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Jamie Carragher asks why not Rafa Benitez instead of Unai Emery at Arsenal?

3 years ago

The situation at Arsenal was always going to attract a lot of focus this season.

After over two decades of life under Arsene Wenger, a massive moment for that club.

Rafa Benitez was linked a number of times with the job as it became clear a change was coming.

The disgraceful way the Arsenal fans went on, in treating Arsene Wenger the way they did after delivering so much success, left many neutrals willing whoever replaced him to fail dismally and bring a large dose of reality into the lives of those embarrassing Gooners.

Fair to say Unai Emery is yet to convince, with two defeats already and a fortunate late win at Cardiff at the weekend, plus victory over bottom club West Ham, their successes under the new man.

Jamie Carragher doesn’t understand why Rafa Benitez wasn’t considered, pointing to his ‘CV’ and ‘what he’s done’ in his managerial career.

Unai Emery came to prominence when winning three Europa League titles in a row with Sevilla, landing him the job at PSG. Domestic cup wins and one Ligue 1 title in his two years there would have been seen as an absolute minimum with PSG’s huge financial advantage over the rest in France.

At Arsenal it is a different story and despite spending around £275m in the last five transfer windows, including over £70m in this latest one under Emery, it is a case of getting his side to play better as a team than they are as individuals, if they are to challenge the likes of Man City and the rest.

Ironically, speaking of trying to make the individuals you have available better as a team, Unai Emery next faces Rafa Benitez in the Premier League a week on Saturday.

A key fixture for both, as Rafa looks to lift Newcastle out of the relegation zone, whilst a third defeat in five Premier League games will no doubt have those poor Arsenal fans demanding a new manager and be reminded to be ‘careful what you wish for.’

Jamie Carragher:

“Rafa Benitez is probably my biggest influence in football.

“I had him for six years as my manager (at Liverpool).

“You look at someone like Rafa and his CV, with what he’s done, he has got trophies everywhere.

“Why wasn’t he in the running for the Arsenal job?”


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