It just goes to show how harsh the world of football can be after Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham. It also made Unai Emery even more likely to face the gallows should Arsenal’s horrendous form continue.
There is very little difference between the path of the two sides at this point in time, just three points in fact and a plus 1 goal difference. If you were the manager of Arsenal reading this fact, you wouldn’t be looking any further ahead than the next game.
For the Arsenal board, the pool of replacement managers has suddenly decreased within days. Mourinho has replaced Pochettino and Luis Enrique has returned to his Spanish international adventure after the tragic death of his daughter.
If Arsenal are to end Emery’s spell at the Emirates and they choose to ignore the general misplaced suggestion of Pochettino, they may have to be more creative to find a replacement.
Everyone has a replacement in mind but it’s unlikely it will be a name on which everyone will agree. As much as I’d like to say Massimiliano Allegri, I think Mikel Arteta or Rafa Benitez are probably the more likely candidates for the role.
Arsenal’s bitter rivals acted decisively but also despicably, by apparently sounding out the Argentinian’s replacement some weeks ago at a clandestine meeting to apparently set a time frame on forthcoming events. It remains to be seen if the Gunners overlords will follow suit.
The failure in both the league and Champions League final virtually sealed the fate of Pochettino last season, but it has been the toxicity of the dressing room that has poisoned results and fractured the team. His inability to regain control and be assertive was ultimately the reason for Spurs failure and his dismissal and Emery is walking in the footprints of the Argentinian in this respect.
The dressing room at Arsenal has been lost and there seems to be little point in denying it. The players are a desperately unhappy group, with divisions widening by the day, how much longer can it be allowed to go on ?
In terms of morality, Arsenal have been on road that has seen them lose their class long ago, so there’s little doubt that despite the pledges of support, the Spanish coach will be gone if the game against Southampton goes horribly wrong.
The problem is that any result other than a string of wins will eventually bring about Emery’s departure, so in relative terms he’s in an unwinnable position. He’s a man on the end of a plank. Below him are the icy waters and behind him the sword…hardly a choice.
At the moment, it’s difficult to look beyond the next game but time is running out for Arsenal to produce a recovery that will turn their season around. The competition continues to turn the screws by piling on the pressure with each win and with each persuasive performance.
If you had to call it today, Arsenal wouldn’t be much higher in the premiership than they already are and it will be deeply embarrassing for them if Mourinho begins to transform their neighbours after such a desperate campaign. That won’t go down well with fans.