Thierry Henry: Unai Emery Needs 'Time' at Arsenal, Top 4 Should Be Focus

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2019

Thierry Henry speaks as The Montreal Impact invites members of the media to meet the new head coach at a press conference at the Centre Nutrilait, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on November 18, 2019. (Photo by Sebastien ST-JEAN / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN ST-JEAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has called on the club's supporters to be patient with under-pressure manager Unai Emery. 

The Gunners have been inconsistent to start to the season, with the 2-0 loss to Leicester City before the international break condemning them to five games without a win.

Given the poor results and the uninspiring brand of football, dissatisfaction with Emery has started to intensify among the Arsenal supporters. 

Henry, who is the club's all-time record goalscorer, believes more time is required for the former Paris Saint-Germain boss. He also said UEFA Champions League qualification is the limit of the team's capabilities this term, per Omnisport (h/t Sam France of Goal):

"Challenging for the league…listen, it's going to be very difficult because even Manchester City look like they are struggling to follow Liverpool. Let's think about, first and foremost, getting back into the Champions League, which is going to be very difficult, and then from that, see where we can go.

"But all we can do right now as fans is try to support and give people time. It's not easy to come in after Arsene Wenger and perform straight away."

Henry was speaking about the Gunners boss after making a new venture into management himself. He was named as the head coach of Major League Soccer outfit Montreal Impact earlier this month.

The job will be his first since an ill-fated spell at Monaco, something Henry said he feels he's learned from:

Omnisport @OmnisportNews

103 days in charge 20 games 11 defeats ❌ 4 wins 😬 But new @impactmontreal boss @ThierryHenry insists he's learnt from his time in charge of @AS_Monaco 💪 #Henry #IMFC #ASMonaco #MLS #ligue1conforama https://t.co/3yW0rUYOF6

As of yet, it doesn't appear as though Emery is close to being axed despite the sluggish start to the Premier League season at the Emirates Stadium. According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, the Gunners will wait until the end of the campaign before making any decision in regards to the manager.

Arsenal's head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham also recently said they maintain faith in the current boss:

James Benge @jamesbenge

Today Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham met more than 200 staff in a pre-planned event. This is what they told them https://t.co/SXj7HlsUbF

Per Mark Mann-Bryans of the Press Association, Arsenal have taken a different approach to their rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who axed Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday:

Mark Mann-Bryans @MarkyMBryans

At the start of the international break the Arsenal hierarchy publicly backed Unai Emery. Now, 4 days before the Premier League returns, Tottenham sack Mauricio Pochettino. Three points between them in the table and will be intriguing to see who made the right call. #AFC #COYS

At the moment, it feels as though Emery has a lot of work to do to win over the significant section of the fanbase that has turned on him.

In terms of results, only a win will do for Arsenal against Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday. Saints visit the Emirates in rotten form, having lost three in a row in the top flight, including the record 9-0 defeat to Leicester City.

Supporters will be looking for the team to operate with attacking intent against a side so low on confidence. If they don't, then Henry's calls for calm are likely to fall on deaf ears among the disgruntled fans.