Unai Emery Needs To Steady The Ship Again At Arsenal

Arsenal huffed and buffed but they couldn’t get anything out of their game against fellow Londoners West Ham United today. On the whole The Hammers probably deserved their three points and Arsenal  looked pretty sluggish after a bright start.

That’s now The Gunners third loss in their last six Premier League games, they also lost to rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup within the last month.

The recent poor league results see Arsenal sit in fifth position and are just three points ahead of Manchester United (who have a game in hand).

It seemed that Unai Emery had changed this Gunners team into a more reliable outfit that could get the results needed to get back into the top four.

Yet in the last month, they’ve gone back to being that vulnerable side that Arsene Wenger left in the summer of 2018.  Defensively they’re still not right, only six other teams in the league have conceded more than Emery’s men.

The backline has been hampered because of injuries but when you’ve got a problem you need to fix it.

This week Unai Emery came out in The Guardian and stated that he couldn’t buy in this transfer window and was restricted in making just loan signings:

“We cannot sign permanently,”

“We can only loan players. I know the club is working on possibilities of which players can help us with big performances like we need now. I cannot say more.”

That sort of statement will worry Arsenal supporters. The club are in transition and they’ll need to spend money if they are going to become title challengers or even top four hopefuls.

If you need a defender, then you go out and buy one. That’s exactly what Liverpool have done in recent windows and look at them leading the charge now. The chances of you getting a real impact player in the loan market are slim, it’s as simple as that.

They need a right sided forward/winger and a centre-back, if they were to sign two strong players in those key positions then they’d be much better placed to finish in the top four.

The festive period has shown us that they still don’t have the strength in depth needed to challenge the frontrunners. That point was hammered home as they were dismantled by Liverpool at Anfield in December, losing 5-1 to the table toppers.

Instead of looking forward they’re now looking behind them because of a resurgent Man United team.

Arsenal are also being held back with what’s going on with Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey.

Ozil can be the club’s best talent but unfortunately the German doesn’t produce enough match winning performances in the biggest encounters. The attacking midfielder also doesn’t seem to have the work ethic needed to fit into Emery’s playing style. Mesut was missing from today’s match-day squad, with his coach stating (Via The Mirror):

“The players here are better for the match today.”

The problem is that The Gunners gave the thirty year old a huge contract last season. He’s tied to the club until 2021 and is earning around £350k a week. Thus meaning he isn’t an easily sellable asset.

Ramsey is now within the last six months of his contract and Arsenal have decided not to offer him a new deal to stay on at the Emirates. This means he’s free to talk to other clubs and the BBC are reporting that Serie A champions Juventus lead the race for his signature.

These rumours are causing an unwanted distraction and to be honest, Arsenal might be better served trying to do a deal and offload Ramsey this month rather than having him hang around for the rest of the season.

The starting eleven also seem to be missing a leader. I know club captain Laurent Kosielny has returned to the team but he’s not the Tony Adams or Patrick Vieira type that the Gunners have been missing as of late. With twenty minutes to go and being a goal down earlier today, Arsenal still didn’t show any real urgency or determination to get back into the match.

Arsenal are finding themselves with the same issues and problems that they’ve been having for the past few seasons. It could hinder any progress that’s been made under Unai Emery and at the moment it looks like the Spaniard is working with one hand tied behind his back.

If things don’t change and improve then it could be another disappointing year for the North London giants.

Leave a Reply