Arsenal cannot qualify for Champions League unless Emery is sacked

For Champions League Qualification Emery must be fired and the time is now. by Kenyanfan


Going by the previous performance evidenced by results, it’s accurate to predict that indeed Arsenal will not qualify for the Champions League if Unai Emery is the manager for the entire season.

Going back to the international break, after two weeks to ruminate over Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Bournemouth, Unai Emery came up with the same plan against Sheffield United. It was an away game thus Emery picked Joe Willock to play as the most advanced midfielder, asking him to make off the ball runs.

In truth, our performances have not been good this season; nor can we claim to be unlucky. Through nine games this season, we have a goal difference of one. Only one game, 3-1 loss to Liverpool, has been decided by more than one goal. Arsenal have been playing on the margins of -1,0 and +1 the whole season, so games such as Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Bournemouth could easily have been 1-1 draw or a 1-0 loss.

Such came to pass against Sheffield United. Ultimately, we were matched by Sheffield United, newly promoted from the Championship. Rather than imposing ourselves and asserting our principles, Unai Emery had Arsenal playing reactively against a team newly promoted from the Championship, because he lacks any strong principles. He has been unable to settle on a system or ideas: Arsenal do not press; Arsenal do not possess the ball in the final third looking to dominate teams. In essence, we lack a clear structure of how to play. The one constant is that fullbacks get forward, but that does not help our structure, and nor will the insertion of Kieran Tierney or Héctor Bellerin into the team give us a clear identity.

Emery has imported the idea but has failed to place the team in a structure that allows them to play the ball out well from the back. The back four sit deep, joined by the two central midfielders (making it a backline of 6) The goal of playing out from the back is to invite pressure to then play through the lines. But while We invite pressure, there is no structural set-up to allow the players to rotate possession. Rather, they either have to play backwards, sideways or square. The fullbacks get put into positions where they can either go back to a centre back, play a dangerous ball inside to a midfielder or play a hopeful ball down the touchline for a winger.

These are not new issues. They were present last season. Luckily, Emery stumbled upon a system that worked, largely by bringing back the players he had side-lined in Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil, who gave Arsenal an understanding of an identity. That fell apart when Ramsey got injured. Before getting injured and eventually joining Juventus, Ramsey last played in the Premier League on 15 April. Since then, Emery’s side has played 14 league games, taking 19 points out of the possible 42: winning five, drawing four, and losing five, scoring 20 goals and conceding 23. That is, at best, midtable form.

Even extending the run to nineteen games, Arsenal have 29 points, a ratio which, over a full season, would put us at 58 points, which would be the lowest total since 1995, where Arsenal finished 12th with 51 points.

Over the last 19 games, we have scored 26 goals while conceding 25. The goal difference of one is indicative of Arsenal’s performances under Emery. Only three times have Emery’s Arsenal won by more than two goals in the Premier League, twice against Fulham and at home against Bournemouth last season.

Too often Emery brings Arsenal into games where the level is the same despite Arsenal’s tremendous attacking firepower and quality. This means that too much is left to luck; to things that can go our way, or can go against us, where we can pull back from a 2-goal deficit, as Arsenal did against Tottenham, or fall short, as Arsenal did against Crystal Palace last season, or we can protect a one-goal lead, as we did against Bournemouth, or lose it, as we did against Brighton.

Almost a quarter of the season has passed by, After an exciting summer. The reality of Emery’s football has brought the atmosphere surrounding Arsenal back down. Every week comes and goes, with hope that Arsenal will switch into gear, that the return of the full backs from injury, or Lacazette returning, or Emery bringing Mesut Özil back into the fold will see something change. But, ultimately, it will not. There is half a season of middling form, backed not only by what we’re seeing on the pitch, but by underlying statistics and analytics.

Arsenal will not get better under Unai Emery. With Champions League qualification crucial, and Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea leaving an open goal, it is time for Arsenal to move on from Emery, and find a coach who can get more from the sum of Arsenal’s parts rather than put the parts in positions where they cannot succeed.

Much love from Kenyanfan.


