Football is a game of opinions.
Ask fans watching the same match on what they’ve witnessed and apart from the key details, you will hear a different man of the match or defining moment in the proceedings.
I respect the opinions of others, especially fellow bloggers, who again, like fans have different perspectives but I had to challenge a recent piece on Arsedevils
This type of comment has become common of late as supporters appear to need to point an accusational finger at someone but the campaign to sack Unai Emery is an irrational, knee jerk reaction to the Spaniards first season in charge.
The blog in question identifies aspects that were already in progress before Unai Emery s arrival and ignores the fact that the coach doesn’t have the power Wenger had during his tenure to make major decisions or agree transfer extensions.
It paints a picture of a man who is at odds with the superstars based on a clash with Neymar at PSG and Ozil at Arsenal. A man who has dispensed with the Arsenal style and who hasn’t achieved a considerable amount at his previous clubs.
Based purely on the nose dive at the end of the season, it suggests that Unai Emery should be sacked unless he wins the Europa league. Really? I’m amazed Arsenal have even got as far as the semi’s with this squad.
It’s a sweeping judgement based on fragments of facts but it doesn’t look at the mess Unai Emery inherited, the poor decisions behind the scenes, the changes within the structure and the decline that has been in place for at least 12 years.
That has been conveniently glossed over, so if there is any blame to be had, it rests squarely with those above the coach.
It rests with those that acted in panic and awarded Ozil a massive salary because they allowed the contracts of the German and Alexis Sanchez to run down simultaneously.
That particular mess up ended with Sanchez jumping ship and they couldn’t be seen to let both go at the same time, which rubber stamped a deal that broke Arsenal’s archaic wage structure.
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Having realised the limits of their resources they decided to review the contracts of all their players.
Realising that champions league football might not be possible for a further two to three seasons, they aborted Ramsey’s contract extension offer in mid negotiation.
As much as people are already missing the Welshman, he is 28 and prone to injury at least three times per season. In his 11 years at Arsenal he spent 425 days out injured, missing 121 games in the process which is just over three entire seasons.
So, had he been offered an extension, he still would have been injured at this point, adding to his meter of days and games missed, like a taxi driver waiting on a fare.
He was a committed player, without question, one you could always count on but his role was more of a game changing sub and because of his frailty, he required extra protection and clever management.
Put simply, it was his time to go but Arsenal should have got some money back. The result of another contract failure which allowed £35m to slip through Arsenal’s fingers.
The piece also contained a curious comment that one can only assume is indirectly linked to former CEO, Ivan Gazidis, before his treacherous departure to AC Milan. The dark lord apparently announced that
“The quality of football will not be allowed to drop.”
Which, if true, shows how little he knew about the team he presided over and about football in general. If you want a guarantee buy a toaster !!
Yes, Arsenal played some beautiful football, even in the latter stages of Wenger’s reign but the overall situation was getting worse.
The away form was shocking, they were still getting beaten by the Brighton’s of the division and were well off the pace in the chase for the premiership.
They’d dropped out of the champions league and weren’t good enough for its less glamorous equivalent and apart from the odd league or FA cup, Arsenal were already spent as a force.
Just like Manchester United, the recruitment policy had become obsolete and instead of acquiring the stars of tomorrow, Arsenal were picking up average players who might fill holes in the deprecated squad.
Unlike Manchester United, Arsenal didn’t pay £650m for so called elite players but the results of both clubs are similar and the prospect of a major clear out and rebuild are highly likely.
Unai Emery wasn’t my first choice. Julian Nagelsmann, in my opinion, was head and shoulders above the best of the rest but Arsenal appointed the Spaniard and he should be given at least three years to try to resolve the various issues at the club.
Filling the boots of a club legend.
Criticised for playing out from the back.
Not the fans’ first choice as manager.
Working on a limited budget.
Despite all of this, in his first season, Unai Emery has guided Arsenal to their first European final in 13 years.
— bet365 (@bet365) May 9, 2019
He had limits on his first transfer window, wasn’t allowed to spend anything in his second and is now responsible for clearing out the freeloaders at the club.
On the plus side, he has an academy full of prospects that is widely recognised as the best in the country and if he can balance what he has and what he needs, Arsenal could re emerge in a way that makes them contenders.
It was only a few years ago that people were questioning Klopp’s appointment at Liverpool and although I’m not suggesting Unai Emery is in that class, Klopp has proved his worth with an excellent premier league campaign this year and a stunning semi final victory over Barcelona in the champions league.
It appears that Liverpudlians have the patience and the faith that a section of the Arsenal supporters lack.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was flatpack either.