Heavy Metal and Narrow Shoulders
You need big shoulders to manage The Arsenal. The Cannon is heavy.
And it appears to be too heavy for Unai?
Football Management is based on four main principles:
And frankly Unai is failing at all of these.
Tactics – Emery tinkered last season and he could be forgiven, as it could be perceived that he was trying to find the best fit for the players and the team. This year he has generally settled on 433 and the players, to some degree, were getting used to this. But, on Saturday he switched again to 352 and again, the players looked lost. Pick a formation and stick to it, we shouldn’t be changing our tactics to match the opposition, the players then know what is expected and if it falls down, it’s a personnel issue.
Man management – Whether or not Xhaka should have been captain, Unai’s handling of the situation was poor at best. Basically, he threw Granit under the bus. Yes, Granit’s actions were wrong, but Unai should have stood by his man. A certain previous coach would have and did.
Decision making – In addition to formation indecision, 5 captains, really. It’s ludicrous. 1 Captain, 1 vice-captain, full stop. The team looks lost on the pitch, because they don’t know who is in charge. Make a decision and stick to it. Also, make the decision yourself, don’t get the players to vote, you’re the manager, it’s your call.
Results – Basically, team for team, we have the 3rd best group of players in the Premier League. With all due respect to the likes of Sheffield United, Wolves, Palace and Leicester, with the players at our disposal, 2 points from a possible 12 is poor beyond belief.
Basically, what I’m saying is, sorry Unai, this isn’t working out and if we don’t act now, an eight point gap to 4th (absolute minimum requirement) could easily blow out beyond control by Christmas and we could be easily looking at mid-table obscurity (or worse) come May.
Let Freddie take the reins for next week and move heaven and earth to get Julian Nagelsmann in as soon as humanly possible.