Every day on twitter, blogs, the media, podcasts and just about every forum, we see some comparison or other between Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery. Every time another game is played we see some table comparing the first X number of games that Emery has been in charge, compared to the same number of the last games Arsene managed. The number of points, chances created, chances conceded, passing accuracy, areas of play, and on and on it goes. It really is the most pointless of arguments. Not simply because the teams were competing against have changed and the teams they were competing with has changed almost beyond recognition or even that one has a squad eager to impress while latterly the other had a squad waiting for the final curtain, but because it’s actually is an argument that is so subjective that it can never be resolved. Particularly when those arguing are so invested in being right, that they have no interest in hearing the other point of view.
Can Unai give a press conference as witty and entertaining as Arsene? No of course not.
Could Unai address a baying mob at the annual general meeting and have them eating out of his hand, when minutes earlier they were baying for his blood? No he couldn’t
Ten or twenty years from now will former players still laud him, will he be asked to speak all over the world, be given award after award , be offered job to develop FIFA itself ? I very much doubt that.
Will Unai transform the club and elevate it to once unthought of heights? No, not a chance.
Is it fair to expect any of these things from Mr. Emery? No it is not. Why? Because it’s unfair to expect anyone to fill those shoes ,,as only a handful of managers in the history of the game could have.
So let us not ask if Unai is as good as Arsene was. Rather let’s ask is he as good as we expected he would be?
Let’s ask why after 18 months we are playing unattractive football in a system that no one seems to understand, and that changes from week to week and even from half to half.
Let’s ask why our best and most creative player is not being picked, humiliated and excluded ,from a team screaming out for creativity?
Let’s ask why watching us play is a chore now , we can play 8 games of the season and not play well in one, let alone dominate any?
Perhaps ask why we go from insisting on playing out from the back, to lumping it up to a center forward that’s skill set is far from hold up play.
Ask why sometimes all eleven players can have decent games, and yet the team plays poorly.
Ask why our midfield is so dysfunctional despite every player being a good one.
Let’s judge him on what we see, not against a man that is now a fond memory, and a genius that he overall could never live up to.
Wenger has left the building, gone , and the comparisons are a distraction, we must judge Emery on what he is showing us, and has shown us.