On Premier League performance only we rate Unai Emery

We ended the season seven points better than last season, we ended the season one place better than last season and we ended the season with a Golden Boot winner and so on paper, there is a little progress.

However, we scored one goal less, conceded the same amount of goals and picked up just four points from a possible 15 in our last five games, so maybe progress is more subjective than we think.

Unai Emery did inherit a bit of a shambles from Arsene Wenger I must admit but even so, I did expect more and the end of season collapse does not sit well, that is what I expect from the likes of Tottenham, not us, though they did oblige with their own epic collapse.

The defence has not improved at all, not one tiny shred and that is a failure on Emery’s part.

The partnership up front between Lacazette and Aubameyang has clicked, it took a bit of time but they came together and to some extent that was despite Emery.

The midfield fell to pieces as the season progressed and Emery was unable to find a solution, that is definitely a worry.

Our away form has improved but there is no way we can be proud of that improvement because it was still rank poor and again, Emery failed to address that adequately.

We may well end the season with silverware and Champions League football but not because of our Premier League performance and that is our bread and butter and you cannot look much further than the manager for that situation.

The rotation policy of Emery became a joke, at one point it looked like he was doing it for the sake of doing it, his loyalty to certain players clearly out of form was simply weird, there is no other explanation.

There were some good times of course but that made the other results and end of season debacle even more mystifying.

I mean, how can you slap the shit out of Tottenham and Chelsea at the Emirates but fail to beat Brighton when it really really mattered?

Do I think Emery is the right man for the job? right this minute, yes.

He does need at least another season, it is not easy to transition to the Premier League but there cannot be any excuses next season.

I give Emery a rating of 5, not bad, not good, just average and it could have been, should have been, so much better.


  1. The best grade I can give Emery is a 3. He’s clearly not the manager to take us forward NO MATTER THE RESULT OF THE UEL FINAL. He has gambled around with a mighty arsenal team.

    It’s not hate; but first things first: a manager;
    1. chooses the players to buy (in the first place),
    2. chooses the team to play and
    3. finally not only motivates them but makes them express themselves in a risk-free manner (no “play it safe” or back passing nonsense).

    I can safely say he (the rookie manager) has failed in all 3 aspects; from buying players like guendouzi, to choosing players like xhaka, mustafi, Niles, ramsey to play, to successfully making us a backpassing team.

    Until we adopt managers like Klopp, pep, Brendan Rodgers then, don’t expect miracles in any foreseeable future with this rookie.

    1. Mayert spot in, article spot on. I have said throughout the season and to my surprise it did change. 35 goals conceded in 9 away game, 8 losses, 1 win and draws. Paul Merson said our defence is bad, and we did not improve one bit, even against Burnley. We were vulnerable and this is my worry when we meet Chelsea, Emery has not done a good job, if we win Europa League, maybe but right now we are average. We don’t have stability, our defence is shambles, the midfield is worrying (disorganised so that they can defend, which we don’t eventually do).

      1. Emery is a Europa specialist

        we will win the Europa

        we have 2 top strikers Auba and laca

        the only worrying thing is the inconsistent defense

    2. You were doing fine until you mentioned Brendan Rodgers. I say, give Emery at least one more season. After next season, I think we will be able to see whether he is the right man for the job. But I have to admit that just like you, I was frustrated a number of times with his tinkering of the line up.

    3. Do not agree entirely. Managers like AW or Sir Alex dont exist anymore. They always have a team. They give a list of what they want, based on positions and type of player, not exactly who. Then the scouts/technical director etc go after player, based on match and resell value etc. Its not always what the manager gets that he wanted.
      Agreed, he has to be better with our away record. Its very poor. But Guendouzi – was a good buy, he can be sold if nothing else. Mustafi was all he had as a recognized CB at some points in the season due to lack of cover and LB/RB being slow he preferred 3 at the back some games. Niles is home grown, English, and can be a squad player, can improve – why give up on him? These days we are lacking funds, and average English lads are pretty expensive out there. Xhaka played may be his best season.

