David Ornstein, the ultimate authority on all things Arsenal, has just revealed that the club are 100% behind Unai Emery and that he will not be sacked.
If this was from anyone else, I would be doubting these reports but as we all know, what Ornstein says is the truth.
So where do we go from here?
We’ve just lost to Leicester City, we’re 9 points off 4th place and our season is already on the way to being a complete disaster. Yet, the people making the big money at the club – Edu, Raul Sanllehi, Vinai Venkatesham and Josh Kroenke, are all supporting a manager who is clearly out of his depth.
What are they thinking? Do they not watch the same football we see week in week out? Are they ignoring all the hard statistics which show how awful our season is going? As another club owner has said before, what are they smoking over there at The Emirates?
The other sad part of all of this is that the board seem to think that the discontent from the fans is just ‘noise’ and that basically, what the fans think is irrelevant.
Well, if that’s the case then, we should stop going to the games and show the board that we’re serious in making sure the right decision is made at the club.
Because every man and their dog knows Arsenal are in free fall right now.
Look, it’s a sad state of affairs to let it get to this point and the whole Unai Emery / Arsenal captain situation was just a ridiculous sequence of mistakes. Letting the players vote for their captain? And then having 5 captains? What on earth was that all about?
Would I be sad or disappointed if Xhaka left Arsenal.
To be quite honest, no.
Personally I would be happy if he left, because while I’m sure he’s a nice enough guy, I feel that his influence on the team and the squad is too much. As I’ve posted previously, his influence at Arsenal is akin to John Terry at Chelsea. So if a figure like that left the club, I have no doubt that we would be in a much better place.
As well as that, he just isn’t good enough. He can’t tackle, doesn’t have any pace and can’t lead the team effectively. His presence in the team means that our midfield is already disadvantaged and pedestrian. Xhaka leaving Arsenal would solve a lot of our problems.
Plus, he’s still at an age where we’d get something back for him, so for me it’s a complete no brainer!
Let’s just hope he can find a suitor to stump up for him, and honestly if a team offered anything over £20 million, I’d snap their arm off.
Since the start of the season, things have started to unravel at Arsenal.
Things weren’t great in the closing chapters of last season, when our Premier League form was disastrous and we somehow missed out on 4th place, after dropping points against teams we should have easily beaten – and then we collapsed in the Europa League final.
It all started when Laurent Koscielny went on strike.
When has a player ever gone on strike at Arsenal? We’ve had issues with players like Ashley Cole, Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor, but they’ve never refused to play or follow club orders. After 22 years under Arsene Wenger, this was a first and it was under Unai Emery.
With Koscielny’s departure, went our captain. And if losing our best defender wasn’t enough, it spawned another problem. Who would be the next Arsenal captain?
The fans seemed to have a good idea. We watch our team week in, week out, and some obvious candidates appeared. Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin would have been popular choices, and there were even shouts for players such as Lacazette and Aubameyang, who had a lot of fight and desire, and would lead by example.
But what started was one of the strangest things we’ve ever seen – Emery would conduct a players vote.
Unai Emery couldn’t make a decision that a manager should be making, showing his lack of authority and lack of decisiveness in the process.
And the million dollar question, why is this?
We know Granit Xhaka was annoyed that Emery didn’t just name him captain as soon as Koscielny left, with the process taking a couple of months. It has been rumoured that Emery asked at least one other player if they would be interested in being captain but they refused, resulting in the captaincy eventually going to Xhaka.
The players vote resulted in Granit Xhaka getting the most votes, and it’s clear that he is hugely popular in the dressing room.
Who does that sound like?
Is it that Granit Xhaka has too much power at Arsenal? Here are the facts:
He is loved and respected by his fellow players
He refuses to apologise for his unacceptable actions, despite the club telling him he should do so
He won’t relinquish the captaincy
He has constantly undermined the manager
He always gets picked, despite being out of form
The last few weeks have been revealing. Emery has stated several times that Xhaka should apologise – Xhaka refuses to apologise. Emery hasn’t stripped Xhaka of the captaincy – because Xhaka wants to remain Arsenal captain. Xhaka has made mistakes and played poorly this season – Emery is too scared to drop him.
