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Charlie Nicholas column: Gunners legend gives Sporting Life his verdict on Unai Emery's first season in charge of Arsenal

Charlie Nicholas gives us his verdict on Arsenal
Charlie Nicholas gives us his verdict on Arsenal

Gunners legend Charlie Nicholas gives us his verdict on Unai Emery's first season in charge at Arsenal, and where he needs to improve.

Assessing Arsenal under Emery

Where he has done well, he has got the forwards all fighting for us a little bit more. It does frustrate me at times with Lacazette and Ozil who – at times – have just done a few too many things that may have frustrated the manager.

Emery doesn’t come across as though he is falling out with anyone, he may be wanting Ozil to move on in the summer though but isn't letting it show.

Up front, I like it when Lacazette is in the nine position and Aubameyang is out wide, they should play them as a front two more often.

I like what he is doing with Iwobi and the fact he is playing Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right wing-back. Guendouzi has been good for us but he can be young and naïve a few too many times perhaps.

He has been tremendously loyal to Xhaka who frustrates me at times. He has brought Ozil back when he looked out of it at one point and this has impressed me. He is taking advantage of someone that can benefit us.

The goalkeeper has been excellent. He has made several mistakes but when he gets this right we will have a tremendous goalkeeper.

One thing he can improve on…

One of the main things that Emery could do better is with his substitutions - sometimes I think he makes changes a bit too quickly.

I like people that can see things and change it, but he's liable to change two people at half-time and that is a risky way of going about things. Arsenal found it really hard to be in front at half-time but perhaps changing two players at that time is the way to do it.

With his style of play, he wants to keep possession but you must have possession in the first place to retain the ball, which told me that Aubameyang and Lacazette must start together to help out with retaining the ball up front.

But it's the fact that he changes it quickly too many times that would be the main worry for me. It’s alright putting an arm around players at the end of games but when you see your number up at half-time it can damage players, so I hope he revisits that next season.

But overall you can see the improvement, he has toughened them up and he has asked them questions, which can only make them stronger. Wherever he finishes, they're improving, which is the main thing, but he may just have brought us a top four position.

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Most Read Football

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package1

Premier League betting preview

Tuesday sees two games in the Premier League as Tottenham welcome Brighton and Watford take on Southampton. We have two best bets.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages
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