Arsenal director Josh Kroenke is reportedly beginning to have doubts about head coach Unai Emery, who failed to deliver Champions League football in his first season.

Arsenal director Josh Kroenke 'has doubts over Unai Emery'

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  • 2019-09-20 02:10:18 4 months ago
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Arsenal director Josh Kroenke has reportedly starting having doubts about head coach Unai Emery.

The former Paris Saint-Germain, Sevilla and Valencia boss replaced Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2018 and was tasked with getting the Gunners back into the Champions League.

However, a dramatic late-season collapse saw Arsenal miss out on the top four and lose in the final of the Europa League, consigning them to another season in Europe's second club competition.

Football expert Ian McGarry believes that Josh Kroenke, son of Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, is beginning to have his doubts over the Spaniard's appointment.

"It was a bit more by luck than design that they [Arsenal] finished as high as they did last season," McGarry said in quotes reported by The Sun.

"And there's a little bit of doubt creeping into the Arsenal hierarchy about Unai Emery, specifically with Josh Kroenke.

"They're not close to sacking him, that's not what we're saying here, but what we've been told is that they didn't want to invest a huge amount of money on the basis that 'we have to suck it and see' with this guy.

"He's got a lot of things right and he's got some things wrong, as we saw against Watford last weekend when they couldn't have got it defensively more wrong."

Arsenal made big strides towards overhauling their squad this summer, but despite the change in personnel Emery's side have started the season in stodgy fashion, being out-shot by their opponents more often than not.

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Arsenal director Josh Kroenke 'has doubts over Unai Emery'

Result: Saka stars as Arsenal get Europa League campaign off to winning start in Frankfurt

Arsenal got their Europa League campaign off to a winning start with a 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany this evening, with Bukayo Saka involved in all three goals.

Joe Willock's deflected strike looped over a stranded Kevin Trapp in the first half before late goals from Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang handed the Gunners all three points in their first game of this season's competition.

Dominik Kohr was sent off in the 79th minute for a second yellow card after he caught the lively Saka's heels, giving Arsenal the advantage in Group F.

Arsenal's Joe Willock celebrates scoring their first goal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and team mates as Eintracht Frankfurt's Dominik Kohr looks dejected on September 19, 2019© Reuters

The first half was an open affair, with Saka - one of a number of youngsters starting the game - playing Lucas Torreira into the box inside the first five minutes, but the Uruguayan blazed over the bar when he should have scored.

Filip Kostic was among Frankfurt's most dangerous outlets, getting beyond makeshift right-back Calum Chambers and right-sided centre-back Shkodran Mustafi with ease on more than one occasion.

Bas Dost also came close to punishing a hesitant Gunners defence, lashing wide of the top-left corner from inside the box and heading past the post as he caused problems with his height and physicality.

However, Arsenal had the better chances, with Willock firing wide and Smith Rowe denied when one-on-one, before the former finally broke the deadlock.

Arsenal's Joe Willock scores their first goal past Eintracht Frankfurt's Kevin Trapp on September 19, 2019© Reuters

Saka played the central midfielder in down the left and he charged into the box before cutting inside and seeing his shot loop over Trapp and go in off the crossbar.

Granit Xhaka also rattled the bar early in the second half when his cross from a free-kick on the right sailed over everyone and pinged back off the woodwork.

Danny da Costa let Arsenal off the hook as he smashed his shot over the top, with the hosts' profligacy in front of goal costing them dearly, although Emiliano Martinez, making his first appearance of the season for the Gunners, proved himself a calming, reliable presence in goal throughout the night.

Frankfurt midfielder Kohr picked up a second booking in the 79th minute for a tired challenge on Saka, who had drifted past him, and the hosts collapsed after going down to 10 men.

Dominik Kohr is shown a red card by referee Davide Massa on September 19, 2019© Reuters

Aubameyang produced a glaring miss in the 83rd minute as the onslaught began, somehow diverting Chambers' low cross wide at the back post with the goal gaping, but it would not matter.

Two minutes later, Martinez set Saka on his way to score the Gunners' second goal of the night, curled beautifully into the corner from outside the box after a pass from substitute Nicolas Pepe.

In the 87th minute, Saka grabbed his second assist of the night, setting Aubameyang up to finish low into the corner as Frankfurt pushed high up the field in desperation and left themselves exposed.

The result ends Arsenal's woeful record in Germany, having lost their previous four European away games against German opponents.

Unai Emery will now shift his focus to Arsenal's Premier League game on Sunday as they host newly-promoted Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

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Nemanja Vidic tips Harry Maguire to shine at Manchester United

Former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has tipped Harry Maguire to live up to his world-record price tag following his summer arrival from Leicester City.

The England international usurped Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk as the most expensive defender in football history when he moved to Old Trafford in an £80m deal during the most recent transfer window.

Maguire has made an assured start to life at the club, and Vidic is confident that more is still to come from him despite admitting that the defence as a whole does still need improvement.

"I think he's had a pretty good start. Obviously we have big expectations of him, he was a big signing," Vidic is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

"If you want to win trophies, you need to have a strong defence, don't lose many goals. Obviously he's still new. He just came, he didn't have a pre-season with the team. I think better games are coming from him and I think he'll be a good signing.

"We need the defence to improve, we all know how important the defence is in winning trophies."

Maguire has started all five of United's Premier League games so far this season, helping his side to keep two clean sheets.

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