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Some of Arsenal’s players are reportedly becoming frustrated with how repetitive Unai Emery’s training sessions are, while they have done virtually no work on pressing.
The Gunners threw away a two-goal lead on Sunday as they collapsed in the second half against Watford, conceding 31 shots in the match, and Emery was criticised for his tactics and decision-making in the game.
Although individual mistakes were once again Arsenal’s undoing for both of Watford goals, the side’s lacklustre defending as whole – and the lack of cohesive pressing from the players in front of the back four – were clear to see.
According to The Athletic, barring a few drills when he first arrived at the club, Emery has done little work on improving and honing Arsenal’s pressing and it is not one of his main tactical plans.
While Arsenal’s players still enjoy working under Emery, there is a frustration with how little he changes up his methods, sticking with the same repetitive drills in training.
The Spaniard is also noted for his use of video analysis and, while that was a breath of fresh air after Arsene Wenger, some players are now zoning out of sessions that often last more than two hours.
The Athletic’s report also says that Emery surprisingly ditched playing mock games before matches – with the Under-23 side mimicking the style of upcoming opponents – despite the squad loving it.
The criticism facing Emery is starting to grow after a run of three games without a win, during which time they have conceded seven goals against Liverpool, Tottenham and Watford. Incredibly, Arsenal have allowed 96 shots on their goal this season – more than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues – and will need to bounce back with wins in the Europa League against Frankfurt on Thursday and Aston Villa in the Premier League.