Unai Emery is to lose his job as Spartak Moscow coach if the team’s poor run of form continues, a former Spartak player and friend of the club’s executive director suggested to R-Sport on Wednesday.
Spartak started the season brightly, but have slipped to sixth in the Russian Premier League after winning only two of their last six fixtures and are on the brink of an early Champions League exit, with no points after two group stage games.
Emery succeeded Valery Karpin in the Spartak coaching job when Karpin moved upstairs to become executive director at the end of last season.
“Everyone understands perfectly well that if there aren’t the results, then he’s not justifying the trust and isn’t working in the way they wanted when they hired him,” said Andrei Tikhonov, who was on Karpin’s coaching staff last season and won three Russian titles with him as a player.
“It’s a question for the management,” Tikhonov said when asked about Emery’s future, adding that Spartak’s upcoming games against Anzhi in the Russian league and Benfica in the Champions League could prove vital.
Tikhonov did not rule out Karpin returning to his old coaching role, but suggested he might be unwilling to face the abuse from fans that characterized his last months in charge.
Part of the problem for Spartak is that ex-Valencia coach Emery rotates the squad too often, Tikhonov said.
“With him, one player is playing first, then a second, then a third. It doesn’t lead to good things.”
“The squad should be stable. One or two players should change, but certainly not four or five. Anyway, constant squad rotation is abnormal.”
Emery and Karpin played together at Real Sociedad in the 1990s.
Emery left Valencia after leading the Spanish side to third in La Liga last season.