Arsenal sensationally slumped to another disappointing result on Thursday, this time against Eintracht Frankfurt as the Bundesliga side beat the Gunners 2-1 at a sparsely populated Emirates Stadium.
Prior to that dramatic final result though there was plenty of chitter chatter before the game had even kicked off. In fact, there was so much pre-match drama it was hard to choose which story was the most interesting.
Granit Xhaka’s return to the starting XI was notable enough, but to throw in Arsenal’s shockingly low gate and Frankfurt’s fans being banned from attendance as well?! Twitter didn’t know what to focus on.
Unai Emery can’t seem to catch a break at the moment, can he? With Arsenal in a dire spell of form, UEFA added insult to injury by forcing Emery to change his coat minutes into the game, due to fears that it would clash with the black shirts of Frankfurt.
Poor Unai…at least it spanned some good one liners on social media though.
UEFA want Emery to change his coat. He isn’t catching any breaks
— Kick Arse (@kickarseHD) November 28, 2019
Emery apparently needs to take his coat of, he’s got choices:
Pick one #arsenal #AFC
— christopher innocent (@christo92096716) November 28, 2019
Emery having to change his coat in case anyone mistakes him for a player. Come on, no-one can even mistake him for a manager
— Mildly Bewildered (@burnerstreaming) November 28, 2019
Arsenal’s performance in the opening 30 minutes was actually fairly encouraging. Alright, they didn’t set the world on fire, but Gabriel Martinelli had two efforts that were well saved, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got in Joe Willock’s way to prevent the midfielder having a free header.
Even this improved standard of football did little to detract from the bleakness radiating around the Emirates Stadium.
The stadium was less than half full – in what was seemingly a fan protest against the perceived mismanagement of the club in recent times – while the absence of the Frankfurt fans meant the game was void of anything resembling an atmosphere.
Just before half time, David Luiz – who was being deployed in an unfamiliar central midfield berth – was forced to withdraw following a chest injury.
Luiz’s injury was another stroke of bad luck for Emery but at least by replacing him with Matteo Guendouzi the Spaniard completed what must be the hairiest substitution of all time.
Given Emery’s luck, can only assume Luiz in midfield was the big masterplan for Norwich on Sunday. Subbed off here after just 30 minutes after a painful whack to the chest.
— Sam Dean (@SamJDean) November 28, 2019
Why did Guendouzi walk off the field then come straight back on?
— 旅 (@BigBrainActvity) November 28, 2019
Like the panicked parent who discovers their child’s hamster has died and attempts to promptly replace it with a willing doppelgänger, Unai Emery swaps out the injured David Luiz for Mattéo Guendouzi.
— Will Sharp (@shillwarp) November 28, 2019
Soon after, Arsenal almost lost the returning Xhaka to injury. He managed to depart the field this time without telling the home fans to f*** off, which is progress I guess?
The Gunners faithful even gave him a polite smattering of applause as he walked off to receive treatment – only for him to return minutes later, magically recovered. Maybe he was just checking if the fans still hated him?
Xhaka got a knock and is applauded off the pitch. Some fans even standing.
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) November 28, 2019
Don’t really care what you or anyone else has to say, but I’m happy Xhaka’s back in the team. We’ve really missed him.
— Pádraig (@afcpadraig) November 28, 2019
After half time, Frankfurt sent the travelling fans into a frenzy…oh, hang on I thought they were banned?
There was definitely an audible cheer when Daichi Kamada rifled in the away side’s equaliser. Let’s just hope UEFA weren’t watching.
Frankfurt fans are banned but a whole section in the upper tier just went mad when they equalised
Now they are singing and chanting!
— Dean Jones (@DeanJonesBR) November 28, 2019
#afc 1-1 Frankfurt Kanada equalises with a fine strike. There’s an audible cheer too from the end behind where the goal was scored…
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) November 28, 2019
Out of nothing, Kamada smashes home a beauty from the edge of the box.
Definitely a fair few Frankfurt fans in here.
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) November 28, 2019
The goal inspired Frankfurt and Kamada doubled his tally soon after, firing in a shot from the edge of the area.
Emery’s face was a picture.The dismay in his eyes would not have been cured by a quick scroll through Twitter either, with hundreds of Arsenal fans posting those two haunting words: EMERY OUT!
If Emery doesn’t get sacked after this game I’ll give everyone who RT’s this a starburst
— Spencer (@Huge_Gorilla) November 28, 2019
The two goals stunned the home side and they offered little if anything in response.
In the end, the game just fizzled out. It was another terrible result for Arsenal as the pressure continues to mount on Emery.
It’s surely now a question of when, not if, the manager will be sacked. Well, Twitter certainly thinks so anyway.
For more from Matt O’Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter!