Emery: Top four rivals are better than Arsenal

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Unai Emery says he believes his team can make the top four, but says that both Chelsea and Man Utd are better than the Gunners.

Realistically, the fight for the final place to qualify for the Champions League is between those two clubs and Arsenal, and the Spaniard believes they have an advantage over us right now.

However, with just two of the top six left to play this season, and a relatively kind run-in, it’s not an impossibility, even if Emery believes Arsenal are far from the favourites.

“Are we outsiders for fourth place? Now, yes,” he said, “because we are sixth. It’s practical but it is like that.

“I trust in our capacity to take fourth but it is like that. There are teams now that are better than us and who have an advantage to us.

“Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham also – there is a big difference between us and them.

“Chelsea and Manchester United, two very big teams, also have a difference but they are closer than us. We need to continue thinking to be in the top four but knowing it’s difficult.

“It’s not to think we’re playing under pressure – it’s to be demanding and with the ambition to be in the top four, also knowing other teams have an advantage to us.

We are going to play at Tottenham in one month but now we need to think about the next games and the next teams ahead of us, who are Chelsea and Manchester United.”

The Gunners face bottom side Huddersfield today, looking to improve on a poor run of away form which has seen us take just 2 points from the last 18.

Huddersfield preview: Not a game for a cautious approach

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BidOnLard
BidOnLard

That is a strange thing to say… But ok, lets play underdogs and see how it goes. Ask the players to overperform. For some it may be a last chance.

rpsport
rpsport

Oh, here comes the ‘they are better than us’ excuse …

TheG
TheG

Honest assessment from the head coach. No bullshit. Just admitting that on paper we are the worst among the top 6. It could be worse though, we could have been without a trophy for 11 years and counting.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Yes the first step to solving a problem is admitting there is a problem. The issue is what is being done to change that.

F*ck all is the answer.

Sign four defender in the off season. If you cant find four good defenders then go to the London or somewhere close zoo and sign four baboons to play in the Arsenal defence.

Could hardly make the defense worse that it is.

TheG
TheG

Arsenal Anonymous twelve steps to recovery.
Step 1. Admit you have a problem.
Step 2. Sign a fucking defender
Step 3. See step 2

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

Oh come on. Aubameyang and Lacazette could easily play for any team. Ozil as well, and Mkhitaryan and Ramsey would surely be in contetion at any of those teams. The same goes for Torreira and Xhaka. I wouldn’t swap Bellerin for any of the other RBs in the league, and Koscielny + Sokratis are not bad defenders either.

A combination of injuries and poor tactical choices or unwillingness to play certain players is what costs us compared to others.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Thank goodness I watch Arsenal every week or I would’ve believed you. Most of those you speak of were here for many years, we know exactly what they’re capable of. Played for years under no pressure and failed miserably. And not to compare with rival teams, because no one on their right mind could say we are better than Chelsea or Man utd.

What Emery said is the truth that’s needed to be heard. This squad is not top for material. Individual performances suggest so, mentality suggests so, results suggests so.

The boss is clearly saying, he needs backing and a proper squad.

KongoKim
KongoKim

who of the ones red-wing stated played years under no pressure and failed miserably? Are u focking kidding me?

AFL
AFL

Oezil, Ramsey, Bellerin, Xhaka …

Toure motors
Toure motors

I don’t think the gap in quality between man utd, Chelsea and ourselves is significant. Sp**s have less quality in their overall squad but have a better starting 11 and are far better organised than us

PeteyB
PeteyB

absolutely. And they have (so far) coped far better than I anticipated with the injuries they have picked up. of course I’m still hoping for a capitulation before the end of the season!

MC
MC

If we are completely honest, 6th place at the end of the season will be a good season. We are realistically the 6th best team. Any higher will be a bonus. The results of this summer will be interesting and hopefully see us move in the right direction up the table.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

I can’t wait for the summer. Forty five millions do wonders.

