What I’d do at Arsenal if I were Unai Emery

From Rhys Jaggar :

Well, 9 games in and the tenth will be away in deepest wherever. There is enough evidence out there to suggest what Emery will be thinking this season.

1) Be ruthless in beating weaker teams.

The bottom six currently appear clearly weaker than the rest. Emery has racked up wins against Newcastle and Cardiff away. He will be targeting 32points+ from 36 against that lot.

2) Focus intensely on the middle eight.

These are looking like teams capable of beating anyone on their day, not afraid to take on top 6 teams. This is where Emery’s season will stand or fall. He beat West Ham when they were still rabble and scraped through against Everton and Watford, all at home. He will target 20pts+ at home, 16-18 pts away. 36 points+.

3) Develop the right attitude against top six.

Two games, two losses so far, but against Chelsea the loss was narrow and goals were scored. Utd look weak, Spurs more vulnerable, the top three on another level. Anything above ten points this season will be a bonus, the attitude and performance more important than results this season.

So it would be a very good season if 75-80 points were achieved. Not a title-winning season, but a big turnaround in a first season. A transition season, a season putting Arsenal back on the map.

A very good chance to reach quarter finals of Carabao Cup, by which time one of Spurs and West Ham will be out.

My observations to date:

1) Iwobi, Welbeck and Mkhitaryan are all contributing far more.

2) Torreira and Guendouzi are an upgrade in defensive midfield.

3) Emery demands wins, the players are responding.

4) Aubameyang, Lacazette and Ozil are scoring.

5) Defence is still worryingly open – Liverpool would have a field day.

All in all, the Wenger engine has had a tune-up and is doing well from the third row of the grid. One suspects the Chief Designer is working hard on the 2019/20 car to ensure better qualifying then.

Myles says:

The culture of complacency has changed, Rhys.

The Arsenal players are now accountable and they they’re learning how to dig out results.

Yes, results can come from brilliant footballers turning on the style.But this squad has now bought into Emery’s training methods and his compact style of play. That’s bringing consistency.

Historically, before King Wenger, Arsenal has been an organised and big-hearted team that was hard to beat.

The new Head Coach is restoring the club’s DNA.

As Arsenal shape up, Cech confirms a big culture change at Colney