Nonsense never sleeps at Arsenal. The Telegraph is reporting that Unai Emery, a man suffering third-degree burns from his last democratic election (Xhaka for captain), is once again canvassing the squad for their opinions on whether to sack Xhaka as captain (#XhakaOut).
You couldn’t make it up.
Firstly, the players voted him in. They are not good decision-makers. If this were Manchester City, I’d understand, but Arsenal? Please. They’re not voting for what’s good for them. Secondly, does Unai have an advisor? An agent? A friend? Someone intervene and explain to this man what leadership is.
You don’t ask the team who should get fired. You don’t vote for promotions. This habit of sharing poor decision making is incredibly beta male and I have no idea why no one at the club has thought to intervene. Emery was doing it last season without oversight (motivational speeches from the fucking travel booker), and he’s at it again this season. Where is Edu in all of this?
It’s not a surprise either, all this information was out there when we hired him. This is the manager on power at big clubs shortly before he joined us.
‘I am of the opinion that PSG’s leader is Neymar. Or that he is currently becoming it. Neymar came to PSG to be the leader, to go through this process to someday become the best in the world. At Manchester City, Pep is in charge. At PSG, Neymar has to be.’
Distilled: The manager at Manchester City is the manager. The manager at PSG, where I was, is Neymar.
Quite an incredible statement to make public, but again, not surprising if you’ve paid attention to his behaviour over the past 15 months.
My prediction? I think something else Emery said in the same interview could be pertinent.
I think that I managed the dressing room quite well. My greatest satisfaction was that the team didn’t sink, after losing against Barcelona or Real Madrid. A few weeks ago for example, we had a horrible first half against Saint-Étienne, but after the break, with one player sent off, we reacted well and managed to equalise. One of my staff members told me, “Unai, today the players showed that they are with you. If that weren’t the case, we would have lost.”
And he was right. If the team wanted to end me, that would have been the moment to do so. But the team was able to react. That was my main satisfaction, even if this will remain something personal which won’t matter for much from an external point of view. Of course, I don’t control everything. Both round of 16 eliminations showed that. It is difficult to control the necessary elements with a big team, and I still need to improve in that respect.
Emery has very little control over the dressing room at Arsenal. His captain hasn’t apologised a day after his disgraceful actions. Lacazette is out here liking #EmeryOut posts on Instagram, then retracting when people paid attention. Players are leaking to the press that the dressing room is split. Ozil is running amock with his peaceful protests now the manager and Edu doubled down on making him a martyr. We have Liverpool, Wolves and Leicester next in the league
Blood is in the water. I am very much doubtful Emery has the resources to rescue this. I think the players might give up on him… then we’re in a whole world of trouble because according to Ornstein, Edu doesn’t have a contingency plan.
Not good enough. Our strategy, Champions League qualification, is an objective. That is no way to build a football club. It’s likely why we stuck with a bad manager. On paper, he has what we need in the short term. But paycheque to paycheque seasons is no way to build a winning machine and we’re seeing the fruits of that for the second season running. The big worry, as I said yesterday, is that a club with no plan will always opt for Jose Mourinho. A toxic has been with a jerrycan and a box of matches.
Beware the obvious choice…
I have been up late to record a podcast with Matt, a more considered offering can be found there! Enjoy.