Unai Emery 'Accepts' Arsenal Criticism After Leicester City Loss

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2019

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Unai Emery looks on the from touchline during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Arsenal at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on November 9, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Unai Emery said he will accept all criticism after the Gunners' 2-0 loss against Leicester City on Saturday.

Per Goal's James Westwood, the under-fire manager told the press after the loss that he saw improvements in his team:

"I am speaking with the club to stay strong and recover. We also have young players who are growing up with us.

"I know we are receiving criticism but I have done before and I have recovered. I accept all the criticism. It is normal. Today we did one step ahead being better defensively.

"We can be disappointed but not with the attitude of the players, they did the gameplan. In the second half, we created some chances and when they scored we lost that opportunity."

He also called for patience because he's working with a young squad:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

"We need time. We have young players" Unai Emery reacts to Arsenal's defeat to Leicester and responds to whether he thinks the Gunners are improving More: https://t.co/H2eULtOjaa https://t.co/JJyogcnTBS

Jamie Vardy and James Maddison got the goals for the Foxes, who climbed into second place in the Premier League standings with the win. Arsenal are now winless in their last four outings in the competition.

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Emery's position has come under pressure after a poor start to the season, filled with bad results and even worse play. Arsenal-supporting comedian Jack Whitehall is among those calling for his reign to end:

Jack Whitehall @jackwhitehall

Please can this be good ebening and good night for Emery. #ars

The Athletic's James McNicholas slammed the manager after the final whistle:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

When Ivan Gazidis unveiled Unai Emery as the new Arsenal manager, he claimed he'd followed his career "very closely". Really? This was the wrong appointment - and the signs were there all along. My piece with @amylawrence71. https://t.co/hQsZa3lG0r

Emery guided the team to the UEFA Europa League final in his first season in charge of the club after replacing the legendary Arsene Wenger, who coached the Gunners for more than two decades.

A fifth-placed finish in the Premier League was followed by a summer that saw several high-profile arrivals, including Nicolas Pepe and Kieran Tierney. Expectations were high, and the Gunners have fallen well short so far.

GUIMARAES, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 6:  Unai Emery of Arsenal FC before the start of the Group F - UEFA Europa League match between Vitoria SC and Arsenal FC at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on November 6, 2019 in Guimaraes, Portugal. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Get
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Arsenal sit eight points behind Manchester City in the race for fourth place in the Premier League, and the Sky Blues still have a match in hand. They'll face leaders Liverpool on Sunday.

Despite the struggles, Emery remains confident a top-four finish is within reach: "We are distant from Leicester now but we will take time to prepare and improve and take the balance in the team. Manchester United and Spurs are also behind us so it is an equal competition but we have time to reduce the gap on Leicester."

The Gunners will have a decision to make during the upcoming international break, which gives the club a two-week period without matches. It could be the perfect time to bring in a replacement, but it also provides Emery with a window to work with his team and fix their form.

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