I’m going to say it first and then work backwards. Unai Emery needs to leave Arsenal ! There, it’s out, however, I am incredibly wary about the next move, even though it’s clear that Emery is a poor fit.
Social media is awash with a list of candidates to replace the Spaniard including Allegri and Arteta but it’s doubtful that Arsenal will do anything until the end of the season. Sometimes you have to stick rather than twist and at the moment it’s about stopping the rot.
Forget any fancy ideas of champions league qualification, about closing the gap for third and forth. This is now about avoiding an even bigger crisis that ends in mid table obscurity or worse still, getting dragged down towards the bottom.
Exaggeration ? Not on this form and with this level of performances. Unai Emery should even forget about the Europa league which has become something of a strange, inexplicable distraction, where results seem easier to come by than in the premier league.
The main objective of Emery is now the premier league and his ability to extract performances to consolidate their position.
Back to the position in which emery is, leaving him in his role may be a bad idea but let’s look at the alternatives. Arsenal could put Freddie Ljundberg in charge or one of the names that have been mentioned in the media and that may or may not make a difference but what’s really needed is stability, even if it doesn’t seem desirable.
You only have to look at when United got rid of David Moyes, they went through a period of massive upheaval which has probably created the worst United side in living memory. Arsenal could go the same way with the Emery scenario right now if they don’t get the next appointment right and to do that they need time.
That type of decision shouldn’t be made during the season because it’s more of a panic based or knee jerk reaction to circumstances.
Now before we start getting bogged down in defeat and despair, let’s console ourselves with a few positives. Arsenal have the bones of a decent side with plenty of attacking options and lots of emerging talent going forward. If Arsenal appoint wisely in the summer and make three further additions, the new manager/coach could make life very interesting.
All is not lost, it’s just in a state of flux and supporters would be well advised not to expect more than they are currently getting, if only to preserve their sanity and avoid disappointment.
If by some miracle Chelsea and Leicester manage to throw away the opportunity to finish in the top four and Arsenal can start winning consistently, then fans will have got what they least expected but realistically it’s over.
There are a few things that Emery can do immediately that will help. Firstly, he can stop the obsession of playing out from the back. It’s not working, it didn’t work last season and it’s not working this campaign for Emery and Arsenal. Secondly, Emery must find his best starting 11 and then persevere with it barring injuries.
Thirdly, he needs to be more assertive by picking a captain and vice captain and not leaving it in the hands of the players to select a leader. I’ve never known such brazen bullshit ! It’s a cop out and says much about Emery who once bemoaned Neymar’s influence at PSG.
Emery left there as expected, only to pick a fight with another high profile star (Ozil) at another club and then decided to let the players pick their skipper from a list of five, just on the evidence of this dereliction of duty, I’d quite happily sack Emery.
Emery is responsible for all aspects of on field activity and the players are paid employees of Arsenal football club. They are not to be included in any decision making because it creates a sense of misplaced power and an unmerited hierarchy, which could explain why the team is performing so badly. Too many chefs in the kitchen !!!
READ MORE :
Arsenal can assist Emery by employing an interpreter, if as rumored, he’s message to the players is becoming lost or seems confused. At this point of the season, anything is worth a try and seeing as they insist on paying staff such as video analysts, I’m sure they could stretch to an interpreter.
Lastly, Emery has to stop being so polite and assume control, he looks like a passenger at present and the only way he will survive this storm is to plot a course through it. He lacks authority, seems too amenable and polite at present. Let’s see some fight, some arrogance and some balls.
I’m not in favor of this touchy, feely, avuncular approach, I like to know that the players respect the man in charge and that they are respected in turn, which ultimately delivers results.
This snowflake approach of Emery is becoming an annoying part of the modern game and panders to the players ego’s. Get them playing football to their maximum potential even if, deep down, they resent the manager whilst at the same time, openly appreciating his ability. Success overcomes all manner of personal issues.
Finally, at boardroom level, the owner and his son need to start planning in advance for Emery’s departure and looking at the next phase of Arsenal’s rebuild.
They should have already had a meeting to look at time frames and discuss the various options at their disposal to replace the current coach, even if that appears to be somewhat unsympathetic to the Spaniard.
The board no doubt assumed that champions league football would provide a much needed revenue stream next season but they must now realise that it looks less likely on the evidence of what they’ve seen thus far.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Emery is the main problem at the Emirates but Arsenal have a nasty habit of making things more complicated than they need to be. In the short term, Emery stays, in the long term, he goes. Providing he can get results before the end of the year.