Unai Emery admits Arsenal missed an opportunity to make good headway in the Premier League when they lost to Sheffield United on Monday but he’s played down suggestions his project at the Emirates is coming off the rails.
The Gunners delivered yet another lacklustre performance on the road as they went down 1-0 at Bramall Lane – a fifth defeat in 10 away games in the league – raising questions about whether the club have improved since the Spaniard took over in the summer of 2018.
Ahead of Thursday’s Europa League game with Portuguese side Vitoria, Emery was in bullish mood, citing a changeover in playing personnel as a reason to be patient.
“In my career, it’s normal to have criticism of our work in the difficult moments, of my job, our team, the players,” he told his press conference.
“On one hand, we have the supporters and their opinion, and we need to accept that. My focus is improving in the next match, seeing how we can improve on things.
“Also, it’s how we can little by little get ahead, doing our steps in that way, progressing and achieving our immediate target. That’s winning tomorrow. We also want to improve things.
“We are at the beginning of this season and we have won two matches playing very well in this competition [the Europa League], with very good results.
“We lost a very big opportunity in the Premier League on Monday to finish third in the table. We are now fifth, so we have another chance on Sunday. We know we can improve and we need to improve, so we have to get better in our way.
“It’s one process and here the most important thing is our strategy. Our strategy is, when I was watching the games in my office last season, we changed 10 players out of the 24 players we had. That’s 40 per cent, more or less.
“We are now using new players and some young players to give them chances, to give them confidence playing for the future. We want to have that performance with them. With that process, I’m happy.
“I’m disappointed in the result on Monday because we had a very good opportunity to win three points. We are in our way and we need to have one strategy.
“The most important thing is the team and the club, and also that our objective is clear. It’s about where we want to get to, where we want to arrive.
“We are at the beginning and I am very confident. I have belief in the players, in our work, the club’s strategy, in every player and in our way with our job.”
Pressed on whether criticism hurts, Emery seemed to draw comparisons to the reaction he experienced when Arsenal capitulated 3-0 to Wolves at the tail-end of last season.
It’s tough to say for sure, but he almost appears to suggest that our defeat on Monday was some form of progress, at least when it comes to attitude.
“I remember last year at Wolves, a very similar system at 5-3-2,” he reflected. “Different team, but defensively very strong. We spoke about that.
“Last year we lost 3-0 at Wolves, and we lost all our balance in 30 minutes. On Monday, the first penalty was clear and then the chances were for us. If we scored one goal, maybe the match is different. But they scored it because we conceded a lot of corners to them.
“We had a lot of corners, 12, but then we lost in the balance of seven corners for them, and they scored. Then we tried, and we had chances to score and get a minimum of a draw – but we didn’t do it. The 90 minutes happened but we can’t predict what will happen.
“Our response could be better, but we had a good attitude, a good mentality. Now we have to show in the next match that we can improve.”
“My focus is improving in the next match, seeing how we can improve on things”
Pick your best fuking team and stop playing favourites!
Not playing Dani £15M a year Ceballos???!!! Are you crazy?
You’re obviously extremely gullible or bad at maths. Or both.
Isn’t it interesting that Emery’s way of improving is by doing exactly the same thing in the next game.
It’s laughable. That is not how you improve, accountability and learning from your mistakes is how you improve. I don’t see a shred of evidence that he knows what to do, instead his greatest achievement has been to turn a £600m squad into a wet paper bag.
Wow, to having to grasp those sets of response from the PR…… No way Emery pull off such an interview
I know Emery’s got some credit for blooding the kids, but not much has been made of how he is using them. Nelson and Willock have recently been used very poorly. Sent on late in away games, played in the wrong positions, yanked at half time. Martinelli thrown on with 10 left to fight for scraps, Maitland-Niles frozen out completely. Not playing Tierney over Kolasinac because he doesn’t want to hurt his feelings – even though he’s had more end product in 2.5 games than Sead in the last 12 months. An over-reliance on Saka already, despite Pepe having a… Read more »
He’s only playing youth because his safety blankets were sold.
If, and it’s a big if, we qualify for the champions league and then sack Emery, it’ll be a perfect bit of club management from the personnel above him. We often use United as a comparison but it’s a fair one. Both clubs parted ways with a legacy manager who left the club with little infrastructure and a flabby, tired squad. United attempted to install another legacy manager in Moyes straight after and it went horribly wrong. The repercussions are still being felt. I can only guess the powers that be saw that and instead of appointing Arteta, which could’ve… Read more »
The point is we won’t qualify for CL football with Emery in charge this season. We should already be looking to replace him.