      Who created the Ozil mess? not him. What pushed Ramsey out? not him, the club decided they wont pay anyone Ozil crazy wages and Ramsey walked. When the club has a lot of mess, it takes more than one man, and more than one year to clear it. If he wins Europa, may be the club will trust him with rebuilding the squad. Else he wont get the funds again and will be removed after next year, when his contract ends

      1. RSH, unfortunately the author and others supporting his assessment, believe that Emery (or any other manager/coach who could be attracted to the Emirates) could use alchemy or similar magic to greatly enhance the Arsenal players, when Wenger could not.
        The defense was greatly impacted by a number of serious injuries and the continuing influence of Steve Bould. Zonal marking should be dispensed with immediately.

        1. Lol… He has a actually worked magic. Our form against the top six. Europa league final etc. All done with a mediocre squad limited by injuries

  2. 6.5 for me! New league, doesn’t speak the language too good and clearly isn’t and won’t be backed in the transfer market and has inherited Wenger’s squad! He’s got 7 more points and more away wins than a man who had 22 years at the club plus gone further in the Europa League. OT Mike Dean is in attendance at the Forest Green vs Tranmere game but I just think that’s a smokescreen for who he truly supports ?

    1. And for anyone who jumps on my back just because their anti Emery don’t bother! Just keep your opinion to yourself and I will too!

        1. Not on someone whos just looking for an argument! Or finding excuses for why Wenger should have stayed on because some people just can’t move on from that old dinosaur

  3. There is one thing that has disappointed me – we could easily have finished 3rd!! So bloody annoying!
    Oh well it wasn’t meant to be.. maybe next season!

    Yes this season has had it’s ups & downs.. unbeaten in the league against the spuds & United!
    Sky sports said the game of the season was our game v the spuds at the Emirates, and I totally agree!!
    Yes we’ve had some stupid losses, but we’ve made a European final & Auba has a golden boot…
    I’m really looking forward to the transfer window opening (ha I wonder why!!) And I believe it can only get better next season ?

  4. He bought in a top class keeper, a centre back and a defensive midfielder, yet we still conceded the same number of goals as last season and kept only one clean sheet away. We have no defined style and the football is boring. On the plus side we have the highest goals per shots ratio of any team.

  5. I’m unconvinced. A 4/10 perhaps and reasons are as per the article and the first comment above. However, I do stand by my free pass for Emery even if some may disagree with it. No excuses next season. The jury will be out.

  6. Emery has not been bad and at this moment and time he is the best arsenal can get .
    I don’t think there is any manager who could have done better against the big teams specifically with our current squad.
    but arsenal fans need to stop being hypocritical and pretend we are a big club ignoring all the embarrassments we have had under Wenger.

    1. ramterta, I also thinkwe should ignore all the embarresments sufferred under Arsene Wenger.

      The sham of twenty consecutive years of top four finishes with the dross that he bought and UE inherited.
      The sham of twenty consecutive years of CL football.
      The sham of seven FA cup wins and the sham of being THE most successful club in the history of that competition.
      The sham of being called The Invincibles and achieving something that City, with all their oil money, have still not equalled.
      All this achieved with the lowest transfer budget of any of the top ten clubs in the world, a difficult thing to do as UE is finding out.

      A big club? Look at their history and you will see that we are NOT BEING HYPOCRITICAL OR PRETENDING, rather wishing for the good old days to return under UE.

        1. Ken and Kenny, I too beli have a reasonable knowledge of the Arsenal’s history having followed this great club, having followed it through good and not so good times for 57 years. However I beliieve it is totally unfair to judge Emery on his first season, following a great manager of 22 years standing, who at the beginning of his career didn’t have to contend with an EPL awash with cash and Manchester City and Chelsea insignificant clubs.
          On the reasoning of many on this site Ferguson, Guardiola and Klopp should have been sacked after their first seasons.
          I need reminding again why Arsenal left Highbury to build the Emirates?

