Ian Wright says it’ll take time for all the Arsenal players to completely adapt to what Unai Emery wants from them, but he thinks the main thing they still need to work on is their attitude.
Wright was speaking to Standard Sport, following up on comments from Paul Merson about how Arsenal need players with a better mentality. The former Arsenal striker didn’t agree with those claiming Unai Emery’s stars are too nice, but did suggest a change of attitude is necessary, and that will come with time under new management.
“It is not that they are too nice. It is almost like they are in a state of flux because of the way Arsene Wenger played,” he said. “Training was at a sedate pace, it wasn’t intense and your mind slips into that way of thinking. You slip into that mode of playing and Arsenal have been in that mode playing.
“Graeme Souness said Arsenal are full of nice son-in-laws. It is going to take a while for that attitude to be eradicated from the club. Merson says they are too nice.
“I don’t think they were too nice the other day. I just think they were in-between Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery. It is going to take time for them to get into the vibe of what Emery is trying to do.”
It’s always hard to argue with people who question a team’s attitude when that team is losing matches. At the same time, it’s also difficult to prove that they’re right. No one knows what the players are thinking, and if anything the match against Chelsea showed a lot of character in the squad, just not the finishing to kill the game off.
One thing Wright has certainly got spot on is that Emery needs time. We’re already seeing the first signs of what he wants to do, in the build up to Arsenal’s second goal on Saturday, and with a pressing game starting to emerge.
If Emery gets a proper chance to perfect that style of play, it could prove very effective in the Premier League.