Emery was always going to have his work cut out at the Emirates Stadium as he tried to fill the void left by Arsene Wenger’s departure after 22 years at the helm. But Arsenal did enjoy a run of 11 consecutive wins earlier in the season and had a longer unbeaten streak of 22 games.
However, four defeats and only two win in their final seven Premier League fixtures resulted in Arsenal missing out on a top four finish and automatic Champions League qualification by a single point. A collapse in the Europa League final against Chelsea then cost the club their second opportunity to return to the Champions League for the first time in two seasons.
According to the Daily Mirror, Emery, who has come under fire for the failings, wants answers and has been ‘asking players, staff and his coaches for answers, clues and their views’ as to why the squad appeared to completely fall apart in the final stretch.
It is said the two likely explanations that have been identified at this early stage are ‘fatigue’, with Emery noted as a hard trainer, and ‘mental weakness’ in the squad.
It seems abundantly clear that Arsenal need to make at least a few changes ahead of next season, but with the club widely thought to be limited to a summer budget of around £40m – a figure that would have been boosted with Champions League qualification – it won’t be easy.
Expensive underperforming stars like Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi have been tipped to make way, raising funds and freeing up room on the wage bill. Ozil in particular appears to be on thin ice after an alleged bust up with Emery, but finding a club who can afford him will be tough.
River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios is the latest player linked with a move to Arsenal, and the 20-year-old Argentine would be a cheaper option than an established star from Europe.