Saturday 25 January 2020

Emery: Opponents no longer fear us

Arsenal v Frankfurt (BT Sport2/Virgin Sport, 8.0)

Unai Emery
Unai Emery

Unai Emery admits opponents are now "fearless" when they come up against his Arsenal team as he battles to save his job.

The Gunners head coach has seen pressure mount in recent weeks with Arsenal winless in their last six games in all competitions.

Other names have started to emerge as potential contenders for the post, with Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo the latest to be linked with Emery's role.

Emery concedes opponents are no longer worried about facing the current Arsenal side and has called on disgruntled fans to get behind their team.

"We know our supporters are disappointed but tomorrow we have the chance to come back with our supporters in the Emirates and show them that reaction," he said ahead of tonight's Europa League clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.

"I know some teams come here and are fearless against us and we need to be strong for our supporters but first we need to reconnect with them, but really, my wish is tomorrow that the supporters and every supporter helps the team because we need them.

"We know that the last match we were disappointed and the supporters were also and now we are only speaking here to prepare for the match and to show and to come back with a good performance like we were doing before.

"And then, my only focus is to show tomorrow a good performance and connect with our supporters."

Having called for unity among the fanbase, Emery could test their allegiances if he opts to recall Granit Xhaka for the Frankfurt clash.

The Switzerland midfielder has been ostracised from the Arsenal squad since swearing at supporters in reaction to being jeered off during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last month.

Emery has hinted he may turn to the 27-year-old this week, adding: "He's in the group and has the possibility to play tomorrow.

"I hope every supporter supports the team. Xhaka's comeback is going to be important to us."

Question marks also remain over the future of Germany international Shkodran Mustafi.

The defender was told he could leave the club in the summer but was not happy with any of the concrete offers that came in.

He has gone on to start all four Europa League games so far but admits he could still look to leave in January.

"I am still here," he said. "I am a player of Arsenal and I've got a contract with Arsenal for one-and-a-half more years."

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