  1. too early to judge if Arsenal cant qualify for champ league because of Emery

    this season is one of the easiest with Utd, chelsea and spud being inconsistent

    so if we dont Emery should go

    1. Yes, we are still in the preliminary stage of EPL and EL. The statistics are disheartening, but we still have EL in case Emery loses in the next three EPL away matches

      I hope Emery sees the underperformers’ limitations and starts incorporating the cup players into EPL

    2. John, I think this article demonstrates clearly it is not too soon. The trend of our results and performances demonstrates that there is no progress being made for long time now. To believe there is progress around the corner after this long barren spell is naive IMO.

      Where would change come from? We thought the final excuse was injuries to Holding, Thierny and Bellerin but they have all been available for selection and yet not been selected for the PL. This shows the availability of these guys plays no role in our managers thinking about our problems. In his mind, they are not part of the solution otherwise he would have played all or some of them for at least 60 minutes.

      The guy (Emery) has no clue and is out of ideas on how to fix our rot.

    3. y waiting for the season to end…that idiot shud just quite our club.he is the reason y we failed to qualify last season.
      too sturbon,y keep your best players out yet u need to win,i remember seeing ndouzi and elneny pair in our midfield ,moreover in one of the last important games towards the end of last season,the donkey left leno against Chelsea in the final,he very well new that that was the only way we had,,,cech had signed to join Chelsea,,hehehehe

      now take a look at the above stats,,,,,i have never got a clear reason as to why torreira is always benched,team lacks creativity n the idiot is still putting his fellings with ozil,,,laca,bellerine and tieny were fit,y benching them….what has shaka done to make him our captain,,,more fouls or,,,,what do Willock and saka ,,,at the same time do to the team,,,this is not carling cup,,yes they r good,got talent but still one at a time,,,
      i don’t expect UE to change anything….he benched ramsey last season,,,,this season its ozil…
      ill celebrate the day ull leave our club

  2. Good read @kenyanfan and agree with what you have written …
    The thing that worry’s me is the Emery effect which now seems to be implanting into some of our fans brains ,as in its ok to play for a point against a promoted team and that’s a good result .
    I can honestly say I have no idea what system or tactics we use on match days .
    We were told he likes his team to press (never seen that once )
    He likes to play out from the back (absolutely shocking when we do )
    Things I do know
    He likes his players to run around like headless chickens ✅
    He likes to cause friction with players for absolutely no reason whatsoever ✅
    He’s a compulsive liar ✅
    He needs to be sacked now ✅
    The longer we live it the worse it will be in the long run for the club .

    1. Dan kit, I read your comments and even if I don’t say anything, I want you to know I completely agree with you. You are one of the few who see things for what it is. Excellent points you make.

          1. The constant Ozil lies that have been spread from him and the board .
            So you agree on the rest of the points though Ozzie as you don’t mention them.

    2. This can’t be put any better. We are slowly but surely losing our identity of sexy pressing football. The last one year has been an insult to Arsen Wenger’s legacy.

    3. You have said a complete things what this Unai fool idiot coach is doing and iam agreeing with you that he should be sacked very soon not waiting for a season to finish because if he continues, Arsenal will not qualify for champions league next season trust me.Unai is a fumble gumble fool idiot manager.please sack him

  3. The problem is the midfield. Even if KT and Belarin return, unless we have a strong and effective midfield, we will still struggle. The midfield players may be good, but without a purpose and vision and planning or having a plan B, it is not going to work. There has to be a definite direction, motivation and inspiration to the players. Emery has to change things asap or else we have to forget about Champions league and settle for Thursday night football. Next match CP at home, Zaha licking his lips? Out to torture us again? Cmon Arsenal, be the Arsenal!