People have been quick to judge Emery and say that he lacks authority, but it appears to me that Granit Xhaka has too much power and has gone power mad. He is like a John Terry figure who for whatever reason, is loved by his teammates, apparently, and we know that some of the senior players went to his house after his outburst at the Crystal Palace game.
What will happen next between player and manager? Well if things continue as they are then it won’t be Granit Xhaka leaving, that’s for sure.
The last few weeks have given Arsenal fans an opportunity to reflect on what is happening at the club.
We had a positive summer, brought in Pepe, Ceballos, Luiz and Tierney, and expectations were high. But we’re 10 games into the new season and even well before this point, the vultures (myself included) have called for Unai Emery to be sacked.
I have been vocal in saying that Emery should leave Arsenal. But that’s because I believe that he is struggling at the club and isn’t the right man to take Arsenal forward.
And in saying that, I haven’t been involved in broadcasting any personal abuse or attacks, or left any disgusting comments on the social media profiles of our players or manager.
There is a distinct difference between criticising a manager and player for under performing and not being at the required level, and that is what I have always done. But it’s another thing sending horrible, personal and disgusting abuse to them online – and there is a section of our fanbase who do just that.
But even though I’m not involved in any of the horrendous abuse both Emery and Xhaka have received, I still need to look at myself.
This is what I posted on Twitter last summer, when Arsene Wenger left the club and we brought in Unai Emery:
When I wrote that status, my mind was clear. Arsene Wenger had left Arsenal and it was simple common sense that a new manager, whoever that was going to be, would need time to put his own stamp on the club and implement change. So why, barely after one season have I changed my opinion?
Should I get my act together and stand by my previous convictions?
In Emery’s latest press conference, it was difficult to watch. Here was a person talking about the Wolves match, who also talked about trying his best to get the team to play well and win back the support of the stadium.
And I think the big lesson Arsenal fans need to take away from the last month or so is that the manager, players and staff at the club are all human beings. There is no excuse to leave abuse online to anyone, whether they’re in football or not. We have become so used to social media that some people think it’s okay to send disgusting or vile comments online.
I’ve looked through the comments on Unai Emery’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, and the comments left on there are shameful. The same goes for the comments left on Granit Xhaka’s Instagram page. We all know Mustafi switched off comments on his Instagram page because all he was receiving was constant abuse.Paragraph
I think Arsenal fans have forgotten that we should support our team through thick and thin. The instant nature of Arsenal news and opinion has skewed the whole landscape.
Do you think fan favourites such as David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Martin Keown, Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, etc. never had a bad game?
People will remember that Tony Adams had all kinds of issues in the early nineties – imagine what his situation would have been like if there had been social media around? I would hazard a guess that he wouldn’t have come back like he did and win a further 2 Premier League titles and 2 FA Cups. In today’s society, he would have been abused, there’s no doubt about it.
And what about David Seaman? How would have fans reacted online to his mistake in the Cup Winners Cup final in 1995? He would have been vilified like Loris Karius was after his mistakes in a European final. And look where he is now, he was quickly shipped out of Liverpool and that mistake has defined his career.
We all need to think about social media in a more considered light and take a look at ourselves when using it. For Arsenal, there is a bigger picture and we should all be coming together to support the team and the club.
It’s clear to see that Unai Emery and Arsenal is a relationship that isn’t working.
When Unai Emery first came in, he talked a good game. Actually, scratch that, he talked a great game.
I remember when Ivan Gazidis revealed that Emery would be the next Arsenal manager, I was impressed with what the Spaniard had to say. He talked about having a detailed dossier on every Arsenal player, he talked about how he can improve each player and also discussed how Arsenal can improve overall as a team.
But since that faithful day 18 months ago, things have actually got worse. Much worse.
Under Arsene Wenger we were a free flowing attacking team, that couldn’t defend. Now, we’re a team that still can’t defend but now are sterile in attack. We have a player in Aubameyang who is a world class striker but he can’t score goals because he doesn’t get any service. If he was at Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City or even Leicester City, he’d be scoring at least a goal a game. Against Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, he’s been starved of any service.
It’s obvious things aren’t working out, and I would be stunned if Edu, Raul and the rest of the executive team weren’t sounding out possible replacements. They have to be surely?
And looking at the recent reports, there seems to be 10 names in the frame at the moment.
So below, I have listed the 10 managers who are rumoured to be on our radar:
But who would you like to see as Arsenal’s next manager? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!