Opinion – Emery Can’t Keep Freezing Out Arsenal Players, Can He?

Xhaka’s time in north London seems to be up.

Can’t Keep Freezing Out Players

Unai Emery didn’t exactly go out of his way to defend Granit Xhaka last week, not just stripping him of the captaincy but refusing to confirm if he would ever play for Arsenal again. Even when you consider there are two remaining Europa League ties where we play our fringe players it would have been easy enough for our manager to downplay the far-fetched notion that he’s put on an Arsenal shirt for the last time. Yet he didn’t….

The man himself was a lot more positive about his future saying, as quoted on SkySports: “I’ll continue to stay positive, give my all to an even greater extent and prove that I’m an important part of this great team”

He also told the Switzerland media the extend of support he’s had from his teammates, so it’s safe to say the dressing room won’t be agreeing with the idea of freezing out a midfielder who was so popular the majority voted to be their skipper.

There’s a lot of reasons gooners think we should change managers, but one of Unai’s biggest flaws is how easy it is for him to dismiss talent. If you consider the likes of Mustafi and Ozil, too many individuals are being paid thousands of pounds to just sit at home. The Spaniard shrugs this off but how many coaches do you know who suddenly just give up on players? It puts him in the minority, yet he does it regularly, even at PSG.

Players might divide opinion among fans but that’s allowed. It’s our job to sit in the pub and debate who’s good enough or not. It’s the coach’s role to work with what he’s got and get the best out of them. We are in an era where some owners won’t even give out the title of manager anymore. Recruitment, wages, youth development, etc, is dealt with by others. Unai’s work should be on the training pitch. He’s given the tools and is expected to train them, teach them new skills.

Look how a Pep and Klopp maximise every last ounce out of their squad. Liverpool haven’t got the most skilful midfield, but they have been coached where everyone knows their job. We know Ozil is on a reported 350,000 a week, let’s say Mustafi and Xakha minimum earn 100,000, it’s not okay to be freezing out resources that are that expensive. Especially when it’s your job criteria to get the best out of what you have.

The worse thing is these are players he trusted. The likes of Mustafi, he played regularly last season but who Emery has now given up on. Fans are allowed to do that. The person’s who’s job it is to coach him isn’t…

Dan Smith


  1. gotanidea says:

    According to the media, Xhaka was the one that asked Emery not to play him. If he is not transfer-listed, I’m sure Emery would include him in the squad again

    Mustafi still plays regularly in EL. Arsenal will need his help if they keep playing with three CBs

    Ozil’s wage is too big to be frozen. I think he would get his chance in EL as well, since he is determined to stay at Arsenal

  2. Invisible says:

    Give unai klopp’s squad, he’d still manage to drag them down. As the author puts it succinctly , you cannot isolate players and hope to achieve anything. But to contradict myself, if a player did an Anelka or an alexis, probably isolation might serve a purpose.

  3. Mogunna says:

    Useless to go on, board echoed Kroenke’s wish and thoughts; we are doing fine with perfect coach, in progress! What else can we add to such a clear message!

  4. towny 254 says:

    Emery is trying to get them out of the Wenger comfort zone and some don’t like it don’t blame EMERY it’s the players they need to get off their arses and pull their weight

    1. ozziegunner says:


      1. ken1945 says:

        What, the twelve new players signed are in the Wenger comfort zone?

        Are the young talent introduced in the last eighteen months in the Wenger comfort zone?

        The sooner fans stop trying to justify UE’s mistakes by blaming AW for them, the sooner we might just see the damage being done by UE and get him out.

        If it’s the players who need to get of their backsides, why doesn’t Emery do something about it then? He’s been here over eighteen months and the “Wenger comfort zone” is all you can come up with?

  5. Apangu Iddi Amin says:

    He must go because he first of all brings division among the players and can not bring the best out of the players he has even having plan B in case things dont work and i believe he even dosent want to here from his assistants, Because with other managers you find them discussing things on tatch line but for him wapi nothing. let him go.

  6. Reggie says:

    I dont see what Emery is doing with the players is wrong. I think he was too slow seeing xhaka was awful though. Ozil for whatever reason is back now so i hope he is refreshed and chomping on the bit. Torreira has a great attitude but i see he is limited, so is his plaing time. Pepe needs time, thats what he is giving him. Mustaffi is being given the games he can be trusted in at the moment. Tierney, Bellerin and Holding are coming back from serious injury and need handling carefully, i see no wrong in that. Some people are slagging Emery off for everything and are wrong. You may question his coaching methods because that is something that is in the spotlight but the rest is just a slag fest that is all a cheapshot and boring.

    1. enagic says:

      House cleaning should take place again January/summer – the only good players we brought in were Martinelli, Pepe, and Tierney – we need to get rid of Ozil, Auba, Laca, Mustafi, Kolasnac and Xhaka, Torreira, and Papa and switch David Luiz as DM he will do better job defending and building our attack going forward

    2. Daulat says:

      It’s not what he’s doing, but more about what he isn’t doing is a problem.

      What he isn’t doing is training and prepare players the right way so they remain competitive in EPL. I don’t think he makes players work on their athleticism, because it clearly shows.

      He isn’t making the midfielders work on their shooting abilities, which makes our offense very linear and predictable.

      He isn’t playing with a game plan that even works theoretically. You can’t play with 7 defensive players and hope to score goals. He basically starts with a losing mentality in most of the games against big teams. Almost as a damage control strategy right from the get go. He is killing whatever confidence players have left in them with that sort of mind set.

      And he isn’t playing the right formation to suit the players he has available.

      Among many others.

  7. TT says:

    The problem is that if you combine all the players that the manager hates, plus the injured players, with all the players that the fans hate, and then add to it all the players that Arsenal cant afford, with the players that don’t want to play for Arsenal, there are not enough players to build a team let alone a squad.

    21 players left the team in the summer, another 5 or 6 are despised by the fans, probably about 5 or 6 the manager has a thing against… No team in the world can deal with that sort of talent drain.

    Until Arsenal fans start to appreciate and support their players and the manager has the flexibility to work with the players he has got, instead of trying to find players to fit his system, the club is going to plummet like a stone.

    1. ken1945 says:

      TT, UE decided he wanted the 21 players out, UE decided to freeze out the likes of Ozil, Mustafi and now Xhaka, UE signed 12 new players for over £220,000,000 so what more do you think we should let him have to exercise flexibility, tactics etc etc?

      The club is in turmoil and although I can explain it to you,I can’t understand it for you!! He has no system and,as you say, no team in the world can deal with that sort of talented coach.

  8. Reggie says:

    Good post TT. This piece is about what Emery is doing with freezing the players out and still it get turned round into something else by some. I do like posters who actually post relevant stuff, whether i agree or not.

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