Emery’s revolution earns top marks. Comparing the Premiership new boys.

I thought was an interesting idea to look at the ups and downs in the life of a new manager and review their overall performance by way of a points system. (1 to 10)

It’s recognised that the arrival of a new manager can, in many cases, have an immediate and positive impact.

However that can be short lived in some respects and the expectations suddenly melt away as reality kicks in.

Manchester United were in free fall under Jose Mourinho, with the usual tensions and dramas that come with the third year of ‘The special ones’ tenure.

It was a complete surprise that the club when former fans favourite, Ole Gunner Solskjaer and Mike Phelan were appointed but perhaps the eagle eye of Sir Alex Ferguson was responsible for some out of the box thinking in difficult circumstances and it worked like a treat.

Suddenly United found form and their superstar players (apart for Alexis Sanchez) played to their potential and capabilities.

Solskjaer had reintroduced United to its own unique spirit, putting a smile back on the faces of everyone concerned.

Ole’s magic wand was in perfect working order and United began climbing the premier league table.

Before Solskjær’s arrival it looked like they may even struggle to finish in the top six but now, a top four looks extremely possible.

The win against PSG in the Champions league is by far his finest moment to date.

A 2-0 defeat at home meant that they would have to score two goals minimum to get back in contention.

They pulled off a very unlikely win, with a dubious last minute penalty but that’s football.

At home, the feel good bubble finally popped with a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal which ended an unbeaten 12 match run.

This was followed by a defeat to Wolves which saw them tumble out of the FA cup and if that wasn’t enough, they were drawn against Barcelona in the quarter finals of the Champions league.

If Solskjær manages to pull off a win against the Spanish side, it will be a magnificent accomplishment and may even instil the belief that they could go on to win it.

In terms of a points total for Solskjaer, he merits an 8.

Had he not been so ungracious in defeat, he may have achieved higher and at this point, with his side facing a blip, we need to see what his plan B is.

Maurizio Sarri came to Chelsea with the clouds of doom overhead.

Former manager, Antonio Conte, looked set for a long run in his post having secured a premiership title but it disintegrated and Abramovich tossed him aside without even blinking.

The Sarri effect was immediate and they went on a decent run and at one stage looked like legitimate challengers for the title.

Then Chelsea suffered from indifferent performances, unrecognisable at times from the team that looked solid and consistent.

Sarri eventually lost all reason, publicly criticising his players mentality and questioning their motivation.

It’s happened before at Chelsea and normally, in that scenario, the manager packs a suitcase and banks the payoff cheque.

The Italian is still in place but for how long ? 

He must have somehow concluded that life was too good and that he preferred complications in his life because he rather bizarrely, pushed N’Golo Kanté into the midfield and Eden Hazard reluctantly into a strikers role.

Both failed and Chelsea stuttered, if Sarri wanted to prove his worth and technical brilliance, this wasn’t the way.

The score for Sarri is 6. He had a fine start but made a series of fundamental mistakes. Chelsea should have already secured 4th place in the premier league but are now in a scrap to qualify for the Champions league.

Unai Emery had the unenviable challenge of taking over a stagnant Arsenal after 22 years of Arsene Wenger.

A dispirited and disjointed team, which had missed out on champions league football for two successive seasons.

Their away form had become atrocious and the club’s defensive issues were still evident.

Confidence and performances  had reached an all time low and the fractious events behind the scenes involving the Arsenal hierarchy had a detrimental impact on the team.

Emery had so much to contend with that it must have been hard to know where to start.

However, after two opening defeats, he changed the style, bravely rotated the squad and saw the club go on a 22 match unbeaten run.

He instilled a new resilience and shape but also showed that he would not accept players collecting their wages without showing commitment and application.

There were blips along the way but Arsenal had a decent run of form against the top six clubs for the first time in years.

Emery remained focused on a Champions league place and has chased down his North London rivals to within one point of third place.

In the Europa league, he has overturned a first leg defeat against Rennes to secure a quarter final contest against Napoli. 

More impressively, he had no funds to reinforce in the January transfer window but carried on without whinging to get the necessary performances and did so with a crippling injury list.

Emery has impressed greatly and richly deserves the score of 9 by proving that he is a tactical wizard and someone that can fashion a competitive team from limited resources. 

Anyone thinking that perhaps Solskjaer should have scored higher should look at the length of time he and Emery have been in the post and recognise that Emery has achieved his current status even when he was deprived of key players.

Anyway, this is an Arsenal blog, what do you expect ! 

1 Comment

  1. Once again, sober and compelling points Longshdow.
    In Emery we should trust! It is VERY early days, and he has done it all the hard way so far.

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