Unai Emery may feel aggrieved that he was sacked despite doing quite well in comparison to Mikel Arteta this season, but it does look like everything will work out in the end.
Emery is currently back in Spain doing great things with Villarreal and Arsenal appear to be on the mend after a run of straight victories, but should Emery be taking some credit for that turn around in form?
The honest answer to that is he can take a tiny bit of credit for a decision he made a couple of years ago.
One of Arteta’s biggest problems was the blind faith he continued to place in his veteran players who continued to let him down, but his decision to put that trust into the younger players has paid off.
Emile Smith Rowe may be the most promising of the bunch and he’s been fun to watch as he’s taken on some of the creative burden in the team, but a report The Express showed how he may not have been around to make that difference.
They point to his loan spell with RB Leipzig in 2019 where the German side had pushed hard to include an option to buy in that deal, and there was some suggestion that Arsenal were close to caving to those demands.
Emery decided to put his foot down because Smith Rowe had impressed him so much and he didn’t want to lose him – a decision which will be hugely appreciated by Mikel Arteta today.
Of course you can get bogged down in different theories about other players being brought in to replace Smith Rowe if he did leave and perhaps someone else would’ve been there to step up, but it does look like Emery made the right choice here.