Arsenal are in the grip of an appalling run of form and regardless of the personnel drafted in or the various formations used, Unai Emery appears powerless to stop the rot.
With each poor result, the ground under the Spaniard’s feet becomes a little less stable and there is talk that Arsenal will, if things pick up, at least let him see the season out but nothing is guaranteed, quite the opposite.
Emery needs to turn things around fast starting at Southampton next Sunday but the feeling is that Arsenal will find a result hard to come by. Arsenal have looked nothing more than a pub team of sorts and such is the present situation that the team which could possibly ship nine goals a couple of weeks back, might have more than a fighting chance of coming back with some points at-least from their game at the Emirates.
If Emery is expecting any favors or that the Saints will be accommodating in anyway, he needs to think again. Emery needs a result desperately, just to convince the Arsenal players and the board that he has control of the situation but with confidence now at rock bottom, the man they said had tactical flair and ability has failed to translate that skill to the pitch.
According to reports the agents of two players have made contact with the club regarding the position of the coach, which suggests that their clients are considering whether or not to extend their contracts at Arsenal. Could that be Aubameyang and Lacazette?
Arsenal could have problems with securing those signatures if Champions league football is not secured for a forth successive season but it’s also a question of revenue.
Not playing with the European elite impacts on the entire club and the Europa league doesn’t summon up the same enthusiasm for supporters, nor is it held in the same regard.
There were large holes in the Arsenal crowd against Wolves and they became bigger as fans left in protest at another poor result. Empty seats are a worrying sign and combined with the absence of champions league football, it’s an added complication to balancing the books.
In recent years, through the club’s various troubles, it’s been claimed that the Emirates was full but I beg to differ. Even back to the Wenger protests, there were tickets that no one wanted, excluding the absences of angry season ticket holders and those who had purchased in advance but didn’t attend.
How long are Arsenal’s board prepared to wait to see an improvement on this current travesty ? Not too long one suspects and as we approach the festive month, the fixture list can be quite unforgiving, which will test the battered coach and ask questions about his players appetite under his direction.
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I, like many, was only too ready to accept that rebuilding a post Wenger Arsenal would be a long and tough job but I didn’t expect such an identity crisis to follow in Emery’s second season.
With additional purchases, Arsenal under Emery were expected to at least be a strong contender for third or forth in the premier league but that’s not been the case.
They aren’t even a works in progress because they aren’t developing or progressing in any sense. When the ‘Wenger out’ campaign was in full swing, I said at the time “ change isn’t always for the better, so be careful what you wish for”
And here we are. I’m not suggesting a ‘Wenger in’ campaign or an ‘Emery out’ alliance but in a business that equates success with results, they aren’t exactly forthcoming. Emery has probably four to six games left if this drought continues.
He claims that the game plan was executed how he wanted against Wolves but the result was the same. So here are the big three questions:- Has he got anything in reserve ? Is there anything he can do to extract better performances and results and do the Arsenal players believe in him ?
I’m unclear about the first two but I’m not sure the Arsenal players are responding to him anymore. If that’s the case, regardless of results, Emery is on borrowed time at Arsenal.