Tony Adams thinks Unai Emery is more focused on the team than Arsene Wenger, whilst Arsenal’s former boss took a more holistic view of the club.
After the draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday, Arsenal are on a 20-game unbeaten streak. The team have topped their Europa League group and progressed to the quarter-finals of the League Cup, though there’s still some work to do in the league, as they’re fifth behind Chelsea on goal difference.
Nonetheless, it’s been a strong start to the season, and Adams thinks that’s because Emery is more focused on what’s happening on the pitch than off it.
“The coach is obviously a lot different from Arsene,” the former defender said. “He just concentrates on the team now and he’s getting them motivated.
“I would have taken seventh or sixth to be honest with you, don’t get me wrong, it’s a transitional year. The new coach has come in, there’s a hell of a lot of changes, the structure’s changed.
“You speak to everyone at Arsenal at the moment he’s completely not interested in the club, the training ground, all the development side that Arsene did. He’s solely concentrating on that team and he gets on that training pitch every single day and he works with these players.
“We’ve got the results that matter and that breeds a bit of confidence.”
It may be true that Unai Emery is more focused on the footballing side of things, and less involved in everything going on off the pitch, but just as likely to be because of the aforementioned structural changes than anything else. Emery’s job is simply ‘head coach’ after all, as opposed to being the manager of the club.
When Wenger came in, it was part of the job description to be heavily involved in the transfers and the training ground redevelopments and new stadium builds. Nowadays, those tasks usually get delegated to the recruitment team or the Head of Football and so on. We’ll see which system ends up being more effective in the long run.