Emery focused on Norwich game as pressure mounts on Arsenal boss
Unai Emery refused to discuss his future after Arsenal’s 2-1 Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt piled further pressure on the head coach.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the Gunners in front in first-half stoppage time as Granit Xhaka played for the first time since being stripped of the captaincy.
But a promising showing unravelled spectacularly after the interval as Daichi Kamada netted a fine brace and the hosts disintegrated.
“I am thinking about the next match and how we can improve and achieve confidence with the players,” Emery told reporters afterwards, looking ahead to Sunday’s trip to Norwich City and his side’s latest opportunity to end a winless run that now stands at seven matches.
“They know we are a little down in our feelings, but if we continue with our first-half performance, that is the way.
“My work and my job is firstly analysing that match, how we are in the Europa League, in our feelings and how we are going to play on Sunday.
“In the first half we were happy with the performance as a team and individually. We started the second half the same but lost control of the game in 15 minutes and they scored twice.
“At the end we changed two players because of injuries and we couldn’t make more offensive changes to bring on fresh players. We didn’t take chances to draw or win the match.”
David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi were forced off, while Xhaka appeared to be playing through the pain of a knee injury.
Our final substitution…
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 28, 2019
Nevertheless, forwards Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette looking on as unused substitutes raised questions of Emery’s game management after opposite number Adi Hutter introduced Mijat Gacinovic and Dominik Kohr at half-time to change the complexion of the contest.
“We needed to achieve confidence here [at Emirates Stadium] and play well and we improved. We improved some things to take three points, but in 15 minutes we lost all the work of the first half,” Emery said.
“I spoke with the players to be consistent and be positive but really, we need to win.
“To recover confidence, we need to win and feel better here with our supporters in the Emirates. Maybe we deserved more, but it is the first match we lost here [this season].”
Xhaka was applauded, after receiving treatment, by a fanbase that barracked him on his previous appearance against Crystal Palace.
In the context, it amounted to a rare positive for the embattled Emery.
“It’s very good news with Granit,” Emery added. “The supporters helped him and I think it’s good news.”