Tactical Insight

Letter to Unai Emery from an Arsenal fan

Its time to move on.

Dear Unai Emery, 

It’s been five months since you left Arsenal but I see you still haven’t left. I’m tired of you blaming the club, the players, the hierarchy and everyone else for your exit besides your own self. I never expected you would malign the image of Arsenal Football Club in interviews. Trust me, you’re better than this. 

I was someone who defended you until your last day at the club. Your last two months at the club were horrible but I still defended you. Deep down, I knew that you weren’t the right man but I never made a fuss about it. I publicly defended you and even received abuse from my own fellow Arsenal fans. Mind you that I was not defending you as an individual but I was defending the position of manager at one of the world’s biggest football clubs. Just like everyone else, I could have criticized you, and vent out my anger on the internet but I didn’t. There are many Arsenal fans like me who defended you even when we knew the writing on the wall. 

A large majority of the Arsenal fan base respected you even when you didn’t do well. You literally blew the chance to play in the Champions League and then bottled an Europa League final. The Europa League final was a tactical disaster. It was you who played the team in an absolute new formation and set them for disaster. Your sudden change in tactics during the second half left our players puzzled. You’re responsible for every Arsenal fan who may have cried that night. It was not the players at fault, not the club hierarchy, not Raul, not Vinai, not the Kroenkes but you Mr. Emery why we surrendered that night. I totally understand that winning and losing is part and parcel of the game. We can’t control the outcome and result of the game but we can definitely control our hard work and effort. Sorry to say, but I didn’t even see that during the last month of the 2018/19 campaign. 

I understand Koscielny’s exit left a leadership void in the dressing room and put you in a tough spot. But which sensible coach would name five captains for one team? The Arsenal captaincy isn’t a joke for it to be decided by votes. If you remember Mr. Emery, on your first day at the club, Ivan Gazidis showed you a picture from a famous night in 1989. The man who lifted that trophy in 1989 is what an Arsenal captain looks like. Your five captain theory made a mockery of the Arsenal captaincy. Was there so big a leadership deficiency in the dressing room that we needed five captains? 

I don’t think you realize it but we had our highest ever transfer spending in one summer window during your tenure. Did we give you the financial backing to succeed? Yes. Did we give you enough resources to succeed? Yes. Did you succeed? I guess we all know the answer to that question. You wanted to sign player A but the club signed player B. In no way, does it mean that we didn’t support you. In fact, we broke our all time transfer record to give you a player who had the most goal contributions in Europe’s top five leagues after Lionel Messi. Don’t say that we didn’t support you when we went beyond our means to do it. It makes me wonder if the sole reason you played a particular defensive midfielder out of position was because he wasn’t your preferred signing. It makes me wonder why you singled out the same player again when you were asked about which players came to tell you goodbye on the day you left. It makes me wonder why our current number 7 went on record stating that you asked a winger to be involved in build up play which affected his performance. It makes me wonder if our current number 19 also suffered from the same problem. 

You were asked to succeed Arsene Wenger and we all knew it was a very big task. To some extent, you did a fantastic job during the start of your time at the club. That Aaron Ramsey team goal, the Aubameyang team goal against Leicester, that 4-2 derby win, and the 22 game unbeaten run will perhaps go down as your best contributions to the club. But truth be told, it was all downhill from there after April 2019. You benched the club’s highest earner yet played him in the most important games. What contradiction was this? Did you expect him to perform and save your job when your neck was on the line? Now it feels like the Aaron Ramsey contract saga lasted longer than your tenure. A club servant who was the natural choice for captaincy was let go for free. Your take on his exit has changed multiple times. I don’t think I trust your answer anymore. 

Anyone who has ever had a job will know that disagreement with your colleagues and seniors is normal. It doesn’t mean you malign them once you leave the job. If you felt that the club hierarchy wasn’t supportive and didn’t let you sign the players you wanted then you should have resigned at that exact moment and let us fans know. We would have asked them why they didn’t want to sign your preferred players. But perhaps, you decided to stay in the luxury of having a job when it was time to take tough decisions. You didn’t learn to swim until you started drowning. 

Players, managers, club officials and owners will come and go but fans will stay forever. It is us who are the true custodians of a club. Some of us received it from our parents while others fell in love with this club before falling in love with a person. A player can move to another club, manager can resign, club officials can leave, owners can sell but fans stay at the club forever. We carry this love for the club with us to our grave. All I ask you is to stop with this relentless attack on the club through interviews. At the end of the day, we love Arsenal more than we love ourselves and will always continue doing so. It is you who looks weak before everyone because you had to use interviews and PR to resurrect your image. Since the day you left, no one at Arsenal has ever disrespected you. We wished you well and moved on. Now it’s time for you to move on too. All Arsenal fans are thankful for the things you did for us or tried to do. We all helped you and supported you to succeed but maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

Te deseo buena suerte Senor Emery! 

(I wish you good luck Senor Emery!)

A lifelong Arsenal fan. 

The Arsenal crest image is copyright of Arsenal Football Club and I do not claim/intend to claim any rights over the photo. Used for informational purpose only.

8 replies on “Letter to Unai Emery from an Arsenal fan”

Thanks for this letter I hope he sees it and understand that Arsenal is our baby and we the fans love and cherish our own.


You have spoken my mind
I was looking for the proper chanel to do this but like you knoe you came and finished my expectations
I ve been with the Gunners for over 40yeras and am 64years old now all my family members re Arsenal fans and lover like their father me
We all welcome Unai and love him for some of his past but when he came Arsenal lots wad expeted but it went to the other way
There were so many questions about this man called Unai for some matches that make us cry yet we though its part of the game some times i refused eaten when we loses to some small teams for his short comings and he keep same mistake to some levels i say why did we let Wenger go?
Thats story now Wenger remain my love till i die though he didn’t win Cls league Europa he gave his best and as i write Wenger spirt body and soul is still with us till death
Thank you Wenger thank you my lovely fans we are brothers as such we still keep faith with club you my brothers and sister and Arteta we pray and beleive he will make us proud
Its Good the club give him maximum support in terms of buying players as a coach he knows his onion
Good eveining. Yours
Cyril Oseghale


Even when I lost faith in Emery, you could see the players never lost faith in themselves, but some doubt began to creep in and it affected the team spirit so badly I didn’t recognise my team. Nothing hurt more than losing our identity. That’s why you needed to go. You will remain part of our history and as our dear Arsenal fan said, we have moved on, but history remains still, and freezes time in its bowels. Leave the history and move on. Arsenal will always love Arsenal. And one day, the history will be remade. I only hope sooner rather than later. But till then…In our hearts dear Arsenal.


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