Opinion – Arsenal do not need to finish top-four to keep Emery in his job

Champions League qualification is the minimum requirement, not finishing top-four.

If Arsenal finishes below top-four and fails in the Europa League then surely Unai Emery will depart the Emirates. However, if they finish outside the top-four and win the Europa League should Emery then be fired?

Well, that would depend on what your absolute minimum requirement would be. For me, it is qualifying for the Champions League no matter what. Do that and I simply could not join in the chorus calling for Emery to depart.

Qualifying for the Champions League brings so many benefits that I feel it would be unfair if there were still calls for Emery to go. He would have achieved what we all want, to be back at the top table.

Obviously, if Arsenal finished tenth or something like that then the pressure would remain on Emery. However, with a European trophy in the cabinet and Champions League football to look forward to then sacking the manager would not look good.

Some will ask what is the point of qualification if the team has regressed and will get hammered in Europe. I understand that sentiment, it is definitely a tricky balance.

But if you tell the manager that the very minimum is to qualify for the Champions League and he does that and is then fired what message does that send to the next manager, what is the point of having minimum requirements if, in the end, it is not actually a minimum requirement.

If the minimum requirement is top-four regardless of what happens in the Europa League then fair enough, off you go but I doubt that is the case.

As I have already said, it is tricky and it does depend on one’s own minimum requirement.


  1. ThirdManJW says:

    @Admin Martin

    In response to last comment on AFTV.

    You have misinterpreted what I said. When i said, AFTV, for which I have never seen any, the “never seen any” is in relation to never seeing any vile abuse on AFTV. Not that I had never seen any AFTV.

    I have asked you a minimum of three times for proof of vile abuse on AFTV, for which you refuse/cannot give. Why? I tried looking for this article you said about with the videos, but I cannot find unsurprisingly, as I don’t know what I’m searching for. What was the name of the article?

  2. Andrew Elder says:

    The question should be, is UE the man to take us forward? He has tinkered with the squad for 18 months and still does not know his best 11 and cannot instill any confidence in his players.

    The players should take some of the blame because they are supposed to be professionals but that is academic, you can’t sack all the players and keep the manager. The buck stops at UE, the manager, as is always the case. Mid season is always a difficult time to look for a replacement and definitely restricts choice so I think the board will review the situation at the end of the season or earliest January. Hopefully they will assess potential candidates in the meantime.

  3. Andrew says:

    They won’t even beat Southampton or Norwich.
    Maybe a draw in each or even a loss.
    Then what???
    Oh I know let’s keep Unai Emery on.
    Absolutely brilliant idea.!!!!!!!!

  4. Reggie says:

    Have i come on the right topic? I think there is an argument that we have to finish top four for Emery to keep his job. Finishing out of the top four and winning the ECup would get us in the CL. The position in the league outside the top four wont represent an improvement. The league is where it matters, if we can improve to get in the top four then that shows it is a possibility the next season. If we dont then there is an argument that we haven’t improved and we might not the next season. I think we have to get in the top four to prove we are improving.

  5. Daulat says:

    I don’t think it’s enough this year to just reach CL. Because, last season, with all it’s problems, from injuries to our player options, Arsenal nearly made it to CL and also win the Europa league. This season, with all new additions and all players fit, Arsenal has to be in top four, as well win the Europa league to warrant Emery another year at Arsenal. Nothing short of that will help Emery. It would be a terrible decision to allow him another year if he cannot do that this year.

  6. Bamn jah says:

    Sack UE now how can we stick to him yet our team is now like a headless chicken , no identity, no composure, , no urgency , youthful squad but playing old horses best strikers but UE is making them poor how can Auba n Laca have few goqls than Abraham (Chelsea) , last year with that fragile squad he make the Europa final then now new signings, poor perfomances , poor team selection , fielding players off position, 2 goals up its obvious its a draw on how many ocassions personally I nolonger patint enough with him how can he lost a 4 nil up against Barca with Di Maria (Barca destroyer since at Madrid ) selected at the bench .UE selected a strong bench than first eleven

    1. Daulat says:

      “UE selected a strong bench than first eleven.”

      That was epic lol.

  7. Skills1000 says:

    This article show how low our ambitions are. Just getting into the champions league is no achievement. Sarri won the Europa League and Chelsea also were in the top 3 last season. Yet, he was sacked. Emery should be sacked during this international break. Our attack is the best in the league. But we have a mediocre as a manager. Our board should do the needful. There is always a manager out there who can do better. Qualification for Champions League is no achievement. Building a team that can go far in the champions league and challenge for the title should be the target. Bayern just sacked their Manager. Also, We need to invest in our midfield in January. A statement of intent is to get Thomas Partey and Rakitic in January. The midfield need a complete overhaul

    1. Loose Cannon says:

      And what do we do with the greatest creator/ assist player on earth?
      Cardiff parted with Neil,Stoke and Nathan, and we dream of reaching UCL with Unai?

  8. Damazane says:

    Dude, if we finish outside the top4 but win the Europa league Emery needs to be sacked imo. Simply because there wouldn’t be any measure of progress. Emery was initially hired because we wanted someone to take the club forward, with results and attractive brand of football. 18 months in, none of that has panned out, and there are no indications that things will change. If we win Europa league and keep Emery, believe me we would get smashed in the Champions league next season. So how would that represent progress? We need to get Allegri now while he is still available

  9. Viju Jacob says:

    I thought the board clearly said “Top4 is a must”, so this article is redundant in that sense.
    If EL title is what Emery is after, he shouldn’t be in EPL, he can do that with Sevilla or any other team. Arsenal is an EPL team so we should perform well in the league as a priority.

  10. jon fox says:

    Martin, I can understand, though do not agree with, your point of view that if we fail to make top four – as we are virtually guaranteed not to make- but win the Europa, then you would keep Emery. But it is hypothetical IMO,as there is no way this team under this manager will win the Europa. Not a hope. You are discussing theoreticals and not realities, in my opinion. That is only my opinion but I back my football opinions with money. Lots of it usually and make a considerable income across football by being a total realist and never letting my heart rule my head. Or my pocket! In reality Emery will be gone long before the final stages of Europa. Only THEN may we have any chance to win it.

  11. Innit says:

    It takes steps to reach your goal.
    Getting into Champions League is the first step

    It doesn’t mean we lack ambition. We can’t win the PL after two years. Leicester City was a freak rare occurrence. Klopp has taken several years to get to where Liverpool is now

    If Emery can’t get us into Champions league after two seasons he should not complete his contract

  12. brimzim says:

    point-blank .top four and champions league.if emery cant do any of this .HE should pack and go.arsenal fans are the most patient

  13. Aj gun says:

    We all know nothing comes fast, as of arsenal honestly I don’t see any improvement, we have regressed massively and the way I see it it’s going to get worse, emery is one confused fella, what really gets to me is how negative he approaches games, he’s such a coward

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