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Unai Emery may be under pressure from fans at Arsenal but he has received the backing of the key people above him as he attempts to wade through a tough run.
The Gunners have only won one league match in their last five and following the 2-0 defeat at Leicester City on Saturday, Emery’s men are eight points behind the Champions League qualification spots.
A challenge for the top four is looking more and more unlikely for Arsenal and defensively they have been poor, conceding more goals than they have scored this season in the Premier League.
The lack of progress on the back of a busy summer and constant comparisons with how little things have changed since Arsene Wenger left has only served to intensify the pressure on Emery.
But the board chose the aftermath of the loss to Leicester to show their support for Emery rather than throw him under the bus.
Former Arsenal star Paul Merson, for one, thinks Head of Football Raul Sanllehi and Technical Director Edu have made a key mistake by not parting ways with the Spaniard this week ahead of the international break weekend.
“Looking at what’s to come with Arsenal, the fixtures, I think he’s there for the long run,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“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.”
Emery has only collected two more points in his first 50 games than Wenger did in his last 50 matches at Arsenal.
Merson believes that in many ways his old side have gone backwards under Emery.
He added: “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. With Arsenal, they always looked like they were going to score goals, even though they would be ropy at the back. But I don’t see that happening now.”