The former Gunners striker believes an iconic former boss still has plenty to offer and could help ease some of the pressure on an under-fire coach
Arsenal should bring Arsene Wenger back to the club as technical director, says Charlie Nicholas, with Unai Emery in need of assistance as he has been left “hanging on” to his job at Emirates Stadium.
The current man at the Gunners helm, who stepped into the shoes of an iconic predecessor in the summer of 2018, has been seeing some uncomfortable questions asked of his ongoing presence.
Struggles for consistency, particularly on the road, remain a serious thorn in Arsenal’s side under Emery, and Nicholas believes turning to a familiar face for help could prove to be a shrewd move.
The ex-Gunners forward told Sky Sports: “I would go in for Wenger and get him on the board or get him in as the technical director.
“Why let him talk to Bayern Munich and float about on TV when you can have that brain, fabric and understanding at the club right. He could work with an experienced manager to get it right. He can also improve the decision making. Why did Arsenal miss out on Gary Cahill, for example?
“Wenger couldn’t sort his own problems, but he could help Emery in certain ways. I was always teased about the hierarchy not being right, but we have around four guys arguing over transfers. Is Edu the one who says these are the players Arsenal are getting? Is he in strong communication with Emery?”
Nicholas believes there are a number of issues for Arsenal to address, with the club having lost the identity which once saw them billed as one of the most fearsome round ball-playing sides in Europe.
The Scot added: “What has been Arsenal’s style? It’s a complete disaster of a style and formation. He (Emery) does not know his best starting line-up or his best formation. This has been why he’s under the pressure he has been under, but I don’t think he will get sacked.
“He has been asking for time, but will he get the 18 months that takes him to the end of next season? There are plenty of Arsenal fans wanting Emery to go now, but reports suggest the club’s hierarchy are going to stick with the Spaniard for the time being. However, if things don’t turn around quickly, it may go down the line of Emery losing his job.
“Come January when the transfer window opens, the Arsenal board will say they have no money, but they need money for defenders. It’s either that, or you need to get rid of the dead wood. They got rid of plenty in the summer but in my opinion there’s more to go.”
A 2-0 defeat at fellow top-four hopefuls Leicester last time out has seen more pressure piled on Emery, with Nicholas conceding that the Spaniard has not been helping himself at times.
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He added: “I am confused with where this has been going, and that has been created by Emery’s own choices. If he doesn’t sort it out before Christmas, he does come under scrutiny.
“The top four was there for the taking, but Man Utd were struggling, Leicester and Chelsea are doing better than anticipated, but you want to be in there fighting. Arsenal are hopeless yet are still in sixth, but you have to stay at it and give yourself a chance to fight for those places.
“Emery must go positive to win football matches after international break. If this doesn’t work, he may be out by January – he has been hanging on. The board will not look to ease him out, but a lot of people are wondering why they should wait.”