Arsenal suffered at the hands of Liverpool at the weekend thanks to goals from Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
It was a damning result for Unai Emery’s men but in a refreshingly honest post-match interview, manager Unai Emery was the first to admit that his team have “a lot of work to do” in the coming months.
Emery’s side currently sit in fifth after the 5-1 defeat at Anfield, 16 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s men, and some have criticised his style of play in recent months.
One of those who originally thought Emery should adapt his tactics was Sky pundit Jamie Carragher.
He insisted Emery doesn’t currently have the right players to start attacks from the back, play a high defensive line or press from the front.
The former Liverpool man also said the manager shouldn’t throw away all his principles, but defend a little bit deeper.
Gary Neville, on the other hand, strongly disagreed with his point in a brilliant episode of Monday Night Football back in August.
If you take a look at the above clip, Carragher opens the segment by saying the following:
“I think the manager has to adapt. Not throw away all his principles, but defend a little bit deeper. Has he got the players to press from the front?
“He hasn’t got the pace at the back. Has he got a goalkeeper who can play out? I just think that to get through to January he has to adapt.
Gary Neville then says it’s “ignorant to suggest he has to adapt” and the rest is well, a very heated and good debate.
Neville points out that Arsenal players need to adapt to Emery’s style of play, stating it’s “dangerous to adapt.”
“He has had six weeks to work. Unai Emery has been a coach for 10 years and has been successful. He has his idea and the players have to adapt to him.” Neville said on MNF.
“He has to find out over this first season which players can adapt to him and which players can’t. Of course he will lose games. In the first season there will be some pain for Arsenal in this transition they are going through. I think it’s dangerous to adapt.
“I know this from my biggest learning in Valencia. I set off on a path of what I was going to do and didn’t get results. The minute I started to adapt and take people away from my idea and do things different, I threw away the previous three or four weeks of work I’d done.
“If he starts to work on one idea of playing out from the back, but then says knock it long, you start to get confusion in players’ minds.”
Emery cuts a dejected figure. Image: PA
Thoughts on Emery’s style of play? Is Gary Neville right here?
Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports