by Matt Lorrimer-Roberts (@MattLR28)
It’s been less then an unexpected turn of events at Arsenal since the start of the season for fans, players and even the head coaches. Our current form in the league reads in our previous five matches lost two, drawn three and won none. In the same time we have conceded eight goals compared to our five goals scored. At the start of the season I wrote a guest piece to explain that I would stand by the manager no matter what. These words have possibly come to haunt me.
At the time of writing we find the Gunners eighth in the league, eight points off top four and a goal difference of ten. This is hard to take; considering that other teams have decided to take action earlier on in the season or during the international break.
As the season has continued and during the last time we won (a one nil victory v Bournemouth) there have been calls for action from the board through different means of podcasts, social media and other various avenues. On this current run the pressure is all on one man: Unai Emery. Right now he has been unable to communicate effectively (or arguably at all) when confronted by the media after games. This has left some fans to start the same old call that haunted Arsène before he left us. #EmeryOut has started.
It is becoming the same old from some Arsenal fans. The best way to describe it is ‘The Chelsea Method’: fans wanting success and if it doesn’t come then put the blame on the manager or head coach until the new one comes along. The issue with this method is you’re expecting things to go smoothly through active transitions. The win-at-all-costs method has had backlashes for clubs such as Portsmouth and even post-Ferguson at Manchester United. If you want a manager out, there is no issue I have over this.
Recently the board have shown support for Emery, it is my own opinion that they will expect the team and Unai to do better over in December. If not then I can see the hammer falling for the current head coach.
Arsenal’s next two league games and even the Europa League fixture against Frankfurt will be seen as pivotal points for the season.
A win in the Europa League can be seen as huge with qualification on the line and would provide a bit of breathing space and additionally bring some much needed morale boost. Our next two league games are away to Norwich and home to Brighton. Two teams that we should be beating. However, if we continue on a winless path I could see us losing more faith in our team.
For all of these games you would have to consider which players to play and the formation and stick with it. Last season Unai was able swap and change things and get away with it at times to win games. It seems that teams are quickly figuring out his plans and attempting to dismantle them as quickly as they can. This is becoming frustrating to see on and off the pitch.
Players have been pulling antics that seem to cut deep into Unai and have possibly caused some unrest for the other players. I don’t know what the deadline is before the hammer falls for Unai, but I imagine by end of January we could see a new head coach in place if we continue to spiral into a lower position in the table. I may have backed Unai at the start of the season but now I am sitting on the fence because I don’t know if there is anyone out there that we can bring in at this moment in time.
A football lover from an early age, who began to support Arsenal in my early years. I never got to go to Highbury to see any games or even the tour, something I wished I was able to do. I play disability football as well and appreciate the support that the Arsenal Foundation has given the local community, which I have raised money for previously.