Unai Emery believes Arsenal have time to close gap on top-four

Arsenal are now eight points adrift of the top four but Emery confident of catching up.

You have to hand it to Unai Emery, he is an optimist despite the sorry state Arsenal are in right now.

Top-four is not too far away mathematically and with 26 games to go there is of course time to catch the teams currently sitting in Champions League spots but anyone watching Arsenal this season must surely see that it is going to be very difficult to close the gap that has now opened up.

In all fairness to the manager, he is remaining positive, he clearly feels he can turn things around and that not all is lost.

“we have time to achieve and recover that difference”

Speaking after the game the Spaniard said,

“It depends because now Chelsea and Leicester are with Liverpool and Manchester City – they have got a difference between them and us. But also, we have Manchester United and Tottenham behind us. It’s been a very equal competition with a lot of teams. But really now the difference that Chelsea and Leicester have created with us… they’ve had time to be consistent. The competition is 38 matches and now we are behind them with nine points difference. It’s good for them but we have time to achieve and recover that difference”

Unless one of the current top-four collapse or Arsenal put together an unbeaten run the situation is unlikely to change.

You have to think that the odds on that happening are now very long. The reality is that Tottenham and Man Utd could turn things around as quickly as Arsenal can.

So, not only do we now need the teams above us to falter but we also have to hope that our other rivals do not pick up either.

Surely the board are aware of this as well? You have to hope so.

58 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    It’s groundhog day…. how much more do we have to endure??
    I’m sorry Unai, you’ve tried your best, but it isn’t working… and hasn’t been for a while. Surely it’s time to call it a day?

    One thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t want his job in a million years and I said the same about Arsene, towards the end of his time!

    1. Pat says:

      Sue am just short of words, I think I will be saying little until the board do something. It feels like we are just burning blood and energy on Arsenal when the board feels this man should still be in charge.

      1. Sue says:

        I wonder when it will change, Pat. It’s not right, is it, predicting your team will lose and drop points every week? 12 games in and the season’s already written off… oh but that’s ok as we’re top of our EL group 🙄 I was aiming for a lot higher than that!
        When will the board wake up? They obviously watch the matches, hear what all pundits/fans have to say.. why are they so oblivious to what is going on???

        1. Pat says:

          Until the stadium becomes empty Sue, that is when it will hit them and hit home. Am sorry I won’t be spending my money on them. As long as lots of people go to watch emery’s miserable game the board will not be touched by our complains. And do you know something sue, we didn’t play badly but losing is just what we do, and I think the players lack motivation, Emery is not cutting through to them anymore. It will only get worse babe.

          1. Sue says:

            Listening to the commentators and Tony Adams during and after the game, summed it all up.
            There are clearly problems between Unai and the team… Ozil should be the icing on the cake, but Arsenal don’t have a cake!
            Very gloomy times, Pat and I think, as you say, the Emirates will be a very empty place from now…

  2. mikey says:

    we have -1 goal difference get out

  3. Ayo says:

    I saw a goal coming kolasinic’s right since the start of the match. He couldn’t stop any of the low crosses and most of the dribbles.

    To think we fought all summer to buy Tierney. We saw he is better in both attack and defence than kola. But our coach loves leaving some weak points for the opponents to explore, in every match.

    I am trying to find the resistance to not watch these craps again till this guy is gone.

    1. Diogenes says:

      We lost because Chambers started ball watching when Vardy was the only Leicester player who was near him. That first goal changed the match and Leicester were admittedly excellent after it.

      Why are people always quick to blame Kola but Chambers or Holding so rarely?? Chambers has cost us more goals than anybody else per minutes played, yet people still want him to be a starter. Bizarre, to say the least.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Absolutely correct regarding the game changing goal Diogenes, but where was Bellerin?

        Until that goal, I thought every single player was giving 100% – just goes to prove that only giving 100% doesn’t win games, tactics and class does.

        It seems we all believe we have a squad capable of producing class and 100% commitment, so the missing link is tactics, but in reality the players have no idea what tactics / system UE wants.

        To think that he was lauded for stating that he would play a different style for every team we played – he’s stuck to that promise at least!!!

  4. Quincy Okereke says:

    Lol.. I can’t believe he said that!!! Tottenham and Man U are behind Arsenal.. jokes.

