The one big question Unai Emery must find an answer to

There cannot be too many complaints following last nights win over Valencia, we are in the Europa League final and Unai Emry has to take a lot of credit for that.

But the win over Valencia does raise one huge question.

Why can we beat teams like Sporting Lisbon, Napoli and Valencia away from home in Europe and yet be so woeful on the road in the Premier league?

This season we have won five from seven away games in the Europa League, whereas we have won just six times from 18 away games in the Premier League and there has to be a reason for that difference.

Of course, there is context, both Valencia and Napoli had to attack because they had first leg defeats to overcome but even so, there is still a significant difference in performance from the Europa League and the Premier League away from the Emirates and Emery has to find a solution to that conundrum.

It could be that the way he sets his teams up and that his style of play is better suited to European competition but that is no good to us overall, we need a team that can adapt to the demands of all the competitions we participate in.

I do not pretend to know the answer, if I did I would be the Arsenal manager but it is Emery’s job to find an answer and he has to do that next season. If he cannot then we need a manager that can.

Updated: May 10, 2019 — 9:17 am

29 Comments

  1. This is a good submission, only Emery can answer why we are poor in away matches in the EPL but performed brilliantly in European competition

    1. I can only share my thoughts:
      The European teams in my opinion are not as physical as the PL teams and don’t know Arsenal and all its players that well. Arsenal’s number problem has been conceding too many goals which started a few years ago so our defence is our weak spot. The PL teams/coaches all know Arsenal’s weakness and many are able to exploit this area during their home games. We need two top quality defenders going forward. Two solid defenders that remain healthy can help our away record tremendously next season. Plus, Coach Emery has to be consistent with his team defenders selection which has been part of the problem regarding our “terrible” away form this season.
      Cheers,
      Larry D

  2. nkiwane sibonginkosi

    english referees have a lot of say in arsenal losing in away matches …they are not involved in european competetions.

  3. The oppositions in EPL know our tendencies well, whereas the teams in European competitions are not familiar with us

    We need new players with different football styles to surprise our opponents, because they have known our players’ tricks and movements

    We lack the surprise element in the team, which is usually provided by fast impact players such as tricky wingers and tall target man. Our no 10s are expected to create unpredictable through balls, but they have been dull in the last three seasons

  4. Maybe the players feel more at home and confident on the continent, so `maybe` we should consider trying to establish an English base in a couple of prime positions and an English driving force as captain. Just a thought.

  5. One thing Emery needs to learn from this season himself is that he should stop adapting to small teams away from home. He needs to stop being too worried about our defense away from home.
    Take a look at Liverpool, though they have the best defense in the league, home and away, they make sure they attack teams and as long as they score goals, they’re fine.
    Credit to UE for the Europa league run this season and last night, his performance is also the big reason why he has a lot to answer for like the article stated.
    For the next four to five season, Liverpool and Man city will probably dominate the EPL, hopefully they dominate European football too.
    I’ve always said discussing Kroenke is something I don’t find worthwhile, I’ve always stated he’s not worth my time and effort, again I’ll say it, you all can keep discussing him, slamming him, and all stuffs, but it won’t change a single thing when there’s nobody interested in buying the club, Dangote seems to me like he can’t get it off Kroenke.
    So then are we gonna buy the club ourselves? if no, why then do we keep talking about an owner who doesn’t care about what happens us?

    1. I think the difference Is in cup competitions both teams need to win…in premier league, small teams go to the pitch sesrching a draw, so they park the bus, stayed solid and as an organized unit and looks for goals on the counter…that’s why i spot on u…unai needs to stop worryng about adapting to small teams and he needs to canalize His efforts on creating an identity….what supose Is araenals style??? Weneed to he ruthless in attack

    2. Yep, the supporters need to own the club. We need to make Kroenke’s life a misery. Then he can concentrate on killing animals and having his hunting channel. What a piece of shite that guy is.

  6. Spot on mate. only Emery definitely has the answers.
    Fingers crossed for the final in Baku its our only way back into CL and we’re playing away from home.

