Morning all. It’s the start of another week, after another shoddy performance from Arsenal this weekend and yesterday after the sh*tshow we were subjected to up at Leicester, what none of us needed was an Ornbomb to scupper any hopes of Unai Emery being displaced.
He’s a credible source – always has been – and the fact that yesterday David Ornstein dropped an article, in the wake of the 2-0 defeat to Leicester that the board would not sack Emery now, just felt like another blow to every Arsenal fan. Well, every Arsenal fan who want the manager gone, that’s for sure.
I think what has also got the backs up of most of us is some of the sound bites that Ornstein has used (which has clearly come from the club). To describe current fan displeasure Ornstein said the club viewed it as ‘noise’ and intimated that they wouldn’t react based on some of that noise.
In some respects I understand. You can’t run a football club based on whether or not the fans want x or y to happen. But to simply dismiss us as a collective as ‘noise’ is a mistake of gargantuan proportions in my opinion. The match day going fan still – despite what football authorities are trying to do with VAR, fixture scheduling and alike – has a very important part to play in helping the team and the longer this utterly turgid football goes on, the more fans will start to turn away, because apathy will set in.
It set in with Wenger. Empty seats started appearing and the board and admin team started paying attention. What started as fan irritation and frustration quickly turned to apathy and that is going to start happening very soon. Social media is not a panacea for all Arsenal fan sentiment, but it is a litmus test for how the fan base is feeling and if I’m honest, right now it feels like everyone is united in the desire to see Emery gone.
The powers that be at the club are not blind to fan sentiment. They surely can’t be. But to dismiss it as ‘noise’ is dangerous in my opinion because blame will soon start shifting not towards Emery, but also towards those that continue to keep him in employment.
As it stands right now there is a lot of goodwill towards Raul and Edu. They have helped to facilitate a very good summer transfer window in which it felt like the business we did was good. In the eyes of the fans they armed the manager with the best possible chance to get Champions League and right now it feels like he is the one who is failing to uphold his end of the bargain. He is failing to coach, motivate and drive his players to success. But the longer that it becomes obvious that he is failing in his duty yet remaining in charge, the more goodwill towards the likes of Raul in particular, will eek away.
This international window appears to be the perfect time to make a change. Thereafter there are three games that you’d say a new manager has a real chance to get wins (Southampton at home, Norwich away, Brighton at home) on the board and start to build momentum ahead of a really hard Christmas schedule. But keeping Emery in charge runs the risk of going into that Christmas schedule with probably no chance of a Champions League campaign next season.
Imagine if we lost or drew to Southampton, the worst team in the division right now, then don’t pick up maximum points away to Norwich? We’d be at the end of the so-called ‘easy run’ with a manager who has failed, probably would be sacked, then we’d be asking a new guy to come in under some of the toughest fixtures and circumstances of the season.
It’s why making this decision now, being decisive now, is of paramount importance for the remainder of this season to be salvaged. The club think people like me are perhaps being slightly melodramatic and yes, there is time to turn around the current situation, but we have enough evidence to show Emery hasn’t done it all season and by not pulling the trigger now we run the risk of being too far gone with a season effectively over by January in my opinion.
The goodwill remains for Raul, Edu et al, but keeping Emery in a job by the time December hits would be a big mistake and could have people turn on them sooner than expected too.
Let’s hope the ‘noise’ from Ornstein was a smokescreen for some action. Soon.