Gary Lineker says it’s “way too early” for Arsenal fans to be questioning Unai Emery – insisting only one of their players would be good enough to start for Manchester City, Liverpool or Tottenham.
Emery has endured a challenging start to life in north London after Arsene Wenger’s 22-year tenure ended last May.
Manchester United’s stunning resurgence to form has made Arsenal’s already uphill challenge to secure a top-four spot even steeper, with many questioning what the point of sacking Wenger was for – with limited improvement on the field.
Former Gunners midfielder Emmanuel Petit has been one of the most vocal – recently underlining his surprise at the decision to replace his former manager.
He said: “If you sack Arsene Wenger and then say to the guy who replaces him you have no money to spend on new players, I would ask what was the point of sacking Wenger in the first place?”
But BT Sport pundit Lineker says that Arsenal are not performing any different to how he expected them too before a ball was even kicked this season.
He told talkSPORT: “They didn’t have the squad to compete when Wenger was there let alone now; so what is Emery really supposed to have been able to do so far?
“How many of their team would get in Tottenham, Manchester City or Liverpool’s side? Ask yourself that.
“One possibly? (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang? That would be it.
“It’s way too early (to be speculating on Emery’s future), but that’s football in the modern day.
“At some clubs you get more time than others. I suspect at Arsenal you get more time, as you’ve got to look at the longevity of Wenger’s reign.
“He’s a good coach and he’s got a great track record, but it will be really difficult for them to get in the top four – I said that at the start of the season.”
Lineker pointed towards Manchester United’s struggles post the Sir Alex Ferguson era as a sign Arsenal must remain patient as they look to rebuild in the years to come.
He added: “Football is about the players first and foremost. You need a good coach to go with that and have strong recruitment in place – which has also been a topic of debate recently.
“It takes time to rebuild a club especially after a manager has been at a club for such a long time.
“They become so dominant regarding everything about the club.
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“We saw the same thing with Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
“He was so key to the structure of the club, so when he eventually left it was a monumental change.
“I’m sure that’s the same as when Arsene Wenger left Arsenal.
“It’s going to take time for everyone at the club to adjust to that and create a new aura around the place.”
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