The chatter about the new manager appears to be hitting up and, as you’d expect, rumours surfacing about Nuno Esperito Santo from Wolves have resulted in his odds being slashed and some bookies no longer taking bets.
It feels like we’re at the beginning of the end here for Unai Emery and the only question is how long will this drag on? Will he be allowed to take control in a half-empty Emirates stadium on Thursday night? Because by the sounds of it that’s what we’re going to get when Frankfurt come to town. It was the ever-emptying stadium that had an impact on Arsène’s demise and it feels like we’re going to get the same for Emery too.
The Frankfurt game also feels like for many it would be acceptable “collateral damage” because it’ll be on tv, a cold and wet Thursday, yet the fans who have had enough (and that feels like most people) will just stay away to make some kind of point.
Whether or not we have a new man in charge by the Norwich game remains to be seen but people are putting two and two together and making five with regards to the fact that the players were given two days off after the Southampton game too, so that says to me that something’s-a-brewing at The Arsenal.
It makes sense. Josh was there on Saturday and he’d have seen the empty seats. He’d have seen the fan ire. He’d have been aware of the performance being terrible and if he’s got any brains about him he’d have seen players who have lost faith in their manager. Just look at how Lacazette responded to the equaliser. If the rumours of his and Aubameyang’s reluctance to sign deals whilst Emery is in charge is also true, then that’ll be just another reason for him to pull the trigger, because let’s not forget that the Kroenke’s primary driver has always been to maximise the value of their asset in Arsenal.
Well, if two of our prized assets won’t sign a new deal then that means that their value will be dwindling rapidly and if there’s a chance that can be salvaged by replacing the coach, KSE will also surely be looking at change to protect their asset value as a whole.
We are now at a point in which the reasons for keeping Emery appear to be as few as can count not just on one hand, but on one finger, which seems to be Raul Sanllehi’s finger. Sadly it appears he’s the last man that needs convincing because if rumours are true it’s Raul whole retains faith in Unai Emery. I’m not sure on what basis though. Is it because on a personal level they are very close? Are they good friends? Perhaps, but that shouldn’t get in the way of Raul making decisions based on what’s best for the club and let’s be honest, right now the best decision feels like a parting of the ways.
At this point I don’t know what it would take to keep Emery – or at least retain justification for doing so – because as it stands the form is so dire that unless he went on another 22 game unbeaten run which predominantly included victories throughout, it feels like that’s it for him. So if that’s the case, don’t chuck the new manager in at the deep end and give him games like Man City at home in a few weeks time when all hope appears to be lost. Give him a run of winnable games to see if he can salvage some belief in the team and fans and save the season from total collapse.
We play Norwich, Brighton and West Ham in our next three Premier League games. If we’re at the point in which we don’t think Unai can motivate his team – and I think we are – then surely we should give the next incumbent the best possible chance of success by giving them to him? Then, after an opportunity to pick the players up, we can look at the Christmas run in and see where this Arsenal team is at.
I hope the discussions that are taking place mention the word severance right now. And I hope Raul has accepted this is the only way before the season peters out before Christmas even hits.
Catch you all tomorrow.