KongoKim
KongoKim

mindgame or not, this is bullox! what the actual fuck?! as a competitor for anything u don’t go into it like that. chelski lost 2 nill to us and sarri cried like that and now they got raped by bournemouth. im not crying emery out but he really starts to annoy me. stacking the expactations low to finish 5th afterwards won’t help. of course we have our issues but surely the current squad can do better therefore its not the time to state that we are not good enough, especially from the coach.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

We have our issues but the squad can do better than the already superior Chelsea and Man U??? NO

KongoKim
KongoKim

i say yes. i mean…YES

KongoKim
KongoKim

also i meant we can do better like we did in the previous games and therefore can get more points(fully aware we got also lucky 3 pointers) by not losing to soton for example. it’s focking 3 points and we already faced city and pool.
from “we got our arsenal back” to crying in the corner in 3 months. Is this the kind of mentality which attracts new players? on the last arsecast i heard we are a laughing stock at the market. well, does this fucking help?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

But the manager sending a message to the board to free money can help.

Fletcher
Fletcher

I am not sure this is a good PR statement from our Manager no matter how honest the statement is, i club this with his earlier statement about the club ability to only make loan
It doesn’t work as reverse psychology at least for me. There are things better kept unsaid.

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

Is saying that kind of thing really helpful…

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

The truth is always helpful.

Wenger in, Wenger out, Wenger shake it all about
Wenger in, Wenger out, Wenger shake it all about

Oh come on guys this is very disappointing. I don’t come to this site for sensationalist headlines. That’s clearly not what he meant. He is saying there is a big difference between us and the top 3, meaning points difference. And a smaller – points – difference with Chelsea and Man U. And technically speaking up to this point they have been better than us having accrued more points… He is speaking matter of factly

KongoKim
KongoKim

really?! tbh i fell for it.

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

This is ny interpretation too.

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

*my

Leon
Leon

I thought that was why he was employed…
To improve the fortunes of the club.
So far he has done little to improve that shambles of a defence and not much more elsewhere.
I must admit – Arsenal look no better under Emery than they did under Wenger last year.
A bad appointment – but not really Emery’s fault.
You can’t blame him for taking the job….

atom
atom

We have a lot more toughness than the last few years under Wenger where we sent something like 4 years without winning when losing at halfttime. The younger players also looks like they’re making a lot more progress than they did under Wenger the last few years where most seem to just plateau. Wenger/Gazidas made some serious mistakes in the transfer market & really hamstrung the club with the Ozil contract, which would be ok if he were consistently playing like a world class player (he’s not even when he does play). This is a squad that needs a lot of investment and we don’t have the money to do it. A proper mess – a lot of fans I think simply didn’t recognize how big of a mess that Wenger/ Gazidas were leaving.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

13 points off the Top 4 last season & clearly in decline under Arsène. I don’t think there is any chance at all we would be this close to the Top 4 at this stage of the season if Arsène were still there. So to say we are no better doesn’t stack up at all for me.

chopper4001
chopper4001

Didn’t we turn Chelsea over the other day?

Frog
Frog

I hate this guy. This serves no purpose other than to have a pre planned excuse when you don’t make it. What a pussy.

Vonnie
Vonnie

I don’t like him either Frog, but sadly it seems that if you see his glaring faults you’re not considered a proper Gooner. He’s a mid-table manager with ego problems and we’re probably going to waste two years until others see that. The lack of spending is an issue, but it doesn’t excuse the horrible defensive set up of the team, the negative football, the constant chopping and changing and the refusal to use our most creative player. We’re not that far behind any of the top six, yes I agree that we could do with some good new signings, but I don’t think he’s maximized the squad that he does have and the football is mostly horrible.I was really hopeful when he arrived, but he’s a huge disappointment.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

It was perfectly acceptable to not consider people a proper Gooner for criticising Arsène I remember his glaring faults I remember…
And the football was mostly horrible well before Emery arrived !

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

It is how the title of this article was written, made u think from that perspective. Obviously Emery didn’t mean that.

Granit(e) Hard!
Granit(e) Hard!

Dont care what the rationale behind his assessments are Totshit can never be better than Arsenal, period!..thats a cardinal sin by Emery in my books🙂

jim
jim

Did he just basically say a steaming pile of Sh*it is better than the Arsenal. Thanks emery. Most of us know where not as good as the teams above us. Still, Its extra nice when the manager rubs salty facts into the wounds of his own fans.

