It seems like the wheels are in motion at Arsenal to replace Unai Emery.
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The Gunners hierarchy are reportedly lining up managerial replacements, as The Telegraph reports that “the feeling within the club is that the head coach’s departure is now imminent unless he can engineer a sudden and unexpected upturn in performances.”
Per the report, Emery’s future is hanging by a thread as the hierarchy have begun the process of finding a replacement for the former Sevilla and PSG manager, with Max Allegri and Nuno Espirito Santo the frontrunners to take charge.
Is this surprising? No. It is a case of now or never to save Arsenal’s 2019-20 season, as Emery will likely leave in the summer anyway as the three-year contract he signed in 2018 has a break clause the Gunners can trigger after two years.
With Arsenal slipping down the table, fans booing the team off the pitch each week and the situation regarding Granit Xhaka ripping the squad apart, things have unravelled very quickly for Emery as another recent report claimed Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are both stalling on signing new deals as they want Emery out.
This seems like the beginning of the end for Emery.
He has spent the last 18 months struggling to turns things around at Arsenal and they’ve now slipped to eight points off the top four after a run of five Premier League games without a win. All of that has come with no clear playing identity and a muddled mess of top-heavy squad stacked with quality attacking talents but little defensive and midfield solidity.
If the Gunners fail to secure qualification to the Europa League Round of 32 on Thursday as they host Eintracht Frankfurt, Emery’s fate could even be sealed before they face Norwich City on Sunday (Watch live, 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Allegri would be a relative quick hire as he is out of work since leaving Juventus at the end of last season and the Italian coach has been lauded for developing solid defensive units, while also getting plenty of goals out of star attackers.
Wolves boss Espirito Santo seems too deep into their project to switch midseason, but his intensity and Wolves’ style of play would suggest he is more then capable of revitalizing this Arsenal squad.
Whoever is next up, Emery is on his last legs as Arsenal’s manager. At this point, this is the best case scenario for everyone involved.