As Unai Emery met with the press after Arsenal’s game on Saturday, quotes started to emerge on Twitter with one claiming he’d said “The best 20 minutes in all the season were in the second half,” and I didn’t quite believe it. Then it got worse.
You know Twitter.
It’s full of people tweeting completely plausible but totally false things. This seemed like one of them.
I had a date arriving and, to be honest, didn’t want to think about Arsenal any more so I brushed it off as someone having a laugh, closed down all my devices, and went off to have a much more entertaining evening than Arsenal would have approved off.
As I got up this morning to walk the dog, that tweet popped into my head. Could it be true? Could the man in charge of our team really have thought anything he saw against the league’s second worst side could be described as ‘the best?’
It didn’t take long to remember that he probably could. So off I went to check.
“Good ebening,” he started in his usual manner. “We are frustrated and we understand the supporters as well.
“We lost an opportunity to connect with our supporters because they helped us.
“We want, and we know, that here is the key. Here is the key to feel comfortable, to feel strong and take confidence. We didn’t do that.
“The first half, we were drawing but it wasn’t enough with how we were playing.
“The second half we started better, we changed.
“The best 20 minutes in all the season were in the second half, that moment.
“We created chances, we didn’t score, but I was happy with that moment. That was our moment. I wanted to look at our players in that moment.”
18 months he’s been at Arsenal and this is what he comes out with.
But that’s not even the worst bit because later on he goes back to these amazing 20 minutes and says, “the key was in the 20 minutes of the second half where we created three chances.”
Think about that for a minute.
Our manager is sitting in front of the world’s media telling them that Arsenal creating three chances in 20 minutes against one of the worst sides in top-level football is something to be highlighted as a positive. He also doesn’t think, at any point this season, we have played better than that yet keeps telling us how happy he is with how we are playing.
Not only does he not understand Arsenal fans, as he stated in his opening, he doesn’t seem to understand Arsenal at all.
For the record, here is what the manager of the 19th-placed team in the league said after drawing 2-2 at the home of Arsenal, playing their best 20 minutes of the season; “You always think you can win this game with three, four or five goals and we didn’t.”