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How strange that Emery and Wenger should be so alike

By Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw, head of pyschology at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road.

According to the Daily Telegraph, “Arsenal’s new head coach Unai Emery could be an unmitigated disaster or a phenomenal success. We do not really know, and that alone is a radical departure from the past decade when Arsenal’s seasons would blend into one like in Groundhog Day.”

Which is rather curious when one considers just how similar the two appointments are and the success that Mr Wenger had in winning the FA Cup 7 times – more than any other person in the entire history of history.

For in each case Arsenal have found one of the less well known European managers among those who had won the French League and both are Cup maestros.    Mr Wenger won the League with Monaco before Arsenal, Mr Emery with PSG.

Both are men who at the start of their Arsenal careers brought in unknown players at very low prices.  Mr Wenger famously introduced Vieira who had been languishing before he reached our shores, while Mr Emery has given us Matteo Guendouzi.

In both cases I stared in disbelief at what this unknown player could do on day one.  I am sure Guendouzi will need time to get used to life here – he, like the other newcomers has not been introduced to a PGMO referee yet. And we recall how Patrick got sent off and sent off while fouls of the same magnitude drew a little shrug from the PGMO man when Patrick was on the receiving end.

Then there is the issue of quick transfers.  Mr Wenger was famously undertaking transfers by phone while still living in Japan and working with Grampus 8.  Mr Emery had left PSG, but he was still picking up the phone and bringing them in before we’d learned how to write his name.

In a world in which Chelsea have only spent money on one player, Manchester City two (one of which cost them under £3m) and Tottenham are still trying to find the keys to the safe where the fivers are kept, we have paid for four and got one on a free.  And that’s before you consider any of the youngsters brought in for future use.

So obviously Mr Emery has a clear vision of what he wants to do, and he’s not afraid of bringing in the kiddies and letting them show what they can do.

But also like Mr Wenger, he has been left with some gems in the locker.   Bergkamp, Dixon, Adams, Winterburn, Parlour… So Mr Emery finds some rather interesting players at his disposal: Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette…

And both were dismissed.  OK there hasn’t been a “He’s French what does he know about English football,” Tony Adams type comment but he’s not just come to us on the back of back to back to back trophies in Spain or Germany.

But there that other Cup connection: Mr Wenger became the cup specialist par excellence.  Indeed on the North Circular Road we speak of nothing else.  As so is Mr Emery: three Europas and two successive cup doubles.  Seven cups.  Same as Mr Wenger.

So with all these connections maybe we should take a moment to look back at what the very start of Mr Wenger’s first season was like, even though he was pulling the strings at a distance.  (One imagines that what with Japan being the home of high tech companies he had a satellite receiver of mega proportions on his rooftop so watch the English games live even if they were not on local TV).  Here is how the season began…

Date Match Res Score Competition
17 Aug 1996 Arsenal v West Ham United W 2-0 Premier League
19 Aug 1996 Liverpool v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
24 Aug 1996 Leicester City v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
04 Sep 1996 Arsenal v Chelsea D 3-3 Premier League
07 Sep 1996 Aston Villa v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League

Of course in those days we took results like that and thought they were ok; a solid start to the season and all that.  After five games the league table looked list this…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Sheffield Wednesday 5 4 0 1 8 5 3 12
2 Chelsea 5 3 2 0 8 3 5 11
3 Liverpool 5 3 2 0 8 4 4 11
4 Aston Villa 5 3 1 1 7 4 3 10
5 Manchester United 5 2 3 0 12 5 7 9
6 Newcastle United 5 3 0 2 7 6 1 9
7 Middlesbrough 5 2 2 1 12 6 6 8
8 Arsenal 5 2 2 1 9 7 2 8

There was moanings and groanings, because after five games the season before we have been unbeaten and sixth.  This Frenchie was not an improvement!   That season though we ended up third which was thought to be an improvement so Mr Wenger wasn’t a Frenchie anymore but a Frenchman.  Although for a while the Mail called him a French.

A step up.

So can Mr Emery take us to third?  Curiously that is what we have predicted anyway with the rise up the league based on an improvement in our away form back to the level of two years ago.

Maybe he can.  Fingers crossed.

Except when typing.

