Arsenal Paul Merson Unai Emery Mesut Ozil Henrikh Mkhitaryan Champions League spot | Football | Sport

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has endured a turbulent first season as Gunners boss, with last Sunday’s defeat to Everton bringing a good run of form to an end.

The Spaniard took Arsenal on a 21-game unbeaten run at the beginning of the season, but the club remain on the fringe of a Champions League spot.

Paul Merson reckons that his former side are not doing enough in their pursuit for top four spot, and named their away form as the problem.

“Unai Emery could cost his team Champions League football unless he wises up,” Merson told the Daily Star.

“Arsenal are a completely different team away from home and they keep making the same mistake and losing.

“They have a soft centre and they need to be much harder to beat when they go away.

“You can’t go to Everton and play Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. You’re going to get overpowered.

“If you play them away from home, as soon as you lose the ball you’re playing with nine men.”

Ozil and Mkhitaryan both started last weekend, as Alexandre Lacazette played up front.

Merson believes that only one of the two play-makers should’ve started at Goodison – in favour of another central midfielder.

He continued: “Emery needs to stick another midfielder in there and keep things much tighter.

“It’s too easy to beat Arsenal at times.

“If someone like Rafa Benitez was in charge, Arsenal’s away record would be completely different.

“Trouble is, I think Emery would rather beat Napoli than Everton.

“He’d rather win the Europa League than finish fourth. But that is a dangerous game.”

Next up for Arsenal is a trip to play Watford on Monday evening.

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