His final seasons were characterised by him becoming an impact substitute, with first-team opportunities few and far between, adopting this new role naturally had a psychological impact on the 47-time capped England global.
Arsenal fans seeking signs of progress can draw encouragement from the performance of Lucas Torreira, however, who was making a belated first league start since a £25m summer transfer from Sampdoria.
"Leno will improve and learn with us".
"I scored against Southampton a few times and I celebrated, this season I scored against them and I celebrated".
Emery has made changes of his own, giving a debut to goalkeeper Bernd Leno in midweek in place of Petr Cech, while central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos arrived in pre-season from Borussia Dortmund.
Emery's team are still a work in progress but have shown excellent promise during their four consecutive victories including their 2-1 victory at St James' Park against Newcastle United in the previous league match. "He started the season very well and he is having the performances that we want".
I would hate to see Everton lose that, and I would keep using them wide in the way they operated at the Emirates. I had a lot to do today and I had to help the team stay in the game.
The pace of Walcott and Richarlison threatened Arsenal's defence throughout the first half and the pair combined for the latter to again test Cech.
"But we spoke at half-time about how to stop them and we had better positions when Everton attacked".
Arsenal could move into the top four of the Premier League with a win against Everton. I think we deserved more.
"It's a disappointing result".
"It's too clear", Everton manager Marco Silva said.
Cech - harshly mocked for some iffy close control and passing in earlier games - proved adept enough with his feet when slide-tacking Dominic Calvert-Lewin as he bore down on goal in the second minute.
With Arsenal enjoying more of the ball after the interval they were denied a penalty by referee Jon Moss, who was unmoved by claims of handball against Jonjoe Kenny.
Sigurdsson sparked another counter, the cross scrambled away with two Everton forwards lurking, and after 21 minutes Richarlison's strike from the edge of the box was stopped by Cech.