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How Arsenal could line up under Jose Mourinho with Unai Emery on the brink | Football | Sport


Unai Emery is reportedly on the brink at Arsenal following a poor start to the season which sees the Gunners six points adrift of top four.

After 15 months in the Emirates Stadium hotseat, fans and, ostensibly, board members are beginning to lose patience with the Spaniard.

Reports on Sunday claimed that Emery is two games away from being sacked with former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho lined up as the desired replacement.

Mourinho was sacked from United last December but has managed to repair his reputation and allure with some gravitating punditry in the last 11 months.

The lack of identity and success under Emery has led to some fans believing Mourinho may be a panacea to their problems.

For all his negatives, of which there are a large amount, Mourinho has won trophies everywhere he has managed and has a clearer approach to games.

His big ego would have to fit into a strict structure at Arsenal with a hierarchy already in place for scouting and transfers.

So with the current Arsenal squad, how would Mourinho likely line up?

GK: Bernd Leno

Leno has faced more shots than any other Premier League goalkeeper this season and shown he is a good shot-stopper.

Mourinho does not have many more options in the position with Emiliano Martinez and Matt Macey considerable downgrades.

RB: Hector Bellerin

Mourinho likes energetic full-backs and Bellerin, who is struggling to make it back into the league side despite performances in other competitions, offers exactly that.

The vice-captain also seems a strong character in the dressing room, as shown in his reaction to Granit Xhaka’s incident with fans last weekend, which Mourinho – and any coach, for that matter – values.

CB: David Luiz

The Brazilian formed part of Mourinho’s defence as Chelsea won the league in 2013/14 and everyone knows how Jose favours those he trusts.

He has gone on record before saying how Luiz’s concentration can sometimes lead to mistakes but he is a more reliable and proven professional than Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

CB: Rob Holding

Holding is knocking on the door of the first team and has the makings of a solid centre-back.

Mourinho showed at United he was willing to put faith in youthful members of the squad and Holding, with his large stature, would appeal to the Portuguese tactician.

LB: Kieran Tierney

Much like Bellerin, Tierney is a livewire down the flank and has impressed since joining in the summer.

He has broken into the first-team under Emery after gaining full fitness and would stay there under Jose.

CM: Matteo Guendouzi

Mourinho likes to have height and strength in his midfield and 6ft 2in Guendouzi ticks the boxes, with the Frenchman a standout performer under Emery.

He has the tactical awareness to position himself well in a midfield two – for which Mourinho has a preference – and is also adept at passing forward.

CM: Lucas Torreira

Arsenal fans have been screaming out for Torreira to, firstly, start and, secondly, start in the correct position – holding midfield.

The Uruguayan plays further forward under Emery but has all the tenacity and ball-winning skill to perform the more defensive role in a two-man pivot.

RW: Nicolas Pepe

Pepe has not quite hit the ground running as hoped since his £72million move in the summer but has shown a wand of a left foot as well as a willingness to put in the hard yards.

Mourinho would have to give the Ivorian a chance to prove his worth in a disciplined wing role, especially with pressure from above who want to club-record signing to flourish.

CAM: Mesut Ozil

Mourinho worked wonders with Ozil at Real Madrid, allowing him to flourish in a No 10 role from which he scored 29 goals and provided 80 assists from 157 appearances.

Until the last week he was cut out of the first-team picture by Unai Emery, who has fallen out with the German. Starting Ozil would immediately get supporters on side for Mourinho.

LW: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The most valuable player in the Arsenal squad, epitomised by his potent scoring record of 50 goals in 76 appearances.

His goalscoring consistency has not been damaged by playing on the wing from time to time and with the defensively-minded Tierney behind him, Aubameyang should fit in with Mourinho’s pragmatism.

ST: Alexandre Lacazette

Lacazette has a fantastic relationship with Aubameyang both on and off the field and links together the forward line very well.

Mourinho has preferred a target man earlier in his career but Lacazette suits those around him and also provides a strong source of goals.



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