Paul Merson launches blistering attack on Arsenal and Unai Emery

Arsenal legend Merson slams Unai Emery and questions progress under the Spaniard

Paul Merson has launched a scathing attack on Unai Emery’s Arsenal after their 1-0 loss at Sheffield United on Monday.

Arsenal struggled to break down the hosts and was left ruing a missed chance by Nicolas Pepe after Sheffield United scored in the 30th minute.

Most fans now believe that nothing has changed at the Emirates since the departure of Arsene Wenger. Monday’s game came as no surprise to most of them including Merson.

Wenger was forced out of the driving seat at the Emirates in the summer of 2018. Emery was seen as a better replacement from a pool of several candidates. But he hasn’t done enough and he seems to be running out of time to achieve success with the Gunners.

They failed to qualify for the Champions League last season and also lost the Europa League final to Chelsea.

While speaking to Skysports after the game, Merson claimed :

“This is Arsenal now”

‘It was normal, wasn’t it? I don’t know what anybody expected. This is Arsenal now. It’s just lacklustre. There’s no urgency. ‘People say they wouldn’t know if this was Arsene Wenger’s team, I don’t know about that because defensively they looked comfortable. David Luiz just played in first gear.

‘But going forward, they’ve got no guile. It looked like Chris Wilder knew exactly what he wanted from his side. But with Arsenal and Unai Emery, it was almost like: “See you at half-time and full-time.” ‘I kept thinking: “What would this Arsenal side look like if Chris Wilder was in charge?” ‘It’s accepted. Nobody is going to work this morning and saying: “Oh my God, did you see Arsenal getting beat by Sheffield United?”

Arsenal seem to still be missing the fear factor that left them in the latter years of Arsene Wenger’s tenure and that may take more time than expected to get it back.

The lack of leadership in this Arsenal side is also very obvious and many fans do not believe that Granit Xhaka has what it takes to lead them up the league table.

29 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    It’s so depressing, reading articles like this.. because they’re spot on… if everyone else can see the problems we have, why can’t Unai??
    On Thursday, I bet Bellerin, Tierney, Laca & Holding will play, we’ll have a good game & may even win.. but then on Sunday, all the usual suspects will start and we’ll make Palace look like Barca.. Benteke look like Messi.. and we’ll have to listen to all the crap Unai comes out with about how we didn’t deserve to lose!!
    FFS.. sort it out Unai. Read this, for a start.. don’t leave Ozil at home.. please look at the under performers and drop them!!! PLAY YOUR BEST TEAM.. if they’re fit enough for the bench, then they’re good enough to start imo.

    1. McLovin says:

      We will smash Guimaraes by 4-5 goals, because the donkey in charge will field Lacazette, Bellerin, Tierney, Holding, Ceballos, Torreira and Martinez.

      Then on Sunday, he will field his donkey friends Xhaka, Sokratis, Luiz + other usual suspects and we will struggle – win by 1 goal at best.

      1. Sue says:

        Tbh, Mclovin… I’m not even overly confident of beating Palace… how sad is that?!!

      2. gotanidea says:

        LOL I hope the donkeys upstairs know what it takes to run a big football club and how to assess the next managerial candidates. But no worries, the defeat in Sheffield is embarassing enough and I believe Emery would be forced to field more attacking players like Ceballos, Tierney, Bellerin and Martinelli

        About Merson’s comment, Arsenal fully deserved it. However, the fans must realize that a big transition is not always easy after a long-serving manager leaves a club. For instance, Man United are still struggling after Ferguson left

        Like them, we might need several managers before finding the right one

        1. Seng says:

          Are you saying we need to give more time for Emery?

        2. Sylva Olabanji says:

          @gotanidea👍
          Almost nothing to add.
          Hope Arsenal don’t need several manager before the boad learn how to recruit good manager after Wenger’s departure.
          FLanpard already getting Chelsea to play his philosophy the lads are 3rd on the table. Same with BRogers of Leceister.UEmery second season running yet no one understands his style😕

    2. John0711 says:

      I honestly think emery rates the cup higher than the langue. I mean his statement about kola not doing anything to be replaced by Tierney. FFS play your best team do you think Klop wouldn’t bring back VVD immediately if he was out for a while
      #emery out #wherehasjonfoxgone

      1. Sue says:

        I do too.. just trying to work out what he loves more – the Europa League or Xhaka 🤔

      2. jon fox says:

        Hi John 0711, I am back and agree with your post. Two questions arise: Is there a single Gooner who rates Xhaka? Secondly, why do our last two manager both rate him?. He is not remotely Arsenal quality by any stretch of imagination and we all know that, so why doesn’t UE?

