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Unai Emery ERA Begins As We Take A Close Look At His Tactics And Squad Formation.

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On 23rd May, Arsenal Football Club and Spanish manager Unai Emery began a new chapter in the club’s history subsequent to the end of Arsene Wenger’s 22 year reign at the club. The new head coach has revealed what he expects from the team as The Gunners get ready to begin the new season on August 12 against defending champions Manchester City.

Over the past 22 years, Arsenal fans have become accustomed to watching free-flowing, attacking football from their team under Arsene Wenger. But Emery is his own man and will bring his own style to the club.

When asked about his expectations from his players, this is what Unai Emery had to say,

“Each match, you are looking for every player to transmit intensity, aggression, to show that they want to win and are prepared to work hard to win.

We want to do that with style, with a personality, with protagonists on the pitch, we want every player to create things and find things when they’re on the ball.

When we are without the ball, we also want to show ambition to recover the ball quickly.”

Analyzing his previous six seasons, Emery has favored two different formations. At Sevilla, he relied on a 4-2-3-1 formation, which brought him success with three consecutive Europa League titles and being a runner-up in the 2015-2016 Copa del Rey.


However, Emery changed his approach slightly at Paris Saint-Germain, preferring a 4-3-3 formation in 68 of his 76 league games in charge of the Ligue 1 side – 89% of matches.


Emery’s possible tactics and formations for all the positions have been explained below:

A red-hot forward duo of Lacazette and Aubameyang would be a delight to see. However, it would be a break from Emery’s past and probably would not suit the team as a whole. The biggest worry that fans have is that this keeps Aubameyang out wide. However, as seen against the Boreham Wood ,the friendly ended up being played in a 4-3-3, with Aubameyang and Nelson on the wings and Aubameyang still managed t0 bag a hat-trick which was a huge relief to fans and certainly for Emery.

Coming to the midfield, two particular players that are likely to be the core are last year’s Player of the Season, Aaron Ramsey and the club’s new number 10, Mesut Ozil. Aaron Ramsey is a true “box-to-box” midfielder and Emery clearly has him in th centre of his plans.

Capable of scoring wonderful goals as well as being successful in winning important tackles, playing him in the middle of the pitch gives Emery flexibility in choosing who to pair him with. Mesut Ozil is a fantastic and underrated player and Emery has backed him well enough. He will probably deploy him wide to keep the team’s shape and have three central midfielders that can handle the opposition.

Talking about the area needing the most focus, last season’s Arsenal defence conceded 51 goals in 38 games with 15 of those goals coming from errors and Emery will defenitely address that issue. Shkodran Mustafi is a once-promising World Cup-winning defender who has lost many of the fans support while Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, and Konstantinos Mavrapanos are all promising youngsters. New signing Sokratis will factor as well.

Laurent Koscielny is still coming off an injury that kept him out of France’s World Cup-winning squad. To start the season, Mustafi and Sokratis would form the most experienced duo, but are not without flaws. Sokratis has been a solid defender at Borussia Dortmund overall, but there are worries that he does not possess the pace to cope with the Premier League.

Finally coming to the goalkeepers, Petr Cech is a player who doesn’t need to prove his capability to anyone and whose record speaks for himself. However, it looks like in the couple of past seasons, his age is starting to get to him and as many have speculated, this might be his last season at North London.

The club recently acquired Bernd Leno, a promising new addition who has proved his 22 million euro worth in the Bundesliga. Emery may opt to go with a system similar to Wenger’s: one keeper in cup competitions, one in the league. But what is most likely is for one to play the most important games, and another as rotation. Expect Leno to be the Number One Choice for Emery in the big games from day one, including the first two against Manchester City and Chelsea.

I personally believe Emery’s tactics and style suit Arsenal.  Being the European Coach of the Season in 2013–14 is no small feat and starting the season with five big summer signings gives the fans confidence in him. Focusing and improving the defence should be an imperative task in my opinion. It should be interesting what the upcoming pre-season fixtures against Atletico and PSG show us. [ajax_load_more post_type=”post” posts_per_page=”2″ category=”arsenal” max_pages=”2″]

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Revant Maheshwari
Ardent Arsenal lover. Represented school in Gothia Cup, Sweden as a defensive midfielder. CA aspirant. Student of Narsee Monjee College in Mumbai. Keen to share thoughts and opinions with other fans of the beautiful game.

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