It has been told that the atmosphere at Arsenal during the past few weeks has been so tense that it has in fact become uncomfortable to be around
Unai Emery is under enormous pressure and defeat against Frankfurt in the Europa League might spell the end of his job in Arsenal
He is now in the last chance saloon. Six games without a win have left him on the brink and another poor result on Thursday night may spell the end of his time in north London.
Unai Emery was stood on his own in the centre of one of London Colney’s finely manicured training pitches, clipboard grasped firmly in hand, without a single member of Arsenal’s playing squad or coaching staff within 20 metres of him.
Despite being in place for more than 18 months now – Emery has failed to build up any sort of bond with his players. There is no loyalty there, none of them will shed a tear if he is replaced. And the same goes for the majority of those who work around the club.
But from that moment onwards, Emery’s focus turned away from his squad and centred on doing the jobs you would expect the lower ranking members of his coaching staff to have been doing.
In an era when man-management skills are key to a coach’s success, Emery’s insistence on focusing on the minute details make it extremely difficult for him to strike up relationships on anything but a professional level.
At Liverpool and Manchester City you sense that the players would run through brick walls for Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, whereas at Arsenal it is the complete opposite.
oal has been told that the atmosphere at Arsenal during the past few weeks has been so tense that it has in fact become uncomfortable to be around.
There is now an acceptance amid staff that Emery will be replaced and that it is now just a matter of time before the news is announced.
It was hardly the unequivocal backing you would expect, although perhaps not surprising when you consider Emery publicly stated just a couple of months ago that it would be better for Mustafi that he left the club.
This really does feel like the end of days for Arsenal’s head coach now. When it was his turn to answer questions from the press, the defiant Emery we had seen just a few weeks ago had been replaced by a man who looked drained and tired.
“My future is today and tomorrow,” he said, when asked about reports that Arsenal had started to sound out potential replacements.
“My job is to prepare for the match. We are playing at home with our supporters so we want to transmit our energy, our game plan and everything we work on here at the training ground. Those are my only thoughts.”