MrT
MrT

I don’t think there better than us… Just think your tactical team selections are wrong mate.
Playing Cardiff at home with 3 holding midfielders is a great example…

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Emery is dead right – but he shouldn’t have said it. If I’m an Arsenal player I don’t want to hear my boss bigging up our main rivals.

Maybe Uni is trying to get his excuses in early, and get extra money for signings this summer.

jod
jod

Reading these comments part of Emery’s problem is so many Arsenal supporters seem to
think their players are better than they really are. The idea that any of the top teams would be interested in signing Ozil even on half what Arsenal are paying him is just ridiculous. Only the strikers are really up to the required standard. Emery needs to put together his own squad, like Pochettino and Klopp. Whether he’ll get the time and money to do that remains to be seen.

Rich
Rich

It’s nothing more than a brutally honest and accurate assessment from Emery.

And if our budget is as low as being suggested? Then I don’t see it getting much better anytime soon, the vast majority of our available funds will be allocated to replace departing players on the cheap. where as the sides with more talent, will just tweak already well oiled machines.

I don’t see much value in getting on Emery’s Back, whoever else we get in? would need significant time to change things around, and would also need to reduce our wage bill significantly.
The best coaching in the world isn’t going to change the fact we have inferior players, and an owner with inferior ambitions to clubs we’re supposed to be rivalling

Glenlaup
Glenlaup

He is huge part of why the team isn’t good enough, don’t forget about that. The manager always is, and his poor team selections and inadequate coaching of our defence is solid proof of that. He almost never start with our most creative players. And when they start they are oppointed as captains? When was it consider normal procedure to appoint players you obviously have no confidence as captains?? This interview is a perfect example of all interviews with Emery. They just don’t make very much sense. Somebody had to say it.

atom
atom

or just maybe glenlaup the fact that most of these defenders couldn’t defend to save their lives under Wenger either tells you they just aren’t that good. Add in the few that were looking solid (Bellerin, Holding) are both out for the year. Ozil even when he has played has been pretty average – your argument would be much stronger if Ozil were performing at a world class level when he does play, but he hasn’t consistently done that in several years.

The team is full of really average players – simply changing managers was never going to fix that. although as a team we are much more competitive than we were last year.

Ballz
Ballz

I don’t buy the narrative that our squad is much worse than other teams except Chelsea and City.
Liverpool have only 4 world class players in their squad. By world class, I mean players who can go to any team and compete for places in the starting line-up. Those players are their front three, and Van Dijk. The rest are good players who are playing at the best of their capacity because the manager plays them in a system that minimizes their deficiencies and maximizes their strengths.
Lovren was so bad, he received death threats from fans last season. Gomez is a twenty year old right back who lost his place to Alexander Arnold and converted to center back. Matip is no better than Mustafi. Arnold is no better than Bellerin. Robertson is fast and persistent, but nothing special.
Henderson was the target of so many jokes and abuse over the years. Wijnaldum is good, but doesn’t get into Real, Barca, Bayern, or PSG. Shaqiri has been mediocre his entire career. Fabinho and Keita have both struggled to establish themselves this season. Milner is a City reject. If Arsenal was targeting any of these players apart from the front three and Van Dijk, it would be just as underwhelming as Suarez.

Same with Spurs. Winks, Dier, Sissoko, Lamela, Moura, Davies, Alli, Llorente, Wanyama, Aurier, are not world class. None of these players would come to Arsenal and improve our team in any meaningful way compared to the players we have now.

I could do the same for United. My point is what Liverpool and Spurs have are managers who are maximizing the capacity of their players. The systems they play do not expose their players, but rather hide their deficiencies.

This is the opposite of what Emery has done in his first season. He plays a high line with both fullbacks pushing up, but doesn’t put pressure on the ball. Opponents simply play a ball in behind and our defense is in full panic mode, which forces errors from Mustafi and co, even tho he is prone to lapses in concentration. He tries to play Xhaka as a DM, which has failed time and time again because he isn’t one. His best position is as a CM slightly ahead of the DM. When he plays a midfield 3, he plays Lucas on the side and Xhaka in the middle, which is exactly what Sarri is doing with Kante and Jorginho. It doesn’t work. Guendouzi ends up running around like a headless chicken since he doesn’t have a purpose in that system. He plays better in a midfield 2, just like Xhaka and Lucas.

