Graeme Le Saux: Exclusive views on Antonio Conte and Unai Emery
As Antonio Conte heads for the Chelsea exit, after winning the FA Cup, new Arsenal manger Unai Emery arrives to take on a massive challenge. Betfair Ambassador Graeme Le Saux discusses both bosses...
"Arsenal, who clearly are not a club with a high turnover of managers, will give Emery every chance to bed himself in and, while they're big outsiders for the Premier League title in 2018/19, it could be an exciting season for fans."
Chelsea's short-termism is bad for managers and young players
As well as lifting a trophy for the second year in a row, the attitude shown by Chelsea's players to win the FA Cup final should have been a real positive for Antonio Conte. If it wasn't for the gossip that's been following him for months, it might have been enough for him to stay at Stamford Bridge. But things have been so unsettled, and there has been so much talk of his failing relationship with the club in the last few months, that it looks like the writing is on the wall.
It's part of the Chelsea model that as soon as a there is a dip in form the manager's future is questioned. It's expected a manager won't last if there is any hint of an issue and there have been many problems this season. In the last 13 years Chelsea have changed manager often and it has actually worked for them, but in the long term you do miss out on some crucial benefits and one of those is the development of young players.
Chelsea have not developed players for the long-term and they've lost great talents as a result of their short-termism. Players they've had in the past, such as Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Mo Salah, have gone elsewhere and made a huge impact as they've matured into match winners. The club's failure to develop young players is connected to their chopping and changing of managers.
Conte deserves credit this year for trying to play a couple of younger players but it's always a risk unless you have an owner who backs you to look at the bigger picture and the longer term. Conte hasn't had that at Chelsea and, despite the FA Cup victory, it looks unlikely he'll be there at the start of next season, which I think is a shame for the club.
Give time, Unai Emary can succeed at Arsenal
Unai Emery has to be very disciplined and set high standards for the Arsenal players early on. That will allow him to judge who can step up. We could see a lot of players leaving if they don't meet his standards. Arsenal don't have to have a major clear-out but Emery needs to make it clear that if the players don't meet his standards, they won't be wanted.
Arsenal have been lacking that real grit and desire to win in recent years. It's one of the reasons Alexis Sanchez decided to leave, as he wanted to win trophies and didn't think he would at Arsenal. If Emery can bring back the desire and winning mentality then the club and fans will be happy in the short term, even if they don't see immediate success.
Pep Guardiola needed a year at Manchester City to suss out the players, get to grips with the club set-up and work out his plan, before he was a huge success in season two. Arsenal, who clearly are not a club with a high turnover of managers, will give Emery every chance to bed himself in and, while they're big outsiders for the Premier League title in 2018/19, it could be an exciting season for Arsenal fans.
Emery managed very high profile players at PSG and obviously had enormous money to spend. But purely having a lot of cash to spend and buying the world's best players doesn't guarantee you success. In fact, sometimes it can even be a tougher as a manager because of the weight of expectation.
One of Emery's greatest challenges in France was having the dominant team in PSG, so to maintain that standard through the last few seasons shows some really good qualities. He also had an impressive record before PSG, with less money and at less glamourous clubs. So it will be interesting to see what he can do with Arsenal.