Unai Emery favourite for the chop as Premier League pressure mounts
Unai Emery is fighting for his future at Arsenal while Everton boss Marco Silva and West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini are running out of time.
Emery is the bookies’ favourite to be the third Premier League manager to lose his job this season after the dismissals of Watford’s Javi Gracia and Mauricio Pochettino by Spurs.
His future looked even bleaker on Thursday with a 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.
Everton, according to reports, have held board-level discussions about Silva’s position while Pellegrini has gone two months without a win in any competition for his misfiring Hammers.
AFP Sport looks at the three managers fighting for their lives in the Premier League this weekend.
Unai Emery was supposed to be the man to take Arsenal back to the top of the English game after years of underachievement under Arsene Wenger.
But the former Paris Saint-German manager is teetering on the brink after five Premier League matches without a win -- Arsenal are the only side in the top half of the table with a negative goal difference.
His future became even more uncertain on Thursday when they squandered a one-goal lead to lose to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League, a result greeted by deafening boos around a sparsely-attended Emirates Stadium.
Having not won in any competition in seven games, it’s Arsenal’s worst run since 1992.
Emery, 48, was publicly backed by Arsenal’s hierarchy during the international break as rivals Tottenham replaced Pochettino with Jose Mourinho.
“Now our moment is not good. We need to win, take confidence and I think we are better than we are showing. The players, the coaches and myself,” the Spaniard said after Thursday’s defeat.
“My work and my job is firstly analysing the match, how we are in the Europa League, how we are going to play on Sunday.”
One positive for Arsenal, who could move up to fifth place if results go their way this weekend, is that they have lost just once in their past 15 visits to Norwich in all competitions.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is favourite to replace Emery at the Emirates Stadium but this week refused to discuss any links with the club, saying it would be “disrespectful”.
Everton search for Silva lining
Marco Silva’s Everton are just two places above the relegation zone with seven defeats from their opening 13 Premier League fixtures -- and they have a hideous run of matches coming up starting with a visit to Leicester on Sunday.
Everton splashed the cash in the close season, recruiting Fabian Delph from Manchester City, Alex Iwobi from Arsenal and Moise Kean from Juventus, but they have struggled, scoring just 13 goals all season.
There have even been suggestions of a possible return to Goodison Park for former boss David Moyes.
Former Everton player Michael Ball tweeted this week that there was no way back for 42-year-old Silva, with games to come in the next few weeks against Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs.
“Silva knows he’s going, Players do, the fans do,” he wrote.
“Yes it’s difficult to bring someone in with that nightmare run of games but the fans need hope. Players need a fresh start & ideas to give us a slight chance to pick up points.”
Pellegrini’s Chelsea test
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have not won in any competition since September and have plummeted down the Premier League table after a bright start.
The fourth-bottom Hammers face a challenging test this weekend against in-form Chelsea. Frank Lampard’s young side have won six of their past seven league matches.
“We don’t talk about that,” the 66-year-old former Manchester City boss said on Thursday when questioned about his future. “You have to very clear what you must do, game by game.
“Football changes all the time. We are working to try to beat Chelsea and after that, we will see the result.”
Goalkeeper Roberto has taken much of the flak for West Ham’s poor run and was at fault again during last week’s 3-2 home defeat by Tottenham.
Regular keeper Lukasz Fabianski is still injured, but Pellegrini gave no guarantee that he will keep faith with Roberto, meaning third-choice keeper David Martin might be pressed into action.