Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson does not expect Gunners boss Unai Emery to be sacked in the near future, with the club’s board having given the Spaniard a vote of confidence recently.
The TV pundit feels the current international break would have been the ideal time to change manager, especially with a number of key games coming up in the festive period:
“Looking at what’s to come with Arsenal, the fixtures, I think he’s there for the long run. I think this was a prime [time] to say ‘right, let’s get someone in, this hasn’t worked, bring a manager in, got five or six unbelievable football games to come up, get off to a great start, and then we go from there’. I think he’s very fortunate.”
Arsenal play Southampton, Norwich and Brighton directly after the international break, and they also come up against West Ham, Manchester City, Everton, Bournemouth and Chelsea before the New Year.
They then face Manchester United at home on January 1st which means they will play three of their top four contenders in the space of six weeks.
With Emery likely to be in charge for the foreseeable future, Merson is not optimistic that the Gunners can turn their form around and get back into the fight for Champions League places:
“I don’t see any change at Arsenal. They don’t keep clean sheets, they let in goals for fun and do you know the worst thing about it now? They don’t even really look like scoring goals, which is the thing with me.”