Unai Emery reassured that difficult start to the season means he will not be judged on early results

Matt Law
The Telegraph

Unai Emery has been reassured that he will not be judged on his early results as Arsenal head coach.

Emery got off to a losing start as Arsene Wenger’s successor, with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City, and is now preparing for a tough trip to Chelsea.

Although his team were soundly beaten by the champions, there were some encouraging signs for Emery such as the performance of 19-year-old Matteo Guendouzi.

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Although Guendouzi made some big mistakes, Arsenal are fully behind Emery’s decision to blood the midfielder and intend to give him the time and space to make more big decisions.

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Chief executive Ivan Gazidis is understood to have told Emery that he and the Arsenal board understand the fact the club have been handed a tough start to the season.

<span>Matteo Guendouzi made a promising impact during Arsenal's season opener against Manchester City </span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Matteo Guendouzi made a promising impact during Arsenal's season opener against Manchester City Credit: Getty Images

There will be no panic if results take some time to pick up and Arsenal are confident performances will get better once the squad have worked under Emery for longer and the fixture list becomes more comfortable.

Emery was appointed ahead of Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta, who Gazidis spoke to following Sunday’s Premier League opener at the Emirates.

The pair were close during Arteta’s playing days at Arsenal and Gazidis is understood to have checked there are no hard feelings over the Gunners’ decision to swap managerial targets to Emery.

Gazidis, who has been approached by AC Milan, also wished Arteta luck for the rest of the season, making sure the duo remain on amicable terms moving forwards. 

Arteta was congratulated on the City bench by manager Pep Guardiola shortly after his team had taken a 2-0 lead at the Emirates and effectively killed the game.

The exchange on the bench was picked up by television cameras and is believed to relate to the fact Arteta played a big part in City’s tactical plan for the Arsenal clash.

Given the timing of Guardiola’s delight with Arteta, sources believe the former Arsenal midfielder had suggested a tactical tweak that directly resulted in Bernando Silva netting City’s second goal after he had been found unmarked in the penalty area.

Having drawn up forensic studies of the Gunners squad in preparation for potentially succeeding Wenger, Arteta was in the perfect position to help Guardiola mastermind their downfall.

The duo came up with the plan of swapping goalscorer Raheem Sterling to the left side and taking advantage of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil on Arsenal’s flanks by loading their own wide areas with pace.

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