    1. I think Xhaka and Torreira are our best two, for some reason they click better than the others. I think because Xhaka likes to stay close to his CB’s and Torreira likes to defend in an attacking way, they compliment each other a bit. I know fans don’t think it’s ideal as they’ve made feelings known. But Xhaka and Guendouzi don’t really work as well when together, Guendouzi is better off in a Pogba type role in front of the midfield two, which is why sometimes we look unbalanced when it was he and Torriera as the two because like I said Torriera likes to close down. I am mostly going by last season with this because we have new players and they have to lay down a marker like Saka did. We were still saying we need a left winger at beginning of season, but that stopped recently with Martinelli and Saka, so we have to see what Willock and Smith are about. If we play a pressing game maybe Torreira and Guendouzi could work better, but someone still needs to stay back like it is with other pressing teams. Either that or else Guendouzi will have to learn how to play a different kind of game, see what he’s like there guarding the space in front of CB’s, but we’ll lose some of his guile in the trade. Ceballos and Torreira along with him, fans probably want that, but I still think the best pairing I’ve seen since last seasons start, is Torreira and Xhaka, and Guendouzi is maybe the best individual for all round what he’s showed. France too, they play him in the Pogba role I think, we’re a little short on options in the engine room but we had other priorities like at left back, wingers, CB’s, so now in the next window or two I expect this area to come into play.

    2. KT and Bellerin and Holding are available. It is not an “if” they are available. The manager just doesn’t think they fit in his best 11.

  4. Am hearing that Isco is unhappy at Real Madrid, wants to be included in the Spain National team for Euro 2020, wants to leave RM, Arsenal are targeting him, He likes Arsenal…
    Wow,Ozil, Isco and Ceballos in the midfield! Creative Arsenal at their best!

    1. Hahahaha! That’s funny. You mean Ozil, Isco and Ceballos on the bench.

      Even with both Ozil and Ceballos available against Sheffield Emery started neither. Why would he start all three of them?

  5. A very well presented article which highlights the areas where we are deficient and the fact that we are so predictable in the way we play out from the back.Because of our lack of pace at the back, (I exclude Bellerin,Tierney and AMN ) Emery feels obliged to sit deep when a team like Liverpool can maintain a high line because their back four is quick and they have a dedicated ,physically powerful defensive midfielder in Fabinho who sits in front of the centre backs and mops up potential problems leaving their full backs to bomb forward .With a back four next season of Bellerin,Saliba, Holding and Tierney we will have an opportunity to play a high line but we will need a top quality DM to replace the likes of Xhaka and Torreria if we are going to challenge Man city and Liverpool.As for this season, with Emery at the helm I’m afraid we will be pushed to finish in the top six.

  6. Wenger’s last 47 games: 26 wins, 90 goals scored, 59 goals conceded, 17 clean sheets! Emery’s first 47 games: 25 wins, 86 goals scored, 63 goals conceded, 10 clean sheets! And Wenger was supposed to be in his twilight years at Arsenal. Please Come back Wenger!

  7. Kenyan fan, if I had my way, I would present you with the Nobel Prize for understanding Arsenal matters. Ugandan fan

  8. Months ago, some fans wanted Ozil out of the team because he was frustrating to watch.

    Fast forward, Ozil is needed in the team now because we lack creativity.

    Time changes a lot of things

    Ozil should be starting games or at least be on the bench

  9. champions league qualification which is our intermediate objective should not be a problem for emery to achieve.Though not a fan of his,am optimistic he will get us champ league ticket base on the prevailing circumstances and lackadaisical form of our rivals.But he will struggle to meet the long term objective which is to make arsenal consistent and a force to reckon with in European football.

    1. Our rivals weren’t outstanding last season either, and we couldn’t make champs lge. I mean, how many times did we get the opportunity to go third and blew it, and then we lost 4 – 1 to a faltering Chelsea team. I won’t be so confident Emery can even get us champs lge football. He already failed at it last season, and given our performances since the beginning of this season, things do not bode well for him.

    2. uzkido, Emery needs to get his selections right in a real hurry, given he now has virtually a fully fit squad available to him. Every point is precious, given Arsenal missed a Champions League place by one point last season. The clock is ticking and Emery does not have the built up “capital” that Arsene Wenger had.

  10. Good article Kenyanfan. Sadly most of us tend to want to give much more than time than needed to see our club falter.

    Our rivals will get it together and the 5 points margin with Man U can be gone in no time (especially if they appoint Allegri).

    The time to act is now to need more evidence of failure will destroy our club.

