Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams slams Unai Emery over pre-season rotation

Tony Adams has harshly criticised new manager Unai Emery following Arsenal’s opening Premier League defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.

Emery took over from long-serving manager Arsene Wenger at the end of May and would have been hoping to get off to the perfect start against the reigning champions.

But his first competitive game in charge of Arsenal ended in a 2-0 defeat at the Emirates as he tried to implement his different style of football on the team that has become accustomed to Wenger’s attacking philosophy.

And former Arsenal skipper Adams, who uniquely captained the side to four Premier League titles in three different decades, has slammed Emery for his poor preparation during pre-season.

Adams told talkSPORT: ‘I don’t know what he has been doing for the last five or six weeks. Well I know what he’s been doing, he has rotated all his players and given them all a game basically and they’ve got some good results but it’s pre-season.

‘From minute one, I would’ve picked my own goalkeeper, my back four and put the two lads in that I want to screen those, and get a firm base that’s been missing for the last ten years.

‘I don’t think we won a game away from home last year and that’s an underbelly of a lack of resistance, lack of resilience.

‘You’ve had six weeks of pre-season – go on, get on with it!

‘Arsenal fans up and down the land, we all want him to challenge for the league title but at the moment, realistically, we’re nowhere near.’

Emery named a starting back four of Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, with Petr Cech in goal behind them.

The Spaniard is trying to get his Arsenal stars to play out from the back but it occasionally led to panic, with Cech nearly putting through his own net following pressure from City.

Emery’s task doesn’t get any easier as Arsenal face Chelsea away next on Saturday at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

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