Friday, February 3, 2023

Venkatesham: Emery is doing an excellent job

Arsenal’s managing director Vinai Venkatesham insists the club are very happy with Unai Emery’s work and explained why the Gunners will continue to lean on the Academy to fill places in the first team squad.

The Spaniard has come in for stick following Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Watford after his players stuck stubbornly to a ‘build from the back’ playing philosophy despite the home side sussing out our nervousness on the ball.

The defensive collapse, reminiscent of similar episodes last season, has again raised questions about whether the 47-year-old is the right man to get Arsenal back to the top of European football.

For the moment, there is no doubting the confidence held in him by those higher up the pecking order.

“Absolutely, we are very comfortable with him and his coaching staff. We think he is doing an excellent job, so we are very happy,” Venkatesham told The Straits Times.

“When we appointed Unai, the team that worked on that looked at lots of different attributes that we felt we want to have in our head coach.

“One of them was, we want a coach who was willing, able, and had a track record of playing young players, because that is an important part of Arsenal Football Club.”

Venkatesham also touched on the thinking behind Arsenal’s summer business. In the space of three months, more than 20 players departed either permanently or on loan with youngsters being promoted in their place.

“First, it is financially efficient,” said Venkatesham. “The more players you have coming from the academy, the more funds you can then use to invest in the transfer window because you then have a budget that is being stretched among fewer players.

“More important than that is we want players in the dressing room who really understand what it means to play for Arsenal, players who have grown up with the club.”

Vinai also went on to explain the thinking behind selling and releasing more experienced players.

“What we analysed is the players whose playing time for the coming season is going to be limited,” he continued.

“It is not good for the players to not play many minutes, it is not great for the club to have players who are not contributing.

“We try to find a solution. The players that have gone on loan and the players we sold create a relatively significant wage savings or income that help offset some of the investments we made.”

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Mick Malthouse

I disagree. We are are going backwards with no clear style of play and an even more chaotic defence. The players look like they have no clear idea of plan.


Emery should be afraid, he just got the dreaded vote of confidence. That the top brass feel a need to give it says volumes

SB Still

Yes, I hope behind the scenes Emery has been told to improve. I also hope the hierarchy are working on the back up plan if results don’t improve *cough* Allegri *cough*.


a wake up call,hopefully he goes even if we get UCL next season.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Let’s hope our stubbornness doesn’t cost us another season in the Europa League. He is not a good coach, only Arsenal would go about it’s best interests in a politically correct way and shoot ourselves in the foot.


You write, “That the top brass feel a need to give it says volumes.” That’s just silly. Venk said that because he was asked a question at a conference. Here’s the full quote, if you – and others – take 3 mins. to read it. “”Absolutely, we are very comfortable with him and his coaching staff. We think he is doing an excellent job, so we are very happy,” Venkatesham told The Straits Times at the All That Matters conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, on Tuesday.”” All this Emery blame-gaming. Its just pathetic. Why don’t all the haters go… Read more »


yeah fuck off 90% of the well informed football mad fanbase.

your well thought out and backed up opinions arent welcome here where we back people with blind faith and ostracise anyone with a different opinion!

‘Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.’


Normally I’d agree, the vote of confidence might as well be the kiss of death, but I just don’t see the club sacking him anytime soon. Rightly or wrongly.


We’re nowhere near the tipping point with Emery yet, unless of course a clear and obvious candidate emerges…. And whilst I don’t think Raul would blink, I’m not convinced the Kroenke’s would be keen on paying out the remainder of our coaching staffs contracts. Letting go of Mkhitaryan+Iwobi+Welbeck leaves us short, we’re now relying on 2 18yr olds and a 19yr old as backup options in our forward line. Which is quite petrifying when you see how poorly the rest our our team functions. The manager is desperate for a result tonight, hopefully the players don’t throw in the towel… Read more »

Da Boss

He is on a 3 year contract with the option of a break clause after year 2 – if they decided to pull the trigger on him next summer it wouldn’t cost the club a penny.


He’s on a 2 year contract with the option of a 3rd which is the same but different. No way are the top brass going to want to pay out severance pay because it’s not just for him is it, it’s his staff as well. People overlook all this when they start saying who they want to replace him. Whether he is right for us or not over the long term is one thing; in the short term we have to suck it up. Vinai is a nice guy but very adapt at saying a lot of stuff that sounds… Read more »


We really need to get top 4 this year, so a run of bad results and he could be out

The cost of keeping him could be higher than paying him off


Paying off half a year of wages is going to be a lot less than not getting CL.


