It’s not a secret that Arsenal have underperformed this season. Despite the fact they remain undefeated and close to secure a spot in the UEFA Europa League knockout stages, their Premier League campaign has been a massive disappointment. The Gunners took another step in the wrong direction this Saturday, after losing 2-0 to Leicester City at King Power Stadium.
With the loss, Arsenal extended their winless run in the Premier League to four games (D2, L2). They might sit in 6th place of the standings with 17 points, but time is quickly running out for the Spanish tactician. Simply put, Emery has no credit left at Arsenal. The former PSG manager has shown the same deficiencies that made him depart from the Ligue 1 giants in the first place.
Instead of taking the blame for the team’s poor performances, Emery has chosen to repeat the same speech over and over again. He said the squad needs time, mentioned the fact that are many young players on the side, and that they are on the right track.
The former Sevilla and PSG boss also touched on off-the-pitch “circumstances” that haven’t helped his side’s performances so far this season. But let’s face it. The Granit Xhaka situation is not going to justify the team’s struggles in recent weeks.
Emery’s words have not helped him of late
Making things even more complicated, Emery does not want to accept he’s doing things the wrong way. In fact, Emery responded with a “yes” when he was asked if he believes that the club are behind him given the side’s lacklustre performances lately.
“We need time. We need patience. We changed a lot of players. We have young players. We know we are in our way and very demanding and very ambitious in our targets. But also, we know that we need time and patience”, Emery said following the loss at Leicester on Saturday.
“We are going to achieve with young players, experienced players and we had a lot of circumstances that did not help us to achieve the best performance, the best result. With patience and being consistent we are going to do it”, he added. Apparently, Emery knows the team is on the right track. But is he the right man to lead them to the promised land? That does not appear to be the case, it seems.
The “young players” are not the issue, though…
Emery is right, Arsenal do have several young players. But they also have Sokratis, David Luiz, Hector Bellerin, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. They signed Nicolas Pepe this summer, but the Ivorian has not settled as expected in the Emirates Stadium. He can’t blame all the struggles on the presence of young players. Chelsea are the best example of that. Frank Lampard is under his first year managing in the Premier League. However, he has done a far better job compared to Emery’s at Arsenal.
Emery tends to struggle reading the development of football matches. He takes way too much time to make changes, and does not have a risky attitude when making substitutions. Often, his changes aim to keep the structure of the team instead of trying something different. That approach might work with smaller sides. However, it’s not successful when leading clubs such as PSG and Arsenal. As a manager, you must have ideas to turn things around if games get complicated out of nowhere. Emery has not accomplished that, and fails time and time again when he has the chance.
The solution is clear. Emery needs to leave Arsenal as soon as possible. Even though it’s not positive to change managers midway through the season, the Spaniard does not have any more credit left. The Gunners should bring an experienced if they want to remain alive in the race for a UEFA Champions League berth. Simply put, Emery does not seem able to lead them anymore.