Football News

“Nothing you can do” – Neville defends Emery’s work as Arsenal manager

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 12:50, 27 November 2019

Gary Neville believes Arsenal manager Unai Emery cannot be held solely responsible for their recent plight.

The Gunners are currently on a six-match winless streak in all competitions having last won on October 24th.

Emery to blame? Five key things to know…

  • Emery succeeded legendary Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in 2018.
  • Wenger had been in charge of the Gunners for nearly 22 years.
  • Emery has overseen 77 games to date, winning 43 and losing 19 times.
  • But there are growing calls for his removal with Arsenal currently on a six-match winless streak.
  • Neville, though, feels Emery cannot be solely blamed for their recent poor showings.

A run of five Premier League matches without a win, accumulating three points from 15 available, has seen them slip to eighth and eight points below the coveted Champions League places.

Since the 2019/20 season begun, Arsenal have kept just two clean sheets across 13 league outings, which is the same as leaders, Liverpool, although the two clubs have had rather differing fortunes with the Reds unbeaten so far.

Following their recent 2-2 draw with Southampton, in which the north London club snatched a point from the jaws of defeat, calls for Emery’s removal as head coach grew even louder.

Emery has overseen 77 matches in charge of the Gunners to date and Neville feels people need to look at the wider and long-term picture when offering critical views of the record Europa League-winning manager.

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“In Spain, his reputation is so high, it’s incredible,” he told Sky Sports.

“He’s then gone to Paris Saint-Germain and alright, he didn’t win the ultimate in terms of the Champions League, but to go there and work under that level of pressure, under the owners there who are demanding success like you wouldn’t believe with the investment and the players that he is working with. He has been a brilliant coach.

“That first goal they conceded at the weekend is just horrific. It’s almost like it goes beyond coaching. There’s nothing you can do with players who do those things.

“When you have a coach who has a great reputation, who has worked at the highest level and who is struggling as badly as he is, you can’t just think that all of a sudden he’s a terrible coach. There has to be other underlying reasons as to why it’s not happening for him.”

“The board at the moment, I would think, are massively split. They’ve seen what happened at Manchester United after a long reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, and they have had a long reign of Arsene Wenger,” he added.

“Manchester United are no further forward in terms of winning the league than they were eight years ago when they sacked David Moyes. Arsenal will have looked at that example.

“I would think that the board of Arsenal are in a quandary because they won’t know what to do. My view is, when you’re in that position as a board where you are split, and that’s what we’re hearing, my feeling would be that you don’t make a decision.

“You let things breath, you let it play out, you make sure that you ultimately believe in what your original decision was, until a time whereby it becomes really difficult and a point whereby you’re absolutely certain that what you’re going to do is going to bring success and not add to the confusion that is already there.”

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