5 Reasons Why Arsenal and Unai Emery Are A Success This Season

Currently, Arsenal are 5th in the Premier League and in the semi-finals of the Europa League, get Arsenal fans aren’t happy.

No matter what happens to Arsenal from here on out this season, here are 5 reasons why Arsenal and Unai Emery have been a success:

5. The Europa League

We are in the semi-finals of the Europa League, and beaten some quality teams in the process. There have been some ups and downs during that campaign, but we’re still in the competition and have a chance of winning it.

4. Players Have Improved

Look at players like Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Rob Holding – they have improved so much this season. And before they got injured, Bellerin and Holding were up there as our best players – and personally for me Holding was simply outstanding before he got cruelly taken off at Old Trafford and if it wasn’t for that injury, there’s no doubt in my mind we’d be 3rd in the Premier League right now.

3. Our Fixture List

People seem to forget how horrendous it is to play football on Thursday evenings. Not just because it’s not the Champions League, but mainly because it absolutely screws with our Premier League fixtures.

We end up playing on a Sunday or Monday but we hardly have time to prepare for the league when the team travel back on a Friday and whoever we’re playing (unless it’s Chelsea as they’re also in the Europa League) is guaranteed to have had more rest going into our game.

2. The Quality of Our Squad

Make no mistake, our current squad with the talent that it has, should be finishing 6th in the Premier League. So if we do finish 6th or above (which is pretty much guaranteed at this point) then we will be meeting / exceeding expectations.

Also, somehow Emery has got this team into the semi-finals of the Europa League to boot.

1. There Are Clear Signs of Progression

Which ever way you decide to look at it, changing the culture Arsene Wenger implemented at the club was always going to take time to do. People seem to conveniently forget that in his first season, Jurgen Klopp finished 8th in the Premier League, and it’s taken him 4 seasons to get Liverpool challenging for the league title.

Added to that, he also had an owner who wasn’t Stan Kroenke so actually had some big money to spend – £75 million for Virgil Van Dijk anyone?

But there a positive signs that Unai Emery is changing things for the better, and once he gets a chance to mould this Arsenal squad in his image, then I’m sure we’ll be improving on this season and beyond.

 

Arsenal Fans Need To Get A Grip – Emery Is Exceeding Expectations!

I’ve seen and read a lot about Arsenal’s recent slump, and the vitriol spouted at Unai Emery in particular.

And quite frankly, Arsenal fans need to get a grip.

After over two decades under the Arsene Wenger regime, Unai Emery has been brought in to improve Arsenal and get us higher up in the table.

And isn’t he doing that?

The current Arsenal squad is built to finish 6th in the Premier League table, make no bones about it. And currently, we are 5th.

At the start of the season if you said to me Arsenal would finish 5th and be in the Europa League semi-finals, I would have bitten you arm off.

The problem is, many Arsenal fans are deluded and believe we have a divine right to finish in the Top 4, or should be challenging for the Premier League.

That is going to take time. Look at Liverpool now – they’re pushing Manchester City all the way and are genuine title contenders – although that’s all I hope they are as Liverpool actually winning the league would be horrendous for all concerned. But that tangent aside, becoming a bonafide challenger for the league takes time.

Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield in October 2015 so it’s taken the German manager 4 seasons to mould this Liverpool side in his image. In his first season, he finished 8th! It wasn’t until his second season that his Liverpool team finished 4th, and that was only by a solitary point when Arsenal finished 5th that season.

So perhaps some perspective is needed here?

And by the by, Jurgen Klopp didn’t have Silent Stan Kroenke as the owner so actually had a hefty amount of money to spend as well (£75 million for Van Dijk anyone?).

How much has Unai Emery had to spend? Somehow, we are in 5th in the Premier League and he’s done it with a side he’s had to inherit off Arsene Wenger – which contains some absolute drivel like Mustafi. Added to that, when Klopp got Liverpool into the Top 4 that was when it was easier to do so in the Premier League – this season is the toughest we’ve seen at the top of the league in a long long time. So if anything he should be applauded for getting us to that high up in the table.

Unai Emery needs time and we need to get behind the manager like Liverpool fans got behind Klopp. It’s taken 4 years to get where they are and look where they are now. Unai Emery hasn’t even had the chance to bring in any of his own players yet and he’s trying to change a culture at the club which has been ingrained over 2 decades so he’s not going to be able to change that overnight.

Emery is doing an absolutely fantastic job and Arsenal are currently above where they should be, and Arsenal fans should remember that.

 

Should Arsenal Rest Players And Lose Against Manchester City?

This weekend Arsenal travel to Manchester to take on the blue half of the city, in a game which is important to us in terms of remaining in the Top 4, but also for Manchester City it’s a huge game because they currently sit 5 points behind Liverpool, who play on Monday night against West Ham United.

Regarding Arsenal, we currently sit in 4th place on 47 points – equal on goal difference with Chelsea but above them based the greater number of goals scored. A resurgent Manchester United, who have won 8 and drawn 1 of their 9 games under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, are two points behind us in 6th.