  7. Having made that previous comment I`m sure some twisted minds will say my words are racist and not politically correct. I `m not suggesting this should be considered by other teams it`s just an Arsenal problem that needs to be resolved.

    1. Speaking personally and as one who has spent my long adult life fighting racism, your comment was entirely harmless and so please don’t worry. So many people have little ides what does and does NOT constitute racism. A love of ones nation is not remotely racist.

  8. Then we r lucky the final is away from England 😃😃😃 A win win then come on boys we won’t be giving sorri a first trophy. Mmmh… Wanted to put all my money to the team playing Liverpool in the final!!! N booooom it’s the spuds !!! … Hope 2nd best klopp doesn’t bottle this one can’t stand spuds winning 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

  9. A most pertinent question the article raises. Answers on a postcard please(which shows MY age!) and send to U. Emery Highbury N5 etc. WE ARE LIKE TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TEAMS IN EUROPA AND PREM, WHEN AWAY! Obviously it is largely mental attitude that makes the difference BUT WHY only shown in Europa?

    1. Because the teams we have played in Europe are bog standard compared to what we see in the premiership, we played one side in Europe that I would consider premiership quality and that was Napoli and they are by no means the team they were 3 seasons ago ,even the bottom 3 sides have millions to spend compare that to the teams we have played and there is a big difference,if we had played in the champions league this season we would have been embarrassed by the bigger teams ,and that is a fact

      1. Xxnofx, that is too simple an answer and not even much true. Valencia are clearly superior to some of the Prem teams we have lost to this season, Palace, Saints and also Everton and others too. So are Napoli superior; their Serie A position clearly shows that. No , it is far more nuanced than that and comes down to motivation but the REAL questioin is WHY are professional players not properly motivated for certain domestic games but they are in Europe? Wish I knew why!

        Your final CL comment though is clearly true!

        1. jon and Xxnofx, Arsenal are the only team to score 4 goals against Valencia this season and no Champions League team had a win at Napoli.
          The problem in the EPL is the physicality of the opposition. Teams know they can kick the daylights out of Arsenal players with little sanction from officials and it is accepted that Arsenal don’t like it up them. The current players, particularly in mid fieldRe small and not combative. Arsene Wenger for some reason went away from big physical combative midfielders, like Viera and Petit, to small technical midfielders like Fabregas, Arteta and Cazola. Unfortunately Arsenal are bullied too often in the EPL.
          Emery needs to bring in a couple of big physically strong midfielders and CB’s with a bit of intelligent mongrel.

  10. He said it only a week ago,technique alone is no good especially away that,s why he plan on bringing physical players in order to beat the Burnley & Co,he knows what he has to do find the right balance between both(physicality &technique),,wgy we win in Europe is because the English teams are the most physical,you saw why we had to sell them our former defender paulista,he was bullied lsst night by lacazette,anyway I believe in unai who knows what he has to do#

    1. 👍

  11. We need a 3rd attacking option in away games where our 2 best scorers are tightly marked.
    Either a hybrid number 8/10 who can score goals and still contribute in midfield like ramsey so when our 2 forward drag defenders wide he can run into those spaces.

    or a mane type dribbler who can wreak havoc on the left or right while a speedster like aubameyang runs into space created by a hardworking striker like lacazette dragging defenders with him.

    Liverpool:
    salah 31
    mane 24
    firmino 16

    City:
    aguero 31
    sterling 23
    sane/silva 16/13

    Arsenal:
    aubameyang 29
    lacazette 19
    ramsey 6

  12. Are things changing?

    I don’t claim to know the answer but I suspect one aspect is that the PL is the fittest league in the world and PL teams when they play us seem to outwork us. European teams have difficulty doing this.

    In our last (7?) PL games, we looked like the second-best team on the pitch in terms of desire, physicality and pressing/ work rate. I don’t think too many European teams have that type of fitness and mentality to make our lives difficult.