    1. Reggie says:

      I don’t see how we are going to get top 4 because something is not right. Im not clever enough to say what that is but we cant carry on pretending it will come right. I don’t think Emery is a bad coach far from it, the guy has had relative success every club he has managed. I just think that for whatever reason it isnt happening for him at Arsenal. Unlike some people are saying, he is a very good coach and has made nearly every team he coached better but the fit at arsenal isn’t working. The players either aren’t or cant fit into his style. My worry is who do we replace him with, there may be a language barrier and there maybe a player mentality barrier, any new coach has a long standing serious problem to sort at this club. I do think Emery probably doesn’t understand enough the premier league and all that is required but i also think the players with a couple of exceptions dont either. We have had a massive overhaul of the squad this last two years and it was needed, im not sure that we have a team. We have talented individuals but we dont have a talented team. I don’t think it is just a coaching issue, i think it is a mentality issue as well. I do think a change of coach is imminent, i dont think a vast improvement is. I cant put my finger on it because as individuals we have some very good players, i just dont think they are all team players.

      1. Tom says:

        Good balanced view and an honest assessment. I like the fact that you allow yourself, with this approach to see beyond just unai out, let’s stop learning.

        I think you are right. Unai is a good manager. After AW the world of football generally felt we are an excellent brand of classy attacking football but lacked solid defence, enough of an issue to help not cause issues for the others at the top of the league.

        But in order to get both, many felt arsenal needed total defence training, a school lesson. Yet we are no better off defensively, we are not even worse. So that tells me, it’s addressing the rest of the team to help improve it.

        The problem is, them trying to help means they are not scoring or creating enough. So they defend double.
        This is a KEY point in understanding the general current PROBLEM at arsenal.

        For me, unai playing around with several tactics kinda means to me he has either time from the board to experiment whilst not fucking up too much and allow the young squad to get to know each other better – saliba to join too Or it means he is trying too much too soon.

        Let the team have confidence in a firm structure then teach them 343..

        Play 4231. Ozil Laca Pep and Auba up top. Ozil and Laca are either you main link up play or creator. Pepe is either a final ball receiver then finisher or option for him to find assist. Auba is to put the ball in the net.

        Let laca be your target man but rather then traditionally trying to win it up near or inside the box, let him recieve it in the CAM area. A defender will feel uncomfortable pulling that far out when he also has pacy Auba and pepe to consider.

        Laca and Ozil link up for Auba and Pepe. Turning and running at goal with Auba in front and Pepe to his right. If he (laca) is marked more closely (midfielder) then ozil is a lay off pass for him to find either joining bellerin or Tierney or Auba or Pepe.
        Its elementary. This is just one way 4231 can work and your DM toerrira and Gendouzi can sit and support both defence and attack.

        At the moment too many new squad members (included promoted youth) and too many tactics doesnt bond well. It might as it’s a fresh squad but I see things like Pepe dropping deep to get the ball and being too deep and with too many premier league defenders in front of him.
        It’s natural, right now players dont know Pepe’s game and Pepe wants to show his game and drops deep when build up play isn’t flowing fast enough but all to no true positive outcome. I see why we have problems and I can see how it can be resolved. I think all of us can have good enough guesses. So unai is not unclear to this, he just needs to decided where that point he cant revert back to protocol because arsenal just cant win and put a run together. Atleast under Wenger, during the ending years, we still put runs together. Runs is what win you things, even if it’s to win not falling behind too far.

        Right now we are falling. Unai needs to decide and stick to a plan now. We know, he knows enough about the players. If the likes of Pepe Tierney take a year to settle so be it. Dont let the whole team take a year to settle…otherwise we will keep falling.

        In defence it’s like this. In attack we adore creativity as it results in goals. Creativity in defence has the same result for you, you dont concede. We just need to be creative when we are in defensive mindset. Be creative when considering how to close gaps and win the ball for attack. Inward wingers making a line of 4 (in a 4231 tactic) but ready to run with pace with the ball is one way. At this point, auba steers left as, if Ozil wins the ball (by closing gaps not making tactics – I’m not playing fantasy football, this is real solutions) hes got to be an outlet as ozil is not pacy to run out with it. Pepe, with his tricks pace and strength is so he would ideally run with the ball and with 1 or 2 players to only consider against him. Whether auba goes left or Pepe is right, laca is free to be link up man.
        In such attack, Laca Auba or Pepe head an attack and Ozil runs on to become ACM. Again Toerrira and Gendouzi do not need to venture forward. In any case you have your full backs for that.

