How Arsenal will look under Unai Emery

Spaniard was unveiled as the club's new coach on Wednesday

Posted Thursday, May 24, 2018 by

How Arsenal will look under Unai Emery

Arsene Wenger's departure from Arsenal after almost 22 full seasons brought to an end an era at the club, and with Unai Emery taking the reins, the club could look totally different in the 2018/19 season.

After a disappointing end to his time with Paris Saint-Germain, the former Sevilla coach has jumped straight back into employment and has been entrusted with the task of following on from the Frenchman.

"I want to thank Arsene Wenger for his legacy, I've learnt so much about football from him," he explained in his introductory press conference.

"I'm very excited for this opportunity, it's a big challenge but I've worked with big projects before.

"I'm proud to be here and to work after Arsene Wenger."

One of the concerns supporters of the North London club have is how the playing style of the team will develop under a new coach.

Wenger's style has at times been phenomenally attractive, however in recent seasons there has been a clear departure from the comfort years of treading water in fourth place.

Emery will take over a club not in the Champions League and as far away from challenging for the Premier League title as any of the teams inside the division's top six.

Chief executive, Ivan Gazidis has done his best to prepare the Gunners for Wenger's departure and has constructed a footballing structure that is said to rival that of any club on the continent.

Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi both play a key role in said structure, and the Spanish coach will be forced to work closely with them.

That was one of the conditions for a candidate throughout the appointment process, and Emery's experience working with Monchi in Andalusia will undoubtedly have aided the decision taken by Arsenal.

The beginning of the 2018/19 season will be the 15th since the Gunners last lifted the English title and it's difficult to imagine that changing in the next campaign, but nevertheless, progress is expected.

There are players at the Emirates Stadium who have shown their talent, especially Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has hit the ground running since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in January.

Alexandre Lacazette is an adept partner for the Gabon international and Emery will need to find a way to get the very best out of the pair in the same system.

Finishing sixth with 63 points was the former Monaco coach's worst season in the Premier League, it was Arsenal's worst campaign since 1995 and thus the fans are ready for change.

Whilst not all are completely behind Emery as an individual selection, they will support him early on and give him time to do his job, this is something the Spaniard will relish after living through the chaos at the Parc des Princes following Neymar's arrival.

4-3-3 and 3-4-3 have been the formations which Arsenal have utilised in the main in recent seasons, but neither has ever seen a true fit with one phase of the game always suffering whilst the other thrived.

"I want to know how we'll develop this team and the squad, I know all the players and they're all very important," he intimated on Wednesday.

"I think the history here shows that the team loves playing with possession, I like this.

"I want a squad that is very, very intense in pressing, two things are important to me and that's possession of the ball and pressing."

When you consider the comparative success of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester City who all utilise a pressing game of the highest standard, it's understandable that the former Valencia coach is intending to implement such a change.

Just how he gets Mesut Ozil to press effectively is a question for another day, but it seems obvious at this point the team will look different under a new coach.

How Arsenal will look under Unai Emery

Tactics are an important part of developing a team, yet for the moment the real focus at London Colney has to be on the transfer market.

Premier League clubs have until August 9 to complete their incoming deals, and in a World Cup year this is incredibly problematic.

Laurent Koscielny will be absent right through until after Christmas with an Achilles injury, whilst Petr Cech's performances in 2018 have declined to a worrying level.

Midfield has been an area of concern for a while, whilst there is a desperate need to boost Hector Bellerin's confidence after a disastrous season.

Arsenal underperformed in the past season, however it would be foolish for anyone within the club's new power structure to believe this means sizable investment isn't required to give Emery the best possible chance to succeed.

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