Only if sacking Emery will ensure top4? I’m not convinced….
I’m not against going in a different direction, I just want us to pick a path and stick to it, the thought of Mourinho is not an attractive one, he has zero track record for developing youth, and Allegri’s record for developing youth is non existent as well, both of those managers bank on big budgets and experience.
The only manager who I’d look at would be Eddie Howe


It’s not just him…his staff have to be paid too, that’s why it cost us £17m when AW departed –

Man Manny

I am certain we won’t make top 4 with Emery.
We have to be better than at least any two of Tott, MU and Chelsea to be sure.
That is not a given at the moment.


Again, more whataboutery. Perhaps read the article, then comment, eh? The article Venk is quoted from says they are focusing on youth, players from the academy so there is a true Arsenal identity. When you write, “Letting go of Mkhitaryan+Iwobi+Welbeck leaves us short, we’re now relying on 2 18yr olds and a 19yr old as backup options in our forward line.” That’s just plain inconsistent and at odds with what the club is doing, per Venk in the article. Mkht and Welbz are not academy. Iwobi was inconsistent, mid-table at best, and not getting better. We got 40M for him.… Read more »

Toennes B

He is doing excellent job c’mon he does not know what he is doing, having five captains?? We need one captain and a caretaker in rare occasions


publicly they can’t hang him out to dry,however its a good sign they felt the need to give him public vote of confidence,now he has to repay that faith in him.but without knowing even our first eleven after 18 months or so,or even having a known playing style,he has a tough job convincing the players and the fans.


Either way, if he really wants to go down the 5 captain route for some reason, that’s his perogative. But he has to be more decisive about it! The season is well underway and its not really that hard a decision, just make it and stick with it!


The problem in this team is that there is no captain material in the team tell me one player that is close to PV, TA, even Henry ? Its going for years and always given to frigile players because in last 15 years we dont have a captain material player in our team. I see Gendouzi beeeing one as he have a cahracter to be one in the future. Now i would give it to lacazette. Am sure in the emery 5 there is a place for david luiz you will se. Xhaka, ozil, luiz, lacazette, belerin will be the… Read more »


It’s a hard decision if you are swayed by public opinion. Mustafi was a good player in Emery’s eyes until the fans started booing him and then suddenly he’s surplus to requirements and needs to leave. Xhaka is definitely his first choice for captain but after all the negative comments on social media then all of a sudden the captaincy decision has been delayed? Even though it might not seem like it I am still behind Emery, although my 100% belief in him has halved, despite his current win percentage being at only 40% – 20% down on last seasons… Read more »


One of my biggest concerns recently is the fact that the players seem to fire shots at each other quite regularly. First Xhaka, who blamed the attackers that they haven’t scored more after his brainfart against Sp*rs, then Aubameyang who had a dig at our defence and yesterday Kolasinac said in the press conference that the defensive problems aren’t down to the defenders, but to the midfielders and attackers who don’t help to defend properly.
Doing these things publicly is no good sign at all in my opinion.


That is worrying, and it needs to be adressed asap. However it’s good that the squad isn’t satisfied about the currant state – that shows ambitions. But those things should happen behind closed doors and not as a public argument.


What about the strawberry state?


The sooner they stop playing like lemons the better

Make Arsenal Great Again

It is one thing for the players to be ambitious but if the manager is not bold with his tactics and selections, then what’s the point. Playing 3 defensive midfielders at home against Spuds is not exactly ambitious


Better to have an ambitious squad than an ambitious manager with no talented players. It’s easier to shift on a manger than a squad.


I’d rather they did it in the open than it leaked out, but I agree that just blaming each other rather than accepting they are a team is not a good thing.


yup…. if vinai has to be wheeled out to defend Emery, then its all over …and its gonna get really ugly really soon. He has lost the dressing room. No player was ready to come out and say this….so they had to get a suit.

Ken P

Yep. Agree. We’ve all seen this movie before. Although I’m surprised management has come out so early to defend Emory.

Regardless, last week’s game marks the beginning of the end of Emory’s reign.


The good old “vote of confidence”.

VV can’t honestly believe that Emery is doing a good job, if he does then I really fear for us moving forward. Personally I’d give him the next 5 league games to sort this mess out otherwise give him the old heave ho. All winnable games and a statement against Utd would help his cause no end.


Under Emery
Guendouzi has increased in value 10 fold
Willock 20 fold
Nelson quadrupled
John jules, saka etc all have a profile

Maybe that’s what Vinai means.


Yeah! Sod actually winning things!


Emery gets credit for Guendouzi, but not the rest, they’ve been with us for ages


I hardly give him cred for Guendouzi, didn’t Sven buy him and he was trained elsewhere? I doubt he is doing anything different then he was before.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Emery is the person who gave Douzi game time to improve.


Sure, but there is no evidence that Emery himself has caused that. Young players increase in value as they grow and play, and there are many managers under whom this same situation would have happened. Whilst it’s nice they have developed, that’s not the sole point of the first team coach, and he’s not the only person who could do it. In fact Emery is a bit too conservative with using young players to be honest. Tell me what Chambers did to get dropped for Luiz? And why was Bielik, a very promising young DM who was shit hot during… Read more »


Hello doublespeak, my old friend.

