Occasionally, when a manager is fired by a Premier League side, there’ll be a backlash in his home media. The club will get the blame and it’ll be explained the problems pinned almost entirely on the coach were never his sole responsibility.
Unai Emery is from Hondarribia in the Gipuzkoa province, which is Basque.
At the weekend, Noticias de Gipuzkoa published an article making it very clear what they think of Arsenal sacking the manager, and some of the treatment he got at the London club.
Headlined ‘Emery and the toxic legacy of Wenger’, it’s obvious where the article is heading. Emery is described as a ‘victim’ of what went before him and of the impatience which has built up around Arsenal over a long period of time.
It’s claimed Arsenal ended up in a ‘toxic relationship’ with Arsene Wenger, with the insinuation being anyone who followed would be in for a very tough journey.
Perhaps one aspect of the newspaper’s complaints which can’t be argued against is the following: ‘Fans and even the English media scoffed at him childishly and his attempts to pronounce Shakespeare’s language.’
Taking over a squad with a good attack, it’s stated this ‘contrasted with the rest of the squad’. Mesut Ozil is dismissed as being in his ‘sunset’ years, Granit Xhaka labelled as one of Arsenal’s ‘inconsequential players’, and the club’s defence is described as ‘unable to compete in the Premier League’.
With a squad ‘lightyears’ from those of Manchester City and Liverpool, and not as good as Arsenal or Chelsea, Noticias de Gipuzkoa believe finishing fifth last year was understandable, and add: ‘Maybe that Baku final against Chelsea could grant Emery much more credit, but losing it was the first nail in his coffin.’
David Luiz being brought in a defensive reinforcement is scoffed at, yet Emery doesn’t escape blame and it’s conceded he became part of the problem.
However, they make it clear, in their opinion, any manager would have suffered from ‘enormous amounts of patience lost when Wenger reaped disappointment after disappointment’.