Thursday 25 April 2019

Adams takes blast at Emery after defeat to City

CRITICISM: Arsenal boss Unai Emery. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
CRITICISM: Arsenal boss Unai Emery. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal legend Tony Adams has scolded Unai Emery over his rotation policy during pre-season and has called for changes for the trip to Chelsea after the club's opening-game defeat by Manchester City on Sunday.

The Basque was announced as Arsène Wenger's successor in May, a decision which brought renewed optimism back to the Emirates after years of disillusionment under the club's longest-serving manager.

However, the former Sevilla manager's first game in charge ended in a 2-0 home loss which left Adams "deflated and disappointed".

Despite Emery's efforts to implement a different style of play, the former England centre-back believes the Spaniard failed to establish a solid foundation from which to build on in pre-season.

"I don't know what he has been doing for the last five or six weeks," Adams stated.

"He has rotated all his players and given them all a game basically and they've got some good results but it's pre-season.

"From minute one, I would've picked my own goalkeeper, my back four and put the two lads in that I want to screen those, and get a firm base that's been missing for the last ten years."

Adams added: "You've had six weeks of pre-season - go on, get on with it."

The 51-year-old likewise questioned Emery's decision to omit certain personnel on the opening day.


"I thought he got a lot of selections wrong. His three best players were his subs (Alexandre Lacazette, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Lucas Torreira). I don't know why he didn't start with them."

Arsenal's attention now switches to correcting their poor away form from when they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and Adams believes that two of Arsenal's new summer signings, Bernd Leno and Torreira, should be given an opportunity from the start.

"I don't think we won a game away from home last year and that's an underbelly of a lack of resistance, lack of resilience," he said.

"Granit (Xhaka) is not for me. The lad Torreira came on, he looked tiny, but we've been missing that role, missing that guy in front of the back four. He looks intelligent, he looks like he can protect.

"Go with you goalkeeper Leno, put him in goal. I love Petr Cech, he's a lovely guy and he's been a great pro, but let's go with the new guy, let's work with them.

"As a coach you can get away with it if you put your players in there."

Wriggling out of tight situations and posing a title challenge are two very different goals, and Adams concedes that his former club are much closer to the former.

"Arsenal fans up and down the country all want him to challenge for the title but at the moment we're nowhere near."

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