With the Arsenal players all out in Dubai talking up how much more fun, enjoyable and together they all are under Arteta compared to Emery, it appears the Spaniard has decided that he will not go quietly into that sweet night, and has been talking with increased frequency on his time at the club.
He’s been quite in French football saying some pretty bizarre things, if I’m honest, like:
- Losing his captains was a big loss in the summer
- Some of the stars “asked” more than they “gave”
- The Arsenal team was on a downward decline when he joined – he arrested the decline
- There hasn’t been an improvement since he left.
Emery has come out fighting and I understand that. After all, as somebody pointed out on Twitter yesterday, if you’re angling for a new job you don’t tell your prospective new employers that “actually, i was a bit sh*t in my last job and was turned out”. The fact of the matter remains, however, that the football this season was the worst that I’ve seen it in my lifetime and that happened on his watch. And the reason he – and all managers – are paid as handsomely as they are, is that it is his job to arrest any slide. He didn’t, he made it worse, plus he did baffling things like play Lucas Torreira as an attacking midfielder.
On the captains thing, that was down to him, I’m afraid. He picked so many bloody captains in the first place, but even having done so, he will have known that Koscielny was probably on his way given his age, Cech too, plus Ramsey was moving on too. That information will have been with him for quite some time so to play the “woe is me” victim card is nothing more than a new job smokescreen.
So I can kind of understand these comments and compartmentalise them. Emery knows he failed at Arsenal and he should know he failed because of his own decision making as much as any other external factors. And people losing their sh*t over him should probably just ignore it; his legacy will be but a tiny and forgettable footnote in the long lifespan of The Arsenal Football Club.
Had he still been at the club I suspect results may not have been much different, but the attitude and belief of the players would have been. And that’s why last night on the radio show I was saying that after this winter break we need to see a response from the players. And that response needs to be with ‘W’s, not ‘D’s.
We have all been enthused by the start of life under Arteta and we think we can see a style of play developing, but that has to also transmit to results, so whilst the likes of Özil and Lacazette are saying all the right things and talking about how we’re all going to see improvement in the coming weeks, that proof needs to be slap bang in the middle of that pudding, that’s for sure.
I’m hopeful it is. The next six games are:
- Newcastle (H)
- Olympiakos (A)
- Everton (H)
- Olympiakos (H)
- Portsmouth (A)
- West Ham (H)
It’s time for the reaction that should have happened a while ago. It’s time for every Arsenal player to step up.
Catch you all tomorrow.