When a manager takes over at a new club, they usually get time to produce results, so it’s something of a surprise to see Jamie Carragher, restored to his role as top pundit after spitting at a fan who teased him, piling on the pressure after just 90 minutes of football.
“Arsenal’s first game under Unai Emery worried me,” Carragher wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.
“…There was anticipation of a change in direction when Emery replaced Arsene Wenger. But even accounting for the fact it was his first match – we can make a fuller assessment over the course of this season – there was little evidence of that against City. In fact, Emery seems to be trying to implement a more extreme version of the purist football Wenger advocated.
“…To believe this approach could work against a City team who press the opposition better than any was particularly baffling. There is a valid debate to be had about what constitutes “good management” when a coach takes over a side largely constructed by his predecessor. Is it a sign of quality to insist the players can and will learn to play your way? Or are the best coaches those who recognise the strengths and limitations of the squad and evolve or change the system to suit the players?”
In case you forgot, as Carragher clearly has, Emery was appointed as Arsenal’s head coach, after 22 years of Arsene Wenger in charge, 87 days ago.
When he arrived, the players were either heading off on holiday or to the World Cup.
In reality, Emery has had since 2 July to work with some of his players and approximately 18 days with his full squad.
18 days and Jamie Carragher expects more.
Jurgen Klopp took over at Liverpool in October 2015. Mauricio Pochettino took over at Tottenham in May 2014. That’s a combined total of 86 months of management with not a single trophy to show for it. Isn’t there something there he could be moaning about instead?
But sure, be disappointed that Emery hasn’t undone two decades of Wenger in a couple of weeks, that makes total sense.