Arsenal chief takes a dig at Ozil, tells Unai Emery where the team must finish this season


Unai Emery of Arsenal looks on during the Joan Gamper trophy friendly match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal
BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 04: Manager Unai Emery of Arsenal looks on during the Joan Gamper trophy friendly match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Unai Emery risks losing his job if the club fails to qualify for next season’s Champions League, as per a report.

The Gunners succeeded in ensuring qualification to the Champions League group stages for more than two decades in a row between 1996/97 and 2015/16 campaigns.

However, starting from the 15/16 campaign when they finished the season at 5th place, Arsenal are now without Champions League football for two seasons in a row.

Their absence from Europe’s elite competition has cost the club millions of dollars in revenue and TV money, limiting the club’s ability to go big in the transfer market.

Hence the reason why Arsenal chiefs have now given manager Unai Emery an ultimatum to make sure the club qualifies for next season’s Champions League, or else his job might be on the line.

Emery to be sacked if Arsenal don’t qualify for Champions League

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Arsenal Manager, Unai Emery instructs his team during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Olympique Lyonnais at Emirates Stadium on July 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

After a promising summer transfer window which saw the club breaking its transfer record to sign marquee signing Nicolas Pepe, the Gunners chiefs now expect their manager to deliver results.

Their start to the 19/20 season has given the Gunners’ faithful plenty of hope that the club might end its two-year break from the Champions League next season.

The Gunners currently sit third in the table – which would guarantee them a place in the group stage of next season’s competition – but Head of Football Raul Sanllehi has revealed that anything less and the job of manager Unai Emery might be on the line.

Speaking at a fans’ forum, Sanllehi admitted: ‘We said to Unai that we just missed out on qualifying for the Champions League last year, but this year with a stronger squad, we expect you to do that.’

The candid talk of the club’s higher-ups would undoubtedly pile pressure on Emery who risks not only his job but also his reputation if the Gunners fall short once again this season.

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Sanllehi takes a dig at Ozil

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on January 25, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Since it was a club’s forum where the fans were allowed to air their frustrations, it is unsurprising that many of them exploited the opportunity to broach the subject of Mesut Ozil’s future.

The German, who is earning £350,000 a weak at Arsenal, has been shunned by manager Unai Emery of late amid fears that he may have played his last game for the side.

When asked about the future of Ozil, Sanllehi said: ‘Unai’s policy has always been to play the ones that work hard in training.’

That was a not-so-subtle dig at Ozil whose work-rate on the pitch has been questioned a lot of times by Unai Emery since his appointment as the club’s manager before the start of last campaign.

The Arsenal manager reportedly believes that Ozil isn’t capable of putting in the work rate which his tactics demand from players, and so he shouldn’t be anywhere near the Gunners squad. And as the statement of Raul Sanllehi has shown, Emery isn’t the only one who thinks like that.

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