The pressure on Unai Emery is mounting – he must deliver

Unai Emery knows what he must do to keep his job at Arsenal

To some degree, it was guesswork what the club would do if Unai Emery missed out on Champions League football. Now, we know exactly what will happen if the Spaniard fails to deliver this season.

Arsenal’s Head of Football Raul Sanllehi, speaking at a fans’ forum on Thursday night, made the situation crystal clear.

‘We said to Unai that we just missed out on qualifying for the Champions League last year, but this year with a stronger squad, we expect you to do that.’ confirmed Sanllehi.

Obviously, he has not said that Emery would be fired, no one would say that but the meaning is absolutely clear. Top-four football or you are out.

It seems to me that this is a reasonable and fair stance taken by Sanllehi. He is 100% correct to state that there is now a stronger squad and top-four is expected.

Emery was given a two-year contract and he has that time to turn Arsenal back into a Champions League club. Emery failed in his first season, he literally had qualification in his hands before he and the players blew it.

As things stand right now, Emery is doing just fine, there are issues for sure but he is handling it all well. But there is not too much room for manoeuvre. It really is case of delivering the goods or taking a walk out the door.

Sanllehi may not have wanted to pile on the pressure but that is exactly what he has done.


  1. That’s how a big club should be managed, set objectives and achieve them. Wenger was removed for failing to qualify for champions league for 2 straight years, i think emery has the same job, we missed it by 1 pt and considering it was emery 1st season in england he got a 2nd chance but if he blows it then he is out.

    1. I liked Arsenal’s ruthlessness

      They have axed Wenger and now they are doing it to Ozil. Emery surely knows he must get a CL ticket or gets released

      Top managers such as Enrique, Allegri and perhaps Guardiola if he is fired are the next candidates

      1. Gotanidea do you understand the state of Ozil’s situation at all. The board and Emery can not just throw their sticks and say Ozil out!!!!! He might not play football, he might not even be on the bench, it might be their wishes that he goes, the whole ball is in Ozil’s court. He controls what happens, he is not Ramsey with an expired contract. Please open your mentality. And you know what with this treatment he will show up when it comes to fighting for his contract. Your rootless boards knows better.

        1. You are right Pat and he’s also not Sanchez or myki who still want to play football, Sanchez is on a higher salary he could have stayed at united and just sit on the bench likewise myki but because they still want to enjoy football and retire with there dignity intact they moved, if after all this treatment,Ozil still stay at Arsenal then he will prove what some is saying about him right, it’s all about the money.

        2. I do believe he’s the one with the power to decide whether he’ll move or not, but I really don’t see why he’s clinging on to a club that so desperately want him gone to the point of humiliating him like this. If moving means arsenal foot a percentage of his wage and he gets to play football while earning the same amount why not just do it?? Just move on with life, nothing lasts forever

  2. And so the pressure should be on him! Whether we make CL next season remains to be seen, but his tactics, love for a certain individual may be his undoing!
    I can’t stomach another season in the EL….

    1. Every manager has their own favourites and it is the most irritating and infuriating crap ever.
      Rain or shine they stick with their favourite.

  3. Wow this Raul has been brilliant, no sentiment at all, only result and accountability. This is big club’s way of doing business.

  4. Great.
    Finally we seem to have management, that clearly states, what they expect.
    It can only help keeping everybody on their toes.

  5. Pressure? What pressure? Sanlehi has only stated the obvious. The fans expect nothing less that top four and Champions League qualification from Emery and his boys.

    The Board better see to it that that objective is met or else…😜

    We are sick and tired of Thursday night football. Arsenal needs to be back where they belong.

  6. well said deliver or get fired you can litigate but all we are asking is our champions league back that all

    1. There is no basis for litigation on Emery’s behalf, because he is on a two year contract, with Arsenal holding the option to extend into the third season.

  7. He will not get top 4,
    If we ditch him now we will.
    Tactically useless.
    His touchline antics are an embarassment,
    He has put his trust in Xhaka , a player that cannot deliver on any stage.

    1. I’m not sure about top four, but Emery would most likely get a CL ticket because of the quality of the current Gunners and we have two competitions to get that ticket

      Xhaka is nothing special. But I believe all managers need a lamp post or a lighthouse in their teams’ deep midfield area, to organize the other players within the formations

      Some examples of the current lamp posts or lighthouses in EPL are Henderson and Jorginho

  8. So no need for the Emery out rhetoric then 🤷‍♂️…. As I’ve said all along if he doesn’t meet the expectations placed on him then the board will resolve the situation.
    Far better to just get on with supporting the team (including the Manager) and see what happens, after all these years being such a divided fan base, we and the players could do with some positivity going around instead imo.

