Emery may need to look at his stance on star players. You have to go back years to find a breed of managers that could not only motivate players to excel beyond their talent, but ones that could exert their own authority over their stars with psychological aplomb.
There was a group that took workman like players that were sometimes no more than average but which were woven into formidable and successful sides.
In the modern world, full of fabulous riches to those that are at the top level, it appears that self motivation, in some cases, is sadly lacking and the ability to squeeze performances from players is an obsolete art.
There were notable managers that got the maximum out of a minimum content such as Busby, Shankley, Clough and Stein and more recently Ferguson and Redknapp.
This group managed to convince personnel that they could achieve the impossible, that they were a match for anyone and that as a team, they could not be beaten. These managers instilled an idea that became a belief with their mesmeric touch.
Today, it’s more likely for a player to clash with his coach because in the present game the player is king. Some clubs would rather get rid of the managers than their prized asset and players such as Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar are said to have an interest in new appointments, with some said to offer a list of players they want to arrive at the club.
Imagine knocking on Ferguson’s door to make suggestions about transfer targets. Yes, it’s as improbable as it is unimaginable.
These clashes between players and managers are becoming more frequent and Mourinho/Pogba, Costa/Conti and Neymar/Emery are perfect illustrations of the new era of fractured relationships.
Emery may well be suffering from the scars that were given to him by Neymar whilst in charge at PSG. It was rumoured that the pair clashed regularly and that PSG made it clear the player was their priority.
“I know when I am the principal person in the group and when I am not. At PSG, the leader is Neymar. At Manchester City, it’s Pep Guardiola.”
“My priority was to make Neymar happy, it didn’t matter how. Neymar arrived at PSG in order to be the leader, to live the necessary process to become number one in the world. At Man City, Pep is the leader. At PSG, Neymar needs to be the leader”
This has obviously given the Spaniard a skewed view of the star footballer and he wasn’t about to suffer the same ignominy with Ozil on his arrival in 2018.
However. Unai Emery may have to have a rethink on his man management skills because he is now guilty at being involved in standoffs with players at his previous and present club.
He clearly has no time for the celebrity player who has all the trappings of a mansion, an array of fast cars and the playboy lifestyle and is more comfortable with less flamboyant grafters. That’s not to say he doesn’t appreciate or enjoy talent, he does but he doesn’t like the ‘bling mentality’ or lack of application.
However, his treatment of Mesut Ozil has been despicable on occasion. Yes, he had every right to demand more from a player that looks disinterested at times and get far more from him on the pitch and in training but Ozil has been ostracised whilst being paid a fortune.
At times, not even good enough for the bench, on other occasions he has been called out when it was announced that others were more deserving of a starting place.
I’ve been frustrated by Ozil but I’m tending to be slightly more sympathetic towards a player that, no matter what he does, can’t get a game. His credibility and confidence must now be at an all time low and if Arsenal are really looking to sell him on, they are promoting a shit sales pitch. He’s not even in the shop window to assess his worth.
I fear that once the dye is cast, Emery is the unforgiving type and Ozil has more chance of becoming Pope than getting back into the Arsenal side on a regular basis.
Looking at the team and selection process, you have to now ask yourself if Emery is now taking aim at the extremely ‘unblingy’ Lucas’s Torreira, simply because he wanted Steven Nzonzi but was overruled.
The Ozil circus is truly embarrassing for Arsenal and although they trust and support Emery, it’s time for mediation.