4 reasons why Unai Emery should be replaced by Arsenal
Arsenal aren't worthy of Wednesday night football, are they? Vitoria SC versus Arsenal kicked off on a Wednesday evening in Portugal and the Gunners came away with yet another disaster-class, mounting even more pressure on Unai Emery's shoulders in the process.
As plenty of fans and pundits claim, this Arsenal squad is clearly underachieving. The positivity that came with an early unbeaten run last season has since dissipated, much like the 'Emery-ball' which some Arsenal fans hailed. This season, comfortable wins have been few and far between for Arsenal.
Two UEFA Europa League wins over Eintracht Frankfurt and Standard Liege and a 5-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest at home are probably the only matches they've won convincingly. Unsurprisingly, Arsenal are yet to win a Premier League game by a margin of two goals or more this season, which pretty much sums up how poor the Gunners have been.
Raul Sanllehi and co. have a decision on their hands. Do they trust Emery till the end of the season or act quickly by sacking him in the coming international break and try to bring things back on track? As of now, under Emery, the squad hasn't shown any progress.
If this continues, Arsenal will at best have to spend yet another year in UEFA Europa League or even miss out on continental football if the slump is not stopped. Lack of UEFA Champions League football would eventually see players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette seek greener pastures.
Granit Xhaka's situation hasn't helped Unai Emery's cause either. Despite knowing that the Swiss international isn't a fan favourite, Emery decided to make him the captain and start him week in week out. The fans slowly started losing their patience when the coach refrained from dropping him, and they ended up taking out frustration through boos and sarcastic cheers on Xhaka, which instigated a terrible reaction from the captain.
And now, Emery decides to throw him under the bus by stripping him off the captaincy, which is not acceptable. Situations with Mesut Ozil, and how he has decided to put Nicolas Pepe into the mix since day 1 despite knowing he is young and has come from a relatively poor league, shows how baffling Emery's decision-making has been lately.
As an Arsenal fan, trying to be optimistic at this stage of the season is a very difficult task and many feel that the Spaniard has reached a point of no return. Emery seems to have lost the dressing room. Thus, sacking him is probably the need of the hour.
That said, here are 4 concrete reasons why Arsenal should part ways with the Spanish tactician.
#4 Arsenal lack identity
Rewinding to the Arsene Wenger era, if there is one thing Arsenal did flawlessly, it was playing with an identity. Wenger, despite all the criticism and hate he received from the fanbase in his latter years at Arsenal, never switched to a pragmatic brand of football and often stuck to his philosophy, i.e playing free-flowing attacking football.
Although Wenger struggled to win games consistently, scoring goals was never a problem. Right now, Arsenal are neither winning games nor are they able to produce beautiful football, which is worrying.
Arsene Wenger laid down his marker at the club and Arsenal were one of the most exciting teams in world football under his tutelege, which is why the fans feel entitled to watch attacking football at the Emirates.
Last season, Unai Emery imposed his ideas quickly into the squad and Arsenal played some brilliant, eye-catching football as they went on a 22-game unbeaten run in the first half of the campaign. However, their season fell apart after horrible defeats to Wolves, Crystal Palace and Leicester City, followed by long-term injuries to Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin.
Unai Emery's first season wasn't the best, but they were far from terrible and Arsenal were only behind Man City and Liverpool in 'most goals scored' in the league. This season, Arsenal sit 7th in most goals scored after 11 games, a poor return considering the attacking talent they have at their disposal.