Arsenal lost their first two games under the Spaniard against Man City and Chelsea but followed that up with a 22-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Who is to blame for Arsenal’s struggles? Five key things to know…
- After Arsene Wenger ended his 22-year reign as Arsenal manager, Unai Emery took the reins in May.
- The Gunners lost to Man City and Chelsea in his first two games but went a 22-game unbeaten run followed.
- However, Arsenal have won just three of their last eight, losing 1-0 to West Ham in their last game.
- Jamie Carragher has levelled the blame for Arsenal’s struggles at the club’s board of directors.
- Carragher feels Stan Kroenke is particularly liable, suggesting the American has “had it easy for too long”.
That run was ended with a 3-2 defeat away to Southampton in December, starting a sequence of just three wins and one clean sheet in their last eight games.
But former Liverpool defender Carragher believes the blame cannot be levelled at Emery, believing the former Sevilla boss has “inherited a shambles”.
“When Unai Emery took over at Arsenal, we wondered what legacy he had been left. Now it is clear. He inherited a shambles,” Carragher told The Telegraph.
“An imbalanced squad, inconsistent star player, extravagant contracts way above market value, a highly-rated international running down his deal, a chief executive on his way out and a head of recruitment who, having made errors in a short period, is on the verge of leaving.
“Emery has a mess to clean up. Worse still, there is no money available to start that lengthy process.”
Carragher then picked out Stan Kroenke and the Arsenal board as the main culprits, suggesting their failings were consistently covered up by Wenger guiding the club into the Champions League year-on-year.
“The muddled thinking at boardroom level at The Emirates has been exposed,” he added.
“Throughout my career Arsenal were admired as low key but smart operators. They were a club that seemed to do things in the right way, the blueprint for others to copy.
“Now I am not sure how much of that was a mirage – certainly in the last few years of Wenger’s reign. Wenger’s success consistently qualifying for the Champions League evidently allowed his hierarchy to bluff their way through every season, collecting the proceeds of European qualification. Finish fourth, take the Uefa earnings. Job done. Stan Kroenke has had it easy for too long.
“He, more than anyone, needs to show why he bought the club. He is the owner of a global sporting institution and needs to make the financial commitment needed to get Arsenal back into the Champions League elite.”
Are Arsenal looking to strengthen their squad for top four challenge?
Arsenal currently sit six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League table and have suffered from a number of injury problems over the past couple of months.
And Emery has admitted the club are looking at strengthening their squad for the second half of the season, with a centre-back and a winger high on his wish list.
Speaking after Arsenal’s 3-0 FA Cup third-round win over Blackpool earlier this month, Emery said: “I think the club is working for the possibility to take some players who can help us during these next four months.
“Maybe the transfer market can help us with a centre-back, but it is not easy because also (Konstantinos) Mavropanos is coming back after injury. Also a winger, right or left, one player can help us in this position.”