Emery failing to connect with Arsenal players – Van Persie

The former Gunners striker believes the Spaniard isn’t addressing key issues within his side and has been let down by a lack of communication

Robin van Persie has declared Arsenal are no better off under Unai Emery and that the manager isn’t connecting with his players at the Emirates. 

Emery has been into his second season in charge of the Gunners having replaced Arsene Wenger, but recent performances have failed to convince many that the Spaniard has been taking the club in the right direction. 

After labouring to a late 3-2 win over Vitoria in the Europa League on Thursday, Van Persie admitted he believes Arsenal haven’t improved under Emery with his failure to build strong relationships with his players particularly letting him down. 

“I don’t think so. I don’t think that Emery really connects with his players,” he said on BT Sport.  

“I think they’re still weak on set pieces, that was back in my time still a problem to be honest.  Everyone should feel responsible. Do you play zone or do you play man on man?

“I think when you’re struggling you should play man on man, because then you just pick your man then you are responsible for your man. It’s a one on one fight.

“Last weekend they again conceded from a corner kick. I said it a couple of weeks ago as well, Arsenal lose 12-15 points per season by set pieces and that should stop. You have to sort it out, you have to find away.

“You can see some players, and it’s not honest to judge the coach based on tonight, it’s based on the last couple of months and even the year before. As a soccer professional, you want to have that feeling you have to sprint back, and now you see a couple of players that jog back. There’s a danger there.

“If you have a very strong coach, and you’re in midfield, and you see there has been danger somewhere, you will sprint for your life, because you know if you don’t do it you get punished.” 

Having worked under some of the game’s very best managers, Van Persie suggested Emery’s poor communication skills aren’t helping him make a positive mark at Arsenal. 

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“I’ve had Wenger, Louis van Gaal, [Sir Alex] Ferguson, so many coaches,” he said. 

“Their main quality was to be clear. If I’m really honest, someone sent me a video of him [Emery] last week trying to explain something, and I couldn’t figure out if he was saying ‘come, come’ or ‘come!’.

“That has been very important. You have to be clear, you have to be the leader and the leader needs to be clear towards his players.”



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