    1. Well said. Fans don’t need to complain about how the club is en anymore. Just sort the team and manager knowing fair action will be taken if team and manager underperforms

  9. Exactly. It’s all about result.
    I gave Emery a honeymoon period last season. This season he has got to deliver or he should be dismissed.

    I like the ruthless nature our new people upstairs have exhibited since taking over from the likes of Gazidis.

    You don’t perform then you are sent packing be it the manager or players.

    I like it.

    1. Emery won’t be “dismissed”; simply the option to extend his contract into the third season will not be taken up by Arsenal should he not meet the performance criteria.

  10. There was no doubt that Wenger had to leave after overstaying his amazing Arsenal career. To give Wenger credit though, even during his later unsuccessful years, there was some magic around. I think when Santi got injured that was the demise of the magic. Emery does not have anyone remotely like Santi Cazorla and his footballing style is not exactly magical. So not only does Emery have to get us into the top four (which Granit Xhaka ruined last season) he has to find some magicians such as Santi, Jack Wilshire, Tomas Rosicky, Cesc, Sanchez, Ramsey. We can be an extremely boring team and that does not reconcile well with our Premier League history. I do have a feeling that within a couple of months Pepe may produce a little magic

  11. If he makes the CL good on him but I’d rather make it playing good attacking style like the old Arsenal.

  12. Once again you contradicted yourself, you deduced that if Emery didn’t get top 4 he’d get the sack even though sanllehi didn’t say or hinted it!you must be telepathic and a bad one at that, as usual your articles have the same aim,to divide and intentionally putting out! misinformations and ideas in people’s minds,nothing new there.i was told by a friend that to be financially sound you needed about 10 articles a 10,I know it is true I,be got the screenshot, you can talk about ATV but you’re not much better! finally do what you do best with people who dare to disagree with you or tell you things you don’t want to hear,BLOCK THEM!!

  13. I agree
    But calling for Emery’s departure during the first few weeks, like many “fans” are doing, is RIDICULOUS, especially when we are 3Rd and 1 point of the defending champions

    If we don’t make Champions League, I will call for him to go. 2 years and 4 transfer windows will be enough.

    However, when we are 3Rd place in the PL ahead of Spuds, Chelsea and United, I’m happy to give him the rest of the season unless a disaster happens.

    We are 3RD place, calling for him to go is crazy

    1. 3rd place after 8 games is pretty meaningless. Wait till Christmas before getting carried away. If we are still 3rd then Emery might have a chance of survival.

      1. That was sort of his point, telling fans not to get carried away like they were, he didn’t say we are going to sail ..he just said asking for the sack so early was ridiculous.

    2. Innit, the problem is that you don’t go and watch the crap football being served up at present.

      Why do you think there are thousands of empty seats, no atmosphere, a restless fanbase at The Emirates being told by the team’s captain that they were SCARED of Watford?

      If we do get CL football, how will Xhaka feel when he has to play against Barca, Madrid or Bayern for example?

      I really hope that things change for the better with a full squad to choose from, but leopards do not change their spots and I am certain that UE will play with a defensive team, despite an array of top forwards…I hope I am proved wrong.

      1. Well, the problem with the empty seats and the crap football, can’t be expected to be rectified by UE in one year and 4 months.
        You are ignoring, we had several years of decline not only in results and points but also in the quality of football. We had at least 2-3 years with fans boycotting games, demonstrations and planes with “Wenger Out” flying over stadiums. We were a laughing stock and the whole atmosphere was toxic.
        At least we stopped the slide last year and even took steps forward, and at the moment it looks like we will take further steps forward. It is a fair demand, we achieve top 4 this year. Hopefully, that will be achieved, and new goals can be set on the road to restoring us as title contenders in a couple of years.

        1. AnderS, you seem to have a selective memory with the planes flying overhead – there were also ones with banners saying “In Arsene We Trust”.

