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The unwanted numbers that approve Emery’s sack

The unwanted numbers that approve Emery’s sack
November 30
11:42 2019

Finally, Unai Emery, the Spanish coach, was shown the exit at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium around noon on Friday — 18 month after walking into English football as the heir to Arsene Wenger, legendary French manager.

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Prequel to the news, the 48-year-old Emery would have filled his disengagement form, known as P45 in England, and tasked his legal team to do the numbers on his severance package with the Arsenal management, reportedly worth around £4 million.

The numbers that pushed out the former PSG and Sevilla manager can also be considered expensive, especially to the infuriated Gunners’ fans — possibly including Baba Grumpy — who make their frustrations known everyday on the internet.

Those that voiced their anger on Arsenal TV and wrote in “sifia pains” on Twitter were the ones left to pick up the cheque for the unpleasant numbers.

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Unai Emery’s first 51 league games record at Arsenal is worse than Wenger’s worst time in charge — his last 51 games — in almost all statistics. Though both won same number of points (88), Emery’s team scored less (89 to 96 goals), conceded more (68 to 64 goals) and had fewer clean sheets (10 to 18) than Wenger’s team. They also had less control on games (57.6 to 61.4%), created fewer chances (479 to 582) and allowed more shots on target (696 to 576) in that period.

During his time in charge of both PSG and Sevilla, Emery’s attack papered over the cracks of the teams’ incoherent defences but at Arsenal, there was no hiding place. The defensive problems were conspicuous since his appointment last year, and the arrival of experienced David Luiz from Chelsea in August was hailed as the turning point.

However, it has been a nightmarish buy as the Gunners’ defence has only done worse this season. It has allowed the opposition an average of 15.9 shots on target in the league, compared to 11.2 by their strikers, and looked lackadaisical most times.

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A typical example was evident against Southampton last weekend in which seven players behind the ball switched off to allow Southampton walk the ball into the net in the second minute of their 2-2 draw at the Emirates stadium.

The statistic also means Arsenal should either draw or lose all games played this season, and they have managed only four wins. Nineteen goals have been conceded already, while there is a negative goals difference- a first for Arsenal.

Tellingly, the heroics of goalkeeper, Bernd Leno has been the redeeming feature in many of the six matches drawn during this time.

Consequently, Arsenal are currently on a seven-game winless run across three competitions — the EPL, Europa League and the Carabao Cup. This includes losing at Liverpool in the Carabao Cup on penalties, and also surrendering leads against Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Eintracht Frankfurt. This is Arsenal’s worst run without winning since 1992 — pre-Wenger era — when the miserly George Graham-led team went eight games without winning.

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A winless run already in its 56th day dropped Arsenal to eight position, eight points away from a top-four spot, the minimum required to qualify for the lucrative Uefa Champions League, the holy grail and money-spinning jackpot every European club dreams. The Gunners have missed out for three consecutive seasons and look set for a fourth unless a miracle manager takes the position.

Except the North London club win this weekend, it would continue the club’s worst start to a season since 1983.

However, many fans hope that the coming of Fredrick Ljunberg, an Invincible, who was a vital part of the team that went a league season unbeaten in the 2003-04 season, as caretaker manager would stop the rot and improve the numbers.

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