The worst thing that could happen to us is Emery gets “his players”, the Banega and Nzonzi type, fails, gets fired, new manager comes in, doesn’t want Unai’s players and demands his own. We’re stuck with a bunch of mediocre 30 year olds, sell them on a loss and can’t invest for a considerable period of time. This happened to Spurs and Liverpool for so many years until their current managers completely changed their strategy for recruitment.

OnAnyBlock
OnAnyBlock

This is absolutely absurd.

By your rationale…all of this is Emery’s fault and he is not getting the best out of the players at his disposal after *6 months* in charge. Not only that, these players are all very good and are better than those at other clubs in their position.
I have a few questions, firstly, why is the legacy manager who was here over *20 years* and had the unencumbered freedom to create a squad in his own image no longer in charge? Surely he of all people would have gotten the best out of every single player, seeing as they’re so good right? Or better yet, having spent close to £40M on a very one footed CM only to call him a box to box player one week and then a holding midfielder the next, he should know exactly what kind of player he’d signed right?

I can’t even begin to go into your assessment of other teams players when you say things like “Robertson is fast and persistent but nothing special…Milner is a City reject” when I can comfortably see both would stroll into our first team and improve us. You have players at other teams who are clearly very productive and consistent, yet you write them off because they’re not big names or you’re not objective. I mean, I can’t stand Dele Alli, but look at the sheer amount of goals he scores.

The point is, we have a squad that for the past two years (and arguably longer) has woefully underperformed even when they have had zero pressure on their shoulders. We have brought in a new manager to get rid of legacy issues and make tough calls (and yes, it is uncomfortable) but please get off his back and stop lying to yourself.

Ballz
Ballz

My point is that the players at other teams are consistently performing at the top level because their managers are playing them in formations that get the best out of them. I asked a question; if Arsenal was linked with Davies, Dier, Winks, Wanyama, Sissoko, Lamella, Moura, Robertson, Henderson, Trippier, Smalling, Phil Jones, Lovren, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, or Wijnaldum, how excited would you be? Answer that and you’ll understand my point.

The job of a manager is not only to stuff his team with “world class” players, but mainly to motivate and organize the players available so that they can perform to their full potential. Arsenal is not filled with so called world class players, but my point is the current squad is better than they have been playing. That’s the reason why Wenger was fired. The fans and the board felt like he wasn’t getting the best out of his squad.

If you want to know what proper management can do for a team, look at United. A few weeks ago, everyone was blaming the players, saying they were not good enough. Pogba, Rashford and Martial were flops. What is happening now?

Arshavin's Shadow
Arshavin's Shadow

It’s amazing how tolerant people are of this manager. The truth is, the best marker of a great coach is what he does with talent already there. How can I get the best out of the franchise players? Not I’d love to replace everyone bec. they don’t fit tactically. I’m sorry, but screw your tactics then. All he does is criticize, shun, and vilify the best players we have, then gives confidence to our rivals. From the things he does with the players, to the things he says and with the results on the pitch, I’m starting to find him completely unlikable. I think he’s wrong for this club and I don’t want everyone from f***king Sevilla to come here and replace everyone. I’ve really missed Arsene Wenger’s class, intelligence, wit, charm and loyalty. This pathetic excuse for a manager has nothing that comes close.

OnAnyBlock
OnAnyBlock

‘the best marker of a great coach is what he does with talent already there’ – Thats not a bad assertion. Let us look at it in some detail.

The last manager to do this in recent memory was Antonio Conte in his first season at Chelsea, he spent as follows:
Michy Batshuayi – £33.2million – July 2016
N’Golo Kante – £30m – July 2016
David Luiz – £34m – August 2016
Marcos Alonso – £24m – August 2016

and he won the league in his first season. 3 of the above 4 signings were instrumental and key components to that squad. Funnily enough, it was after a loss to us at the Emirates that he went to 352 and never looked back.
However, the foundation of that side was the already very good players at his disposal already. Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Ceasar Azpilicueta etc. He also turned perpetual loan player Victor Moses into a world class RWB. Funnily enough, it is like the back 5 Arsene inherited during his first full season (and a certain Denis Bergkamp and Ian Wright) that allowed him to do the exact same thing.

