Arsenal VS West Ham: Unai Emery's First Win
It isn't news that Unai Emery has made all substitutions before the 75th minute of every game he has managed since this season took off. All Arsenal fans can remember, at this point, were the countless occasions when Arsene Wenger didn't make a single substitution before the 75th minute. Some pundits have even gone as far as saying the Emirates Stadium must feel more refreshing because of Arsenal's forward-thinking and flexible new manager.
During the West Ham match, Unai Emery's tactical substitutions had a noticeable impact on the game as a whole. While Lacazette came in for Alex Iwobi in the 46th minute to disrupt the West Ham defence consistently, Lucas Torreira took over from Guendouzi before the hour and brought stamina, work rate, and energy to the midfield. Aubameyang was substituted for Danny Welbeck, who scored the third Arsenal goal with 92 minutes on the clock.
During his press conference after the match, Emery highlighted the clear impact of his tactical substitutions, and the importance of every single player in the team, rather than just the starting eleven.
In his press conference, Emery stated:
We need every player. The first 11 is very important but the players [that come into] the match are very important also, for each match. They can play five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes or 45 minutes. We need this. T
oday in the situation, it made a difference. Laca, Lucas and Welbeck are three very important players. They go onto the pitch and help the team. That’s why I am very happy and we need all the players.
I remember saying that Unai Emery could have a crowd of easily swayed Gunners fans on his neck if Arsenal didn't take all three points from this West Ham game. Rather than discussing Arsenal's many failures, it's great, for a change, to talk about a strong win in which Arsenal dominated possession, worked at the final third consistently and came back from one goal down to win.
Let's hope their fortunes aren't too short-lived.