Unai Emery gives an insight to the problems he faced at Arsenal

Unai Emery finally opens up on his tenure at Arsenal and admits to difficult second year.

Unai Emery was made the first Arsenal manager that wasn’t Arsene Wenger in two decades when he joined the Gunners in the summer of 2018.

He helped the Gunners reach the Europa League final in his first season and led them to a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League.

A lot was expected from him and his players in his second full season, but it never really worked out for them.

After a series of poor results, he was finally sacked by the Gunners, he was eventually replaced by Mikel Arteta later that year.

He has been silent about his tenure as Arsenal manager while he looks for a new job. However, he recently opened up to Spanish publication, Marca per SportsWitness and admitted that his tenure was a disaster at the Emirates especially his second year.

“I am clear about my diagnosis and we did good things there. I think we had a good first year, taking two competitions well as Europa League and Premier League,” he said.

“The process was good. When we played possession, we did it; when we had to press, we did it. And we were competitive, playing as the game required. With moments of possession game and moments of three quick touches.”

“This second year, we have not played well; we have not defended well; We have not been competitive; We did not transmit. And I told the players myself.

“There were several problems: four captains; the Özil-Kolasinac case; Pépé’s signing, who needs time since he came from France… We didn’t play well, that’s for sure.”

“That brought us bad results, there was no improvement, the fans focused on me and they threw me out. But I keep the positive things, there were many.

“I had the funeral and mourning. After my sacking, I dreamed a month of things about Arsenal. It was a natural process. And I overcame that. When I no longer dreamed them, I already knew that I had overcome it.”

Nothing really controversial there in my opinion. There were problems for sure and the fans did want him out in the end, but the buck stops with the manager, there are always problems and that is why they are paid millions, to overcome those problems.

Truth is, Emery never did overcome them and he paid the price.


  1. His system required all his first team players to be combative, unfortunately that wasn’t the case at Arsenal

    But Arteta’s tactics look more advanced than Wenger’s and Emery’s, so I’m confident we would start winning major trophies again after the underperforming senior players leave

    This means clear-out and recruitment will be crucial before next season starts

  2. An accurate summation of his time here. Ultimately several factors which were his own fault cost him the job. His language difficulties, his own introvert personality and lack of man management skills, so easily evident with both Wenger and Arteta. His weird selections with far too many defensive minded players. A preoccupation with picking elevens with the opponent most in mind, rather than playing our best eleven irrespectively; his refusal to abandon the dangerous and costly playing out from the back; far too many and unnecessary shape changes, which just confused our players. In all a notable lack of a firm plan and a direction of travel.

    Arteta immediately showed all the things, ALL OF THEM, that Emery lacked and the wicked waste of time before Emery was sacked has now cost us any sensible chance of top four this season. I believe that had Arteta been here since seasons start, we would be firmly in the top four race. BUT WE ARE TOO FAR BEHIND NOW WITH GAMES FAST RUNNING DOWN, DESPITE WHAT CERTAIN SELF FOOLERS CHOOSE TO BELIEVE. But next season is a different matter now and though we will have to wait, things look set to go only one way now. UPWARDS !

    1. jon, I agree with you regarding communication and the associated man management issues with Ozil, Xhaka, the lack of leadership in the player group and constant injuries impacting on selection testing any head coach.
      In his defense he was not given the players he wanted to implement his system and phylosophy, and as Head Coach (not “manager” as Admin Martin continues to state) he was expected to coach the players scouted and recruited by others, with no apparent input from him.
      Arteta is still not achieving the results to push Arsenal up the table, but like you I believe this will come, provided he is supported in the transfer market by the owner and Board. At least in this window, the defense has been supplemented, with Arteta having more selection options. There are still glaring deficiencies in defense and midfield to be addressed in the summer.

  3. He did as much as possible he with team he had in first year and asked 3 players to be added in order to do better, conpete top4 and win EL!

    Maguire, Partey and Zaha!

    Got jerked as Wenger, then took blame!

    1. @Mogunna
      Thats exactly what happened, I it seems. He didn’t get any of the players he requested, instead he got what the suits thought were best for the team. SMH

    2. Hi Mogunna
      I am not in finance at all, but as Maguire was £80m the other two were already out of reach. I am all in favour of having a wish list but Arsenal are not in the big league spend wise

      1. SueP, don’t disagree, but the powers that be failed to scout and recruit similar players in the required positions.

  4. It’s funny how he failed to mentioned he also ran his mouth when he said he made us more competitive than we’ve ever been
    That statement alone was a disgrace to even Wenger’s last five years.
    I understand he wasn’t expecting the fans to come at him that way, but he should also know this is Arsenal not Sevilla, Us fans won’t accept and have no desire in seeing us becoming Sevilla. We’ve tasted victory, it’s sweet, we want to go back there, that’s all we ask.
    If he thought the fans were unfair then he really has no clue about Arsenal fans when they’re fed up, at least he didn’t get half the treatment Arsene Wenger got.
    Also it’s baffling he keeps saying we played possession game, we all had no idea what we were doing on the pitch.
    Everyone of us, including pundits kept asking if we were an attacking team or a defensive team, as nobody had a clue what we were doing. He did it all to himself, the fans ain’t responsible, the fans weren’t the one making selections based on our opponents, the fans weren’t the one focused on our the oppositions instead of our players.
    Goodluck to him

