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Emery pays price for failing to revive Arsenal

Reuters/London
Filed on November 29, 2019
Unai Emery

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit's reaction to the news of Emery's departure was "it's about time."

Whoever replaced Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager always knew they would be stepping into extremely large boots and Spaniard Unai Emery never looked capable of filling them.

But it was not just the fact he was replacing "Mr Arsenal" - a manager who won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups in his 22-year reign - that made his task so onerous, it was the fact the club had been in decline for years.

Wenger's golden period was a fading memory and Arsenal's membership of the Premier League's "top-four" club had expired.

Emery needed a positive start to the new campaign but the opposite has been the case. Thursday's 2-1 home defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League means they are on a seven-match winless run in all competitions - their worst sequence since February 1992. They are eighth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of the top-four and the mood has become toxic. Any goodwill Emery retained has leaked away rapidly.

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit's reaction to the news of Emery's departure was "it's about time."

"The behaviour of the players, the team spirit, the selection, the substitutions, everything was wrong," the Frenchman said on Friday.

Former defender Martin Keown said a failure to act could have seen Arsenal face a relegation battle.

 


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