        If you consider inward wingers sitting in a 4 as easily being pinned back with full backs pulled up against them attack, your forward men – auba and Laca take a position of on the wing. The defender wont feel comfortable with being pulled wide, and we wont loss any territory in the middle as we dont want to loss the ball again in the middle in attack build up in transition play- because of us coming out for attack and being counter hit (like under both wenger and unai) by lossing the ball/opponents winning it.

        I am sorry, I know this is a bit deep but recent results got me here.

        It’s not so much unai cant get us attacking, it’s as much he is trying to get them to understand our defensive shape to address the issues laid at arsenal for many recent years by the world of football. But now is the time, in fact it was a few weeks ago but it’s time to sort this s%$t out.

      2. ozziegunner says:

        👍 Lack of physical and mental strength has been an issue at Arsenal for many seasons.

      3. DiDi says:

        Emery did not achieve any relative success outside Spain – sacked by Spartak Moscow, lost one championship for PSG and was discontinued, now Arsenal …

        He was good at Spain because the objective is to be the best of the rest as few people will challenge the RM Barca duopoly. If he was that good, why RM and Barca didn’t rate him?

        He is not a first tier coach, period.

        1. Reggie says:

          Is Claudio Ranieri a first tier coach? whatever that means.

    2. Ke says:

      Half the top 6 are sliding while those out if top 6 are improving. Final result – Arsenal out of top 4 if no immediate action. The manager has no tactics.

  5. Durand says:

    In 18 months Emery failed to improve defense, find any consistency, no cohesion, a starting 11, and now we have a negative goal difference.

    However he’s confident we can get back to top 4 in several months.

    Sounds like same type of BS he shoveled to get the coaching job.

    Everyone sees us going backwards, even Raul, Edu, and the board. Question is do they have the guts to stop the rot and fire Emery.

    We have a chance at top 4, but not with Emery “coaching.”

    1. Kenyanfan says:

      It’s clear that these players might be sabotaging Emery. They don’t like his everything

      1. Mobella says:

        Kenyanfan, it is Emery that is sabotaging the players. As usual some fans are finding fault with the players when we already lost the match from London Conley. How many minutes did Laca spent in our half in the whole 90min. I know it was a matter of time before Leicester scored. We gave them space and surrendered possession to them. Once they had the ball in their half all we do is reversed back until we crowded our box because we had no where to go except in our net. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. We looked scared and devoid of ideas of how to win and how not lose. The marking is poor, organization poor, and how do we get goals when our 3 attacking players were playing in front of our box. Get rid of this coach now otherwise we will be 15th position by next international break.

  6. ken1945 says:

    Well actually, everyone in the premiership has a chance of finishing in the top four Unai, so what’s your point?

    1. Durand says:

      Ken this is exactly what happens when Gazidis (business man not football man) is in charge. Look at sponsors lost, money lost, transfer mistakes, on and on… is trusted to make the toughest decision; hiring new manager.

      Absentee owner Stan entrusted a proven failure to make THE decision who leads club forward. Who is surprised Gazidis made yet another bad decision?

      All the transfers in the world won’t make a difference if the leader is clueless, rudderless, and hopeless in how to improve a stagnating club.

      Nearly 18 months later and we get “my tactics worked,” “we need patience,” and “give it time.”

      1. ken1945 says:

        Durand, it’s a time warp old friend…only this time we’re not getting slated and told to give him three years to clear up the “mess”!

        What do you reckon the time scale will be after this debacle…and who will get the blame?

        1. Durand says:

          Emery will get the blame, fans for Xhaka treatment, and Ozil gets blamed too of course.
          Unfortunately I think they will not fire him, but not extend his contract for 3rd year.

          I blame Emery 100%. No consistency, no style, and doesn’t play to win.

          W or 3 DM’s in midfield this week? Back 4 or back 3? Setting up with 7 defenders again? Diamond midfield again? Lacks width without wingers, hasn’t worked yet, but he’ll use it again.

          Not to mention starting 11 and playing players out of position.

  7. Goonster says:

    Please Arsenal. Can you get us out of this nightmare by sacking this deluded guy.
    He is so finished that he is now even confusing himself about the statements he keeps making.

    Please. Get rid.

