'They have lost their style': Charlie Nicholas analyses Arsenal problems under Unai Emery
- The Gunners icon says the things have only got worse since Emery took charge of the club.
- Charlie doubts the Spaniard has a clear view of the changes he wants to implement.
- The ex-striker is concerned with lack of balance in the squad.
"Unai Emery shouldn’t get all the blame," Nicholas wrote for Sporting Life. "Has he made it better? No. It has got worse. The defending has got worse and the money they have spent has not improved them at all. Nicolas Pepe is struggling to get into a team which paid £72m for him.
"Dani Ceballos started well, and he is a talented player, but what talent fits into this system? Ceballos is the passer and Pepe is the dribbler, while Mesut Ozil is back in the team now too so it's all a bit confusing.
"Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette don’t know what they are trying to do or what their style is. They want to get on the ball and make things happen, but they do not have any runners since Aaron Ramsey left.
"The youngsters are fighting for competition - Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson have come in and done well in spells but are not yet ready to take it to the next stage. The guys in front are expected to be better but the attacking side of things has lost its way.
"Arsenal cannot get the balance right with the defence and two midfield players. It tells you everything that they went with a back three and a four in front at Leicester. Where did that come from? I guarantee they would have only had one day to work on it, so the whole thing implies they have lost their style.
"We knew Emery’s style at Valencia and Sevilla - they were tough and scrappy in midfield and all about pace and movement up front. This front lot have more ability and reputation than he has ever worked with but his team do not have the strength and capabilities at the back - the attack is bogged down. Aubameyang and Lacazette have a lack of movement and are struggling to combine with each other."
The Gunners risk missing on the Champions League football again. The results have been poor and there are no clear signs of improvement in performances. However, the club's chiefs have given the boss time to turn things around.