          1. OZZIE, GREAT COMMENTS WITH PERSPECTIVE AS ALWAYS. I am a massive fan of Emery and what he has achieved with both hands tied behind his back by Kroenkes non help and Wengers rubbish, esp in defence foisted on him. Many anti Emery comments are made by people who clearly expected miracles. They do not live in the football world as it is but in make believe land only! FANTASISTS, ALL OF THEM.

  7. How do you say he bought in Guendouzi, what sense does that make? when he didn’t even know he was going to be coaching Arsenal until a Month or so before…the players that arrived in the same season as UE at our club had no previous history with him…Sokratis had been under Sven at Dortmund, Lichtenstein was from Juve , it can’t all have been his doing when he hadn’t even figured out the names of the stands at the Emirates stadium

  8. I don’t like to judge yet, as the season hasn’t ended, and I like to look at Emery’s entire performance, not just the league. But I think he’s done well.

    At the beginning of the season, did any of us really believe we’d finish only 2pts off 3rd, make our first European final in 13 years, and improve in the big games? I didn’t! Especially once the injuries started kicking in. Imagine if we win the EL as well? WOW!

    Last season:
    Finished 6th with 63pts and lost 13.
    EL – semi-final (no wins against quality teams from 2 games)
    FA Cup – 3rd round
    League Cup – final
    Record against the top 6 in all comps – Won 2, Draw 4, Lost 7

    This season:
    Finished 5th with 70pts and lost 10.
    EL – final/winner? (4 wins from 4 games against quality teams so far, let’s hope it’s 5)
    FA Cup – 4th round
    League Cup – quarter-final
    Record against the top 6 in all comps – Won 3, Draw 3, Lost 8

    Looking at the stats, it’s fair to say that there’s only been a minor improvement thus far. But surely that is all that could have been expected when you consider that Emery inherited the 6th worst squad, with the 5th worst budget, in comparison with the top 6. Add to that, the crippling injuries, and the fact the entire club was/still going through a huge transitional phase, which included the end of the 22 year reign of our most successful manager. Not enough has been talked about the injuries. We lost 3 players, including 2 first choice defenders, to season ending injuries before the halfway point! Not to mention all the other injuries. We’ve seen a lot more of Mustafi, and Lichtsteiner than we would have liked, and that was because of the injuries.

    Although the results against the top 6 has barely improved, there’s definitely been a huge improvement in performances. Very unlucky not to win away at Utd, Spurs, and Chelsea. Let’s not forgot how well we beat Valencia, and Napoli as well. We’re tactically miles better under Emery, and it’s refreshing seeing him drop anyone if needs be.

    Some of the problems with Emery for some fans has been the style, which I think is unfair. I have been entertained most of the time, and I think it’s a little unfair to compare to Wenger, because he was one of greatest entertainers of all time! We shouldn’t forget that we had a lot of sideways football for the last 5/6 years under Wenger, which was very boring. Another issue is the constant tinkering, but I actually prefer this to zero tinkering, which is what Wenger did. But I do feel Emery takes it too far. I’d like to see more consistency from him next season.

    In the Medium/long-term only time will tell if Emery is the right man, but right now, he is not a major concern…it’s definitely the players that concern me! We should remember that this is mostly Wenger’s squad as well.

    Emery rating, 7 (9 if we win the EL)

  9. I see it like this.

    Injuries to our best defenders in Koscielny, Holding and Bellering kept them out for half the season. What is there to choose from then? A defensive line of AMN, Mustafi, Sokraits and Kolasinac? Not really a defensive line to challenge for the title to me. AMN did ok though considering he is played out of position. Other injuries as well to Mavropanos and Monreal. What is Emery supposed to do there really? Play with youth players?

