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Patrick Vieira is ready to replace Unai Emery as Arsenal boss should the club decide to sack the Spaniard, according to French football expert Julien Laurens.
Emery is under increasing pressure following a string of poor results over the last two months.
Arsenal have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions, in which they’ve shown the defensive fragility and lack of leadership that plagued them during the final years of Arsene Wenger’s tenure.
With the club occupying sixth place in the table and being eight points off the top four, many Arsenal fans have called on the board to relieve Emery of his duties.
Gunners legend Vieira, who is currently in charge of Ligue 1 side Nice, has been touted as a replacement for the former Paris Saint-Germain boss.
Laurens doesn’t foresee Emery being given his marching orders any time soon but reckons Vieira is more than prepared to take the reigns at his old club following three seasons in management.
“I think we’re still far away from Unai Emery leaving the club and having to find a replacement, but if and when it happens Patrick Vieira will be on the shortlist and rightly so,” Laurens said during an appearance on talkSPORT.
“He’s been very good at Nice. He arrived in a difficult environment with the club up for sale, there was a lot of uncertainty, and they finish seventh in his first campaign in charge.
“This season they are 12th in the table but only two points from fourth place in a tight Ligue 1, so there have been a lot of good things Vieira has done.
“He’s learned a lot since arriving back in Europe from New York City FC in the United States. I think he will certainly feel ready for this kind of challenge.
“Whether Arsenal pick him or not is a different matter, but I certainly think he will be ready and I think he looks ready.”
Arsenal’s current woes were put to Vieira earlier this week, with the Frenchman insisting Emery is still the right man for the job.
“Its true Arsenal are going through a tough spell,” said the 43-year-old. “But I haven’t watched all their matches, so I can’t talk about their game.
“They have a coach who is qualified and who works well. When a club is having a difficult time, it’s important to be united. I think he has enough experience to get them through this difficult spell.
“We have to get behind him and give him time to change things. ‘I am not sure a change of manager will fix the problems.”
Arsenal will be back in action a week on Saturday, welcoming relegation battlers Southampton to the Emirates.