Former Arsenal defender Matthew Upson has announced the two mistakes Unai Emery made after substituting Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
Spanish boss Emery joined the Gunners in the summer of 2018 after Wenger’s lengthy and triumphant reign at the club came to an end.
Much was expected of the former PSG and Sevilla manager but Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League last campaign and lost the Europa League final to fail to qualify for the Champions League.
After 12 league matches of the 2019-20 season, Arsenal find themselves eight points adrift of the top-four and without a win since early October.
Emery is under immense scrutiny at the Emirates, and Upson thinks the manager made a mistake by spending over £70million on Nicolas Pepe in the summer while failing to substantially bolster the team’s defensive choices.
And the former Arsenal, West Ham and England defender has also criticised Unai Emery for attempting to change the Gunners’ ingrained style over the past 16 months.
‘A loss to Southampton [following the international break leaves [Emery] in real limbo because I think he’s struggling,’ Upson said BBC Radio 5 Live.
‘I was at Leicester [before the international break] and I saw a really poor performance from Arsenal.
‘It was almost like they tried to cater to not get beat at Leicester who were on top form, and this is Arsenal, and never really got any kind of grip of the game.’
Asked whether Emery has lost the dressing room at Arsenal, Upon responded: ‘Maybe, maybe that’s the case, maybe there’s already a loss of belief or whatever it may be in the manager.
‘Emery came to the club, and he tried to change things, he tried to be more disciplined. Again you have to look at the recruitment, don’t you?
‘To spend what they have spent on an attacking wide player, with the other issues that need to be addressed in the team.
‘I thought he had a decent first season. At the end of last season, you thought: “You have to progress next season”, but I don’t think they have.’
Next Saturday, Emery’s struggling the Gunners welcome relegation-battlers Southampton to the Emirates.
The Saints travel to north London sitting second from bottom in the Premier League and having lost six of their last seven games.