Nigel Winterburn: The Arsenal squad will have to get used to it

Nigel Winterburn of Arsenal.

Nigel Winterburn has been speaking about the situation at Arsenal with Unai Emery while also looking ahead to Arsenal’s game against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.

28 Nov 1999: Nigel Winterburn of Arsenal on the ball against Derby County during the FA Carling Premiership match at Highbury in London. Arsenal won 2-1. \ Credit: Gary Prior /Allsport
28 Nov 1999: Nigel Winterburn of Arsenal on the ball against Derby County during the FA Carling Premiership match at Highbury in London. Arsenal won 2-1. \ Credit: Gary Prior /Allsport

Speaking at length to Gambling.com, the former Arsenal defender started with Unai Emery and the Spaniard’s tendency to tinker with the team.

“In a way, you could say he’s being quite brave because if he sees that something isn’t working he’s made a quick change to try and turn that around,” he said.

“From a player’s point of view if you’re one of those being brought off at half-time you’re going to be very disappointed. I don’t think I know any player that gets brought off at half-time, whether it’s tactical or you’re not playing very well, is going to be very happy about it.

Arsenal's Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group F football match between Arsenal and Standard Liege at the Arsenal Stadium in London on October 3, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group F football match between Arsenal and Standard Liege at the Arsenal Stadium in London on October 3, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s something the Arsenal squad are used to and if they’re not, they are going to have to get used to it.”

So, like a large section of the Arsenal support, does he want Emery to go?  “I always said that when Unai Emery came in he would get at least two years. To be fair last year wasn’t his team.

“Now he’s had significant funds this season to make those changes. He’s brought in younger players which I agree with. But I would think that if Arsenal don’t get into the top four there will be a review.

7 Aug 1999: Nigel Winterburn and Emmanuel Petit of Arsenal share a joke with referee Alan Wilkie during the FA Carling Premiership match against Leicester City played at Highbury in London, England. The match finished in a 2-1 win to the Arsenal. Credit: Shaun Botterill /Allsport
7 Aug 1999: Nigel Winterburn and Emmanuel Petit of Arsenal share a joke with referee Alan Wilkie during the FA Carling Premiership match against Leicester City played at Highbury in London, England. The match finished in a 2-1 win to the Arsenal. Credit: Shaun Botterill /Allsport

“They can’t get into the same position as with Arsene Wenger where 50% of the supporters want him to stay and the other 50% want him out and every time something goes wrong on the pitch it’s almost as if the supporters are in crisis with each other.

“It wasn’t pleasant sitting and watching those games at the very end of Arsene’s reign. It was very uncomfortable as a former player to watch on from the sidelines.”

Winterburn then turned his attentions to who could possibly replace Emery. “I don’t know if they would be as brave to go with someone like Ljungberg or Arteta. They may be terrific coaches but when you take that manager’s role it steps up another couple of levels again.”

Arsenal first team assistant coach, Swedish former player Freddie Ljungberg look son during the UEFA Europa League Group F football match between Arsenal and Standard Liege at the Arsenal Stadium in London on October 3, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal first team assistant coach, Swedish former player Freddie Ljungberg look son during the UEFA Europa League Group F football match between Arsenal and Standard Liege at the Arsenal Stadium in London on October 3, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

“I would say keep an eye on what’s happening with Patrick Viera. If someone like that could prove they are able to run a club in the right way, then Arsenal may look towards that eventually.”

Two of those men were on Arsenal’s original shortlist.

Finally, he looked ahead to Arsenal’s game against Liverpool on Wednesday night. “Arsenal’s record at Liverpool of late is poor, to say the least, I think to go to Anfield and win, under the presumption that both teams will be greatly different, would still be a huge boost for Arsenal.

“It would certainly build confidence within the squad as well.”