The guard has changed on the red side of North London for the first time this century. Arsene Wenger’s illustrious two decades at the club where trophies and invincibility were witnessed by generations of Arsenal fans with greats such as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires gracing the turf of Highbury and the Emirates. However, the decline of the club following their move left many Arsenal fans feeling frustrated and left behind the rest of England’s ‘so called bigger clubs’ and many blame the club’s reluctance to change.
However, a new dawn is upon Arsenal following Wenger’s well-respected departure and appointment of the experienced, sophisticate Spaniard Unai Emery who is the ready for the challenges that lie in the English games. Years of glittering success at Sevilla and titles with Paris Saint Germain have given him a platform which Arsenal fans will hope breed success the fans and Arsenal hierarchy both desperately desire. However, with change does come uncertainty and Arsenal will head into a period of unknown and plenty of burning questions such as what Emery’s style in terms of football is both on and off the pitch with Wenger’s style being idolised by many fans, footballers and managers across the world despite the success drying up in the latter stages of his Arsenal tenure. Furthermore, Arsenal fans will wonder how he will handle a squad of players full of flare, talent and excitement but lack qualities both defensively and in leadership terms.
Unai Emery will be determined to succeed at Arsenal because he is a true proven winner and he must convince all Arsenal fans he is the right man to lead Arsenal into a new era with many fans still stuck in the Wenger twilight years believing he still should be leading their team next season. However, majority of Arsenal fans will be fully behind their new manager wanting him to succeed and end the division between a section of the Arsenal supporters. Unai Emery has a huge job on his hands, but he has managed some of the biggest clubs in Europe and a first dip into the English game won’t faze the calm mannered Spaniard. He will have to assemble a team that is exciting and plays the Arsenal style but have a solid defensive base to work from which allows key figures like Aubameyang and Ozil to shine in each game. There is no denying Emery is assessing each and every area of the pitch and signing players such as Bernd Leno, Sokartis and Stephan Lichtsteiner clearly emphasise the areas Emery wants to improve and this I’m sure will delight the Arsenal faithful and give them a sense of belief and optimism that success isn’t far away.
There will an air of uncertainty at Arsenal but Emery’s first season at the club must end with Arsenal returning to Europe’s elite table following successive seasons in the Europa League and Emery will certainly be judged on this should Arsenal fail to return to the Champions League and the players know that Arsenal need the Champions League to be considered one of the Europe’s elite once again.
There should be excitement and optimism in the Arsenal fans as the club heads into a new era of change on the pitch and there is no denying that change is always difficult at any football club especially since there hasn’t been any change at the Gunners in terms of football management this century. However, Arsenal fans should be optimistic and hopeful in the team Emery is assembling for the new season because he will work them hard during pre-season to gear them up for the new campaign which is upon us placing his philosophies, ideals and expectations upon an underachieving football club. But there is no denying the change will take time at the club but there isn’t any reason that Emery cannot bring success back to the club and I’m sure the fans will support him all the way in this new dawn at Arsenal.