Arsenal have played 11 matches in the Premier League so far. They have managed to win seven, draw two, and lose two. The two losses come at the hands of teams considered part of the Big Six. The latest draw was against Liverpool, another Big Six member. Without a win against a Big Six club, is it still fair to be optimistic about Arsenal’s chances in the post-Wenger era?
Give Unai Emery a chance
Unai Emery is taking over a club that has been managed by just one man in more than two decades (22 to be exact). His previous managerial duty was a two-year stint in Ligue 1 with Paris Saint German, with whom he has a 76.3% win percentage.
It takes time to get players accustomed to your system, and Unai Emery has earned the right to prove himself. He may have been known as the person who led PSG to defeat Barcelona 4-0 in the first knockout round of the Champions League only to lose 1-6 in the next match and be eliminated. But that’s not enough proof that he can’t handle the task of managing Arsenal.
To be fair, Arsenal is a brand more recognized around the world than PSG. Even the Premier League is afforded more status than Ligue 1. Then again, it was under Emery’s term at PSG that they managed to snag Neymar from Barcelona for a world record fee. Still, a lot is expected of him by fans after many lackluster years.
Can he pull it off? Only time will tell. You simply cannot expect a new manager in charge of a new team to win the trophy in a new league on his first try. The expectations are understandable, but give the man a chance.
Although the results aren’t the ones desired, Arsenal sit fifth in the Premier League. If the season were to end today, they would be off to the Europa League once again. We all know it’s the prestigious Champions League they are aiming for, and that may very well happen. They are separated from Tottenham Hotspur by just a point. Anything can happen and the season is far from over.
The fact that they haven’t won against a Big Six side is a bit of a puzzle, but they are meeting those teams again and hopefully the results would be different when that time comes.
Tame expectations regarding Premier League finish
Pep Guardiola wins everything. However, it must be noted that he won the Premier League in his second year of being in charge of Manchester City. In his first year in charge, the team managed to place third, behind Tottenham Hotspur. Then again, that placement guaranteed them entry into the group stages of the Champions League.
If you were to bet at the start of this season that Arsenal would win the league given the circumstances – new manager, new players, ownership change – would you do it? Doing so would be quite optimistic.
However, what you can do is take it match by match. For instance, you can check the Betway app for predictions and see whether or not your hunches match those of those who observe football matches for a living. It’s a fun activity that can add to your enjoyment, even if Arsenal do end up placing lower than your expectations.
The good news is that Arsenal most likely won’t finish near the bottom. After all, many observers expect them to finish in the top five. Sure, it will be another stint at the Europa League, but who knows what will happen next year?
What about Arsenal in Europe?
The last year of Arsene Wenger’s management of Arsenal saw the club not participate in the Champions League since 1997-1998. To their credit, they managed to get to the semi-final of the Europa League and not make a further mockery of their fate.
Will this time be different?
They have won all their matches in the group stage so far. And it’s highly likely they will make it to the next round. One could only hope what goes on from there.
It would be nice for Arsenal to lift some form of trophy this season. If not, then one could hope for a better 2019-2020 season.