However, with all respect to Arsene (whom I love and am in no way attempting to criticise) surely he should/could have strengthened his squad with 3 instrumental signings and won the league too. Especially as that same summer, we spent over £100M on Mustafi, Xhaka, and Perez.
For more context, this happened after we finished 2nd to a Leicester City team that should never have won the league ahead of us had we prepared correctly and performed when the pressure was on.

When you refer to Emery as a ‘pathetic excuse for a manager’ after 6 months of trying to rectify legacy issues; I really wish you would keep quiet and display Arsene Wenger’s ‘class, intelligence, wit, charm and loyalty’ instead.

Good day sir.

OnAnyBlock
OnAnyBlock

I think you are conflating two separate points and coming to simplistic conclusions. If a managers job was simply to play footballers in ‘formations that get the best out of them’, our previous manager would still have his job. He played incredibly expansive football, brought all the players in over 20 years, and picked all the ‘big names’.

However, there is more nuance to it than that. Management is complicated, and a lot of it is about interpersonal relationships and getting the collective to buy into your vision; but also about having the personnel you require to execute it. Therefore it’s not so much about names, and ‘excitement’ about who we’re linked with. Guendouzi in particular and even Torreira are proof of this, which is why our manager needs time. It is not a 6 month fix.

In addition, several of our players have improved considerably under Emery but it is not unfair to say many of them simply have not been good acquisitions.

Lastly, the Man Utd situation is completely anomalous and not at all similar. ‘Pogba, Rashford, and Martial’ leave Utd and stroll into the lineup at PSG/Bayern/Real/Barca. They are world class footballers and had an egocentric and toxic manager struggling to recreate his previous success.
It’s also why you have someone like Paul Ince saying he could have done what OGS has…however the truth is probably somewhere in between

Ballz
Ballz

Our previous manager lost his job because the fans and the board felt that he simply wasn’t getting the best out of his players. That’s why he’s not here anymore.

I agree that there is a lot of nuance to management. However, the number one reason fo managerial failure in any field is poor designation of tasks. Once you’re appointed, you analyze your team and designate tasks to them according to their strengths and work on fixing their weaknesses . This is why personality assessments are so popular these days. The manager can have a vision, but he also needs flexibility. The manager can coach players to execute his vision. If every new manager required a squad overhaul after they were appointed, most teams would go bankrupt. Adding a few players and letting some go is fine.

I don’t see any players who have improved in any way under Emery. Please state some names.

I don’t think anyone was saying that Pogba, Martial and Rashford could stroll into Bayern/PSG/Madrid/Barca squads a couple of months ago. Their manager was actually so pissed that he wasn’t given money to replace some of these very players. You can say it was his ego, but I say it was his style of play that couldn’t get the best out of his players.

Stephen
Stephen

Its like he is playing FIFA and agreed to a press conference but hit the wrong button for a comment to the press.

Flash
Flash

Very interesting opinion indeed…
I think that our main problem is that we have many problems.
– Ozil wages and unmatchable style with Emery’s previous systems
– Management confusion (Mislintat, Kroanke, New CEO and Sport director)
– Our inability to provide the right players to the coach (never really played with 2 CFs before)
– Talented but still too young players (Iwobi, AMN, Nelson, Goendouzi)

… and on the top of that: all of these are mutually influencing each other.

I think the best we can do now is to keep on supporting…
…and the best the club leaders can do – to sort these promlems out quickly, pragmatically, mercilessly 🙂

Jack gunner
Jack gunner

Definetely. Not only that. They have a board/owner who is
willing to spend whatever amount to get success.
In this respect Arsenal are an atm for the owners.
I just hope I am wrong.
When the cash starts to diminish/dry up,the owner will
realise too late.
Then he would have to spend billions to stay in the epl.