Robin van Persie says Arsenal are no better under Unai Emery than they were in the final years under Arsene Wenger.
Speaking on BT Sport on Thursday, as Arsenal just about managed to complete a comeback win over Vitoria in the Europa League, Robin van Persie was asked whether Emery had improved things since taking over at the Emirates.
“I don’t think so,” van Persie said. “I don’t think that Emery really connects with his players. I think they’re still weak on set pieces, that was back in my time still a problem, to be honest.
“Last weekend they again conceded from a corner kick. I said it a couple of weeks ago as well, Arsenal lose 12-15 points per season by set-pieces and that should stop. You have to sort it out, you have to find a way.
“If I’m really honest, someone sent me a video of him [Emery] last week trying to explain something, and I couldn’t figure out if he was saying ‘calm, calm’ or ‘come!’. That is very important.
“You have to be clear, you have to be the leader and the leader needs to be clear towards his players.”
It’s a scathing assessment, and to be fair, the stats around Unai Emery’s time with Arsenal aren’t all bad. His win percentage since joining the club is actually surprisingly good, but the problem is that the big six clubs have improved as a whole.
Even if the likes of Manchester United are lagging behind right now, there are consistently three or four other Premier League teams winning at a rate that many of Arsenal’s past managers would have been proud of.
It’s not enough to win a higher percentage of matches if you lose the ones that really matter and miss out on Champions League football and trophies.