5 things that could define Unai Emery's era at Arsenal
The post-Arsene Wenger era is finally here. The Frenchman bid farewell to Arsenal ending a passionate association of 22 years. The departure was met with teary eyes, even by the staunchest Wenger-Out endorsers.
Now, Le Professeur is replaced at the helm by Unai Emery, who enhanced his attacking prowess with PSG and Sevilla, with whom he won three consecutive Europa league titles. He seems to be tailormade for the post-Wenger Arsenal, as he sustains a lot in common with Wenger, both on and off the ground.
With Emery taking charge at the Emirates, one can expect the club to have an upward spiral. It will not be inexpedient to say that despite all contributions Wenger made to the club, the progress of the club stagnated during the last couple of years. The fact that Arsenal failed to finish inside the top 4 further proves this point.
In spite of having won three out of the last five FA cups, Wenger-led Arsenal's performance in the EPL can be called shambolic with regards to the brand of football that the Emirates outfit was once famous for. The new boss needs to revamp the following areas Wenger failed to properly address if he needs to triumph at Arsenal.
Much needs to be done by the Spaniard to have a successful stint at the Emirates.
#1 Build a leak-proof defence
The pot which has holes hardly retains any water. This case can be applied to Arsenal's defence in the last few years.
Arsenal shipped in 94 goals in past two Premier League seasons, making them the team to concede most goals among the top six clubs. Furthermore, against the top-six, Arsenal emerged as the team to concede a whopping 19 goals last season! Tactical master play by the teams was at work for some of the goals, but the majority of them were the result of the Arsenal defenders shooting themselves in the foot.
Laurent Koscielny, touted as among the best in the league for the past decade, has been a shadow of his former self. His defence partner, Shkodran Mustafi was synonymous with ‘Mr. Inconsistent’. The defensive duo made a string of nervous errors, providing the opposing clubs with chances after chances to score goals.
Unai Emery has already made efforts to acknowledge this weakness by adding two experienced, determined, no-nonsense defenders - Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The manner in which Lichsteiner managed to contain the dazzling Brazilian triangle of Neymar-Coutinho-Marcelo should provide high hopes to the Gooners worldwide.
Petr Cech's arrival delighted the Arsenal supporters, but the holder of the highest number of clean sheets in the Premier League has been far from the player who had been a huge part of what can be considered as Chelsea's golden generation.
The gem of a signing among the lot is the summation of the tireless Lucas Torreira. The way Torreira played as a defensive midfielder for Uruguay during the ongoing World Cup is enough to show that Arsenal might have its very own Kante or Casemiro. The former Sampdoria midfielder is what Arsenal lacked since the effervescent tough-tackling Patrick Vieira.
Apart from this, he has managed to keep the Arsenal faithful away from cribbing and mongering about spending. Well done Unai.