  8. Uzi Ozil says:

    EMERY is deluded… I mean DELUDED

  9. Gunnertz says:

    Good ebening everyone 😂😂😂😂
    We’ll catch up the gap please don’t worry

  10. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    The man Emery has to say something to pacify the angry Gooners who because so angry today after watching Emery’s ineptitude Arsenal team fell to defeat in the PL match away to Leicester this evening. Which is Arsenal 3rd defeats all at away ground in the PL this season.

    But for me, I am not angry over our lose but sad and disappointed to see Arsenal drop points again in the PL. More especially as they dropped the whole 3 points altogether today. I had hoped as the game was goaless at half-time that if the Gunners can’t snatch a win in the match they’ll at least play to a draw to return home with a point. But I Think Emery failure to recognized Pepe can play central and he has game playing lasting stamina and start him in the match and push Auba to start from the right wing, then start Saka at left wing, then start Ozil behind the trio. But Emery didn’t and this error cost Arsenal getting a result at King Power Stadium against Leicester this evening. Emery needs to evaluate his starting Arsenal XI selections for PL matches properly before deploying them in the PL matches if he’s to avoid this continuous embarrassing dropping of points by the Gunners in the PL henceforth. But start winning matches for a very long period of time that will see Arsenal start to garner full points after full points and recover the loss ground that they’ve lost in the PL top-four table battle this season.

  11. OG the 12th man says:

    This guy ffs. He’s done. I expect to see a new gaffer on the byline next match (after international break). Never thought the day would come that I’m gonna be glad we have international break.

  12. Ace says:

    I don’t even feel sad watching Arsenal loose anymore because I know it’s going to happen. The man looks out of ideas our players look devoid of confidence. It’s the most difficult period for the fans for the first time in a long, long time. I see reports about us getting Enrique. I hope it’s true because under Emery things will never change. I hope our fans protest in our next home game. If u look at the way our players play you would see that the problem is purely coaching and nothing else.

  13. Ryan says:

    Got some news guy I follow on Twitter quite reliable has said that emery is 100 percent getting fired but won’t be announced until a replacement is found they start there search tomorrow

    1. Diogenes says:

      Name of said guy?

  14. Innit says:

    I’m beginning to think Emery may not be the right guy for the job

    1. AY75 says:

      Beginning to think?!….. after he put us in this sorry state?!….. well, no matter how late, it’s progress, nonetheless. cheers!

    2. Mobella says:

      What happens Innit. Are you now coming to realization that we have a clueless manger or is it because of the position we are in right now.

  15. ArsenWenger91 says:

    Sorry Emery, no one can trust the words coming from your mouth anymore. good ebening!!

  16. We are drawing or losing every away game and even collecting points at home has become an uphill task. The reality is we are regressing under Emery. Raul, Edu and Josh must act quickly to salvage what’s left of our season.

  17. Malaysian gunner says:

    Really? After leading by goas the gunners get pegged back. Once/twice or even 3″times is ok but when it becomes a habit, it’s criminal negligence.
    I am afraid all fans have lost faith and Emery will have to pay the price.

  18. Emery Fraud says:

    Emery destroyed Laca and Holding within 18 months. I’ve never seen the both of them played so poorly before.

    1. Diogenes says:

      Have you seen Holding play against Nottingham Forest in the 2017/2018 FA cup?

      Because that was probably the worst performance by an Arsenal defender in recent years.

      How about against Cologne in that same season when he was so utterly bad that Wenger replaced him after 45 minutes, which he never did except for injuries.

      Up until last season when Emery came, Holding was about as promising as Senderos, probably less.

      Holding will be okay after he’s been back for some more time. Not really top 4 material, but good for the squad. And Laca needs to play regularly – as a CF it’s a must.

      It’s creative midfielders that Emery destroys. Just look as Ozil, Ceballos, and Mkhi – all became quickly worse under Emery – within months.

    2. Reggie says:

      And Wenger didn’t destroy Lacca. Lacca looked well happy every game coming off after 60 mins.Holding under wenger had some good games but some bloody stinkers. Talk sense.

  19. Mobella says:

    Yes QD, it is because we have a manager that plays never to lose and clueless on how to achieve it. Does he think that if we draw all our games we will finish in top 4

  20. Truth says:

    How can you talk about closing a nine point gap if you are not even playing to your potential?

