Sometimes there is a turning point in a season that will be viewed after it’s ended as the factor that defined it. That can be in a positive or negative way of course but recent events at the Emirates are threatening to derail any aspirations of a top four finish that the club, it’s paymasters and Unai Emery had for Champions league football.
It’s now time for decisive action before that happens and there are quite a lot of things for under fire coach, Unai Emery to resolve. It needs action today, not the usual prolonged dithering that has often ruined a season.
Arsenal’s ponderous start to the campaign has seen them lapse into disarray and this week is crucial in terms of deeds and results. Emery needs to balance a spluttering side, low on confidence and stagnant in the league and dispense with his rules and convoluted tactics to get the gunners back on track.
At this rate it will be the Spaniards last season and with pressure mounting, he needs to adapt to the circumstances instead of being swept along with the football tide.
Emery will know that a few more embarrassing performances and poor results will damage his chances of a credible season and although his job isn’t instantly at risk, that will change should Arsenal fall further behind the chasing pack or languish in mid table.
It’s not like this is the same set of players and Emery has had to make do, the board have invested heavily in the hope of success and so far the difference has been negligible. Money doesn’t solve all the problems, we know that but there’s more to this than predicament than we are aware of because something vital is missing.
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Emery needs to find passion and determination inside his beleaguered dressing room and get back some much needed unity. There’s talk of unrest due to Ozil’s plight, the poor results and the endless tactical jiggery pokery which is bogging the club down.
As for the captaincy, it’s a side show and but it will need addressing this week and instead of most people’s favourite, Matteo Guendouzi, I’d give the armband to either Bellerin or Luiz. Luiz is respected and well liked in the squad and adds a vocal quality that will help galvanise Arsenal’s sloppy defence. They need a voice, they need direction and the odd bollocking !!
The Brazilian isn’t the player he once was but he will be the leader Arsenal need right now. I’d also add my voice to those suggesting he moves to a defensive midfield role because he is a decent passer of the ball with great vision.
The big worry is that Emery has a divine strike force but the goals aren’t going in, there’s no dominance or service and creativity is extremely poor.
If Emery had decided that Ozil’s career was over before the season started he should have drafted in Nabil Fekir, as a competitive, creative ball player. There was interest and Fakir would have been short term but he would have added a controlling and influential presence.
January is approaching and depending on where Arsenal are in the table and what is available at what price, this will determine whether Emery is active in the transfer window.
Emery has ridiculous amounts of work ahead and time is not on his side, he needs performances and results very, very quickly.