Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 12 Nov 2019 11:52 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link113Shares Unai Emery is really struggling for results with Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)There have been calls from fans and former players for Emery to be sacked, but Merson does not see that happening now that we are into the international break and that Arsenal have a favourable run of fixtures ahead of them.The Gunners’ next four Premier League games are Southampton (h), Norwich (a), Brighton (h), West Ham (a), before hosting Manchester City.Merson believes that this would have been the perfect time to replace the Spaniard and that he has been lucky to keep his job.‘Looking at what’s to come with Arsenal, the fixtures, I think he’s there for the long run,’ continued the former England international.‘I think this was a prime [time] to say ‘right, let’s get someone in, this hasn’t worked, bring a manager in, got five or six unbelievable football games to come up, get off to a great start, and then we go from there.‘I think he’s very fortunate.’Reports suggest that the Arsenal board have given Emery until New Year’s Day, when his side host Manchester United, to turn things around.If the Gunners are not in with a realistic chance of the top four by that stage, he may well face the sack.MORE: Arsenal players have given up on Unai Emery and the board are ready to sack him, says Emmanuel PetitMORE: Arsenal board give ultimatum to Unai Emery Advertisement Paul Merson says Arsenal are deteriorating under Unai Emery but he will not be sacked any time soon Arsenal were dejected after defeat to Leicester on Saturday (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal are not only bad at defending, but are now below par in attack as well, according to club legend Paul Merson.The Gunners are enduring a poor run of results which has seen them go without a win in their last five matches and manager Unai Emery come under immense pressure.Recent Premier League defeats to Sheffield United and Leicester City have left Arsenal eight points adrift of the top four and in something of a crisis of confidence.The defence has come in for criticism for many months, but Merson now believes that Arsenal’s once potent attack has been dragged down to the level of the rest of the team.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I don’t see any change at Arsenal,’ Merson told Sky Sports. ‘They don’t keep clean sheets, they let in goals for fun and do you know the worst thing about it now?‘They don’t even really look like scoring goals, which is the thing with me, with Arsenal, they always looked like they were going to score goals, even though they would be ropy at the back.‘But I don’t see that happening now.’ Advertisement Comment
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By Elroy StephneyFORMER Essequibo inter-county wicket-keeper/batsman Asif Akbar believes that there is urgent need for the establishment of a rehabilitation centre to protect athletes.Akbar was regarded as one of the finest wicketkeepers to have emerged from the county and who enjoyed a satisfying career representing Essequibo.He also played for local teams including Lima United and Anna Regina Sports Club in first division matches.Akbar remains an avid reader and has sought to become a mentor for emerging sportsmen in the Region. According to Akbar who spoke with Chronicle Sport, “It is evident that the country is losing its promising athletes because of drug and alcohol abuse.”He cited instances where many national and international sportsmen have become drug addicts, some after they have retired.When juxtaposed, he claimed that in the present circumstances the youths are now falling prey even before their careers have developed.It is his view therefore that there should be a national intervention in establishing a centre that will seek to help our sportsmen in responsibly dealing with the dangerous phenomenon and preserve the rich talent of the small population.Akbar further reasoned that in Essequibo, it is quite a challenge because there are limited opportunities for the athletes.As a result, he claimed that the easiest resort is to indulge in drug and alcohol consumption. “Athletes have no proper training facilities, there are very few stimulating competitions and many sports clubs are either defunct or dormant’, he observed.In this regard, the stylish batsman is recommending that Government urgently address the local situation while nationally; there should be an appropriate centre to deal with the deviant behaviour of athletes, who need help to resurrect their careers, and others who may need assistance to carry on in life.Akbar, a devout Muslim remains a strong advocate for institutional and structural advances in sports within Region 2.He was also a skilful footballer and is willing to share his immense experience with youths from the county. However, he is distraught by the lack of commitment and passion from the emerging talent while acknowledging that the broken and non- existent policies and programmes are contributors to the present scenario.However, he sees the need for urgent intervention by the relevant authorities to safeguard the future of sportsmen and women by creating rehab centres nationally to reduce the negative impact of an increasing number of victims.