EXCLUSIVE: Bob Wilson reveals how Unai Emery has ‘annoyed’ him as former Arsenal goalkeeper previews Europa League final
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Speaking exclusively to Islington Gazette sports reporter Dan Mountney, Arsenal legend Bob Wilson revealed that he has been ‘annoyed at times’ by Unai Emery’s tactics, but believes the Gunners have enough to win the Europa League final on Wednesday night.
Emery's first season at the helm could end with a trophy and a place in next season's UEFA Champions League, if they beat Chelsea in the Baku showpiece.
Arsenal missed out on Europe's elite club competition after finishing fifth in the Premier League, with Wilson admitting he 'screamed' when he saw the team to face Crystal Palace, a game the Gunners lost 3-2 at the Emirates and one that kicked off a run of just one win in their last five league games.
Reflecting on Emery's first season, the 77-year-old said: "I've been annoyed at times.
"When we played Crystal Palace a few weeks ago and we were starting to pick up after a bad away run, there were seven changes to the team made on the day. When I saw the team I screamed, I actually screamed.
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"During my time in football as both a coach and a player I thought this can't be right. Especially against Crystal Palace, they won at Manchester City this season.
"I was so upset with that, I was upset with that choice. He was obviously looking ahead to the Europa League and I understand that it's ultimately got us to the final.
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"If we finish in the Champions League because we beat Chelsea, then what a good decision that was. But, I think we could have qualified for the Champions League if he has started the proper side the whole time."
Wilson is confident Arsenal will beat Chelsea on Wednesday night thanks to their 'special players', but believes both sides will struggle defensively.
"I'm not happy that it's Chelsea. I think it makes it doubly difficult," he said.
"On our day we can beat Chelsea, we've proven that, but on other days if Hazard turns up, although against Hazard and co. I would put Lacazette and Aubameyang.
"Where we are fragile is clear to see. Defensively we are no better than we were at the end of last season, but at the same time, neither are Chelsea.
"There are weaknesses at the back for both sides, but I think we are more attack minded and capable of winning games with special players. That's my hope."
Bob Wilson spoke to Dan Mountney at Arsenal's takeover of the Willow Foundation store in Welwyn Garden City. Willow, a charity set up by Bob and his wife, Megs in memory of their daughter Anna, organises special days for seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40. To donate to Willow visit www.willowfoundation.org.uk/donate.