Former Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner believes Unai Emery struggled to build the relationships needed to get the best out of the club’s top players.
Speaking to i, the Swiss defender brought to the club by Emery in 2018, gave his verdict on the Spaniard, in an interview recorded before his sacking but posted after.
He said: “Training was good, the team that we had last year was an amazing team, so it’s not my thing to speak bad about the coach because it is too easy now that they are struggling to say something against him.
“I’d say [he is] a good trainer, a good coach, but maybe he struggled with the top players. With the big players, he hasn’t maybe the relationship to bring more out [of them] and get the top performances. Maybe that point I can say [something] negative, but the rest was almost everything positive.”
TBR’s View – Lichtsteiner right if he is referring to Ozil but Emery had other problems too
It’s interesting that Lichtsteiner seems enthused by the squad Arsenal had last season. But Emery failed to get the best of Mesut Ozil, one of his top talents, throughout his reign.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were among Emery’s top performers, although perhaps Lichtsteiner’s words suggest he could have got even more out of them if he built a better relationship with them.
But Emery simply didn’t build an identity, a clear idea of what he was trying to achieve and how he was going to go about it.