Arsenal fans have, without question, been spoilt over the years, especially in the 90’s with the likes of Henry, Bergkamp and Pires.
Under Wenger they played expressive, attacking, free flowing football, that made them the envy of the premiership but the reality was that they only won three premier league titles in the Frenchman’s reign.
Having enjoyed that period, it’s entirely natural to expect that level of play and crave its return but with football, success comes in cycles and styles change with the demands of the game and to meet the terms of the opposition.
The main difference between Wenger and Emery is obvious.
The Frenchman believed in freedom of expression and that attack was the best form of defence.
Poor results and lack of form would not dent his principles or core beliefs, almost arrogantly persisting with a group of players and formation, regardless of what was required for an upcoming match.
Emery is more of a tactical coach, a data man, who believes in defence turned into attack but it’s evident that he wants to entertain. His results at the start of the season had online bookies like pokiepop offering wild odds for arsenal finishing in the top four but not anymore for sure.
Unai Emery is not opposed to gaining a result by whatever means but his rotation policy with his current players, through a lack of quality and various injuries have made it difficult.
As Arsenal wrestle for a new identity fans will have to take stock and bare in mind that their old Arsenal may be consigned to the past for sometime, if not indefinitely.
Out of the ashes will come a new team for a different, complex era , one that needs to hark back to the Graham days of stubborn resistance.
One that has a midfield that can change gears, one that doesn’t want to walk the ball in the net and score a Rembrandt goal.
Perhaps the team will be a mix of the best of Wenger and the best of Emery but we won’t really know for perhaps another two seasons.
The optimism has faded slightly due to this feverish desire for the gunners to be everything they were but realistically that can’t happen and won’t happen.
We don’t have the same players and it doesn’t matter if Arsenal spend £200m, we won’t get close to the Invincible’s side of 2004.
We won’t have that phenomenal mix of world class talent that once attracted the attention of all the big clubs.
It’s time to clear the decks, stop living in the past living off former glories and adapt to the team that we will become.
Liverpool are a fine example of a club having to bide their time and embrace change.
It wasn’t a quick fix and the current success was based on appointing a manager, Juergen Klopp, who was bought in for the long haul.
Klopp has been supported financially and has fashioned a side that almost reached the pinnacle of European success but it’s not over.
They will reinforce in the summer and be in contention for the major prizes next term.
If they don’t win the premier league this year, they will run close and be a force to be reckoned with next season.
This should be the ambition of Arsenal fans in the next five years, if it comes sooner that’s great but Emery is the beginning, he needs support from the fans and board to make it a reality.
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