Petit: Emery isn’t good with big egos, but I’m happy with Arsenal for now

Emmanuel Petit kept a close eye on Unai Emery in Paris and is happy with what he’s brought to Arsenal so far, but he’s still one big question to answer…


Unai Emery has done a good job so far. I’m happy that he’s got his chance to put his vision together with the Arsenal players.

He doesn’t meet a lot of egos in that dressing room, whereas the previous two years he spent with Paris Saint Germain I felt so frustrated for him because some players didn’t show respect to him, along with many people at the club from the President down.

The names of the players and their egos at the club were too big for him. When they saw him arrive they were saying ‘Emery who?’, so I felt a lot of frustration for him.

I believe he’s a decent manager and he has a good vision of football. You cannot win three Europa Leagues in-a-row without being a good manager.

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It’s not a coincidence, it’s easier for him to work with young players rather than experienced ones with big personalities.

At the moment, as an Arsenal fan, I’m happy.

What they’re doing in the league is good, what they’re doing in the Europa League is good, but I’m still waiting for them to show that they can compete in the big games.

This is why Sunday is such a massive test and I’m expecting a lot from them.

The difference between Emery and Wenger

Tactically, the main difference is the high pressing when they lose the ball. Under Emery, you can see the players are concerned about getting it back as soon as possible.

Even Ozil is tracking back to try and win the ball, which is something I’ve never seen with him.

Previously when he lost the ball he would make no effort to go and get it back.

In the full back area, under Arsene Wenger, Monreal and Bellerin would play very high up the pitch all the time to stretch the opponents. However, this is a big risk as well, as it leaves so much space in behind when you lose the ball and we saw it too often Arsenal getting caught out.

I love the partnership between Torreira and Xhaka.

When you play as a duo in the centre of midfield, and I know this from playing with Patrick Vieira, you need to work with confidence and honesty. It feels like there is a very real link between them now.

They are working together, they are running side by side, passing, tackling.

It’s almost like they have that sixth sense with each other, that they know where the other person is exactly.

The spine of the team is strong now with that duo in midfield, Leno in goal and then the partnership of Lacazette and Aubameyang up front.

Most importantly, the confidence is back because of the results.

Confidence changes so many things in football.

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What do you think?