Well, sort of.
Although Arsenal boss did say that today’s game against Leicester is a must-win, he also added that the team go into every game with one goal – to win the match.
But things are particularly tough for Emery right now. First of all, the team have lost many opportunities these past weeks to gain advantage over their opponents, most recently drawing against Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League a few days ago. This is the fourth consecutive game in which the Gunners have surrendered their initial lead to end their games in a stalemate, which certainly points to a problem which needs fixing – and soon. Secondly, due to the poor performance and lack of good results Emery is currently not the fans’ favourite. If the team lose against Leicester they will fall nine points from a top four place and the chasm between the manager and the club’s fans will only deepen. Thirdly, Emery is being criticised (to say the least) for his lack of leadership skills after the situation with ex-captain Granit Xhaka, who has made himself unavailable for the upcoming match, having already missed three games after the incident with his fans – and the whole situation does not show Emery in a good light. In addition, Emery is reportedly ridiculed by his players for holding a dressing-room vote to decide who should be the next captain – an idea that was not even his, but that of Arsenal psychologist David Priestley. The news that Barcelona are targeting Aubameyang also isn’t encouraging.
Emery has emphasised that there have been a couple of unfortunate incidents which have not helped the team on their way up – first Laurent Koscielny’s going on strike before he finally signed for Bordeaux this past August and then the car-jacking which has made Ozil and Kolasinac quite vulnerable.
All in all, the pressure is mounting on the Arsenal boss, who tries to stay outwardly positive. He said that the players did well in training and that they are mentally strong:
“The most important is our mentality and going there thinking: ‘We are Arsenal.’ And we will go there with confidence.”