Arsenal and Unai Emery, Manager did not look convincing during their Europa League match against Frankfurt, but what was surprising the Manager almost seemed frozen. Arsenal lost the match 1-2, despite leading 1-0 during half-time. They next morning Arsenal announced sacking of Emery.
It was later reported that he might have received some indication before the game itself, whereas he was officially informed of Arsenal’s decision the next morning. But, there was a time when he had a clear plan about just how to form a team post Arsène Wenger era, which ended in May 2018. For much of his very first season accountable, he felt that he was close to discovering the solutions.
The starting point for any assessment of Emery’s Arsenal tenure must be Mesut Özil, the mercurial playmaker who was given a £350,000-a-week contract in February 2018 to prevent him from leaving as a free agent. Most of the season in reserve bench resulted in a toxic dressing room. Emery tried everything with him and Arsenal was not able to find a suitable deal for him in last summer.
Emery inherited this Ozil-situation but, from the beginning, it was apparent that Ozil would not be a right fit for Emery’s Arsenal. His system does allow creativity albeit within a structured framework.
Losing Plot in Premier League last season
On April 1, after win against Newcastle at Emirates, the club sat third in Premier League table– with only seven matches to go. That they implode, shedding 4 of those matches to finish fifth, was the first indelible stain against his reputation and it was followed by the calamitous Europa League final loss against Chelsea when the group surrendered their second shot at Champions League qualification.
Europa League Final
Emery never recuperated from the 1-4 loss to city-rival Chelsea in Europa League Final. The statistics shows Emery was able to win 1 out of 9 matches and Emery lost all composure. The team looked disintegrated bunch of talented players afterwards.
Emery tried everything with Ozil and these seem to all fail. And then he substituted him in the Europa League final, with youngster Joe Willock. Ozil and Emery never saw eye to eye after that.
Summer of 2019 and Current Season
Emery’s Arsenal made some horrendous decisions which affected the team this season. Aaron Ramsey– that was permitted to join Juventus on a Bosman in July– additionally seemed to jar in Emery’s system, resulting in the huge criticism.
Lucas Torreira has experienced a remarkable drop-off in type. Emery regretted the sale of Laurent Koscielny on the eve of the season– the club captain forced his transfer to Bordeaux– and his apparent substitute, David Luiz, came with defensive risks attached.
Captaincy Saga and Xhaka
Emery delayed designating Xhaka as captain for weeks after as Koscielny’s departure, and also took considerable time to remove him of the function after Xaka’s well-documented bust-up with home fans at the Crystal Palace game on 27 October. Xhaka came back to the starting eleven against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night, which was Emery’s last match as manager. He looked indecisive during the whole controversy and did not provide Xhaka any support– an imprudent decision to destabilise a popular figure in the dressing room.
Connecting to his team
He failed to get the expected performance from Nicolas Pépé, for whom Arsenal paid ₤72 million in August. He also had problems in managing Neymar previously when he was Paris Saint-Germain manager.
He faced another communication issue with his players as well as during press conference. Though sometimes, he looked unwilling to interact. He was unable to reach to young players like Bukayo Saka on what he requires for his team.
Several other incidents suggested that Emery lost dressing room and after draw against Southampton, they were placed at eighth place in the league table. At this time, Arsenal decided enough is enough and its time to move on. Though the decision was made known after Europa league match.