Arsenal Head Coach Unai Emery has described the Gunners’ trip to Leicester City this weekend as a “must-win” fixture. The north-London outfit come into this game off the back of a poor run of results and defeat this weekend could deal their hopes of returning to the UEFA Champions League a huge blow.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday (via Sky Sports), Emery said “Must-win? Yes. We need to win and it’s very important for us tomorrow.
“But our mentality is every time to play first, using our best structure and organisation to be strong and also our individual players to use their quality to win. But in our mind, for each match it is only to win.”
Asked about Saturday’s opponents, Emery said, “Brendan Rodgers is a very good manager and he is doing very good work, as he did here in England with Swansea, with Liverpool and also Glasgow Celtic.
“He arrived here last year and his team was improving progressively and this year I think it’s no surprise for me. It’s a very good team with a very good coach and they are a very organised team.
“We are taking, as a good moment, sometimes as a bad result, but the most important is to keep the balance. I think as a coach I learned that, in my mind to be with that balance when we win, when we lose. For me it’s not to play tomorrow under pressure, it’s to play under a very big opportunity to change that.
“We are drawing the last matches, we can see those matches negatively because we didn’t win or positively because we didn’t lose. We are in the balance, but we when you are a team like Arsenal we need to win more than draw or lose.”
TIF Tactics – How important is Leicester City vs Arsenal this weekend?
Defeat for Arsenal this weekend could see them end up nine points behind Leicester City and potentially Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. That would put the Gunners in an extremely difficult position heading into the winter period.
Emery could face losing his job if the club were unable to finish in the top four once again but he has the added insurance policy of potentially qualifying for the Champions League via the Europa League. For that reason, the Spaniard is likely to keep his job regardless of this weekends result.
However, with each passing week and disappointing performance, the pressure from the fans is increasing and so although this is an extremely difficult fixture it poses an opportunity for Emery to relieve some of that stress with a victory.