Premier League 2019-20: 5 managers who could replace Unai Emery at Arsenal
The past week has been a very controversial affair for Arsenal and the people at the club. Losing at the home of a promoted side, somehow clawing their way back against a pretty average Portuguese team at home before throwing away a two-goal lead against Crystal Palace. Add to that the theatricals of Granit Xhaka, their captain who has become public enemy number one and the state of affairs look pretty abysmal. They had the chance to right the wrongs at Anfield last night but yet again threw away 2-goal leads twice to bow out of the Carabao Cup on penalties against a second string Liverpool side.
Their away form is dismal with just one win on the road in the Premier League this season. Their home form is not great either with unconvincing wins over Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Burnley. The Gunners have put in a lot of insipid performances this season and the team looks has never looked more disjointed. They have scored only 15 goals while conceding 14 in only 10 games. Such numbers are not good enough for a side with top four aspirations.
Pressure is mounting on Unai Emery to steady the ship but there are no signs of any significant improvement or development. Arsenal are currently in fifth place, four points adrift of Chelsea in fourth place. Liverpool and Manchester City seem to set for the top two places, and even Leicester and Chelsea look miles ahead of Arsenal, despite having new managers.
Both Leicester and Chelsea have managers with a clear philosophy, a clear reason why those two teams are playing eye-catching football. They are reaping rewards of sticking to their principles and have a young but settled team. On the other hand, even after 16 months in the job, Emery does not have a clear idea about his first XI. The constant chopping and changing has not worked and as a result, Arsenal has been left lurching in disarray.
The Mesut Ozil saga is not helping him either, with fans angered over the treatment of Mesut Ozil. After being neglected for four weeks, Emery drafted Ozil into the squad at Anfield in the Carabao Cup. Inspite of playing for just 66 minutes, Ozil put in a Man of the Match performance. His substitution left fans scratching their heads as his presence would have helped Arsenal close out the match.
Emery has very little time to win over the fans and turn around the fortunes of his side. He is on borrowed time and if the results don't go their way in the coming matches, the Arsenal board may have to look at other alternatives. Here are five managers who can replace Unai Emery should the need arise.
#5. Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta was considered as the man to replace Arsene Wenger and take Arsenal forward. He had the required qualities too. He was a great servant ay Arsenal for five seasons and captained the team in two of those seasons. He knew the club inside out and was a respected figure at the Emirates. Wenger himself had stated that Mikel Arteta was manager material and one day would make it to the top. The only thing that went against him was the lack of relative experience in the job.
Arteta rejected a one-year extension at Arsenal to start his coaching career as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. He could not resist the chance to work with one of the greatest managers of all time. Pep himself has spoken highly of him as a manager and admired his man-managing skills.
Now, with a couple of seasons under his belt as an assistant manager, time could be ripe for Arteta to take the next step in his fledgling career.