Unai Emery has failed to read the post mortem notes following the death of his Arsenal career. The Spanish coach seems somewhat delusional about his own role in his sacking, preferring to be the victim of circumstances.
Emery had lost control of the dressing room and with each change of lineup, tactical reconfiguration and loss, the resentment and disrespect intensified. The performances were passionless and dull. There seemed an air of inevitability about the result before a ball had even been kicked and the mood changed significantly towards the coach. He promised to make Arsenal great again but from the expensive seats, Arsenal looked wounded, almost fatally.
Another terrible decision was to allow his players to choose a captain, not the sign of a thoroughbred manager. His belief in Granit Xhaka as captain, despite failing to deliver over many games resulted in a seismic meltdown, which almost saw an end to the player’s Emirates career.
Then there was his persistence with certain out of form players whilst ostracising others, creating a deep rooted and cancerous problem for himself. His treatment of Ozil was astonishingly poor and his failure to get the best out of his only creative midfielder was truly telling. It showed that his ability to motivate was poor and that his dislike for star players impeded his judgement.
He managed to get to the Europa league final but at the expense of a top four finish in the Premier League and at the time, seemed determined to prioritise the second rate European competition over everything else. This was despite the heavy odds that bookies around the world like us casinos where offering on Arsenal’s finish in the top four that season. It’s a blessing Arsenal didn’t win it because if they had, it would have allowed the coach and board to continue in the usual slapdash fashion.
After the mailing to Chelsea, Emery appeared to be lost the following season. His mood changed. Pitch side he seemed less persuasive and buoyant, at the press conferences he seemed unclear and garbled and in his selections he seemed genuinely confused, so to blame the fans is slightly rich.
“There were several problems: four captains; the [Mesut] Ozil – [Sead] Kolasinac case; [Nicolas] Pepe’s signing, which needs time to be that of 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.”
And they were ? Anyway, moving on, Emery continued:
“I had the funeral and mourning. After my cessation, I dreamed a month of things about Arsenal. It was a natural process. And I overcame that duel.”
“When I no longer dreamed them, I already knew that I had overcome it. Now I am already feeding myself.”
At least we know he’s eating well. He then added his thoughts on Mikel Arteta by saying:
“Mikel has a lot of experience as a footballer and has worked alongside Pep [Guardiola], who is the best. He fits perfectly as an Arsenal manager. He is playing a 4-2-3-1, like ours.”
Emery’s failure was to be expected because Arsenal bought in the wrong man and then failed to back him or allow him to build his own team. They hid behind the sofa as the bombs dropped and ran for cover when the fans wanted blood. They are at fault as much as Emery but the fans, although fickle, weren’t responsible for any of the decisions that blighted almost two seasons.