Looking through some stats, I thought it an interesting distraction to have a gander at the players Unai Emery picked the most often this season to see if I could make a first XI.

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Unai Emery gestures on the touchline during their UEFA Europa league Group F football match between Arsenal and Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates stadium in London on November 28, 2019. - Unai Emery's troubled tenure at Arsenal ended with him being sacked on November 29, 2019 less than two years after being appointed with the club on their worst run since 1992 having failed to win for seven matches. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Unai Emery gestures on the touchline during their UEFA Europa league Group F football match between Arsenal and Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates stadium in London on November 28, 2019. – Unai Emery’s troubled tenure at Arsenal ended with him being sacked on November 29, 2019 less than two years after being appointed with the club on their worst run since 1992 having failed to win for seven matches. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

Just 16 players have featured in 10 or more matches this season for Arsenal and while the stats I’m about to deliver also include Freddie Ljungberg’s first game, excuse me for not excluding that because it seemed more trouble than it was worth.

The five who don’t make this first XI can be the subs: Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Granit Xhaka, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alexandre Lacazette.

Now, to Unai Emery’s preferred XI.

You can scroll through the gallery, ordered from most games to fewest for Unai Emery’s first choice XI or, if you’ve no such thing as an attention span any more due to the way our brains have been rewired by technology, you can skip on down below to get an over view.

For the overview, I wondered if I should try and arrange them the way Emery would or like a sane person.

I’ll let you decide which option I went for:

Unai Emery's first choice XI
Unai Emery’s first choice XI

On paper, that’s not a bad team if you completely ignore the back line.

Offensively, it’s not too shabby.

But, of course, as we know, football matches aren’t won on paper.

And, thanks to Emery, they aren’t won on the pitch either, at the minute.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.