Nigel Winterburn reveals where Emery has righted Wenger's wrongs

Saturday, December 8th, 2018 8:00am

By Will Beckman @Will_Beckman

Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn thinks Unai Emery has reinvigorated the Gunners' players since replacing Arsene Wenger as head coach.

Wenger became a divisive figure towards the end of his two-decade tenure in North London as supporters clashed over whether the time had come for him to leave.

The Frenchman’s reluctance to move on also caused problems inside the dressing room, with players seemingly no longer capable of responding to his coaching methods.

However Winterburn told Love Sport Radio that Emery’s arrival during the summer has changed the atmosphere around the club.

“We can’t hide away from the fact that Arsene Wenger was a fantastic manager for Arsenal,” Winterburn said, speaking on The Arsenal Fans Show (Wednesdays 7pm-8.30pm).

“However I think it got to the point where a lot of supporters and maybe some of the players had heard the same words after every game and every defeat.

“They weren’t responding enough anymore.

“Now you’re hearing a new manager who’s driving the team forward, and the supporters are grasping onto that.”

Arsenal are unbeaten in 20 games across all competitions following Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United, making their current run the club’s longest without defeat since November 2007.

However, injury concerns are starting to mount up ahead of the Gunners’ packed festive fixture list, with seven first-team players either unavailable or doubtful for Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield.

Winterburn warned Emery he cannot afford to lose anyone else and added he will need to take great care over how he rotates his squad during the next month.

“He has a big decision to make at this moment in time about whether or not he wants to stick with the same XI for several games on the trot,” Winterburn added.

“Arsenal have picked up a couple of injuries in their last two games and that puts pressure on the players who are coming into the team.

“We can’t afford any more heading into the Christmas period because it would really stretch the squad, so Emery has got to find the right balance with his rotation.

“If he changes the team too much and Arsenal lose we’ll all be asking why he did it, but he will have to rotate a bit because the modern game dictates that.

“Football is less physical than it once was but it’s so quick now and it puts a huge amount of pressure on the body.”

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