Carragher, Neville split over future of Arsenal boss Emery

Date published: Tuesday 26th November 2019 8:08

Jamie Carragher Gary Neville

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville disagreed on whether Unai Emery should continue as Arsenal boss or not.

Their next three league matches are against Norwich, Brighton and West Ham and the Sunday Times claims that ‘failures in those games will cost him his job’.

Emery could only lead Arsenal to a 2-2 draw at home to lowly Southampton on Saturday with that result leaving them in eighth position in the Premier League table.

“I go back to the first Monday Night Football of last season, when we had a debate about Unai Emery,” Carragher said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

“Gary’s stance was, stick to your principals. Mine was that I like to see a manager adapt at different times.

“Unai Emery hasn’t adapted, he has created confusion. Confusion in the crowd, confusion with his own players, and confusion for himself.

“The game against Southampton almost sums up the 18 months of Unai Emery.

“They score goals because they’ve got great strikers; they concede goals, we saw that again; they try and play out from the back and almost concede goals; they concede 20 plus shots in almost every game and the manager changes formation. He had three formations at the weekend.

“Since the start of last season, he has used more players than anyone. The biggest one for me, though, is that he’s made changes before half-time or at half-time than anyone. That’s what you would expect a team at the bottom to be doing, scrambling around, trying things.

“This is a man who predominantly likes to play 4-2-3-1, but look at his formations and how many times he changes it. I just look at it and I’m not quite sure what is going on there with Arsenal, and that is why the confusion has been created.”

Arsenal were booed off by their own supporters on Saturday as they could only manage a draw with Southampton, with some directing negative chants towards Emery.

“I think the reason the Arsenal fans are chanting for Emery to go is because they were in this position with Arsene Wenger,” Carragher added.

“It’s slightly different – Arsene Wenger got a lot more time at the end because he was a legend and he had won so much – but I think Arsenal fans look back now and think they missed out on the two best managers in the Premier League and possibly the world, because they stuck too long with the manager.

“I think that’s where the resentment and the aggression from the supporters comes from. They are looking at Tottenham moving a manager on, maybe Manchester United will be doing so shortly, or in the summer, and they don’t want to miss out again.

“At this moment, I don’t think Unai Emery is Champions League level. He’s almost like Europa League level. A great career, what he’s done, but he’s not the level I think Arsenal need.”


Neville, though, disagreed with Carragher, highlighting Emery’s “incredible” reputation in his home country.

“In Spain, his reputation is so high, it’s incredible,” Neville said.

“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.”

And Neville thinks most of the Gunners’ troubles are down to the players themselves and not the manager.

“That first goal they conceded at the weekend is just horrific,” Neville added. “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.

“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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