Arsenal have today acknowledged that results and performances have been below par, but continue to insist that Unai Emery has their full backing.
The under-fire head coach has presided over a run of form which has seen the Gunners take just two points from the last twelve, and also win just two of their last ten Premier League outings.
Defeat to Leicester on Saturday did little to calm the situation, nor did the inadvisable briefing to David Ornstein which only exacerbated fan frustration [read about that on Arseblog here].
However, after a pre-planned staff get together today, at which communications chief Mark Gonella spoke, along with Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham, the club issued a statement which recognised the poor form, but made it clear that they believe Emery is the right man to achieve this season’s stated goal of a top four finish.
“We are as disappointed as everyone else with both our results and performances at this stage of the season. We share the frustration with our fans, Unai, players and all our staff as they are not at the level we want or expect.
“Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season, and we firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job, together with the backroom team we have in place. We are all working intensively behind the scenes to turn things around and are confident we will.
“We never take our fantastic support for granted. We hope we can all stick together and get behind the team in this challenging period, as together we are stronger.”
Quite why they think Emery can turn things around is anybody’s guess at this point, but publicly and behind the scenes the club are insistent that they are not planning on replacing him.
It means we’ll have to endure more poor performances and probably more dropped points, and with an eight point gap to the top four already, and a negative goal difference, making the Champions League next season looks more and more remote.
The fact that the club have responded to the ‘noise’ is something, but their actions now speak far louder than any words, and it seems they’re content with the mediocrity being delivered.
Or, perhaps, this is the dreaded vote of confidence that precedes most sackings. Let’s see.