Tony Adams believes Unai Emery would have got Arsenal “across the line last season” as the Gunners legend believes Mikel Arteta’s “mistakes” cost them the Premier League title.
Arsenal were top of the table for much of the last campaign, but ran out of steam as Manchester City powered past them to clinch the Premier League.
Arteta – who replaced Emery almost four years ago – has done an undeniably brilliant job at the Emirates, turning Arsenal back into contenders once again, and they again sit top of the table after their win over Brentford on Saturday.
But Adams believes Emery, who was in charge of Arsenal for 18 months and is now doing a stunning job with Aston Villa, perhaps wouldn’t have made Arteta’s “mistakes” last season, and could have won them the title.
Asked for his opinion on Arteta, Adams said: “I love him. I love his passion and enthusiasm. I’ve always said he’s a little bit inexperienced and perhaps needs to draw on someone in his staff who is a little more experienced. I’m talking about going across the line last season.
“We all make mistakes and aren’t perfect. He perhaps didn’t rotate players early enough last season. People were running out of steam, like Bukayo Saka. I think he’s doing great.
“Last year, weirdly if Unai Emery was our manager then we could have perhaps won the league.
“I know he didn’t stick around and following Arsene Wenger was difficult, a bit like George Graham being followed by Bruce Rioch.
“I think he missed a few bits last season to get us over the line.”
Arsenal were able to take advantage of Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Saturday to take a one-point lead at the top of the Premier League, and after Kai Havertz’s late winner against Brentford, Arteta reflected on a “special day”.
“I love winning and we are top of the table and this is where we have to want to be. For me as well it was a special day — 200 games and I want to say thank you so much to everybody that makes my job so enjoyable,” Arteta said.
“Winter has started, it was very cold and it is difficult coming to Brentford and I loved the way the team competed, how we played.”