Unai Emery is a man with a plan
Arsenal have turned around their struggle at the start of the season in some fashion and are currently driving forward on a 7-win-streak. Whether you’re a fan of his style or not, this impressive run of form comes down to the big changes Unai Emery has brought to this team.
At the risk of jinxing it all and hyping up our current run of form, we are looking pretty damn good! Not ‘we-can-win-the-league’ kind of good, but a ‘we-look-better-than-I-thought-we-would-at-this-point’ kind of good. Emery’s baptism of fire ended as we all pretty much expected it to, and some fans were immediately willing to jump on the poor fella’s back. That hasn’t weighed him down though, because following that start Unai Emery’s red and white army has won 7 games on the trot. Quite a turnaround, eh?
These 7 games haven’t provided the stiffest of challenges, with the toughest contender probably Watford’s outfit, but you can only beat what’s in front of you. When seated at the Emirates, there is a stronger sense of optimism and the fans are beginning to warm to Emery. His style is not everybody’s cup of tea, and the team is still finding their feet with it, but I mean… it’s been working. 7 wins on the bounce for a ‘struggling-to-evolve’ club is pretty impressive and it’s making those early season critics look a little bit silly as if they didn’t seem silly enough before. I’m looking at you Mers.
Clearly, Emery has come to Arsenal with a plan to meet the objectives set by the higher-ups in the club. This team is improving, and you can see it in their recent performances. The football might not be as visually pleasing to watch as that from some of Arsène Wenger’s teams, but we look a lot better in other parts of our game. None more so than the defensive performances, particularly over the last couple of weeks, taking 2 clean sheets in the last 2 Premier League games. Some of this can be put down to Torreira’s involvement in front of the back four, but it’s clear that Emery is giving some tactical structure to the backline and offering some decent coaching to our defenders. Mustafi is still looking a bit suspect but Sokratis has been impressive, Torreira looks the real deal, Monreal has shown some consistent displays, Bellerin has often been a good option out wide, and Rob Holding has been very impressive when he’s played. It’s all very promising.
It even looks as though Emery has revitalised Granit Xhaka and Alex Iwobi, both have been a pleasure to watch in recent weeks. Xhaka is looking a lot more comfortable with the protection Torreira offers, and Iwobi is starting to look like the player we all hoped that he would become under Wenger, making a strong case for a spot in the starting 11. The improvements at the back end of the squad have come on so quickly that it’s shocking, and I’m delighted.
Of course, there are still aspects of our game that need to improve, Emery needs to find a way to get our fantastic four clicking and he needs to find a way to add more bodies and energy into the center of the pitch, as there is often a big gap between our defensive and attacking lines. This will come in time and I’m more than confident that Emery has a plan to address these issues, but the most pressing problem seems to have been dealt with. You can’t ask for much more than that at present.
A 7-game winning streak has got me in a great mood heading into the Autumn and my fingers are crossed for it to continue. It will take time and patience, possibly a few bumps in the road, but I’m positive that Emery is the man with a plan that will continue to improve this team. My manager.