  13. There is a simple answer and that is to recruit better quality players particularly defenders.All this criticism of the likes of Iwobi, AMN and more recently Guendouzi fails to recognise the real culprits , namely experienced defenders who as Mark Lawrenson says are not and in some cases no longer of the standard required.Apart from the lack of one top quality CB the left sided triangle of Monreal, Xhaka, and Kolasinac is an area where we leave alarming gaps which will be exploited by better quality teams than Valencia, such as Chelsea.I do not fault our players for lack of effort of indeed poor mentality.Strong mentality is a strength which is derived from confidence which in turn is the result of winning.This applies to most walks of life and sport.Liverpool have a high quality goalkeeper and back four which has turned the likes of Milner and Henderson intoconfident ,energetic midfielders who are effective despite the fact that they are not creative players.As Bill Shankly once said, matches are won by forwards but championships are won by devenders.

  14. Continental teams play a totally different style to Premier League teams. English teams harass more effectively. It does make sense to have some more British defenders and even midfield players. Wilf Zaha, James Maddison and Harry Maguire can all give 5 or more years service and would cost, probably 110 million. Maddison is Ramseyesque, Wilf Zaha is the best winger in the country along with Salah, and Harry Maguire is on a par with Virgil Van Dijk. If we want to reach the next level we have to buy quality. In a year or two Lucas Torreira, Mattio Guendouzi, Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavroponas, Rob Holding and AMN will be reaching the next level so we must get some quality and add to them to raise ourselves. Mustafi, Elneny, Xhaka, Iwobi, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, have to go and will raise a little cash. Even Iwobi needs to prove himself more effectively. We need to spend dosh or there will be no way to become challengers to City, Liverpool and even the Spuds. If Kroenke will not come up with the cash, demonstrate, criticise and make a big noise because we love Arsenal and it may be that Kroenke is purely a ****.

    1. “it MAY be that Kroenke is purely a ****?” And it MAY also be that rain is wet, that grass is green! MAY? I ASK YOU, HONESTLY! BE BOLD AND HONEST AND CALL A TURD A TURD!

  15. Break-on-through

    We did similar under Wenger, we had terrible league form but we came close to winning Europa only for a tough Madrid and a stupid error. Sometimes you have to ask these sort of questions to the players, I mean, is a player not expected to perform unless his manager is constantly pushing and demanding more, more, more. Players don’t need to be told to give it their all, it helps when you have people trying to inspire you, but eventually, it is on your own head.

    1. our path to final this season was much tougher than what Wenger had to face though. And honestly, I’m convinced some players care more than others. And some players are just not good enough to even be here. And overall, I think the club is still stuck in this mentality that we are not good enough to deserve anything. They don’t have a winning mentality because they don’t win anything. Yeah, a few FA Cups sprinkled throughout, but getting smashed in R16 for several years, letting top 4 be considered a trophy, and having a bad record against big teams domestically (which Emery has recently improved), this does a lot of damage on a clubs mentality.

  16. Every premier league team now know the way Arsenal have been and still are, to an extent, playing. We haven’t changed our game in 10 years all though Emery is trying to stamp his authority on this panel but I think the majority of them are children of Wenger who will have to go. The win last night just papers over the cracks in our squad, they need to be filled with solid replacements. The European teams are more concerned week in week out with their own domestic opponents and that is why we can preform better against them.

  17. Some people demean the Europa League and the champions league is the be all and end all of European football, I would like to point out that the 2 teams in the champions league final are 2 teams who have never been and will never be premier league winners, just a thought. Its a money making exercise with big TV fees. Some clubs find it a hindrance through the domestic season. Personally I would rather win a domestic trophy. I do not think there are any great, giants of European football any more as any team can beat any team in Europe now, just look at Livershite and spuds.

  18. a part due to the players , another part due to the referees.

    For example the Napoli game away, if that was a PL game Arsenal would have lost cos the referees would have overlooked many offside calls and let the plan of Emery (offside trap) which was used to great effect against Milik,Insigne n co back fire.

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