So Unai Emery lost his first Arsenal game, and everyone is predicting relegation or worse for the Gunners after losing to the CHAMPIONS Man City with a new team, new tactics and a new philosophy. Maybe a little reality check is needed? Man City have been learning Pep Guardiola’s tactics for two years and now have it perfected, it took a year of his training to get them to play his way, and that was with the most expensive team in the Premiership, valued at nearly one BILLION Pounds. They are so finely tuned they only lost two League games in the whole of last season.
Yet you expect Emery to come in, and in just two months transform a team that came 6th last season into World beaters, with five new players after only having a transfer budget of 70m GBP (Man City spent that on ONE player) and to beat the Champions just like that?
Emery was pleased with the performance and was happy that the team improved as the game went on. “Today, Manchester City’s performance showed us that we need to continue in our process to improve. I think they deserved this result, but we were improving in the 90 minutes, like I think we need to do for the next week and the next match on the pitch. In the second half, it’s the moment that maybe we had chances to get a better result.
“Today, Manchester City demanded our best performance. Today we watched and we need to continue working. I am happy with the players because they ran and they fought. We need to continue working tactically and defensively, and doing more to shorten the differences today between Manchester City and us.
“…..We’re starting and we need also to do one process one way. Today is the first step. Manchester City are working in their third year with Guardiola and they have built a team with security, good players and a great stability of playing like they want. We are only starting out now.”
Emery described how much we improved as the game went on. “It’s two different halves, the first and the second half, for me.” he said. “The first half, we conceded more space on the pitch for Manchester City to progress. They deal very well with these situations and because they know that, they have confidence in their performance. In the second half, we took more risks with our pressing, took more risks with the ball to break their lines and go forward quickly. We wanted to create a goal so that we could get back into the game. I want to continue the process to build our team. I think we finished with the spirit I want and the team, for 90 minutes, they ran, they tried and they pushed. But I think we need to improve collectively and also individually. But I think this process is normal today against a great team like Manchester City.”
So can we stop with the demands for ‘instant success’? Maybe you have preferred us to have started against Huddersfield (like Chelsea) and got an easy win, but it was a good test for our new team, new manager and new tactics, and we would have beaten most other teams on the planet yesterday. Give Emery a chance to make his mark and don’t condemn him after just one game against a team that is nigh-on unbeatable! Did Man City fans call for Guardiola to be sacked after losing many games in his first season?
Get real, be patient, and get behind the team. We can only improve!