Following yet another game in which his side let a lead slip, the energy in Unai Emery’s post-match press conference was telling.
Raul Jimenez’s late equaliser had seemed to have sucked all life out of the Spaniard. In fact, after the equaliser flew past Bernd Leno, Emery became muted on the touchline after being his animated self beforehand and this lacklustre demeanor followed him into the press conference.
When asked if his players could understand, however, his attitude changed. Having been quite nonchalant throughout, he quickly became cold as if he did not know why this question was being asked.
“They (the players) don’t understand?” Emery muttered at first to make sure he fully grasped the question.
“I think they understand, yes.” he then said very bluntly before smiling to brush aside the awkwardness.
Almost astounded that question was asked, the Spaniard seemed in total denial that there could be any miscommunication between himself and his group of Arsenal players.
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For the rest of the press conference, however, he struggled to spring to life in a similar way.
Of course, he began with his traditional ‘Good evening’ but what followed were words of a man who very much felt the weight of the two points dropped to Wolves.
“I am frustrated with the result and also because we lost two very good opportunities at home against two teams that we didn’t beat last year either.” the Arsenal boss added.
Mesut Ozil and Unai Emery
Along with Wolves – who Arsenal also drew 1-1 with at the Emirates last year, Emery was talking about Crystal Palace. The Eagles salvaged a 2-2 draw in north London last week and won 3-2 in April.
However, after the Crystal Palace game Emery had more verve about him, especially when the topic of discussion turned to VAR when he detailed how it should be used in the Premier League.
Instead, following the Wolves game, he came across very passive, even when saying “I am very demanding myself”.
A strong statement when written in print but when it is said in the nonchalant way in which the Spaniard did, almost shrugging his shoulders in the same action, it doesn’t pack the same punch.
As the press conference went on, the questions became more direct.
Mesut Ozil’s performance and whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would take over the captaincy were enquired about, but Emery batted straight back with one-line answers.
What would happen following the expiry of his contract was enquired about, and he batted back with a response about the improvements happening behind the scenes.
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Emery is now without a win in three Premier League games and his manner following the game showed just how uninspiring performances in the last few weeks have been.
He may deliver messages about being positive but the he carried himself after the game was too transparent not to see that he desperately needed to beat Wolves for a sense of pride if nothing else.
After their Europa League trip to Vitoria, Arsenal travel to Leicester who can move back into third if they beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Heading to the King Power Stadium, Emery and his side will certainly need another boost against the Portuguese team if they are to trouble the Foces.