    We lack wingers. We hava had Iwobi and Welbeck to choose from and Welbeck too was out for half the season. Özil, Mhikitaryan and Aubameyang is to me at least not wingers. Not Welbeck either really, but he has done ok there from time to time, at least compared to some others. Was the lack of wingers what forced Emery to play with a back three and wingbacks?

    We lack a creative midfield that we have had in the past. Player types like Cazorla, Rosicky and Whilser are sourly missed in my opinion. Players like Xhaka, Elneny, Guendouzi does not give you that kind of creativity.

    To me these things are what has affected our result most. Emery can only work with what he got and as mentioned above, he lacks alot. I would say Emery has done an ok job. The next season is the time to judge him properly.

  10. 7/10- came 5th with the 6th best squad in the league- marginally behind 3rd/4th, some encouraging improvement against top 6 opposition, needs a chance (over at least the next 3 transfer windows realistically) to make the squad personnel his own

  11. UE inherited a squad that finished sixth, won the FA cup and then signed six new players.
    He also sacked an entire backroom staff, saw gazidis leave and had the three musketeers join him in the revamped Arsenal.

    The injuries, which are always used (correctly) as an excuse, were all from the AW team of “6th worst squad”, so were they excellent players or not?
    Both UE and AW thought they were excellent…great minds etc etc.

    Six new players were bought in during the summer, five of whom were defenders…any improvement in that area? No, as the stats confirm.
    One player bought in during January, played about half a game, got injured and returned home to Barca.
    Any improvement in the transfer market then? No, as the stats confirm.

    New contracts offered and accepted for five of AW’s dross players by UE and Ramsey, Welbeck let go for a transfer total of £0.
    UE obviously saw the same “quality” in those players offered new contracts as AW did and, like Sanchez, players allowed to leave with a loss of transfer money for the club.
    Any improvement in this area then? No, UE doing the same thing as AW was pilloried for.

    Knocked out of both domestic cups by spuds and united at The Emirates.
    Won the fa cup last year, so a slide backwards.

    No top four finishing spot and over twenty five points behind city and pool.
    No improvement there either, remember how our club was pilloried for finishing so far behind city last year?

    Finally, top four was in our grasp so many times in the final run up, but we bottled it completely.
    However this was an improvement as the previous year, we were nowhere near that scenario.

    Has UE improved the club? Well, he recognsed that the squad he inherited was worth offering new contracts too, recognised and brought in defenders and a DM equal to the likes of Song or Flamini.
    Deserves one more season to see what he can do with the limited budget that AW had to endure during his time as manager…let’s see if he can finish in the top four next season.

    1. Oh my God the delusion of these akbs is amusing.
      Did Wenger win in the fa cup last year? No he got hammered 4 2 by Nottingham in the first game.

      Wenger finished 6th loosing all away games in 2018.Emery has slightly improved that area.
      Wenger failed to beat a 10man atletico Madrid team
      Wenger only beat one team in the top 6 last season
      Emery has brought 6 new players yes but at a budget of 70m.
      How much has Wenger wasted on average/not good enough players? Hundreds of millions.
      Wenger did have a good transfer budget both in the summer and winter transfer windows.
      He had the chance to sell Sanchez for 60m but ended up losing him for a mediocre player in mkhitaryan.
      Was Emery to clean up all of Wenger and gazidis mess in one season? absolutely not.

      1. so the 1 nil win at home against athelitco madrid scored by lacazette was fake news?

          1. Arsenal 1-1 Atlético Madrid: Europa League semi-final first leg

            Atlético Madrid 1-0 Arsenal: Europa League semi-final second leg

            You are both right!

  12. Anyway aside from hating him, on the plus side I have to give him credit for two things:
    1. Getting rid of non-arsenal standard players e. g. Ramsey, Welbeck, and soon Bellerin (the initiator of back passing).
    2. Giving players like IWOBI a chance to shine. I must admit I was merely a left back for my school team back then but what I am confident about is the ability to see someone with special talent. Had iwobi been in a serious team he would be world class by now – just like how Raheem Sterling is. I’ll remind you guys when we sell him.

