Unai Emery has called for calm as Arsenal head into the international break with one win from seven in all competitions after losing at Leicester on Saturday night.
Jamie Vardy once again proved to be the scourge of the Gunners as he scored his ninth goal in as many appearances in this fixture before setting up James Maddison to seal a 2-0 victory at the King Power Stadium.
For Arsenal, this was another galling 90 minutes and they now sit eight points off the top four with Emery’s remit to take the club back to the Champions League now looking further away than ever since his appointment last May.
Two wins from 10 in the league has seen the pressure mount on Emery’s position with “Emery Out” once again trending on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the game.
But the beleaguered Spaniard has defended his team time and again and has asked for patience as the international fixtures promise to give him a little respite from growing criticism.
“For me, as a coach, it’s about continuing stronger and improving with our players,” he said.
“I am speaking with the club to stay calm and to stay patient to improve and recover some confidence with some circumstances.
“We are receiving criticism but I know that’s my job. I’ve had lots of moments like that but I’ve recovered by working to get confidence, being together with the club and players.
“I accept all (of the criticism). I accept the applause and I accept it when they criticise us. I know when we win, they are going to be happy and when we lose, they are going to be sad. It’s normal.
“We need to stay calm and also keep improving things. Today we got one step ahead by being together and being strong defensively. But we lost because we were playing a very strong team in a good moment.”
Emery was also quick to praise the application of his team, adding: “We can be disappointed with the result but with the attitude of the players, they did the game plan we prepared for.
“We started the first half by having chances by controlling the game, and at the start of the second half too, in our moment like we wanted.
“The attitude was good, the game plan was prepared for and the players did that. The other team are in a good moment, at home and feeling strong.”
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers had suggested heading into the game that his side – now second in the table – could drop a “hand grenade” into the established top-six clubs.
After seeing off Arsenal he backed up those claims and suggested Emery’s defensive-minded approach proves Leicester are now demanding the respect of all opposition.
A post shared by Leicester City (@lcfc) on Nov 9, 2019 at 11:22am PST
“I think so,” he replied when asked if Arsenal’s set-up was a compliment to his team.
“Unai is a very, very good coach, he knows his players, he knows what game and formation he needs to play to be at their best. We’ve come out on top today and obviously we are delighted.
“I suppose for ourselves, we have thrown a hand grenade right into the middle of them all. Our job is to improve and to be better.”
Despite the result and the fact they move second only to his former club Liverpool, Rodgers refused to put Leicester into the title picture.
Leicester’s haul of 26 points from their 12 #PL matches this season is their most at this stage of a top-flight campaign
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 9, 2019
“We are not really thinking about the title race,” he added.
“We are thinking about the development of the team and making them better. I said if we can bring European football here in my time, that would be great.
“It’s a huge credit to the players because how they’ve adapted to how I’ve asked them to work and everything they’ve put in has been very good.
“They are playing with confidence, they are playing with a steel, defensively we were good.”