    Why is it that we think we should not expect at least an improving line after one whole season? At many successful clubs, a new manager would not even get one whole season if he doesn’t deliver some form of improvement.

    What event will it be, what trigger will lead Emery to solve our problems? If he hasn’t figured it out by now why will he tomorrow?

    This season is too important to give it to a guy who seems out of solutions.

  11. My optimism may well have been dented by his refusal to change the squad up even though injuries are no longer a problem, but it’s still too early to write us out of the top 4 under Emery imo.

    I accept that everything points against this but just because he didn’t make the changes in the first match he could, doesn’t mean he won’t going forward.
    He may have considered Kola and Co. to have been sufficient against a newly promoted team and didn’t want to risk injuries to the returnees in what looked like it was going to be a more physical game than it actually was. Doesn’t make it the right choice nor does it explain the poor midfield combination, but nor does it mean he is incapable of balancing us out.

    Not trying to change anyone’s opinion, only Emery getting results can do that, but whilst Sheff match has me worried, I’m not completely without hope yet – I just hope for the sake of our club that I’m right because I can’t see the board taking action until at least Christmas if not the end of season.

    1. the problem is with the players and the coach, with the coach taking much of the blain imagine arsenal playing a catch up with newly promoted epl side…Liverpool and man city irrespective of their faults would not do that…the players lack hunger and attitude and I think emery pampers them too much,,, imagine the players arsenal have available at the back yet week in week out u keep faith with luiz, sokratis n co….he should be rigid if u can not give me instant result go warm the bench and give room to those who will hit the ground from the initial sound of whistle to the last with much hunger and desire….

  12. I will say it anywhere that I am a better coach than unai even if I never go to coaching school. He must be sacked else arsenal will finish in 10th position and we are gonna lose our key players like auba and laca. Tactically he is poor and he can’t handle this team simple! Give this team to any British coach like Gerard or rogers they will perform better than unai. Can u see what Lampard is doing with Chelsea….stop saying it is early he will keep losing away games even crystal palace will come to emirate on Sunday to form Barcelona against arsenal…Unai should go dat is the truth.

  13. Femi (“I am a better coach than unai”), please submit your coaching CV; it should be worth reading.

  14. Sadly, to our beloved Arsenal. I am not too sure if our Emiry knows what he is doing. Look, the EPL is not for children, take a look at the physical stature of each player at Shellfield United, then compare them to (Willock, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Sako) our weaklings. those are babies not adults. When Evra says babies, Xhaka Starts crying. When Arsenal won the League without loosing a game, we had men and not boys. How can the coach insist on starting the games from the bark, when we have seen a goal scored out of the same nosense called tact. We all know that the ball would move from the goalkeeper to his Socrates or David and between two players confusion starts, the ball is taken away from Arsenal, lastly or sadly its a goal. I need to be educated on how Arsenal can score goals by making a thousand accurate passes (ball possation) in their own half. Perhaps our players and their coach are not able to tell the difference between game time and training anyway and trully they look lost. Evra said that each time he played Arsenal he new for sure that the game was in favour of Manchester United and he relaxed because he was going to play with boys not men (confused boys). We for sure have boys not men (not physically strong to play physically fit players like Shellfield’s players). I am confused because the man (Emery) is a woman not a man. Look at other EPL teams they have men and not women as coaches. We failed to defend two goals against Watford, a team that lost by 8 goals the following game, can someone explain this to me.The man (woman) must just leave he is not the right man for Arsenal look at Chelsea may be too early but can Arsenal stand against Chelsea today? NO.

  15. The objectives of getting into Champion league is not just to shout yeah, we make it. No!!!
    It is for the revenues, the big business part of it, and that is what will make any owner listen to talk of putting money down for players.
    Going by what we have seen of Unai, anywhere, he never did anything in Eufa CL of note. So why should he stay with this level of performance and not make it out of group stage next season. That will defeat the purpose.
    So, as some fans were educating us of ”ruthlessness” of the new management, it is time for them to demonstrate it, let the not wait to use the fans banners and boycott as excuse. Show your colour.

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