‘Mayhemirates’ meltdown: Mikel Arteta and Luis Enrique are the latest names linked to Arsenal job
Former Barcelona boss linked to Gunners job, but will board wait to appoint Man City assistant in the summer?
It's official. Arsenal are in crisis after yet another shocking performance, this time a lame 2-0 defeat away to Leicester, a loss that leaves them in sixth, eight points adrift of Manchester City in fourth.
There might be little shame in losing to Leicester, who are up to second in the table under Brendan Rodgers, but the display was not what the fans wanted to see. What’s more it represents Arsenal’s worst start to a top-flight season since 1982-83 and the consensus among the British media is that Unai Emery’s position is in serious jeopardy.
Enrique being eyed
With a two week window now underway because of international fixtures, Arsenal’s board could send Emery on his way within days, and the Daily Mail is one of several papers to name his likely successor: Luis Enrique. The Mail says that Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi “has got in touch” with the former Barcelona coach amid “doubts” that Emery is the man to lead the Gunners forward.
Emery urged players and fans to “stay calm” after the defeat to Leicester but the lack of fight among his players suggests that the message will fall on deaf ears.
Return to football
The first mention of Enrique appeared in Spain’s El Confidencial, which said that Sanllehi has sounded out the former Barcelona boss about taking over the reins at the Emirates. The Spaniard stepped down as manager of Spain in June after the death of his daughter but he could be ready to return to the game if he feels the challenge is right. Enrique, 49, won back-to-back Spanish titles with Barcelona in 2015 and 2016 and also guided them to Champions League glory in 2016.
But there's a different take on the meltdown at the ‘Mayhemirates’ in the Daily Express and The Times with the former saying that the club’s “hierarchy are ignoring calls by fans” to sack Emery. According to the Express the board remains “100 per cent” behind their beleagured manager, despite the fact he hasn’t won a match in the Premier League for over a month. The Times says that owner Stan Kroenke is “reluctant to sack Emery before a planned review of his position this summer”.
Arteta on the radar
Apparently there is a break clause in his three-year contract and the American sees that as the logical moment to make a decision. Additionally, says the Times, “there are no credible alternatives [to replace him] in the short term”, and the paper goes on to say that the man Arsenal have their eye on as a long-term solution is indeed a Spaniard - but it’s not Enrique. Rather the man in the frame is Mikel Arteta, the former Arsenal midfielder who is assistant coach at Manchester City.