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Defiant Emery responds to Mourinho-Arsenal links

By Ben Spratt
Unai Emery

Guimaraes (Portugal), November 7: Unai Emery had little interest in considering the possibility of Jose Mourinho replacing him as Arsenal manager following a disappointing draw at Vitoria SC.

Pressure has been building on Gunners boss Emery following a string of underwhelming results, with Arsenal winless in three in all competitions coming into Wednesday's Europa League clash.

That unwanted streak was extended to a fourth match as Bruno Duarte's stoppage-time strike cancelled out Shkodran Mustafi's 80th-minute opener.

Vitoria SC 1-1 Arsenal: Duarte denies Gunners at the death

In the lead-up to the contest in Portugal, the name of former rival Mourinho was linked with Emirates Stadium.

Mourinho, an Arsenal nemesis in his time at Chelsea, has been out of work since his sacking at Manchester United late last year and speculation is building about his next job, prompting talk of the Gunners swooping as Emery toils.

Asked if he was concerned by mention of Mourinho on Wednesday, Emery simply replied: "I am the coach."

The defiant Arsenal boss offered no further comment on his future as he prepared to turn his focus towards Saturday's trip to high-flying Leicester City.

Arsenal suffered a late-season slump in 2018-19 - Emery's first campaign - to finish fifth in the Premier League, the same position they now occupy, six points behind Chelsea in fourth.

This season, in addition to difficulties on the pitch, Emery has regularly had to field questions on Mesut Ozil, who has struggled to get a run in the team despite an infamously huge contract.

Emery also removed Granit Xhaka as club captain ahead of the Vitoria game, following a high-profile clash between the midfielder and Arsenal fans when he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month.

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Story first published: Thursday, November 7, 2019, 1:20 [IST]
Other articles published on Nov 7, 2019
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