Yup. I agree there is grounds for him to be sacked this week. But I can’t see it happening before new year. And if we find a modicum of form between now and then, it’s going to be an end of season job.
Regardless of what happens, unless we turn into noughties Barca between now and May, he goes at the end of this season.
I’m starting to wonder if it was Arteta who pulled out at the last moment and left the club with Unai Emery as the last option. I’d rather we had the balls to try the highly-rated but untried Mikel Arteta over the underwhelming Unai Emery, at least Arteta has class and understands the club, but I guess we will never really know the reasoning behind this appointment.
You’re absolutely spot on.
They down vote because they misunderstood imo.
Blah blah blah….its just noise. If the bar is low enough , we can only improve but I fear the bar is going to go lower with him in charge. How can a squad this good ( some upgrades still needed ) play this bad.
Can we just stop getting post/pre match comments from this guy already. The more rubbish he says, the livid I am. He has succeeded in saying nothing after saying so much. Just get out already!
Does anyone take any heart from this? Sounds as meandering and full of rose-tinted revisionism as his post-game interview. Also his mention of strategy is almost laughable when its been obvious for quite sole time now that the players have no f’ing clue what they’re supposed to be doing.
With same set of players he is expecting better performance and results. We’ve been through this before.
We as fans need to put the pressure on board to bring the change like last time.
I don’t understand why everyone’s so keen for Ozil to be in the first team. It wasn’t so long ago everyone was criticising his laziness and enthusiasm to track back.
Because now the same understand what he brings to the team. As Klopp said (something like): when Özil plays, nobody wants him, when he doesn’t, he is missed. Yes, Jürgen Klopp.
EMERY: WE KNOW I SHOULD GET FIRED, WE NEED TO
This guy doesn’t seem to grasp the expectations that this Arsenal team is held to.
We got rid of Wenger because he was hitting those expectations.
We don’t need someone who explains away a 1-0 loss by saying it’s better than 3-0 loss. Both were under him and both are well below expectations.
I have to say, I liked Emery when he first came but I am now not convinced he has the tools to turn this around. I don’t get how we can look so free and attacking in the EL but not in the Prem. I think we have a better quad than we had when Arsene left but I think the football is far far worse. When I think back in all of Emery’s time I can only recall two or three games where I thought we looked really good. And when you compare that the amount of times we… Read more »
share same thoughts.. when first came didn’t mind him as he seemed to remove the feeling of player comfort.. briefly shook that side of things up a bit as the regular players were too comfortable.. other than that nothing else to add.. he’s just not tactically sound for this league as if he was we would have seen identity in our game by now.. this is not football it’s just players running around aimlessly.
Does anyone wish someone would just ask him ‘why do you keep playing the same suspects in the EPL week in, week out when obviously it’s not working’?
It’s about where we want to get to, where we want to arrive.”
It’s ok because if we start playing good football in April we will arrived at our objective:
“where we want to get to, where we want to arrive.”
A little advice Unai…you might want to start thinking about when we arrive otherwise you’ll have nothing to do with that arrival.
If Emery plays a Xhaka+Guendouzi pairing again on Saturday, with a Saka, Kolasinac, and Willock, Palace will cane us mercilessly. And there’s ghat BS guys always talk about…. Standing behind the team… We can’t do that when team selection is BS!
If Xhaka starts, I’m seriously contemplating skipping the game Sunday and watching the “high”lights…I can’t do it anymore. It’s painful… I know he’s going to play Tierny, Bellerin, Holding, Torreira, Martinelli, Saka, Willock (and probably Laca too this game) tomorrow and we’ll see a fun game and it will be brilliant (definitely tuning in because it’s great watching these guys roll right now), but it’s about 99% certainty the starting line on Sunday includes the Xhaka-Douzi double pivot (because Xhaka cannot play anywhere except deep and when he plays there Douzi has to also play deep to cover Xhaka’s alarming… Read more »
I fell ill and slept through the game on Monday. Was glad.
Only worth watching the cup games now.
I’m waiting for Emery to congratulate Xhaka on the bench after we score on Thursday. Priceless.
