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Paul Parker: Arsenal fans have made it vile to be a football manager

Paul Parker: Arsenal fans have made it vile to be a football manager

06/12/2019 at 16:33Updated 06/12/2019 at 17:01

Paul Parker believes that AFTV and the culture of abuse and bile at the Emirates has made the Arsenal manager's job an undesirable one...

Who would want to manage Arsenal?

Being a football manager now is quite vile. Arsenal have got to shoulder the blame for that because it all started with AFTV. If you don’t get the result you want, the fans go and shout and scream and swear and it’s become a laughing stock. These ‘fans’ blurt something out so they can try to become famous and forget about it five minutes later. The rest only watch it to laugh. But it affects people’s lives. It’s not just the players and the manager who are scared of being abused but their families too. Who would want to manage Arsenal and be in that firing line? If you lose one game you’re under immense pressure.

I think they have to give the job to someone they know like Patrick Vieira but why would he want to come back? He’s one of their immortals but he’s got so little to work with and within six weeks he could lose his aura at the club. There’s no quick fix and Arsenal have a lot of deadwood at the back but it’ll be hard to get buyers for them.

Problems from top to bottom at the Emirates

It’s not all about what’s happening on the pitch. You always have to look at the manager and the board when things go badly and the moment there are problems off the pitch with a club, it gets into players and it just gives the players an excuse. The recruitment of the players has been poor too, they’re just not good enough. With Raul Sanllehi, Edu and Vinai Venkatesham, there are too many chefs there. When you consider how bad Arsenal have been defensively, you must question why they got David Luiz. Sure he worked with Emery at PSG but most Arsenal fans would have seen him as a weak link at Chelsea because he’s just not a defender. Then you look at the Ozil situation and wonder how he’s on so much money and why there’s such a big gap between him and other players.

As for Nicolas Pepe, he’s by no means a bad player but he’s not worth £70 million. Either something has affected him in that club or something’s wrong with him in his make-up. So the recruitment was wrong as they did not assess him properly because you don’t go from scoring goals one season to looking so uncomfortable in the penalty box.

Whoever comes in has got to change it all from top to bottom but they’ll also be expected to hit the ground doubly quick and compete to get Arsenal back to where Arsene Wenger took them so many years ago. Unai Emery had to be fired. A lot of people just wanted him to resign because you could just see in his face that he wasn’t enjoying what he was doing any more.

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He could have had a stomach problem like Gary Lineker famously did. When I was at Fulham there was a player there who had a similar problem and had to get off the pitch or completely embarrass himself. If you do that, you know you’re putting yourself under pressure. If you’re only going for a number one, then you can question that but I believe that he had a stomach problem and had no other option. He wouldn’t exactly choose to do it when Arsenal were chasing a game.