 

 

4 comments to How strange that Emery and Wenger should be so alike

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think most of us regulars here are of the patient disposition and are more than willing to give the new manager and the new players enough time to get going and be comfortable(if ever!)with the English game and its attending officials .

    While the previous manager ( we shall not name him as it may cause a meltdown amongst some !) , won the league and FA cup double in his second season ,we may have to be patient as the Man Utd fans when they appointed Alex Ferguson back in 1986.

    SAF only won his first trophy , the FA cup in 1990 , after a replay .

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Unai Emery has won anything for Arsenal as he’s just come there but has won Titles elsewhere before coming to Arsenal just like Arsene Wenger did before he came to Arsenal. So,on this basis the duo ex and the present Arsenal managers can be said to be alike. But beyond this,I am afraid the two are not alike in terms of Titles won at Arsenal as Wenger won 10 Titles in the 20 seasons he had at the club. And that’s an average of a Title won by him in every 2 years by him for the club. But ironically, he didn’t win the League Cup or the CL nor the ELC during the 20 consecutive seasons he ruled at Arsenal as the Gunners boss.

    In the main time, Unai Emery has just come on board as the new Gunners boss succeeding Arsene Wenger. But notwithstanding his just coming on board at Arsenal to begin his reign as the club’s head coach, he has to start winning Titles for Arsenal immediately from next season that begins on Friday this week. For,it’s because to win Titles for the club he was employed and not just to fill the vacant seat of the Gunners boss but to steer the Gunners to win Titles for the club I believe without delaying. For, to delay could be dangerous as he may not win Titles at Arsenal if he’s delaying to win them on any pretext.

    Therefore, he got no choice but to start winning Titles at Arsenal in his first season at the club if he’s to win them or he could end up with no Titles won to get the boot.

    Can Emery steer the Gunners to win the PL Title in his first season at the club like Antonio Conte did for the Blues in his first season at the Bridge? Why not? I believe Emery can. More so with the current crops of Gunners at his disposal at the club if he can drive them very hard to win it. But will he needs a top quality wide man signing this summer like Ousmane Dembele if he’s to accomplish the task of not only to complement his first team squad but to complete it adequately to challenge successfully for the PL Title win next season? I should think so but if Stan Kroenke will sanction the transfer.
    he n

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    The edited version of my comment reads below.

    Unai Emery has not won anything for Arsenal as he’s just come there but has won Titles elsewhere before coming to the club just like Arsene Wenger did before he came to Arsenal. So, on this basis the duo ex and the present Arsenal managers can be said to be alike. But beyond this, I am afraid the two are not alike in terms of Titles won at Arsenal as Wenger won 10 Titles in the 20 seasons he had at the club. And that’s an average of a Title won by him in every 2 years for the club. But ironically, he didn’t win the League Cup or the CL nor the ELC during the 20 consecutive seasons he ruled at Arsenal as the Gunners boss.

    In the main time, Unai Emery has just come on board as the new Gunners boss succeeding Arsene Wenger. But notwithstanding his just coming on board at Arsenal to begin his reign as the club’s head coach, he has to start winning Titles for Arsenal immediately from next season that begins on Friday this week. For, it’s because to win Titles for the club he was employed and not just to fill the vacant seat of the Gunners boss but to steer the Gunners to win Titles for the club I believe without delaying. For, to delay could be dangerous as he may not win any Titles at the club if he’s delaying to win them on any pretext.

    Therefore, he hasn’t abt other choice other than to start winning Titles for Arsenal in his first season at the club if he’s to win them or he could end up with no Titles won for the club to get the boot.

    Can Emery steer the Gunners to win the PL Title in his first season at the club like Antonio Conte did for the Blues in his first season at the Bridge? Why not? I believe Emery can. More so with the current crops of Gunners at his disposal at the club if he can drive them very hard to win it. But will he needs a top quality wide man signing this summer like Ousmane Dembele if he’s to accomplish the task of not only to complement his first team squad efforts but to complete it adequately to challenge successfully for the PL Title win next season? I should think so but if Stan Kroenke will sanction the transfer.

  • Menace

    Samuel – please try to reduce the amount of words that you require to post a comment. More importantly do not post it a second time with corrections because you have failed the first time 0/10.

    I think our squad is sufficient to win everything because for Arsenal, its the ball that does the work.

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