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Jamie Carragher criticises Unai Emery and says Arsenal have not improved since Arsene Wenger's departure

Unai Emery

Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal have failed to progress since Unai Emery replaced Arsene Wenger as the club's manager in summer 2018.

Wenger ended his 22-year tenure in north London last year and was replaced by the former Sevilla and PSG head coach.

The Gunners finished fifth in the Premier League in Emery's debut campaign and are currently in the same position after nine matches of 2019/20.

A 1-0 defeat by Sheffield United on Monday means Arsenal have now won just four of their last 18 top-flight away games.

And Carragher thinks the club have failed to kick on since Emery's arrival at the start of last term.

"Wenger’s determination to build a team of technically sound footballers was undermined in his later years by his inability to create a side as adept without the ball. That is where I most expected improvement under Emery," the former Liverpool defender told the Daily Telegraph.

"Emery still needs to show he can be the modern upgrade on Wenger, making his players more tactically versatile and - perhaps more importantly - mentally and physically tougher and defensively resolute.

"To be most damning, the bad habits have not been eradicated, they have spread. When a top-four finish was in the club’s grasp at the end of last season, a 3-2 defeat by this weekend’s opponents Crystal Palace finished that ambition. 

"No one was demanding a radical culture shift with Arsenal abandoning Wenger’s attacking beliefs, but we certainly hoped for more than witnessed so far. What are Arsenal supposed to be? A more consistent version of Wenger’s side? Are they a pressing or counter-attacking team? 

"When Wenger left, Arsenal needed to find a truly great manager if they were seriously going to challenge Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp. In Emery, they settled on a good, steady, experienced one. That sounds like damning with faint praise.

"If he is going to last beyond the three-year contract he was given at the Emirates, this is the season he must prove he is much better than that."


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