‘Arsenal have got steadily worse under Emery’ – Gunners have lost ‘buzz’, says cult hero Groves

A former fan favourite in north London has questioned the direction in which the club are heading under the guidance of a Spanish tactician
A former fan favourite in north London has questioned the direction in which the club are heading under the guidance of a Spanish tactician

Arsenal have got “steadily worse” under Unai Emery, says Perry Groves, with the early “buzz” generated by a Spanish coach having faded as nobody wants to do “the horrible stuff”.

The man calling the shots at Emirates Stadium is facing uncomfortable questions regarding his future in north London.

He has spent just 18 months at the helm, with positive progress having been in short supply since succeeding the legendary Arsene Wenger.

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Groves admits there is little cause for optimism at present, with the encouragement offered shortly after Emery’s arrival now a distant memory for a side that lack “any philosophy”.

The Arsenal cult hero told talkSPORT of Emery and the struggles he is enduring: “I think, when he first went in there, there was an intensity because it was too comfortable under Arsene Wenger and he made his stance [clear].

“The closing down was a lot more intense – covering more ground.

“He went 22 games unbeaten over a little period and in the game against Spurs they went 2-1 down and came back. There was a real buzz about the Emirates.

“And what has happened is he’s got rid of the players he didn’t want, like the Monreals, the Petr Cechs, and Aaron Ramseys but then the players that have been brought in, whether it’s by him or the sporting director, they have actually got steadily worse.

“That intensity has got less and less and less with a team that he is supposed to be constructing.

“The thing from watching from the outside is there doesn’t seem to be a desire to do the horrible stuff.”

Groves added: “The thing with the Arsenal situation with Unai Emery is, if you watch them against Leicester, and I’ve been watching Arsenal a lot this year, there is no structure. There doesn’t seem to be any philosophy.

“Unai Emery doesn’t seem to know his best formation, he doesn’t seem to know what players to play in that formation and I think the players have lost confidence in him. I don’t think the players are getting him at the minute.”

Arsenal’s inconsistency in 2019-20 has left them sixth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of the top four as defensive failings and issues away from home continue hinder their collective efforts.

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