Robert Pires admits Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Southampton has left Arsenal in “big trouble”.
While that’s stating the obvious, the statement packs more of a punch from the Invincible given he said last week he is “always confident and optimistic when I talk about Arsenal.”
The Frenchman still thinks Unai Emery can fix the situation, however, as a club ambassador with a free pass to train with the first team whenever he wants, that’s perhaps not a surprising stance to take.
The Gunners went into Saturday afternoon desperately needing a win to get their Champions League ambitions back on track but had to settle for a deeply unsatisfying draw thanks to Alex Lacazette’s stoppage-time strike.
“Everybody knows at Arsenal, even Unai Emery, that they are in big trouble,” Pires told Omnisport.
“But [Emery] is a competitor, he knows the high level. He was a great manager with Sevilla, with Paris Saint-Germain, but the situation is not so good.”
Last week, Amy Lawrence chatted with Pires for an article in The Athletic. The 46-year-old outlined the challenges lying at Emery’s feet.
“This team has such quality,” he said. “The squad can improve this situation. The most important thing now is that Unai Emery needs to talk to the group to try to find a solution together. I hope they can, for the players, for the club, for the manager.
“I know he is having trouble. Unai is a good guy. He is a nice person. He is a good manager. He is under pressure, unfortunately. Fans can’t always appreciate the details of the situation but to be a manager is very difficult, especially when you work in the Premier League.
“You can be a manager in Spain, France or Italy but when you come to England the intensity is totally different. It is about the fight, the spirit. The intensity is extremely difficult.”
Arsenal are eighth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of the Champions League places. We take on Frankfurt at the Emirates in the Europa League on Thursday before a trip to Norwich on Sunday. It remains to be seen whether Emery will be in charge for those games.