Thierry Henry has urged Arsenal fans to be patient with manager Unai Emery despite the club’s difficult start to the new season.
Defeat at Leicester before the international break saw Arsenal fall eight points adrift of the Premier League‘s top four, with the pressure beginning to mount on Emery following a run of four league fixtures without a win.
The Gunners’ stuttering start has left them facing a difficult task to secure Champions League football, the club facing the realistic prospect of a fourth consecutive season outside of Europe’s elite.
Despite their current struggles, Arsenal legend Henry has urged patience and says the club must take gradual steps as they bid to challenge the best teams in the division.
“What can I tell you about Arsenal’s season? It’s a tough one because you can put Tottenham and Manchester United in that bracket of teams that are struggling at the minute,” Henry told Omnisport.
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“People didn’t expect Leicester to do what they are doing.
“Arsenal, it’s been a little while – or a very little while – that we haven’t been in the Champions League so for me as an Arsenal fan what I want to see is them, first and foremost, go back into the bracket of the teams that are going to be in the Champions League.”
The newly appointed Montreal Impact manager admits his former side are a long way off challenging for the league title, the club having last being crowned champions of England some 15 years ago.
The Frenchman – who won two league titles in North London – admits Emery faced a difficult task in replacing the long-serving Arsene Wenger and says it will take time to re-establish the club as challengers once again.
“Challenging for the league… listen, it’s going to be very difficult because even Manchester City look like they are struggling to follow Liverpool,” he added.
“Let’s think about, first and foremost, getting back into the Champions League which is going to be very difficult, and then from that, see where we can go.
“But all we can do right now as fans is try to support and give people time. It’s not easy to come in after Arsene Wenger and perform straight away.”