Raul Sanllehi is under pressure to define his era in the hot seat at the Emirates and underline his control in his position as Head of Football. The wheels have well and truly come off the wagon since the new hierarchy took charge and appointed Unai Emery.
Emery had a reasonable first season but the end saw something of a meltdown and we ignored the signs that there were major problems ahead.
Emery is now leading Arsenal towards relegation and has been responsible for a complete disintegration of the side. It’s an absolute disaster and could get much much worse if those in charge sit on their hands and hold off from dismissing the Spanish coach.
After Arsenal shambolic performance to Eintracht Frankfurt yesterday in front of a deserted stadium, I half expected to hear that Emery had been sacked but supporters are fearing the worst and that the club will hold on a while longer, with six games suggested as the maximum period.
It was another dire evening in a long line of abject performances, with little desire or application and it beggared belief that Xhaka was permitted to rejoin the first team.
After the loss, the Swiss midfielder was seen laughing and joking with the opposition which will make him a target for boos and jeers once again but I have no sympathy for him.
In 1992, George Graham was in charge of eight winless games and with Norwich looming this weekend, you wouldn’t rule out Emery matching that. If he’s still there.
Arsenal’s last seven matches in all competitions under Emery have resulted in five draws and two defeats, a worse run than Arsene Wenger ever managed in his 1,235 games in charge.
Emery had dismissed the notion that he had lost the players before the Europa league game but it’s pretty clear that it’s the case. This Arsenal side is uncomfortable to watch. With an embarrassment of riches, it can’t find a way to win and if anything it has regressed by losing its identity, flair and style.
If Arsenal are concerned that they may appear unsupportive by firing the coach, they need to get over it quickly. A sea of empty seats around the stadium tell a story but even more troubling is the toxic nature at the club at ground level. It’s become an impossible for Emery to remain in post because he doesn’t have the backing of the side and support in the boardroom is rapidly disappearing.
In fact, by the time this is published I will be astonished if he is in charge at the time of the Norwich game.
Sanllehi and Josh Kroenke will no doubt be locked in discussions to resolve what has become a nightmare campaign and it’s just a question of appointing long term or short, with candidates popping up left right and center.
It’s time to wave Emery goodbye and save what’s left of this disappointing season.