Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has claimed new Arsenal manager Unai Emery will take some time before stamping his own identity on the team.
Manchester United legend and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes that Unai Emery will need at least three to four transfer windows to rebuild the Arsenal squad in his own image, as per a report from Sky Sports.
Emery took over the reins at the North London club this summer, after former manager Arsene Wenger decided to bring down the curtains on his 22-year stint with the Gunners.
Despite a solid pre-season, Emery’s side did not have the best of the starts to the 2018-19 Premier League campaign, as they were beaten 2-0 at the Emirates by reigning champions Manchester City on Sunday. While there were signs of the philosophy that the former PSG and Sevilla manager wanted to introduce at Arsenal, the team hardly looked convincing.
And Neville, speaking on Sky Sports post the match, said: “I don’t think this is short term. The recruitment has been so bad here over the last three or four years, it’s going to take two or three, maybe four transfer windows to sort this out.
“Emery is a great coach and he needs three or four transfer windows. I don’t care who the coach would be, you could bring Pep Guardiola in here, even with the biggest transfer budget and one of the best coaches in the world, it’s going to take him more than that.”
Neville also expressed his doubts about whether Arsenal’s current crop of players will be able to adapt to the new manager’s tactics quickly.
“It’s too early [to judge him]. He’s trying to rewind 20 years of culture, training, the mindset of everything and what you saw today was Emery, who is the head coach of the team, but a performance of a team who were still playing the same way,” he said.
“I think they started quite early in the second half but it’s far too early to judge him. He definitely needs three or four transfer windows to make this team his own.”
Arsenal made five signings this summer, bringing in defensive reinforcements in the form of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, along with promising, young midfielders Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, while goalkeeper Bernd Leno also arrived. All of them, except for Leno, made their Premier League debuts against City.
Next up, the Gunners will take on Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday. And Emery will be hoping to register his first competitive win with Arsenal against their London rivals.