  2. PabloX says:

    Emery can be worse than the previous. He can’t take us far and he’s not a winner. I already lost faith in him because I don’t see my beloved arsenal tearing teams apart or playing with passion..

    We are playing sideways and with no plan B game plan. Laca, Torriera, Ozil, Tierney, and holding needs to be starting games and playing regularly. It’s no fun again watching this side because you don’t get the confidence of a win when it’s the EPL. It’s either the board gets ruthless on him now or we may regret appointing this very static and headstrong man.

  3. Arsenal were once feared and respected. Now promoted teams not only want to draw but want to win against us. Cmon Emery, players like Auba, Laca, Ozil and Pepe are world class, give them the proper platform and plan to execute and they will do the needful. Don’t say we should have got a penalty and Sheff Utd were good defensively, go out and play the Arsenal way. Time is running out and we should not lose sight of the top four(3rd and 4th?)

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Arsenal has over many seasons has lost players able to not only play football, but get down and get dirty, giving as much as they get. Successful teams under Bertie Mee, George Graham and Arsene Wenger had players with a mean streak and touch of mongrel. If you tried to kick them off the park, there were repercussions. Arsenal players for some time have been physically and mentally weak.

  4. Mercen is right Where is the Arsenal identity? Emery is confused and confusing one and all. But hey, Many times Ramsey is not even on the bench at Juve. Sanchez is apparently injured at Inter. Should they have ever left Arsenal?

    1. Jay says:

      Egocentric clueless manager. Emery out!!!

  5. Seng says:

    This manager needs to let go of his ego and play the best 11 every match and see how it goes.

  6. Michael says:

    Arsenal loss to Shefield Utd made me suffer for two days because of Unai’s poor team selection. Loss to Crystal Palace means he should be sa.cked

  7. kenyanfan says:

    Every single player under Emery looks lost than ever before. Everyone is deteriorating day after the other. Very few players play on position. How can we play more than 4 players our of position day in day out in one game? None of our Midfield players play on position apart from Ceballos (atimes). Look at Chelsea. They are Even playing far better than us. We have lost it.The players are only concerned about ‘training hard’! That’s the most important thing for Emery. Training hard without purpose and that’s clearly why players who understand football like Ozil, Ceballos, Torreira and Lucazette are not Emery’s favorites because they are not ready to train hard without purpose. That’s why he had issues with Ramsey and didn’t want more of Carzola who is far better than Xhaka even at his age(currently recalled for Spanish national team). That’s why he likes the youngsters who of course want to train hard to earn playing favours and other few players who know very well that they are getting their time in front of better options.

    1. Musa median says:

      Training hard is not a sign that can make you say this player will do better for the upcoming match, training is something to make a player alert and ready for a game and it means planning well to what to do whenever your opponent looks hard and strong to turn around or break their defence and players like Ozil,Lava,Auba ,Ceballos and Torreira can done that not Xhaka and Guendouzi.Unai out if not play the best 11 weak in and out.

  8. Joel JJUNJU says:

    Why not starting Ozil? Emery is aersenal’s problem

  9. @atuliwa says:

    Emery out mesult ozil in drop your pride emery and play your best team and start playing ozil in arsenal first team.

  10. Break-on-through says:

    Don’t know what to say, I want to tell him to go F himself but there’s no point, everyone is chipping in with the insults right now. We did say the break came at a bad time for us just when we were getting momentum, really would’ve liked us to take advantage but no, it’s a bad blow. Come on Arsenal, do you players even believe in yourselves, do you feel you are big/good enough for Arsenal, because we need to see you showing us that you do. Now we have to try and pick ourselves up and see if we can grind out results, but next time we have a chance to make some headway on our rivals, need to remember this game and act on it.