    1. @Eddie
      I remember a bunch of fans on here praising him during his unbeaten spell. So he’s not far off the mark in his assumptions… IJS

  5. UE did say things about ozil as well,
    that ozil is a bit below than the top players,
    and sometimes that arsenal did well with him and sometimes without him

    I have to say,i am not really surprised that this article didnt have all the things he said.Its because the admin wants to bring about ozil and have a good go at him again.

    Maybe its the way i percieved,sorry admin if you didnt mean it that way.

    1. The Ozil comments went in a separate article which is now live and I leave my personal opinions out of it.

      1. I am not talking about your opinions admin.I am talking about the platform you are laying for the gooners.We all know how divisive this topic is,its not good for the fanbase(it may be good for this site).And you didnt have a seperate article for the comments made by lampard about ozil or willock praising ozil?

        I am really sorry if that was not your intention.

        1. I will not respond to your comments but will request you either discuss the article in question or not but refrain from commenting on my motivation for posting an Arsenal related article on an Arsenal site.

          1. Absolutely no surprise with that comment. A single quote from a manager after a single game does not warrant an entire article on its own, however, a major fall out between the manager and highest-profile player over an extended period of time definitely warrants an article on its own. If you cannot see that then I am speechless. But great comment, definitely a contribution to the debate.

          2. Lol…AdMartin if you’ve noticed I quit calling you out for the types of articles or numbers we get on here daily, as it falls on deaf ears anyway. Nothing I or anybody would say that’ll stop you from doing whatever you want or write whatever you want, so there’s no point trying at all to intervene in whatever debate you both have.
            You can see I called his name not yours,m because I wasn’t referring to you.
            He made a point, even though Lampard only said a few stuffs about how Ozil gave them problem, still he made a point, Lampard had something to say. That’s all I admit to, ain’t none of my business how you both choose to debate your differences on Ozil.
            I don’t want Ozil here to either, so let’s not act as if I’m supporting one person or being biased here

            1. Yes, calling me out for the number of articles will fall on deaf ears because it is not my decision as I have said far too many times now. As for the rest of your comments, let’s leave it there. I stand fully behind my response as you clearly do yours. Onwards and upwards.

          3. I hope you got it @eddie.
            And there are much more,as you have said we cant question the admin.

            This site gives you all the reports of the club.I am not going to debate if its good or bad but why cant a positive article about ozil be published?I saw torreira giving an interview and it was published because he didnt mention ozil but pepe gave an interview and that was not published because he mentioned ozil.And lampard picking out a single player is no small deal for me.I am not asking anybody to praise ozil but just be dont be biased.

            Maybe its the way i see it and that is why i asked sorry because admin’s intention may be different

            1. Make that your last comment on this Shakir. Please do not force me to start deleting your comments.

  6. No need for people to insult him. You wanted him gone. Isn’t that enough?

    He will ALWAYS be a part of the history of this club whether you hate him or like him

    1. He got us Pepe, Torreira, Martinelli and Guendouzi
    2. He took us to the Europa League final and 5th place first season with a lot of average players


    1. Eerrrr! Emery got us Torreira And Martinelli?
      I can recall Emery obsessively going after Nzonxi and Ever Banega as his preferred midfield choice, or you gone pretend those two weren’t his choice of players?
      Emery got us Guendouzi, fair point, even Guendouzi came out to say it’s Emery that gave him career.

      Sven got us Torreira.
      Edu got us Martinelli..
      Raul Sanhelli brought Pepe here…(Y’all were calling him the Don for pulling the transfer right? forgotten?).

      Wenger tool us to the Europa league Semi final with a poorer squad so I don’t get your point

      1. Eddie, exactly right in that he was expected to coach players scouted and recruited by others. He may have had input into Guendouzi and Saliba, who he knew from his time at PSG.
        He will never see how Saliba or Guendouzi develop in the future for good or bad.

  7. @ Eddie

    you can go and re hire that clueless UNAI of yours. HE MUST STOP TALKING rubbish about OZIL. oZIL HAS been playing like this from 2013. When he joined arsenal arsenal had 10 years without winning any trophy. We won three FA CUPS with the same person he is talking rubbish of him. Unai did not have football brains , his tactics were out . Since he managed Arsenal he played different players
    Good riddance arsenal sacked him and you can follow may be RUSSIA WILL HIRE HIM.

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