          Several years of decline from when exactly? Let’s take the last five years then:

          2013/14 – CL KO stage Lost 1-3 to Bayern
          FA Cup Final Won 3-2 to Hull
          PL 4th 79 pts and CL Qualification

          2014/15 – CL KO stage losing on away goals to Monaco
          FA Cup Final Won 4-0 to Aston Villa
          PL 3rd 76 pts and CL Qualification

          2015/16 – CL KO stage losing 1-5 to Barcelona
          FA Cup 6th round lost 0-2 to Watford (we were frightened!!)
          PL 2nd 71 pts and CL Qualification

          2016/17 – CL KO stage losing 2-10 to Bayern (Complete humiliation)
          FA Cup Final Won 2-1 to Chelsea
          PL 5th 75 pts and europa league Qualification ( only 1point from qualification to CL for the 21 st consecutive time)

          2017/18 – Europa League Semi-Final lost 1-2 to Atletico Madrid
          FA Cup 3rd round lost to Nottingham Forest
          PL 6th 63 pts and europa league qualification ( ready for UE )

          2018/19 Europa League Final lost to Chelsea 1-4 (Complete humiliation)
          FA cup 4th round lost to Man Utd 1-3 (at home and outplayed completely)
          PL 5th 70 pts and europa league qualification
          ( after needing just three points from our last six games for CL qualification)

          So, apart from Wengers last year, the changes have been negative as far as the domestic scene is concerned.

          We won the fa cup in 2016 against the champions, after knocking out city in the semi-final…we lost at home to manure last season 2018.
          We finished fifth in 2016 and 2018,but had five more points in 2016 versus 2018.
          We were humiliated in the CL 10-2 and we were humiliated in the europa final 4-1 by Chelsea.

          If you look at the previous years, when you say we were in decline, we finished 4th-3rd-2nd-5th-6th the decline being two years, not several as you say…in fact we were in an upward cycle from 4th to 2nd.

          The only people who thought we were a laughing stock were a section of our own fans who wanted Wenger out, no matter what the facts showed.

          His last year was a disaster, both on and off the pitch, while the previous year, despite that humiliating Bayern result, saw us lift the fa cup and miss out on CL qualification by one point…yet you say “we had several years of decline not only in results and points but also in the quality of football”.

          That’s not what the facts I have set out for you say quite clearly is it?

          Of course the atmosphere was toxic, made so by fans who wanted him out versus those who recognised the real situation.

          Believe me, the atmophere is toxic now at The Emirates, as we have to sit and watch the most boring, uninspiring, defensive load of tosh since the days of Billy Wright!!! You could have heard a pin drop during the Bournemouth game at times.

          You don’t think we are a laughing stock when our captain comes out and says to the media “we were scared of Watford”…have you ever heard any other captain utter those words before?

          I really do hope that UE succeeds, but with tactics and players as negative as that, don’t blame the thousands of empty seats on a manager who left eighteen months ago, blame it on the current coach with his favourite players and his hand picked “captain courageous”.

          We all have our personal opinions and I respect yours fully, but UE has had over £215,000,000 of backing from kronkie, a phenominal group of younger players breaking into the first team (thanks to Freddie and Arsene) and yet the fan base is split again just as it was under Wenger.

          I want UE to be the most successful manager The Arsenal have ever had, but that seems as far away as AW’s final year in the hot seat – I would love to be proved wrong

          1. Well, in your very long and very selective list of “facts”, you at least do have the admission that the empty seats and the divided fanbase is not an Emery thing. It is a problem he inherited.
            You have left out all the humiliations by other Top 6 teams in the Wenger years, and also that under Wenger we became the team, that produced least points in direct games against other temas.
            Our slide was constant seen over several years, and from a being a regular title contender, we almost became a Mid-table team.
            Finally, you use Xhakas quote after the match against Watford as some kind of “proof”, we are suddenly scared. Let me remind, it almost exactly 2 years ago, We lost to Watford after being totally bullied, and Troy Deeney came out and said Arsenal have no “cojones”. So there you have it. Emery inherited a sinking ship in many ways, and at least he has not only kept it afloat, he has steadied it, and we are going forward.

          2. Sorry AnderS, where did I say that the current empty seats and divided fanbase is not “an Emery thing”?

            Of course it is “an Emery thing” simply because we are going to the Emirates to watch his team, consisting of his twelve new signing and his inherited players he feels good enough to play and make one a captain, including younger players that freddie has bought into the fold.

            It’s his team, it’s his tactics, it’s his selections and it’s his decisions.

            I’m sorry my reply was long, but you made the claim that we had several years of decline in results, points and the quality of football – I had to produce facts that clearly debunk that statement and used facts that are out there for anyone to source.