    1. Iwobi!!!!
      Good player, not World class
      ability to see someone
      Then Welbeck is better, a little grand:)

  13. solid 7 for me. He’s made bold decisions that have paid off and others that haven’t. End of the season his lineups for EPL got weaker and weaker b/c of Europa League focus. And his focus on the Denis Suarez loan was a complete waste of time when we should’ve found a loan that could actually help us. But given the squad he had to take over, the limited budget, he did better than I expect in EPL. Players also need to take the blame for bottling it at the end and losing so many games too.

  14. Under UE own standards I would say we under achieved and errors on missing top4 will be what we will need to address.

    Do I expect better next season? I think everyone at the club will expect better.

    As far as UE is concerned, hes tactics will need to evolve. We have scored some of the best team goals this league has seen this season, unbeaten run after city and Chelsea and the development of auba and Laca all point to areas we can use as a spring board.

    It’s time we push now. A season under new management is under way. If UE is fo have a future as a goner he will need to be ruthless with this squad.

    1. It is difficult to be ruthless with the squad, if no funds are made available to ship under performers out and bring in replacements.
      If Kroenke and the board don’t support Emery, he will have no alternative other than to promote from within the academy. In my view there is some real talent there, who may blossom if given opportunities.
      In addition the new Director of Football Edu and his scouts need to uncover talent in the lower leagues and overseas.
      It may be the case that, as well as Manchester City, United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea, Arsenal will probably be outspent by Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford in the transfer market.

  15. Our goal was to win a trophy and get into Champions League

    We can do it on the 29th
    If we do it, I’d give him a 7.5/10
    If not 6/10

    He has improved us from last season with largely the same squad as Wenger and has given us Torreira/Guendouzi

    1. 6th to 5th
    2. Semi-final to Final
    and maybe a trophy

  16. Sure let’s appease all the entitled ones by sacking Emery if Chelsea beat us. Then who’s available? Who will want to work on a shoestring budget?

    1. Am almost tempted to say that too…
      Let’s just sack Emery and let’s what
      His replacement will do with this
      Bunch we have but then again
      When it gets worst the same people
      Saying Emery is clueless will find
      Another rubbish to spill in defence
      So it is better left the way it is

      1. Unfortunately, Kroenke is not like Abranovic to provide funds to churn through managers like Chelsea or Manchester United.

  17. People criticising him for screwing it at the End
    But the forgot he put us in that position to fight
    Till the end bar crystal palace match he put a
    Squad we all wanted to see and a squad capable
    Of winning the matches but the players wasn’t up
    For it…. where are criticise him is not trying many
    Other options when the senior players where failing
    Him but even at that if it doesn’t work out fans will
    Call for his head saying he was tingering with the lineup
    At a crucial stage of our season as if our first choice line-up
    Was doing a great job just like Burnley game there are some games
    You would have put in some raw fresh leg talent out there we all
    Know they wouldn’t be worst like what we have seen from certain
    Players this season but again what if it doesn’t work fans will call
    For his head…we all know whi are best performers are only 5-6 players
    Should keep there place in our games others can always be replaced
    By anyone even if it’s our academy player they can’t do worst

    1. Problem is like previous seasons; you never know if the players care to turn up or not.

  18. We also had that golden boot winner for an entire season and not just a half, as well as having him available in the EL. Odd how no-one ever seems to mention that when comparing this season to the last? How exactly would this season have panned out without Auba?

    I think Emery is extremely lucky to have inherited such a player and I imagine we would be in a far worse position if we only had him for half a season and none of our EL games.

    1. Jezzy, you should look at the squad Arsene Wenger inherited from Bruce Rioch after the 1995/96 season. The quality of the players may surprise you.

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