We are in the best league position we’ve been in so far under Unai Emery and at this stage of the season crept into the Top 4. With Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on another level, it is essentially a 3 horse race for that last Champions League spot. So a win after this weeks football would be massive in terms of giving us a chance to finish the season in 4th.

This weekend, Chelsea host Huddersfield Town and Manchester United travel to Leicester, so you would imagine that anything less than 3 points against Manchester City would mean that we drop to 5th or even 6th.

For Manchester City, who sit 5 points behind Liverpool, a win is vital against us as they would put the pressure on the scousers. A win would put them 2 points behind and then all eyes would be on Monday night where the hope would be that Liverpool bottle it (like that have done before) and lose or draw that game.

Now, I would never hope that Arsenal lose a match, that’s obvious. But my question would be should Arsenal play their strongest team?

After the Manchester City match, our Premier League and Europa League fixtures are:

  • Huddersfield Town (A)
  • BATE Borisov (A)
  • BATE Borisov (H)
  • Southampton (H)
  • AFC Bournemouth (H)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (A)
  • Manchester United (H)
  • Wolverhampton Wanders (A)
  • Newcastle United (H)
  • Everton (A)
  • Watford (A)
  • Crystal Palace (H)
  • Leicester City (A)
  • Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
  • Burnley (A)

If you look at the Premier League fixtures, the only fixtures which you would think would be really tough games are the ones against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

Take those games away and that leaves us with 10 winnable league games.

Consider we have struggled really badly with defensive injuries (do we have a curse?) then you would like to avoid a situation like we did in the FA Cup game against Manchester United where we couldn’t get into the game, were never in a position to win it and ended up hauling off Koscielny and Sokratis with injuries.

So is it worth rotating the squad against Manchester City, ensuring we don’t lose any more defenders or even some of our important attacking players, such as Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ramsey or Özil (hehe).

If it was up to me I would give some of the first team players a rest, especially when they’ve been through a gruelling winter schedule, and then allow them to be fresher for the remaining games in the Premier League and in Europe. This way, we give ourselves the best possible chance to secure a Champions League spot for next season either through the league or the Europa League.

But what do you think? Should Arsenal go all out against Manchester City? Or should they be conservative, rest some of their first team players and then just see what happens?

Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section!


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What Are Your Predictions for the Arsenal v Chelsea Match?

Arsenal are in a bit of a slump at the moment, struggling against West Ham, Brighton and Liverpool, only picking up 1 single point from those 3 games. Chelsea are up and down as well, but have done better this season and sit a comfortable 6 points above us in 4th place. A defeat would increase the gap to a massive 9 points, with only 15 games remaining – and with Manchester United flying high with the Baby-Faced Assassin at the helm, losing today would be a massive massive dent in our Champions League hopes.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. A win would bring us to within 3 points and 4th place would be all to play for. And a win against a top side like Chelsea would be a big confidence boost to the team and players, and hopefully signal the start of a better run in the league than we have seen of late.

So what do you think? Can we put in a top performance and beat Chelsea today? Or will we make the same defensive mistakes yet again and lose the match and any chance of finishing in the Champions League places?

Personally, I think Arsenal can pull it out of the bag and win 2-1!

Leave your predictions and thoughts in the comments section below, and COYG!!

 

Vote Here – Who Is To Blame For Arsenal’s Slump In Form?

Arsenal went on an impressive – and surprising – 22 game unbeaten run which was brilliant and showed that with the right ideas and training, we can improve on the football pitch. But even with the new management we are still lacking in key areas, and it seems as if investment is not forthcoming.

It’s been 10 years now since Stan Kroenke got involved with Arsenal and to date has not invested a single penny into improving the team, and constantly hides behind Arsenal’s “self sustaining model’. And correct me if I’m wrong, but he’s possibly the first ever owner not to put any money in and try and help the team on the pitch?

Under Arsene Wenger Arsenal slipped from title challengers, to a Top Four side, to a Top Six side. Unai Emery has taken over and let’s be completely honest here – inherited a Top Six squad. Arsenal are currently 5th and in reality that’s where they should be. Arsenal need investment to go to the next level.

Some players have under performed this season, notably our defence. Lichtsteiner and Mustafi in particular have been awful this season and at their age, won’t improve. The Mesut Özil situation has become a farce – the second highest paid player in the Premier League is out of favour and always “injured”. He’s worse than bloody Darren Anderton!

Then we have the manager. Unai Emery has taken on a mammoth task and has had a lot of problems to deal with. But has he got some of his team selections right?

It’s clear we’ve reached a crunch time in the season and things aren’t falling apart just yet, but could descend into a real slump.

So how can we get back on track? Does the manager need to re-think his tactics and ideas? Do the players need to get their act together and start playing for the badge? Or does Stan Kroenke (finally) need to put his hand in his pockets and actually help strengthen the squad?

Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comment section!

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