There is no doubting that Arsenal fans are hurting right now. And many would argue that they have every reason to be wounded after the appalling performance in the Europa League cup final against Chelsea this week. The Gunners went down without a fight and ended up losing 4-1 to Chelsea in the showdown in Baku, Azerbaijan.
It wasn’t just the manner of the reverse against a Blues side who have hardly set the world on fire this season — yet HAVE managed a Euro trophy as well as qualification for the Champions League next season.
Yes, the lack of fight, spirit and desire was alarming. But what was perhaps more concerning for Gooners was the personnel involved; when you can make more positive comments about a rookie midfielder than you can a World Cup winner, then you know you have a problem.
We’re talking about Mesut Ozil, a wonderfully gifted playmaker who continues to frustrate. He didn’t have his best game in an Arsenal shirt and was replaced on 78 minutes by the inexperienced yet promising Joe Willock. And the boy did very well — he managed four shots at goal in his 14 minutes on the pitch and German ace Ozil didn’t have any in his game time. Whatever your thoughts on Ozil, that statistic is alarming.
While the Arsenal fanbase seems divided on Ozil, the majority are backing Emery to turn things round and being positive. It has to be said however there are a number of dissenting voices on various social media platforms who say that the former Valencia and PSG boss isn’t the man to lead Arsenal forward.
One fan who is supporting the Spaniard is Kevin Welling, the founder of fan group West Sussex Arsenal. Lifelong supporter Kevin says Emery needs time to re-set the club after the departure of long-serving Arsene Wenger last summer.
“It is a bad defeat for many reasons, but the main one is, I believe, that we now don’t have Champions League football next season. The additional finance that would have provided would have given the coach a decent amount of money to spend on boosting the squad over the summer. Now, we’re told he only has around £50million to spend and that, in this day and age, isn’t a lot of money.
“There needs to be a clear out of dead wood and we need to recruit young, hungry and top-class youngsters and add a blend of experience. But every other club on the planet are trying to do the same thing so it wouldn’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination.
“We’ve seen at clubs such as Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson retired that transition isn’t easy or guaranteed to be successful. We’ll be in a much better position to assess whether or not Emery is the man for the job going forward round about this time next year. We very much live in hope. Up the Gunners!”