Former Real Madrid star: Arsenal boss Unai Emery ‘cannot handle big egos’

Unai Emery

Michel Salgado has called into question the ability of Arsenal manager Unai Emery to handle players with big egos.

Arsenal vs Man United

Arsenal welcomed Manchester United to the Emirates yesterday evening, for a high-profile Premier League showdown.

The two sides were separated by just a solitary point in the league table ahead of kick-off, as the race for a spot in the English top-flight’s top-4 continues to heat up.

Arsenal come out on top

And, when all was said and done in North London, it was Arsenal who emerged victorious, in the process leapfrogging United, and moving to within a point of 3rd-place Spurs in the Premier League table.

Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did the damage for the capital giants, en route to a 2-0 win.

Xhaka opened the game’s scoring inside the opening quarter of an hour, wrong-footing David De Gea with a swerving drive from 20 yards.

David De Gea

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: David De Gea of Manchester United looks dejected during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on March 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

And Aubameyang secured all 3 points for Arsenal 20 minutes from time, slotting home from the penalty spot after Jon Moss adjudged Fred to have felled Alexandre Lacazette in the United box.

The Emery effect

The victory came as Arsenal’s latest impressive showing versus one of their Premier League top-6 rivals, with the Gunners having been unfortunate not to pick up all 3 points in their North London derby showdown with Tottenham two weekends ago.

In fact, a statistic showcasing the improvement of the capital giants versus the rest of England’s top sides under the guidance of Unai Emery this season was forthcoming following Arsenal’s win last night:

It should also be noted that Arsenal’s first two competitive fixtures under the guidance of Unai Emery came in league meetings with Manchester City and Chelsea, at the beginning of the season.

‘Needs to learn how to deal with egos’

However, despite the Gunners having proven their ability to perform when it matters most under Emery, and having reclaimed their place in the Premier League’s top-4 amid fierce competition, the Arsenal boss’ abilities as a man-manager have today been called into question.

The individual to have cast doubt on Emery’s talents is former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado.

After first labelling his fellow Spaniard ‘a special manager’, the 43-year-old highlighted the struggles of Mesut Ozil to this point in the campaign, along with Emery’s stint at PSG, as evidence that the Arsenal manager simply ‘cannot handle big egos’:

Speaking in an interview with Stadium, Salgado explained:

‘He’s a special manager like [Rafa] Benitez. He needs a squad with no big names, with no big egos. He cannot handle big egos.’

‘He needs a squad with team-work players, players that he can shape, that he can develop, that he can get into his system.’

‘Then if he’s got depth in his squad and the right players to work for him during the season and they follow him and are ready for it, then he can get results like he did in Sevilla. Winning three Europa Leagues back-to-back because the players were ready for him.’

‘They were great players. But no big egos, no big names.’

‘I think he needs to learn how to deal with egos. He’s still learning. ‘

Salgado continued:

‘I know in PSG it was difficult for him because those were really big egos.’

‘I think, here, the squad is quite big for him. Ozil can be the only one who is a special player because he’s a talented player.’

Unai Emery speaks with Mesut Ozil during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

‘It’s the job to try to get him into the system because he will need him. ‘

‘A team like Arsenal needs sometimes a different player, a talented player, that’s Ozil for sure.’

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