Dave M

you do my head in once again,
Unai’s defense is still leaking,
Are Luiz and Sokratis Sleeping?
Yet Venkat says that Emery has a brain…
He’ll remain
The Emrites stands are Silent…


How can Arsenal management team be ruthless enough and make quick decision? Why Vinai is talking about football aspect when he is just handling business side of the club. Edu and Raul should know that Unai had been diminishing Arsenal value, style and reputation by playing passively coward football. Another season of failure not only cost Arsenal financially, but in a very long term. Next time when Arsenal knock the door, players will not give a damn about it anymore.


Confidence is strange, either you have it or you don’t. If the board isn’t ready to sack Emery, they’ll have to be totally behind him untill they’re not. However questions got to be asked in the corridors, and a short list of possible new managers should be sorted out.

On the positive note comitting to the academy and promoting youngsters are good, and it’s Arsenalesque and I’m happy to rather spend big on top guns and have a core of home growns than buying more mediocre players.

Monkey Joe

#EmeryOut is definitely getting sacked on Monday morning. Comments like this most of the time precedes P45.


Emery is around mid-table in the manager sack race, according to the bookies (you can get 25/1). What I find most bizarre is that Poch is deemed more likely to get chopped first…


Would be fun if Poch got sacked and we could pick him up for free 🙂

Dave M

It’s be like a new signing


Poch won’t get sacked, but if Real Madrid keep playing the way they are, Zidane will get sacked, Pock will jump ship for RM, and we’ll definitely be waving Ceballos goodbye in the spring. We need Zidane to sort himself out! 🙂


Sounds good despite Poch being more important to the spuds, than Ceballos for us.


To be fair I guess they’re not going to come out and say he’s doing a crap job and he’ll be fired tomorrow.


The numbers don’t show this at all. Absolutely shocking how many shots we have faced. Without Leno and Aubameyang this team would sink.

Unless there is a big improvement we will be getting some beatings and Emery will go.


Tonight as wel we have alowed 24 shots out of which 9 were stoped by emi martinez. And this against the side that have finished 7th in the German Bundesliga and have sold three of its best attackers. I would say it is not something thst you can blame the players for.


Even if he gets us into the top 4, he doesn’t have the qualities to take us beyond that. Looking at Chelsea and United as well as our improved squad this season, we should be easily sailing into the top 4, but that won’t be the case. It will be a scrap, yet again, as it always will be with Emery in charge.


Maybe he should read Tim Stillman today.
I’m hoping Emery will “get it” , but not looking likely…..


Remember guys Unai isn’t going to be sacked during the season, they’ll just decide to part ways as stated in his contract after serving two years. Brace yourself for the drought era of Arsenal

Dan P

One of the main problems with Emery is that he is trying to implement a 4-4-3 tactic that we simply do not currently have the players to impose upon. Take David Luiz, nobody can repudiate the fact that he is a very good footballer, however he is not a good defender especially in a two man defence. Same applies to Kolasinac and Maitland-Niles who aren’t good defenders but are good wing backs. Like many I do not see what Xhaka adds to the team and having Luiz playing the ball out from defence like he very successfully did at Chelsea… Read more »


Yup, you really expected him to say “you know, you are right. The guy is a moron, he has 3 games to save his job”. They arent blind. They can see what is absolutely obvious to us all

Philip Wood

It’s interesting how the focus has intensified so much off the back of the Watford game. It’s undeniable that, from the position we were in at half-time, not to win that game was extremely poor. That said, it is the one game this season that you could argue the result was sub-par. Before that we’d won the two games you’d expect, lost a game you’d expect and drawn a game that could go either way. People are quite right to criticise things like the tactics, or us not having a defined playing stlye, but the results this season are a… Read more »

Dan nichols

I must say i think this and that maybe Emery is just getting the blame for how last season imploded, how the wenger era ended and our support building a hard shell of negativity to return to as a result of living through so many other implosions over so many years, so they can’t be laughed at and humiliated, all of which i feel too. But though I’m still unclear what our tactics will be etc and sure hes made some seemingly odd decisions i think within the prism of this season, where we are in the table, that 3/4… Read more »


The problem isn’t the recent results, it’s our overall trajectory (or lack of one). Last season may have been close to being classed as a success, but let’s be honest, our points total flattered us. Remember that 22 (?) game undefeated run? We were getting battered in many of those matches, and this is supported by the stats (shots on target, expected goals, etc.). A freakish combination of terrible finishing from our opponents together with Lacazette / Auba being brilliant meant we kept getting out of jail. It was never going to last…

Gus Caesar

The table doesn’t lie and you could make similar arguments about ‘freakish combinations’ for all of the other teams around us too. We also had quite a bit of bad luck with concentrated injuries etc last season, which other teams didn’t. But I think you’re right about trajectory. The simple fact of the matter is that we’re no further forward oas a team than we were when Wenger left. 15 months on and we’re arguably in a worse place. It was always a tough act for Emery to follow, but one does wonder what a poor run over the next… Read more »


I get your sentiment but why only mention recent results? What about the awful losses against Palace, Wolves and Leicester just a few months ago?

