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What went wrong for Unai Emery at Arsenal?

Harsh Pillai
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:13 IST

Arsenal FC v Southampton FC
Arsenal FC v Southampton FC

Unai Emery's tenure at Arsenal came to an end last week, as his side fell to a 2-1 defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates. The Gunners were winless in their last 6 games coming into the UEFA Europa League fixture against Frankfurt, so the fans expected Emery and the squad to pull themselves together and get the win after a horrific display at home to Southampton just a few days prior.

However, despite taking the lead at half time, two second half goals from Daichi Kamada saw Arsenal lose to Frankfurt and within 24 hours after the game, the club announced that Unai Emery was relieved from his duties.

Unai Emery was apparently on 'thin ice' since the 2-0 defeat to Leicester City at King Power Stadium and the former Valencia man had a chance to prove himself at home against relegation candidates Southampton. Unsurprisingly, Arsenal came up with a terrible performance yet again and had to rely on a 90th minute equaliser from Alexandre Lacazette to earn themselves a point at home to Ralph Hasenhuttl's men.

So, what went wrong for Unai Emery this season at Arsenal? What caused such a dip of form and why couldn't the Spaniard untangle the mess? Let's take a look at a few major reasons which caused the sacking of Unai Emery, and what he could have probably done to prevent it.

#3 Pragmatic style of play

Arsenal FC v Southampton FC
Arsenal FC v Southampton FC

One of the biggest concerns this season has been Arsenal's pragmatic style of play. If we go by the literal meaning of the word pragmatism, it means finding solutions based on practical considerations. However, having a pragmatic style of play in football basically means to play to the opposition's weaknesses instead of focusing on your own team's strengths; a cautious, defensive and conservative approach, even against low tier teams.

This argument is supported by the fact that Arsenal did not win any game with a goal difference of more than one in the league this season, which is a big reason to worry. The Gunners are the only team amongst the top six to have a negative goal difference, despite having the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe in their rankings.

After 14 games, Arsenal are the team to have scored the least goals amongst the top six, as well as conceding the most, which just goes out to show things were going completely downhill under Unai Emery and his approach. The ruthless Unai Emery of last season was nowhere to be seen and the reason why he decided to change his approach despite getting results is still unclear.

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Published 05 Dec 2019, 17:58 IST
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