While the focus of Unai Emery’s post-Arsenal assessment has seemingly largely gone on his comments about Emi Martinez, the Aston Villa boss also sent an important message to his entire squad.
There’s no denying that he was deeply disappointed and frustrated with our performance on Saturday in a 4-2 defeat, as although he was willing to accept that there were some positives, it’s clear that there’s a breakdown between what we’re doing in training to prepare for a match and what we do in the match itself.
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That was explained by Emery in his post-match interview, as he detailed why he was so disappointed and where he thinks we’re going wrong, but ultimately he also conceded too that he hasn’t found the solution as to why it’s happening as of yet.
“I’m really frustrated,” Emery told VillaTV. “It’s embarrassing to do the same in two matches, each goal (4-2), at home here with our supporters. I don’t know exactly, but we are not playing, being competitive at home.
“And we are not playing, really, in the idea I want in the team. I don’t know exactly why.
“I think we are playing with intensity, we are playing with passion, running, scoring goals quickly. But we are not playing football controlling the ball, the game, controlling the positioning, of the time in the 90 minutes.
“We are scoring one goal quickly and we are waiting in the 90 minutes, pass as soon as possible and don’t play the match in the way we were preparing – being consistent and being confident in the 90 minutes in our ideal style.”
While speaking to BT Sport, as seen in the video below, and in other interviews too, Emery was particularly critical of Martinez’s late decision to go up for a corner-kick in stoppage time as we trailed 2-3.
Ultimately, Arsenal went down the other end from that corner to add a fourth, and Emery revealed that he did not give his goalkeeper permission to go up, and so that in itself is a disappointing call made by Martinez as ultimately he has to carry out the instructions given to him by the boss.
However, it was a point that Emery made as part of a bigger assessment, as he was also critical of his entire team for not controlling the game in the way he wants to over the course of 90 minutes.
The comments above are arguably more scathing and critical as he’s essentially suggesting that the group as a whole aren’t executing his game-plan successfully and are struggling to show that they’re capable of learning from mistakes and doing what he’s asked for.
That’s now back-to-back 4-2 defeats at home for Villa, with a 3-1 loss away at Man City sandwiched in between, and so Emery has every reason to be frustrated with what he’s seeing as that isn’t what we’ve come to expect from his teams in the past, and it wasn’t what we were seeing early on in his tenure.
While the quotes on Martinez make headlines, it’s crucial that the group as a whole start implementing what’s being asked of them. Several senior players have spoken about the classroom-like set-up at Bodymoor Heath with the video analysis put on by Emery and his coaching staff, and there’s no doubt that they are trying to learn and take as much on board as possible.
That’s only one part of it though as they need to then put that into action on the pitch. Martinez going up for a corner without approval is a minor issue in truth as it can hopefully be rectified with a simple discussion between him and the Villa boss.
What’s more important is getting the players to perfect what they’re doing in training during the week and then implement and develop Emery’s style of play and principles week in and week out to start making real long-term progress.
"I've NEVER told my goalkeeper to go score one goal in 90th minute."
Safe to say Unai Emery wasn't best pleased with Emi Martínez this afternoon 😳 pic.twitter.com/xeMhgJdOhD
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 18, 2023
1 thought on “Why Emery message to Villa squad should be focus amid Martinez talk”
I totally agree with Unai. His attitude is do the role I tell you and nothing else until I tell you different. Look at John McGinn he’s improved so much because he has one role and one alone. Get rid of this kick the ball anywhere giving it to the opposition. Emery will get it right in Unai we trust UTV