it all really….

        1. As a Global Brand Arsenal Football Club are a far far bigger commodity than PSG.Did I mention the team? Did I name the players? Check your facts PAL

      2. Watford had the cojones to sack Garcia and hire the lively Flores.Can and will Arsenal do that? I hope they do with Josh involved.Alegiri and luis Enrique are available and luis was the first choice before Unai.#unaiout

  10. I am just surprised with how arsenal are progressing after an expensive and quality transfer window,,, it is now clear that the fact that the boss is the main cause of this poor result can’t be disputed.This man lacks mature tactics.Arsenal have the best squad to be sincere but results are embarrassing.He has to sit down and work on his game plan regularly.Failure to that means no positive forward motion for the entire club and change has to affect someone

  11. Emery is only interested in proving his team is better than the one he inherited, butthe players he brought in are not very good.

    Leno is an average keeper
    Torreira is a mixed bag, though an upgrade on Elneny
    Guendouzi is the darling of fans and Martin Keown’s rent boy, but he gives the ball away more than anyone, passes to teammates who are already under pressure, and runs around like a chicken with his head cut off.
    Sokratis is average at best. He made a mistake that cost Arsenal the win, but even at his best he is just average
    Luiz plays well until he screws up. He’s good in the air, good with the ball and a vocal leader. And then… there’s a penalty
    Pepe is a good player, but very one-footed. He has pace and guile, hopefully he will add goals to the pressure he puts on defenses, but so far…. not seeing it. He does take a lot of speculative shots.
    Tierney – we have not seen.
    Saliba – not seen
    Lichsteiner, here and gone, zero positive impact
    Suarez – came, went, zero impact

    Meanwhile, Ramsey, Monreal, Malen, Nketiah, Mkhitarayan, Iwobi, Koscielny, Ospina, Bielik

    All playing well for other clubs.

    1. Leno is world class… Facing almost a hundred shots in 5 games will pull errors out of anyone. He saved us in the Watford game

  12. For me guys sorry Unai Emery is Bankrupt Tactical and Technical because if we think our defenders are so Bad can he win the League,CL,or any cup with Liverpool,Spurs,Man City defense my answer is no because he doesn,t know how setting up a structure for a team to fall to when they not in possession and when they in possession,

  13. The question should be whether the Arsenal Board of Directors are brave enough to drop a predictable and very poor Unai Emery.
    I hope so….

  14. Heey guys,

    Emery should just go, we don’t have bad defenders individually, we need someone to coach them how to defend as a unit. Burnleys, Villas etc will not even concede the amount of goals we are because they know how to set up. Torreira started on fire and all of a sudden disappeared.
    Have you all forgotten PSG 4 Barca 0? in the end PSG lost 6:1 to barca

    Crazy, when he was at Valencia the same thing happened when he was leading Madrid 1:0, then Madrid got a man sent off, Madrid then went on to win the game 4:2

    This guy has NO clue on defence, Bring in Allegri or even Lyunberg for the rest of the season. Our downfall is a joke.

  15. Actually Arsenal has a best epl squad,but here the problem is with unai emery,how can he not b able to found a solution with the leaked defence,gud line up:
    Niles Holding Chambers kolanisic
    Luiz Toreira
    Pepe auba martinelli

  16. Wow! failure is such an orphan. I am amazed by some of the comments here. I am equally a concerned fan but it hasn’t got to the point of asking for Emery’s head. We are quick to criticize these players but fail to see anything positive they do. While there are some players that aren’t good enough to be on the team, i think we should chill out, it’s too early in the season. Let the coach do his job based on the constantly changing situations, information and knowledge available to him, not you.
    The great Pep Guadiola with his top notch players lost to newly promoted Norwich last weekend, heaven did not fall. Games are meant to be won and lost. Every goal will always be a fault of one player.

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