Ex-footballer Michael Gray thinks Unai Emery could be on something of a managerial tightrope should The Gunners start slowly next season.
The pundit believes the pressure is now firmly on the Spaniard to produce the goods at Arsenal and is concerned that a poor start to next season could be the beginning of the end for the Gunners boss.
Speaking on TalkSPORT (via The Daily Express) he said: “There was no pressure on him because of the change from Arsene Wenger and then trying to put a squad of players together to maybe finish actually in the top four. I think people will start looking at him now. Second season, let’s see what you’re made of.
“If Arsenal start poorly, then I think heads will start turning.”
And there is every chance that Arsenal could start poorly with a tough-looking fixture list to kick-off the campaign – with a trip to Anfield and a North London derby within their first four Premier League fixtures.
With a lengthy pre-season programme before starting the season against Newcastle United and Burnley, Arsenal have plenty of time to prepare for the first crunch games of the new campaign which could define the outcome in May if title races and top-four chases are as close as the year just passed.
However, as far as Emery’s job is concerned, for a club that stuck with Wenger for so long, it would arguably be incredibly out of character for such a knee-jerk reaction as to sack him so early on in the season.
Plus, if Emery’s first campaign is anything to go by, it’s that a bad start may not shape the season – with The Gunners going on an admirable winning run after losing their first two games in the Premier League – and not tasting defeat again until December.
So while there’s a case to be made for The Gunners making a bad start, allowing the season to blossom would surely be the best course of action based on Emery’s brief Arsenal previous.