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The Unai Emery Revolution: The Evident Changes In The Red And White Army

Unai Emery, europa league, arsenal, emery tactics

Given Arsenal’s recent string of games, I think it’s safe to say that Unai Emery knows what he’s doing at the club. Emery has had to adjust himself in all the previous managerial roles that he has filled at previous clubs and Arsenal, being no exception. Emery has proven time and again of his managerial quality and is continuing to do so at the Emirates as well.

It came to all Arsenal fans as a bit of a surprise when Arsene Wenger announced his resignation after twenty two long years at the club. However, some eyebrows were raised when it was announced that the Spaniard was set to replace the legendary Frenchman at the Emirates.

Now, 13 games into the season, Emery’s Arsenal looks solid, with eleven wins and just two losses. Another praiseworthy feat accomplished by Emery is that he has achieved those eleven wins back to back, a number that Arsenal will look to increase to twelve after their visit to Crystal Palace later this evening.

Looking at the way Unai Emery has played his team so far, he likes to play a 4-2-3-1 formation, which transitions into a 4-1-4-1 during attack. This formation seems to be working well for the gunners, with Aubameyang, Danny Welbeck, Alexander Lacazzete, Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey all bagging significant goals to help them get to the fourth place in the Premier League.

It seems pretty clear what Emery wants to do with the club. While Arsenal remain just as much an attacking team as they were under Wenger, Emery also wants to set up defensive stability in the team.

With the likes of Sokratis and Lucas Torreira coming into the squad, and with the youngster Guendouzi making excellent performances in the red and white shirt, Arsenal are likely to be a difficult opponent even to the top six teams.

While I don’t think Arsenal will win major trophies this season, it is not far-fetched to think that they have a chance at winning the Europa league. It seems to me that Emery has brought back a certain fighting spirit in Arsenal.

The players seem confident and are playing good football under a good manager. Although, it is still too early on in the season to make a comment about what Arsenal will achieve this season, but a top four finish and a trip to Baku to participate in the Europa league finals is definitely not out of question.

Unlike last season, there hasn’t been an instance where I think that Arsenal are out of it. Even against the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, Arsenal still looked good. With Emery as manager and a couple more transfer windows, I think Arsenal will be ready to win their first Champions League trophy.

Of course, a string of 11 victories is a far cry away from winning the Champions League, but I still think they will be title contenders in a season or two. It would be criminal to expect perfect results so early on in Emery’s managerial career at Arsenal, but I think it’s safe to say that Arsenal will be a top team once more.

Unlike Arsene Wenger, Emery has a lot to prove to the fans. I don’t think he will slack off. Wenger never made the right transfer decisions in recent years. The transfers of the likes of Andre Santos, Gervinho and Yaya Sanogo were all questionable. Emery is not like Wenger in that aspect and will not sign someone unless he knows for sure that they will deliver.

Another interesting change that Emery has made is the way that Arsenal mark their players during set pieces. It is finally changed to a man-to-man marking system instead of the vulnerable zonal marking tactic. It also seems to be that Emery is making sure that all his players are fit and takes any precaution to ensure that they remain fit.

The most eye catching change in recent weeks is the movement of Swiss player, Granit Xhaka, out of his favoured position at central-midfield to left-back due to the absence of Spanish veteran, Nacho Monreal. It will be interesting to see what more changes Emery will make during the course of the season.

In conclusion, tactically, Arsenal are strong. Attack-wise, Arsenal are arguably the strongest in the league. Emery’s job has always been to restructure the broken defense that Wenger left us with and so far he has been doing a good job at balancing attack and defense.

I expect Arsenal to win today at Palace. A win streak of twelve games would mean that their next Premier League fixture against Liverpool could take them to the top of the table, should they win and Manchester city lose to Spurs at Wembley.

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