Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn backs Unai Emery to be a success
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Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has backed new head coach Unai Emery to deliver on his pressing ethos.
The North London giants have lost their first two games of the Premier League season but the iconic former left-back insists Emery is the man for the job.
The Gunners face West Ham on Saturday after going down 2-0 to champions Manchester City at the Emirates before Chelsea triumphed 3-2 in an attacking game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Despite the excellent attacking intent and quality going forward, the Arsenal backline struggled at times as they attempted to play the ball out from the back.
However, the well-respected Winterburn, who won three league titles with Arsenal in 1989, 1991 and 1998, is convinced Emery is on the right lines and simply needs more time for his team to gel.
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Speaking exclusively to the Islington Gazette at a Play With A Legend Event he said: “He just needs time to implement his demands.
“I like what the new coach has done in that he’s identified what he considered to be the positions of weakness were over the summer – where we were not strong enough.
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“I’m more about waiting and seeing, I like what he’s done in terms of positions that he’s filled that’s for sure.”
Emery drafted in centre-half Sokratis from Borussia Dortmund and Swiss captain and right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner from Serie A champions Juventus.
The former PSG coach also purchased former Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno for £19 million, in a deal that was widely expected to result in the former Bundesliga ‘sweeper-keeper’ taking over the No1 spot from Petr Cech.
Cech has struggled at times with playing the ball out from the back this month and had attracted criticism from Leverkusen’s social media department, before hitting back via his personal Twitter account.
He also had another challenging match on Saturday during the defeat to his former club Chelsea.
The experienced Winterburn, who played in front of David Seaman for a decade at Arsenal added: “I think that six or seven weeks into the season there’s going to be a big name player that’s not going to make the staring eleven.
“I like what Emery he has dome this summer. Of course you can never tell whether a player is going to be a success or not you.
“You have an idea because of what he’s done in the past and whether he’s going to fit into your squad but we’ve seen players that have been brought for £40m, £50m, £60m and been a complete flop.
“You’ve also seen players signed for £5m that have gone on to have fantastic careers at clubs.”
Nigel Winterburn was speaking at a Play With A Legend event.
For more information about Play With A Legend visit their website www.playwithalegend.com/arsenalhub and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @playwithalegend.
Their next event dates will be:
Sunday, September 23: With Nigel Winterburn – 11.30 to 2pm before Arsenal v Everton kicks at 4pm.
Saturday, September 29: – Player TBC – 10.30 to 1pm before Arsenal v Watford, 3pm kick-off.
Saturday, November 3: Player TBC – 1pm to 3.30pm before Arsenal v Liverpool, 5.30pm kick-off.
Sunday, November 11: Player TBC – 12pm to 2.30pm before Arsenal v Wolves, 4.30pm kick-off.