Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann points out Unai Emery’s downfall

Idowu Oluwashola
By Idowu Oluwashola
4 Min Read

The former Germany international goalkeeper Jens Lehmann discusses Unai Emery’s failure during his less than two season tenure at Arsenal.

Jens Lehmann who was part of Arsene Wenger’s coaching crew, majorly as a goalkeeping coach during the latter period of Wenger’s reign, was replaced immediately when Unai Emery took over as Arsenal’s manager after the retirement of Arsene Wenger.

The former PSG and Arsenal manager Unai Emery brought his own coaching crew and instantly changed every member of Wenger’s crew, including Jens Lehmann who was one of the historic invincible squad.

The total change of Arsene Wenger’s coaching crew is believed to have been one of Unai Emery’s greatest mistake. Coming into a new environment, it is expected that you’ll need the idea and guidance of those that already has the indepth knowledge of the where you’re, but that wasn’t the case about Emery’s decision, as he surrounded himself with people that has little knowledge of English football and Arsenal’s culture.


Other notable achilles hills of Emery during his time at the Emirates, was his lack of fluency in English. Virtually all the players seems lost of idea during a match as they were unable to interpret the manager’s instructions. It was reported that even some of the younger players whom were previously under the tutelage of former Arsenal player and Under-23 coach Ljungberg before they were promoted to the first team along with Ljungberg himself, were mostly asking for further enlightenment on Unai Emery’s tactics from their former Under-23 coach.

According to Jens Lehmann’s statement, he revealed that: “I was there as an assistant coach two years ago but then Arsene has left and they have changed the whole managerial team and I think they made a mistake by choosing the wrong guys.”

“The people at the top sometimes don’t know what I know about football and they didn’t experience how to win things. So it’s not easy for them.

“I think he wanted to bring his own staff who couldn’t even speak English. Then a guy like me, who was a player for them, I think he just didn’t want us.

“I think it was a big present to him that he was picked as a manager for Arsenal because I think he was not good, not good enough because he had this lingual problem.


“He may have some good ideas in Spanish but he never came across as being transferrable to English football.”

Since being sacked by Arsenal in December 2019, Unai Emery is yet to get a coaching job even though he claimed to be opened to any offer, either returning to the Premier league or elsewhere. Unai Emery’s time at Arsenal would seemingly be regarded as one of the most unfortunate period in Arsenal’s history, which saw Arsenal’s team mostly being dominated and outshone by average teams, relinquishing possession to lesser quality sides and sadly being on the back foot in most games.

Under current manager Mikel Arteta, there now seems to be a fair amount of fresh air, renewed energy, dedication and direction which had been lacking during the previous regime.

Arsenal would now be looking to continue their 2020 unbeaten run against Manchester City on 17th June when Mikel Arteta, for the first time since his arrival at Arsenal, will be facing his mentor and former employer Pep Guardiola.

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