            Now your saying I was very selective in not producing more humiliating defeats, I was showing where we got to in the CL and of course the 8-2 debacle at manure will be a stain for years to come, but wouldn’t it also be fair to also include games where we humiliated our opponents (inter milan away 5-1 for example or porto at home 5-0) or doesn’t that count?

            You make three incredible statements,so I would like you to explain them to me if you can:

            1. “our slide was constant over several years ( YET I have shown you we were not – 4th-3rd-2nd in that order)… and from being a regular title contender (how is that possible if we were constantly sliding?)… to almost a mid table team”.
            Mid table would be 10th, so when has Wenger ever finished anywhere near that position? His lowest position was in his last year, when he finished 6th, before that 5th…the other TWENTY YEARS NEVER lower than a completely misleading statement that has no business being touted by a gooner.

            2. Troy Deeney came out and said we lacked cojones – you compare that with OUR CAPTAIN saying we were scared of Watford?
            As an Arsenal fan, I couldn’t care less what an opponent thinks about us, but I most certainly do care about what OUR captain thinks about US and what his words tell other teams.

            3. So, this so called sinking ship that UE inherited has been boosted by £215,000,000 of new players and a clutch of youngsters currrently being pinpointed on “justarsenal”…again AW’s signings and Freddies excellent coaching… to steady the boat. Great and I hope he succeeds.

            Just don’t poison the legacy of our most successful manager by making statements that can easily be proven false, just by checking the facts – mid table being the classic example and a constant slide downwards being another. He made many mistakes that is for sure, as has UE and that is why the club have made the statement they have.

          3. Okay – here is a response to the 3 points, you want clarified:

            1) The Wenger era can easily be divided into 3 phases. We had 10 or so glorious years. Great football, championships, The Invincibles etc. etc. An unbelievable period, which I am sure we are all grateful for.
            This was followed by a “stale” phase, where we couldn’t compete for the PL title. We were a constant Top 4, which is no mean feat and we still played some beautiful football most of the time. But it was also period, where we suffered the most humiliating defeat in my 50 years as a fan, the 8-2 loos to Man U. We saw several other “collapses” also.In this period we saw the first fans starting to demand “Wenger out”. Personally, at the time, I thought they were wrong and unfair.
            This second phase evolved into a third phase, were we lost not only the beatiful football, we dropped out of top 4, and so many things became a mess with contracts etc.. So yes, I maintain, over a 10 year period, we have dropped from being title contenders, to being a top 4 and further down to 6’th. That to me is pretty constant slide.

            2) Xhaka came out after the recent watford game, and said, we were scared to play in the second half. I honestly think, he is right, so basically he addressed a very serious problem. I am merely pointing out, that this is not a new problem, created by Emery. It is a problem, that has been with us for years, and our mental frailty has been pointed out by outsiders for so many years, but hat has been done about it????

            3) As has been pointed out to you before “your 215 mil.” is a bit inflated. But even so, So far Emery has received less investment in players than Wenger received his last 2 years. So in spite of more investment, the greatest Arsenal manager ever couldn’t prevent the ship from sinking, whereas Emery has actually stopped the ship from taking more water in, and he has started to empty it.

            Expecting Emery to dramatically improve our football, dramatically improve our results/PL place, fill the stands again etc. all in 16 months is unrealistic IMO.

            I was also disappointed we didn’t make top 4 or won the EL last year. We had the opportunity. But I still believe we are moving in the right direction. We have improved our PL place, and we could be on course for further improvement this year. At the same time, I see a real forward thinking strategy in our transfers. Not only are we finally addressing the areas, where we are/were lacking, there also seem to be a clear on assembling a team of players, that are young and hungry, and potentially could restore us as title contenders in maybe 2-3 years.
            Also it looks like that team will have a more entertaining playing style.

            I am sorry, it ended up being such a long comment. But I felt the need to explain, why I honestly think that sacking Emery would be really stupid thing to do right now. As long as we keep improving, and our many problems are solved one by one, I think, he should stay on, and I also think he deserve our backing.

  14. Like how everyone salivates while ranting about getting back in the CL spot, and not trying to win it or the league. Those muppet don’t care if we win it or not. They’re just itchin to get a hold of that CL money… They were happy with the sustainable model with AW guaranteing it every year and when he twice didn’t, he they threw him under the bus. Had they done the fenagling for quality players then, we might have won the league or the CL ny now… IJS

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