Unai Emery’s future as Arsenal coach was plunged into further doubt on Thursday when the Gunners slumped to a 2-1 loss in the Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt but the Spaniard said he did not fear for his job.
Arsenal are now winless in seven games, the club’s worst run since 1992.
Emery shrugged off multiple questions regarding his position during the post-match press conference.
“Now our moment is not good. We need to win, take confidence and I think we are better than we are showing. The players, the coaches and myself,” 48-year-old Emery said.
“I am thinking about the next match (against Norwich on Sunday) and how we can improve.
“My work and my job is firstly analysing that match, how we are in the Europa League, in our feelings and how we are going to play on Sunday.”
Japan midfielder Daichi Kamada scored a second-half double for Eintracht after captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had opened the scoring in first half injury time for Arsenal inside a half-full Emirates Stadium.
Boos from the lowest attendance at the ground since it opened in 2006 greeted Emery and his misfiring team at the final whistle while some disgruntled fans held up banners demanding ‘Emery Out’.
Aubameyang struck home just before the half-time whistle with a low effort for his ninth goal in 14 matches.
Kamada’s equaliser came 10 minutes later as he curled a tidy shot past Emiliano Martinez before adding his second on 64 minutes with a drive from outside the box to inflict a first home defeat of the campaign on Emery’s men.
The Gunners are still on course for a last 32 place if they draw with Standard Liege on December 12.
Scottish champions Celtic clinched top spot in Group E with a 3-1 win over Rennes while Wolves reached the knockout stages with a 3-3 draw at fellow qualifiers Braga in Group K.
Rangers drew 2-2 at Feyenoord to hold top spot in Group G with a one point lead ahead of their last game against Young Boys.
Earlier, Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini was hit by coins as the Italian club kept their last 32 hopes alive with a 3-0 victory at Istanbul Basaksehir.
Attacking midfielder Pellegrini had his head bandaged after he was struck by multiple coins with an hour of the game played after Jordan Veretout, Justin Kluivert and Edin Dzeko had claimed the advantage for the Serie A outfit in Turkey.
The visitors remain in contention for a knock-out spot and sit behind leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach, who beat Austrians Wolfsberg 1-0, on goal difference with the Turkish side a point behind on seven.
Drama as DSS Officers Engage Sowore in Scuffle in Attempt to Rearrest Him
A mid drama ensued inside the courtroom this morning as men believed to be officers of the Department of State Service made attempt to rearrest the RevolutionNow protest convener, Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore was released around 7pm on Thursday following an ultimatum issued by the court.
Ex-Abia State Gov, Uzor Kalu Bags 12 Years Imprisonment for Graft
The Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced a former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, to a maximum of 12 years imprisonment for N7.65bn fraud, among other multiple sentences ranging from 3 years to 5 years on 27 counts.
Justice Mohammad Idris also convicted and sentenced his two other accomplices who were also found guilty of N7.65bn fraud.
They got multiple sentences between 10 years and 3 years.
Kalu’s co-defendants are his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited; and Udeh Udeogu, who was Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during Kalu’s tenure as governor.
The judge also ordered that Slok be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
Saraki’s Ordeal Continues as Court Orders Forfeiture of Houses to FG
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday secured an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos for the forfeiture of two houses in Ilorin, Kwara State, belonging to a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
The EFCC told the court it uncovered monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011, when Saraki was the governor of the state.
Based on an ex parte application filed by the EFCC pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006, Justice Rilwan Aikawa ordered the temporary forfeiture of Saraki’s two properties designated as Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State.
An operative of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq, said in an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application that the EFCC moved to have the two houses forfeited after investigating “the report of a committee set up to review sales of Kwara State Government properties during the reign of the Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.”
Sadiq said the EFCC also received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011.”
He said, “Whilst the investigation was ongoing, several fraudulent transactions were discovered.
“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:
“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.
“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after the payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m would be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.
“That upon the payment of the said N100m, same would, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House.”
The EFCC said it believed that Saraki developed the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activities.
Counsel for the commission, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, urged Justice Aikawa to order their temporary forfeiture to the Federal Government.
After granting the order as prayed, Justice Aikawa directed the EFCC to publish the temporary forfeiture order in a national newspaper and adjourned till December 17 for anyone interested in the properties to appear before him to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
Reacting to the judgment, Saraki maintained his position that the application to the Federal High Court, Lagos, for interim forfeiture order on his Ilorin home by the EFCC was an abuse of the court process and a violation of a subsisting order of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, vowed to challenge the verdict at a higher court of competent jurisdiction.