    1. Jay says:

      All our players seem to be loosing self confidence under Unai. He doesn’t give them the freedom to play with their heads and individual skill sets. It’s all about brawn and no brain football. Every average team looks like Barca against us. No combination play, no rhythm, no style, no flair, our football is worse than boring, it’s frustrating and annoying.
      I don’t see us surviving Crystal Palace. It’s that bad.

  11. Mobella says:

    The manager doesn’t necessarily have to play his best 11 but playe his players in the best system that will showcase their qualities and minimize their flaws. Emery is not doing this rather employed defensivel tactics that piles pressure on his defense. The failed playingout from the back, have we really got a goal from it, the reverse and shadow marking and the endless back passing characterized Emery system. Hard work is good but what have achieved with it under him. The small teams that system to effect against big clubs but not us not even against small clubs. We keep conceding goals despite playing defensively. Our defense is even more porous. The guy is simply a bad fit

  12. Abuteema says:

    Emery should just be sack.honestly I don’t even know wat d hell he is still doing in our team.let sign a responsible person who can carry our team on head.I don’t know why you have a player like ozil and u are nt using him,its a taboo bcos look at our last game,honestly their is no one single pass DAT come from our midfielders.

  13. uzkido says:

    The earlier fans start boycotting arsenal home matches the better. we are losing our identity.

  14. Robert Baker says:

    This has been the least exciting arsenal team I’ve ever seen and I’m in my fifties, so seen many arsenal teams gone by. Emery is the problem that’s for sure. How many times would Bellerin and Tierney been able to run in behind shef, u, and deliver inch perfect passes between them, yet he chooses not to play them. When is holding going to get a game. ? There no one setting up chances, trying a sneaky pass through the defence, yet he has Ozil at home. That game was made for him. Ozil and ceballos would be very similar to Ozil and santi, but Emery is blind to it. What manager watches the Europa team win well and keep clean sheets and doesn’t think they I’m on to something here, I know I’ll play them in the prem. If Emery can’t see it already then he never will. I’m sorry but if I was on the board is be saying to him play that back four with that keeper in prem games or it time to walk. Yet my worst problem is we aren’t playing the exciting Arsenal football I’ve always loved, even back in the George Graham days it was exciting to watch our defender’s at work keeping clean sheets, because they were world class, what we have now is enough to cause heart attack across the 🌎. No way would I want marrinhio managing us though. This manager imo has to leave asap. Who would I replace him with,, nagglesman,or Or Mikel Arteta , After a must have learnt one he’ll of a lot at city and how is like to see us play like that. Arteta for me is what we should have done in the first place.

  15. Felix Shyaba kenyanfan says:

    When you compare world class marathon champions with Emery, you will note that they are more tactical and know how to finish the race, look at Eliud who broke the 2 hour mark, he knew he had to train hard but was tactical and never burned himself out, I think our players use too much energy during training and come match day, they have no stamina and ability to outrun their opponents, I noticed that on monday, this manager ought to leave Arsenal ASAP otherwise we wont even make it to EUROPA even though our aim is champions league, bad tactics, poor team selection and players being played out of position is hindering our chances.Paul Merson article is simply spot on this what we arsenal fans from Nairobi are feeling, I think our technical team should replay the entire unbeaten season we had to all our current squad , it will help them rekindle self esteem, during those days, Arsenal was bashing all teams within 20 minutes of 1st half with score lines of 3 nil and above. With current squad, if if they are leading, fans get worried because of the back passing instructions form Emery which cost us lts of points this season, call a spade a spade not a big spoon, enough is enough, EMERY OUT!

  16. Jay says:

    All our players seem to be loosing self confidence under Unai. He doesn’t give them the freedom to play with their heads and individual skill sets. It’s all about brawn and no brain football. Every average team looks like Barca against us. No combination play, no rhythm, no style, no flair, our football is worse than boring, it’s frustrating and annoying.
    I don’t see us surviving Crystal Palace. It’s that bad.

  17. Emery is the most useless team have ever seen in my entire life, he’s a confuse man. You have ego and still don’t know how to fix your team up, so shameful for him to loose against shellfield United. It’s a big loose for arsenal team, I totally hate seeing zcaka in that team, you have bellerin, Tierney, holding and you play sokratis, xhaka week in week out. For God sake this guys are injusry free now, why can’t you play them and see for ourselves if they are not good enough to be in arsenal team. No pattern , no ball possession. Very confuse man, I swear he be sacked

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