Let's Talk About...Unai Emery
Kicking Things Off…
I was debating whether to make my first post in this section about Arsene Wenger or Unai Emery before coming to the decision that it’s probably better to look forward to the future rather than reminiscing on the past.
When we were first looking for a replacement for Wenger, I was sceptical to say the least. Although Arsene had a very rough last few months and even years, he was a pivotal figure in the club and the way we play our football, so it was always going to be a big ask for somebody to fill his boots. I had told myself that we would be going for Allegri or Simeone, with them being the biggest names on the table at the time and not once did I hear Emery mentioned until the last minute. What cold we expect from him? He seemed to be a very observant, demanding manager, something that perhaps Wenger didn’t portray during his time on the sidelines. But, I had never really heard too much about him, apart from the fact that he was the First Team Coach for PSG and that he was previously in charge of Sevilla, a team which he managed to win the Europa League with consecutively, which in itself is fairly impressive.
What Was Expected?
I was expecting a fall, similarly to the fall that Manchester United suffered when they lost Sir Alex, but this never seemed to happen to us…For sure, we had our fair share of misfortunes, but we never suffered any HUGE defeats to teams we should be beating (apart from BATE Borisov, but let’s not talk about this!).
To top all of this off, he’s also made the impressive signing of Sokratis ‘Papa’ Papastathopolous, a player who has not only shown his ambition to become a vital member of the squad, but has shown pure dedication to the leadership role we’ve so eagerly required. Pairing this with the frequent use of our youngsters, such as: Iwobi, Maitland-Niles, Nketiah, Saka and Holding when available, I’m really optimistic for what the future holds for us.
I really don’t want to get ahead of myself here, and I know that we probably shouldn’t. But, at this stage of the season we’re ahead of Tottenham because (as always) they’ve gone and bottled it. There really is nothing to hate about the way Emery has gone about his business this season, especially with it being his first season in charge. I’d encourage us to invest in another Centre Back when the transfer window is upon us, because with Holding out injured, Mavropanos playing for the youth team and Koscielny sadly reaching the end of his careeer, we really do lack that second “Tough Guy Defender”. Mustafi is potentially the most incompetent player in the team and I’ll stand by this until he’s replaced, which is an unfortunate way to look at it, but he’s just not up to scratch…But I’ll go into detail on this in my future player post about him.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Unai for all he’s done for the club so far. He’s been a real positive influence and always has time to speak with the press in a positive manner. Not once have I see nhim display anger or frustration towards the fans, the press, or the players.
Everything he does is for the benefit of the club and the players themselves. He’s been active on Social Media after each game, every week whether we win or lose, with words of wisdom and encouragement for the next game. This is what we’ve missed! I thought it would take us at least another season or two to replace Wenger properly, but he seems to be doing the job already, with a spot in the Europa League final still on the cards, Top 3 (4) looking even more likely and a spot in the Champion’s League looming over our heads, I really can’t fault what he’s done for us so far.
If you have anythoughts on the way Emery has gone about himself here, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!