New season, same old for Arsenal, eh? Buy a number 10 and completely avoid the one position in the squad that has been decimated by injury and sales. Nope, not this time.
Arsene Wenger has gone, and new coach Unai Emery has set about solving the obvious problems with Arsenal’s team.
So what does the new season hold for Arsenal? A top four finish? Europa League success? Whatever happens, it’s guaranteed not to be another merry go-round of Wenger’s Groundhog Day. Let’s take a look at how the 2018/2019 season might look for the Gunners.
Arsenal finished in sixth last year, just ahead of Burnley – and for a club the size of Arsenal that is not acceptable. Having slipped behind Spurs as the highest-finishing side in North London, something needs to happen, and quick. St. Totteringham’s Day must return this season to give the long-suffering fans something to cheer about.
Arsenal have clearly struggled over the last five years as a result of under-coaching, and the prolific video watching, tactic obsessed Emery should be just what the players need.
The bookmakers have Arsenal to finish outside of the top four, but a top four – perhaps top three – finish does not seem out of the realms of possibility.
Arsene Wenger had an impressive record in domestic cup competitions during his time in Islington. The iconic Frenchman won the FA Cup seven times as Arsenal manager, which is just one fewer than Tottenham have managed in their entire history.
Winning a league title seems highly unlikely for Unai Emery, as Manchester City look set to embark on a period of English league dominance. The former Sevilla and PSG coach will be looking to the cup competitions early on as a way to prove his worth to Kroenke, Gazidis and co.
Much has been made of the importance of qualifying for the Champions League at Arsenal, and Kroenke will be eager for Emery to take Arsenal to the top four in order to reap the financial benefits of the UEFA tournament.
The best way for Arsenal might be through the Europa League, a tournament which Emery has a strong affinity with. The 46-year-old coach won three consecutive Europa League trophies with Sevilla from 2014 – 2016, beating Benfica, Dnipro and Liverpool in the finals.
Gunners fans can expect a long European adventure, regardless of whether it ends in glory or not.
Premier League: 3rd
Europa League: Winners
FA Cup: Fifth Round
League Cup: Winners
Despite Stan Kroenke’s recent acquisition of Alisher Usmanov’s Arsenal shares, things look good for the club going into the new season. Fans genuinely have something to look forward to after years of gradual regression under Arsene Wenger.
However, all predictions should be met with an element of caution. Three years ago, pundits were tipping Leicester City for the drop and they went on to win the Premier League.
In fact, barely months ago, pundits and experts were tipping Mesut Ozil’s Germany to romp the World Cup in Russia. That was before they were unceremoniously dumped out in the group stages by South Korea…