  21. Tbull says:

    Halo Gunners 🔫…. I’m in Zambia Central Africa. We have no electricity to listen to News. Is Emery still our manager?

    1. Declan says:

      Yes, but Enrique has been approached…….apparently…….

  22. Waleed Adams says:

    Commentators asked the question why is arsenal stagnant with such a good attack. The ans is simple the time ue was trying to phase out ozil it affected the whole dressing room. We need a coach that can pick the players back up and allow them to play their natural game not someone on the side playing traffic cop pass here run there pass there. I pray we go back to playing our natural game and not setting up to counter our apponents we should go to teams and do what we do best teams should fear us cause they know we will be relentless in attack which will also put less pressure on our defense cause I don’t think we have the worst defense but with the lack of belief and confidence we struggling. Bring back Wenger he’ll even do a better job why? Cause he’ll instill that confidence in the players that I’ve got your back. Bring in arteta he’s really the ans to what we experiencing currently. Someone that will not chop and change every week. Yes it’s good to have plan a,b and c but not the whole alphabet. Please admin do a story on this cause my heart breaks watching my team play. Thank you

  23. Grandad says:

    Emery is deluding himself if he truly believes we can still make the top four.He has failed as our Manager but I do not believe any Coach on the Planet could turn this group of players into winners.We are woeful in terms of centre backs and defensive midfielders and until the offenders are shipped out, we have absolutely no chance of improving.I suspect Emery will be replaced at the end of the season by which time we will be languishing in the bottom tier of the Premier League.We need to bring in more athletic, physically powerful centre backs and midfielders if our talented forwards,including Marinelli and Pepe are to flourish.Mental strength is the asset clearly missing in this Arsenal squad.

  24. mayert says:

    It’s time to deliberate what the incoming manager has at his disposal.

    1. Defence:: Sorted

    2. Central midfield:: Very very poor at best. If atm you’re having only Torreira & Guendouzi as central midfielders (who are both useless) you have to worry.
    It’s going to take him some good 2 years to buy good central midfielders b’se this Emery guy sold all the capable midfielders.

    3. Striking:: Only left-winger needed. Have always said Kingsley Coeman is the best but now Bayern cannot sell. Or we can consider Kai Havetz.

  25. Roy says:

    Of course we can reach top 4………….Once we unload Emery.

  26. Sue says:

    We’re screwed.. end of…

  27. Declan says:

    Our worst Premier League start since 2012.

  28. Declan says:

    Just looked at our fixtures for December and January and there are some brutal games there.
    Good job we’ve done so well with the easy ones……….oh, wait a minute.

  29. Jimmy James says:

    Sadly our performances and results this season were inevitable. We finished last season badly and then weakened the squad in the summer. We were only going to head in one direction. As far as I can tell, our main objective last summer was to significantly reduce the wage bill. We achieved that objective but there is still much more to do. Over the next 18 months we will look to reduce the wage bill still further. Xhaka, Ozil, Luis, Socratis, Mustafi, Auba and Laca will all leave during this period. Probably a few others too. Some of those players won’t bring us in much money to buy comparable or better replacements. When Wenger left I didn’t expect us to improve whoever they appointed Manager and I don’t expect us to improve for a while whoever replaces Emery. Financially we still have a few more years of decline left in us before we start heading in the right direction.

  30. David says:

    Please bring Raphael Benitez he is a good manager with PL experience he will do much better right now.

    1. DiDi says:

      Good choice! he has experience dealing with difficult owners and he is Spanish, fits our management team.

  31. DiDi says:

    Even if we put together an unbeaten run from now, can we catch up? Draw all the remaining matches? how many points will we have? 26+17=43.

    Emery is not the manager for clubs with an ambition. Prioritize “not losing” is a loser mentality.

  32. Vims says:

    Look at the man who bottled it twice last season when he was clearly the favourite to clinch UCL believing that he can do it this season while he is trailing with nine points. I pity the people that have to endure this man as their boss everyday in training. Clearly he lacks any ideas in his head. Instead of thinking on how to address the crisis that his team is facing right now which is lack of confidence he is thinking of top four. top four can only be achieved when your team is winning matches not loosing. Arsenal forgot how to win apparently.

  33. John says:

    Emery is not a good fit as a coach of Arsenal…this team is playing like a newly promoted team ……that’s not a good use of the talent in arsenal…..he should be gone at the end of the season

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