Unai Emery’s future as Arsenal boss came into sharp focus as his side threw away a 2-goal lead at Watford on Sunday, but the club claim to be ‘comfortable’ with the ‘excellent job’ Emery is doing according to managing director, Vinai Venkatesham.

Vinai Venkatesham
Vinai Venkatesham

Conceding more shots than any other side in the top five leagues around Europe, it’s hard to know what Unai Emery is trying to do with this Arsenal side. Promises of pressing and fast, attacking football that he wooed us with upon arrival last summer have vanished, replaced by a football that is worse than what we wanted rid of Arsene Wenger for.

With a break clause in his contract that would allow Arsenal to terminate Emery’s contract at the end of this season, we wondered how long the club would give him. The answer, it seems, is ‘a lot longer’…

“Absolutely, we are very comfortable with him and his coaching staff. We think he is doing an excellent job, so we are very happy,” Venkatesham told The Straits Times at the All That Matters conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, on Tuesday.

190919 starit times vv
The Straits Times 19 September 2019

“When we appointed Unai, the team that worked on that looked at lots of different attributes that we felt we want to have in our head coach.

“One of them was, we want a coach who was willing, able, and had a track record of playing young players, because that is an important part of Arsenal Football Club.”

Venkatesham also spoke about Arsenal using more young players this season. “First, it is financially efficient,” he said. “The more players you have coming from the academy, the more funds you can then use to invest in the transfer window because you then have a budget that is being stretched among fewer players.

“More important than that is we want players in the dressing room who really understand what it means to play for Arsenal, players who have grown up with the club.”

Finally, he spoke about how they decided what players to ship out this summer, saying, “What we analysed is the players whose playing time for the coming season is going to be limited.

“It is not good for the players to not play many minutes, it is not great for the club to have players who are not contributing.

“We try to find a solution… the players that have gone on loan and the players we sold create a relatively significant wage savings or income that help offset some of the investments we made.”