Today’s national newspapers make grim reading for Arsenal supporters:
Arsenal players have lost faith in head coach Unai Emery and do not believe he is the man to salvage their season.
Emery is under increasing pressure following another poor performance and result against relegation-threatened Southampton, and there is a growing feeling among the squad that he should be replaced.
Arsenal players are confused by Emery’s selections, tactics and instructions, and believe the team has no identity under the Spaniard.
Arsenal would be interested in talking to Mikel Arteta and Massimiliano Allegri as potential replacements for Unai Emery, who looks increasingly likely to leave the club.
Before the abject 2-2 draw at home to Southampton on Saturday, Arsenal had been determined to stick by head coach Emery until the end of the season but their position has shifted amid mounting concern in the boardroom and anger from supporters.
One of several Premier League managers whose days look numbered, Unai Emery is cutting an increasingly isolated figure at the cauldron of seething dissatisfaction that is the Emirates Stadium. Max Allegri and Mikel Arteta are both being touted as potential replacements.
Arsenal fans have issued a strongly-worded statement accusing the hierarchy of “rudderless” leadership which has left the club “floating aimlessly.”
The angry backlash comes from the same set of supporters who issued a powerful online #WeCareDoYou campaign in July against owner Stan Kroenke and the club’s board.
The fan statement does not directly call for under-pressure Emery to be sacked but, instead, takes aim at the Kroenke ownership and warns about falling attendances, a lack of direction on and off the pitch and the club losing its identity.
The lackluster 1-1 draw against Southampton saw Arsenal’s miserable run of form stretch to six winless games across all competitions for the first time in 21 years.
During the latter stages of the match, with Raul Sanllehi and Edu watching from the directors’ box, sections of the fanbase began chanting ‘we want Emery out’. However, after the game, the Independent revealed that Emery will still be given more time to turn around his sinking ship, despite the players’ reaction to their last-gasp equaliser appearing to show their disconnect towards the manager.
The end for Emery feels inevitable, but after Jose Mourinho joined north London rivals Tottenham, who could the Spaniard on a permanent basis?
Despite the Independent’s report that Emery is to be given more time, these stories are clear evidence of a wave building that is going to break sooner or later. And when it does, Emery will be washed away.
Even if you believe he could turn round our fortunes given enough time, sometimes the external pressure is so great that it cannot be ignored. This is one of those times.
The club are never going to say “we’re looking for a new manager right now”, so when the announcement comes that the current coach is being fired it will be very sudden. Maybe even this week.
Brace for change, would be my advice.