Jamie Carragher has laid into Unai Emery claiming he is ‘no Wenger upgrade’.
It’s hard to disagree.
Although Unai Emery believes he has improved Arsenal since taking over from Arsene Wenger, he’s simply wrong.
He’s worse in every metric.
It’s no surprise, then, to see Jamie Carragher using his column in the Daily Mail on Saturday to lay into him.
“Arsenal supporters may be divided on the best performance since Unai Emery became manager, but I am in no doubt about his most impressive display,” Carragher begins. We aren’t, but carry on Jamie…
“It came in the pre-match press conference before this week’s Europa League win over Vitoria Guimaraes, when he offered an impassioned defence of his reign and plans to move the club forward.
“It is pleasing to hear Emery so passionate, even if I did not agree with a lot of what he said, especially when he argued Arsenal were more competitive now than under Wenger.
“That is the problem. It has been the same under Emery as in the years before Wenger’s departure.”
That’s not really true though, is it Jamie? It’s actually been worse and seems unlikely to improve after 15 months or more.
Carragher then went on to why Arsenal appointed him.
“Arsenal appointed Emery because they were seduced by his Europa League victories with Sevilla, following the logic that the manager who made a habit of winning that competition was perfect for a club that had just dropped into it.
“But closer analysis of Emery’s career exposes why he still has a lot of convincing to do. Although Emery won a hat-trick of Europa League titles with Sevilla, he did so at the expense of top-four status in La Liga. That puts huge pressure on winning the Europa League, which he almost did in his first season before – yet again – Arsenal failed to turn up when it mattered in the final against Chelsea. That was the moment supporters started to ask questions. His Sevilla side finished fifth, fifth and seventh in those seasons they won European silverware. More significantly, in the year of his last victory, he did not win a single away game in La Liga.
“It is a trend he has not reversed in England. Emery has won eight of his 24 away games in the Premier League, keeping two clean sheets – a shocking fact. There is no busier goalkeeper in the top flight than Bernd Leno this season. Not since 2003 have an Arsenal defence conceded so many efforts on their goal at this stage of a campaign. Earlier this season, Watford managed a staggering 31 shots in a single game against Arsenal – the most they have ever faced in a Premier League fixture. They are more vulnerable than ever.
“Most damning is that the bad habits have not been eradicated, they have spread. When a top-four finish was in the club’s grasp at the end of last season, a 3-2 defeat by tomorrow’s opponents, Crystal Palace, finished that ambition.”