LONDON (AFP) – French striker Alexandre Lacazette has leaped to the defence of under-fire Arsenal manager Unai Emery saying fans were being fickle in criticising him after not praising him when they were on a good run last season.
The pressure on the 48-year-old Spaniard grew with a 2-0 defeat by Leicester last Saturday, leaving the Gunners with just one win in their last six Premier League games and eight points off fourth place and a Champions League qualification spot.
Emery has also had to deal with the fallout from Granit Xhaka’s emotional outburst towards supporters when he was substituted against Crystal Palace a fortnight ago. The Spaniard eventually stripped the Swiss international of the captaincy.
Lacazette, though, said while the players’ confidence had dipped the present international break gives them a chance to recharge their batteries ahead of their game at home to struggling Southampton on November 24.
“Last season when we were unbeaten in 20 games in a row nobody said anything about the coach or manager,” said Lacazette. “We miss confidence and we need the international break. I hope we are going to come back well. We want to be top four, of course.
“Now we are nine points behind Chelsea and Leicester and it is going to be hard, but everything is possible in football.”