Later, when the floodlights in the Commerzbank Arena are approaching, Unai Emery will be back in his element, introducing his responsible TV reporter to his analysis with a touching, polite "good evening". The Thursday night belongs to him. The Europa League is his show.
Three times in a row, the 47-year-old won the trophy with Sevilla FC. In the preseason, he came with the Arsenal at least until the final in Baku (1: 4 against Chelsea), and also in this season count the Londoners regardless of the outcome of the match against Eintracht in the evening (18.55 clock / in live ticker at SPIEGEL ONLINE , Stream: Dazn) to the top favorites in the smaller of the two European competitions. Hardly any club in the field has such a large offensive potential.
The Europa League is back ...
A good evening awaits pic.twitter.com/73Xp7j4rfU
Unfortunately, it is for Emery and his team after the game right back in the extremely sad League everyday. In tabular terms, it does not look so bad there. Only Liverpool (15 points) and champions Manchester City (10 points) have started better.
However, confidence in Emery has bottomed out after the shameful 2-2 defeat at the bottom of Watford on Sunday. His arsenal showed on Vicarage Road not only in detail what it can not do - defend closed, build error-free from the defensive, or manage a 2-0 lead to the break. It also proved that it lacks an overriding idea. What Emery says to be flexible, a symbiosis of dominance and counterfeit football, seems in practice arbitrary and at any time suitable to confuse the workforce. "We were too scared to show our game," said the Swiss granite Xhaka.
David Luiz has made the defense even more dreamy
Particularly blatant are the problems on the defensive. David Luiz, the new defense organizer, has made the already latent jiggle-like backside team a bit more dreamy and distracted after his suspiciously priced nine-million-euro transfer from Chelsea. In addition, regulated pressing has not taken place for months. Below the line, the behavior without ball currently reminiscent of the worst moments in Arsène Wengers late work.
Arsenal had 31 shots on their own goal in Watford for the club, a record for the club in the Premier League since the beginning of the data collection 2003/2004. Even in the infamous 2-8 win against Manchester United in August 2011, only 25 balls had flown in the direction of the box. Overall, the league opponents of the Gunners came in the current season already to 96 finishes. In the five major European leagues, no other club has come under fire so often.
Sokratis is currently not a big defense
The deficits in the backward movement can be attributed with much good will to the personnel change in the squad, the lack of experience of some younger players or one or the other injury. However, worries are growing around Highbury that Emery, the training leader appointed as an internationally recognized veteran in the summer of 2018, could simply lack the collar size to sustainably spur Wenger's club on its own laurels for years to come.
Insiders report on excruciatingly long video sessions and speeches that do not just bring the blood to a boil in the drive-poor cabin. Emery's English is heavily accented and poor in nuances, compared to the best of the class Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp, he also lacks in the external presentation clearly esprit and charisma to credibly sell his renewal project. Unlike Frank Lampard at Chelsea and Ole Gunnar Solskjær at Manchester United, he does not enjoy the confidence bonus of a club icon in the Emirates Stadium.
Reuters / Paul Childs
Emery can only let the football of his team speak for themselves. But no one wants to hear the story Arsenal is telling. It is that of a team that finally wanted to find footballing stringency under Wenger's successor, but was unable to make any decisive move to their own claims so far.
In their current condition, the "good evenings", the beautiful evenings, can only be expected on Emery's favorite stage, on Thursdays against less-favored opponents from mainland Europe.