Arsenal fans already blame a lot of stuff on Unai Emery and not all of it is justified, but here we have something else to hold against him.
I always found myself on Unai Emery’s side in most things. The Arsenal doomed manager was given an impossible task to follow up Arsene Wenger while still stamping his own brand at the club and establishing his own dominion, but that obviously didn’t work.
Something else that didn’t work at Arsenal? Jack Wilshere. The long-lost dream that could have defined the club but was never able to because of injuries. Wilshere was the future of the club and it ended in relative disgrace, with him exiting the club to West Ham, where he has since faded from relevance.
It was under Emery’s watch that Wilshere left, which immediately rubbed Gooners the wrong way, but hearing how it transpired from Wilshere himself, well, it’s not a good look for Emery.
Unai Emery with another imprint on Arsenal
According to an interview with the official club website, Wilshere’s decision to leave the club wasn’t without some influence. His words:
“I wanted to see who was going to come in and then when Emery did come in I wanted to sit down and have a conversation with him. He said to me, ‘if I was you I would leave, you’re not in my starting XI”
From this vantage point, it’s hard to argue with Wilshere, or to blame him at all. He went from being raised by Wenger to being told by a new manager that he had no place at the club that had been his home forever.
So if you ever wanted something to actually blame Unai Emery for, this is it.
Now that the blame is out of the way, let’s ask the other question—can you blame Unai Emery for his actions here? Here he has Jack Wilshere, a player who has never been able to stay healthy, and Emery wants to create his own brand. Hard to do if he falls into the same habits as Wenger.
By that token, while you can certainly blame Emery for Wilshere’s exit, do you blame Emery for taking that approach?
It’s not a cut and dry situation, but it’s definitely clear what happened. Who you agree with just depends on your point of view. Did Jack Wilshere deserve better or did Unai Emery do the necessary thing in trying to move the club forward?