I don’t think anyone is overreacting when there is clearly a pattern starting to develop…


The fact they are having to come out and say this speaks volumes.


Translation: We want to develop young players so we don’t have to spend money. If this means not winning football matches that’s ok. I also don’t know what else he does but his PowerPoint skills were pretty good.

Our boardroom is full of executive suits that know fuck all about football. It’s only about the balance sheet. Any team with sporting ambition would have sacked him by now.


The thing is, who would we bring to replace Emery? There’s a few promising managers like the Ajax one or some in the Bundesliga. But most fans would want a proven top manager…


For me – Arteta. Then Ten Hag. Allegri is most fans favourite, at least it seems to me but he would also be a bland choice, although a great coach.

Can’t believe that some are really open to Mourinho.

Bamzee Blaze

Add Patrick Viera to the mix…he seems ready and he plays a nice attacking football to boot whilst giving youngsters opportunities to impress. There is also Giovanni Van Bronkhorst.

Paul Roberts

The dreaded vote of confidence!

Paul Roberts

Oooops got beaten to it. ☹️


As many have said already, this is the bad sign for Emery but good for us. I hope that this means that he is gone and the sooner the better. Even if he would bring us a top 4 this season his approach and bland football we play is not and should not be our future. As I am from Croatia, I watched Dinamo Zagreb (who won against Arsenal a few years back while we were still a CL team), and they ripped Atalanta apart. Dinamo, who should be and was an outsider whenever in CL in the last few… Read more »


Well logically speaking from a corporate point of view it would be shooting yourself in the foot of the club came out and said they were unhappy with Emery especially whilst still their employee. For me unai is more of Jose Mourinho then arsene wenger and knowing Raul and following his Barca days the guy is not stupid and is pretty ruthless to be honest it I was Emery I wouldn’t be confident about my job right now


Think Mourinho without the trophies. And what is Mourinho without the trophies? Just an annoying prick with a lot of lip.

David Hillier's luggage

I find the bit about moving players on interesting. He talks bout analysing players who’s playing time will be limited, but goes on to say “players that have gone on loan and the players we sold create a relatively significant wage savings or income that help offset some of the investments we made.” – does that pretty much confirm Monreal (started every game this season) and Iwobi (played in more games than anyone else last season) were sold to balance the books?

Gus Caesar

I don’t want to gte too far ahead of myself here but we live in interesting times. Raul, Edu, even Vinai are new and we just don’t know which way they will jump if results get worse. I think it’s a big 11 days for Emery, absolutely massive. Personally, I don’t think a bad result tonight is that unlikely. I also think that Forest could overturn a youthful team on Tuesday. So then you have to wonder what bad results against Villa and Man Utd too could lead to. If we’re sat here on the Tuesday after the Man Utd… Read more »

Sean Williams

Emery has done a good job, Boris Johnson doesn’t lie, and Vinai Venkatesham knows what he is talking about, all three statements are not bullshit. Trust me.

Sean Williams

Emery hasn’t got a clue. That is not bullshit. That is……..true


Erm, no Vinnie, he really isn’t doing an excellent job. If we didn’t have such clueless and uninterested owners, every single one of you that thought this is what an excellent job looks like, would be sacked on the same day Emery is sent packing. Which should have been last season.


Any Manager who starts a campaign with naming a captain. And the hell that we talk of 5 captains? Confused management style at best.


I mean starting a campaign without
a substantive captain.


Operation Emery Out has begun. Vote of Confidence phase initiated.

Yankee Gooner

Emery for Zidane, straight swap. If you will it, it is no dream.


I was hoping the Neymar saga would lead to a complete collapse of PSG and Tuchel leaving meaning he can be brought in next season. But that doesn’t look likely now.

Dorset Gooner

The vote of confidence from the MD, and we all know what happens next, bye bye emery. Gary Neville could do a better job. Defence and Midfield have been a joke since he took over, not really that difficult to sort out with the correct preparation and tactics. This manager needs the sacked ASAP, please sort this mess out

Bodie CI5

The only good thing he’s done as part of his job is bring in more of the youngsters, other than that got nothing to praise him about, after the Xmas back lash of games, see where we are in league if it aint good then he can go in the January window


He deserves the whole season as per his contract. No top four, he goes.

Ivan the Terrible

Erm … no he is not.

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