Pressure builds on Emery after Frankfurt loss
Arsenal manager Unai Emery is under more pressure this weekend following Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates Stadium in their penultimate Europa League group game.
Two goals from Daichi Kamada proved to be enough to give Frankfurt the win, extending the Gunners’ winless run to seven games, their longest since 1992.
At the end of the game, it appeared that the Spanish manager made some type of gesture towards the home crowd, many of whom had been jeering him as well as holding up ‘Emery Out’ signs, as the mood inside the Emirates turned ugly
Arsenal went into the game as clear favourites with sports betting companies, and they had the better of the first half, dominating the play, and eventually getting the breakthrough just before half-time with a goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
In fact, the German visitors came up with just one effort at goal during the first half, yet they seemed to be a different team after the interval, and levelled the game on 55 minutes thanks to a powerful shot from the edge of the area by Kamada, before taking the lead nine minutes later with another superb shot from outside the box by the Japan international.
The Gunners are currently 19 points off the pace set by Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, and have won only four of 13 in the league, but the Europa League had given Emery a welcome distraction from the difficulties of the domestic football, and Arsenal are still on course to reach the knock-out stages, as long as they avoid a heavy defeat in their final group game.
However, this was a dispiriting second-half performance from an Arsenal side who have plenty of attacking potential but have shown an alarming tendency to relinquish strong positions, and in recent games, the impatience of Arsenal fans has developed into outright hostility towards the manager.
With the media openly discussing potential replacements for Emery, most notably Nuno Espírito Santo, the club may decide to act sooner rather than later.
In Emery’s favour is the fact that the club will be back in action relatively quickly, with a game against Norwich City on Sunday, and they also have a run of relatively easy fixtures, against Brighton & Hove Albion, West Ham United and Standard Liege, before they take on Manchester City in the middle of December, but whether he will still be in charge of the team at that stage remains to be seen.
Words: Man Ngo