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The Standard – Kenya: Unai Emery edging closer to Arsenal exit amid growing boardroom unrest | The Standard

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Arsenal are currently on their worst run for over 20 years. [Courtesy]

Unai Emery is clinging to his job as Arsenal manager amid growing concern at the boardroom level.

Arsenal are stuck in their worst run of results in more than 20 years – after going six games without a win – and Emery is under no illusion that unless things improve quickly then he will be left facing the sack.

It comes amid an angry backlash as Arsenal fans demand Emery is axed with supporters booing the team off after their 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Southampton at the Emirates on Saturday.

Arsenal now have a run of four games which could decide Emery’s fate as they entertain Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday, go to struggling Norwich next Sunday and then have two more Premier League games with Brighton and West Ham.

The club have been reluctant to make a change mid-season and even took the unprecedented step two weeks ago of making a public show of support with a joint statement from managing director Vinai Venkatesham and head of football Raul Sanllehi.

That position has not changed in the wake of the draw with Southampton but, from a position where they were determined to give Emery time and the rest of the season, it is now clear the Arsenal manager is running out of time.

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The Gunners needed a late equaliser to get a point against Southampton. [Courtesy]

Mirror Sport revealed before Arsenal’s defeat at Leicester Emery was facing a make-or-break month with the board making it clear they expect a top-four finish this season.

After backing Emery heavily in the transfer market in the summer, they believe the squad is good enough to make the Champions League but they are eight points off the pace and missing out again would also be a huge financial strain.

It is believed they are ready to take the first steps at looking for potential replacements should they make a change but publicly they are determined to stay resolutely behind Emery.

Pochettino’s sacking has heaped the pressure on Emery. [Courtesy]

Tottenham sacking Mauricio Pochettino has seemingly turned up the heat on Emery and many Arsenal fans have been calling for the ex-Spurs boss to be installed.

While there are admirers of Pochettino at Arsenal, it would seem unlikely that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy would not have tried to stop him managing their rivals in any exit agreement.

The more likely option could see club legends Freddie Ljungberg and Steve Bould – both already on the club’s coaching staff – take temporary charge until they get their No1 managerial target. They could go back for Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta in the long term.

Mikrl Arteta narrowly missed out on the job when Emery was Arteta was appointed. [Courtesy]

But Arsenal’s determination to stick with Emery for now comes from Sanllehi who still believes the ex-Paris Saint Germain boss can turn things around and regards him as his “man” and wants to give him every chance to succeed.

There are voices of concern and dissent among older board members who are losing faith in Emery with Sanllehi and technical director Edu knowing their reputations are also on the line.

 

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