If it isn’t a ‘win or bust’ for Emery in the next four games…it should be…
Morning all. It’s Tuesday, there’s still a whole heap of the week ahead of match day, and this part of the international breaks are always the worst. This is the part where any residue news from before the international break has dried up, the team news ahead of Saturday is still a few days away, the hopes of getting anything interesting Arsenal-related to talk about also appear to be slim.
So naturally one looks to the upcoming fixtures and begins to ‘project’ and, what with Ornstein also talking on the Athletic about there not being any concrete timeframe for improvements in performance and results set down by the Arsenal board for Emery, you have to look at this next run of fixtures and consider how ‘make it break’ it could be.
Had we found a bit of form before now maybe we could be talking about cementing our place in the top four and with Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester all teams that we really should have been looking at picking up points at, we should be in the middle of a momentum run ahead of a tough Christmas schedule.
As it is we’re asking questions as to how long the manager has. And rightly too. For me every single one of those games has to be a ‘win or bust’ and a single slip up means he needs to have his position questioned. In isolation that sounds harsh; every team slips up and no team is perfect, but unfortunately given performances this season it already feels like this Arsenal team has had its ‘slip ups’. We’ve already used our ‘lives’ on numerous occasions and the goodwill from the summer has already been cashed in by Emery. The only way he begins to claw some back is to win football matches but, unfortunately for him, he needs to win a lot of football matches to get fans just to stop baying for his blood. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
So for me it’s simple: 12 points out of 12 in the next four Premier League matches and we can talk about repairing some of the damaged relationship that has slowly worked itself to a crescendo with an abject performance away at Leicester and then some baffling post match press conference talking up how the team are completing their tasks as Emery asks them to.
We were talking last night on the radio about the game on Saturday and whilst presenter Charlie was admitting to “just the three points”, Dave and I were both in agreement that he needs a performance. I hate to dredge up the past management regime but four or five years ago after a spell of poor performances this is the sort of game that Arsène would have locked down. It would be a hammering of a team like Southampton – a good side but currently bottom of the league and low on confidence – and it would feel like the players’ fragile confidence was restored. Under Unai Emery I cant even remember the last time in the league we delivered such a comprehensive victory. It certainly hasn’t been this season and with 12 games played already, you’d expect a team supposedly at the top of the division and fighting for Champions League football to have delivered by now.
It’s time to lay down a marker and that has to begin at the start of this mini run through to Christmas that we have. Nothing less than three points should be deemed acceptable and any dropped points at the weekend, next weekend or the weekend after, so cost the manager his job. He’s had his chances to fix the mess that we’ve delivered this season and now it’s about results and end product. No more chances and no more leniency.
Do the business, stay in a job. Long term we need to look at who the next guy needs to be but right now we need to just come together and unite to drag everyone over the line of victories. Play our part, then see if this Arsenal team and manager can do their bit.
Catch you all tomorrow.
- Southampton at home
- Norwich away
- Brighton at home
- West Ham away