Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been lavished with praise by pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, who believe the Spaniard is vastly over-achieving with a squad which ‘should finish sixth.’
Following their impressive victory over rivals Manchester United, the Gunners played top four destiny in their own hands – on a weekend in which Tottenham were defeated and Chelsea dropped points to Wolves. Speaking following the 2-0 win over the Red Devils – in what was the first domestic defeat for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since taking charge – Carragher highlighted the perceived weakness of Arsenal on paper.
‘I actually think Arsenal’s set of players in the worst in the top six. If you see where teams should finish judged on their squad I’d say they should finish sixth and at this moment they’re fourth,’ said the former Liverpool man on Sky Sports. ‘I think that shows the job he’s doing and that’s the change here in the stadium.’ Carragher went on to draw comparisons between the current set-up and the reign of former boss Arsene Wenger, who he believes could not conjure the same atmosphere from the fans at the Emirates.
‘The team he wants is a more intensive team than the one we saw under Arsene Wenger. Even under Wenger you never really got the stadium like that. There’s an intensity about it. Coming here in the last four years I haven’t really seen that.’ Fellow pundit Neville was also in agreement, sharing a similar opinion that Emery is operating above what is to be expected, given the tools he has been equipped with. He said of Emery: ‘He’s working with a squad that’s limited, in the sense that you’re thinking it should be finishing sixth in the league, but he’s doing brilliantly with it.’