Watching that live, I honestly couldn’t believe it. That was the point for me I kinda gave up all hope with Emery. If you have to go two rows back into your own dug out to find someone to celebrate with then there are serious problems. I mean Freddie is right there, and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone around the Arsenal traps at the moment that gives a shit more than Freddie…
i hope he does. and he will.
then he can get sacked more easily. better 5 losses and the sack than 30 more games with s*** performances spread throughout…
Blah blah handbrake. Blah blah mental strength……,
This is all so reminiscent if the bull we heard towards the end of the last regime. Words and noise signifying nothing.
can’t we just leave Wenger out of this? it’s more than 1.5 year since his departure and i think he deserves some respect for what he had given to the club for a good two decades of his life.
This is entirely on Emery and let’s focus on that
This guy annoys me because we know what to expect. We know what he likes in midfield and what he likes in defence. And we know he likes to repeat his mistakes.
I can not stand his interviews. They offer zero insights. They are boring. Much like his football. He is not the man for the job.
Ushasema kaka! This dude is so incoherent and boring to watch as is his team selection and tactics (if any at all). The sooner he leaves the better for everyone who loves Arsenal.
“I’m disappointed in the result on Monday because we had a very good opportunity to win three points. We are in our way and we need to have one strategy. “The most important thing is the team and the club, and also that our objective is clear. It’s about where we want to get to, where we want to arrive. “We are at the beginning and I am very confident. I have belief in the players, in our work, the club’s strategy, in every player and in our way with our job.” It is torture to get rid of Wenger… Read more »
What is he saying??? Bollocks as far as I am concerned. You can’t keep tinkering after a full season and still not have a clear way of playing. During Wenger’s years, we knew the problem with our team ( sign a DM to replace viera, or sign a striker like Suarez, or bolster your defense etc) we knew that our team was just 3 signings away from a title charge, our first 11 would give anyteam in the world a run for their money. But under Unai, what can we really say the issue is??? That’s my problem. He says… Read more »
I really like this team. 2 good players in every position, good age group and a great mix of experience levels too. Shame about the coach right now but things can change quickly
I know, right? For once, our squad is actually looking pretty well balanced for the years ahead. I mean we may have to think about auba’s replacement in a few years if martinelli doesn’t click for some reason.. But otherwise, good balance in the squad!
you mean after the sack?
Actions speak louder than words!
Starting to sound very wenger esq. Fans can have their opinions but I don’t give a crap. I’d like to think we improve by Xmas or things change. The squad we have should comfortably be 3rd, and with the other ‘top 4’ clubs struggling we should be cementing our place.
The only way i see us getting rid of Emery is if we start on a bad losing streak, starting tomorrow.
The board may stand up and take note and finally realise what a mistake they made by having him.
They had some balls to throw some money at players for Emery, but he doesn’t use them effectively, so they need to have some balls and tell him f#$k off!
Obviously, i dont want us to lose tomorrow or ever for that matter, but id he keeps performing well in cup comps i fear the board may overlook the poor league performances
” We know we can play football, we need to ”
There, fixed it.
“Our response could be better, but we had a good attitude, a good mentality. Now we have to show in the next match that we can improve.”
just shows how low the bar is now.
Enough already the fans helped get rid of an actual legend what has Emery done since he came other than destroy the philosophy Arsene built we are a shadow of our former self just boring football
“Also, it’s how we can little by little get ahead, doing our steps in that way, progressing and achieving our immediate target.
Unai, suggest you put your track shoes on and run not jog. Time is of the essence.
I said it late last season, Emery seems to be making it up as he goes along. He has already lost the support of some of the fans with his windshield wiper football. I’d like to see Freddie given the opportunity, he is a proper Arsenal man that has already done so well with our younger players..
Of course, we CAN improve. Anybody can improve. The question is, where’s the plan to make it happen?
Is this guy serious? He talks about a project, what project? We have gotten worst since he took over, and I don’t see any foundation being laid for us to become better. If somebody, anybody can please tell me one positive in Emery’s approach I’m all ears because I just can’t see it, he’s delusional, but he’s right about one thing Arsenal can improve, just not under him!
Gibberish, utter gibberish. Does my head in.
The PL is no place to experiment, none – especially away. Best XI as mush as is possible, that’s it. And we have no strategy, none that I can see anyway.
What is he on about? I can’t understand anything he says. Emery out!
He is at the begining of a journey, just started a new way… a new job somewhere else, in another galaxy, with protagonists around him.
We improved the squad Emery and we’re worse. thats on you.
Does one press conference need to be split into three articles?