Managing a football game is an art in itself. An Arsenal team in its full might is like a Picasso painting of dreams. Gunner’s shift from Highbury to Emirates in the last decade hasn’t as Arsene planned it out. The days of Vieras and Henrys marauding up and own the pitch, scaring team and tearing defences apart had been long gone.
The departure of Arsene after his 22 years of undaunting service was sure to leave an unimaginable void. The announcement of Unai Emery seemed to have a plan to it from the owners who have lacked thorough thinking in handling the club. Emery’s nous of managing a football club than what happens on the field is what’s more important for Arsenal right now.
Emery in many ways is what Wenger wasn’t in the latter stages of his career. The Frenchman set up his teams to play with flair and lay-ups, the beautiful one-two touch football. Emery, on the contrary, emphasises more on details and in-game management. His spell at Valencia, Sevilla and PSG proved how he structured he wants his teams to be.
The Spaniard’s arrival at Emirates will albeit be far more challenging than any of his previous jobs. At Arsenal, there is a philosophy that transcends throughout the club. From players to supporters, there’s a certain identity that everyone recognises. Emery’s job now is to change not only the onlook of what goes on the pitch but also beyond it.
Before Saints’ inspired display of football, Spaniard gave the club the start that instilled the lost hopes. The 22 games unbeaten run although had also highlighted that there’s a major overhaul still required at the club. The dip in the form in and around the New Year was calling out loud for changes. The club is in dire need of a total restructuring.
Emery, whose managerial career is still very nascent, has already won more trophies than most managers in the game. He’s a man manager, he likes to talk to every player, to know how each player could contribute to his system. He is also shrewd enough to keep them in-game even if he puts them on the bench. His in-game management brilliance constitutes of these only.
Emery and his tactical intellect.
Emery’s 4-2-3-1 relies heavily on fullbacks. They push the team up while making the runs beyond the opposition defenders. 4-2-3-1 then takes the shape of a 2-4-4 with two holding midfielders sitting at the halfway line allowing fullbacks to provide width. The signing of Lucas Torrerira and introduction of Matteo Guenduozi seems like what the Arsenal midfield was lacking since the days of Viera and Parlour.
The dip, on the other hand, made everyone related to the club realise that the road is still long. The departure of Sven Mislintat zeroed in on that there needs to a full proof plan regarding the club’s future. Emery’s CV proves that if he’s trusted, he’ll bring not only solidity but will bring silverware which is long pending as well.
His time at Sevilla needs to be reminded time and again, what he did at Los Hispalenses is more than just commendable. Winning back to back Europa League’s with the stringent budget, while competing for the Liga takes more than just the tactical nous.
The Duo and Arsenal’s future.
Monchi alongside Emery was the most desired tag-team in Europe. If recent developments and noises are to be believed, then Emirates should get ready for something fun. The 47-years-old has laid out his plans and structure for the club. In a recent interview, he said, “Each match, you are looking for every player to transmit intensity, aggression, to show that they want to win and are prepared to work hard to win,”
“We want to do that with style, with a personality, with protagonists on the pitch. We want every player to create things and find things when they’re on the ball. When we are without the ball, we also want to show ambition to recover the ball quickly.
“We want to demonstrate that not only in every match but also in every training session. We want our players to be energetic, full of action with or without the ball and as protagonists on the pitch doing things.”
The jury’s still out on him and it’d be interesting to see what happens at the club in summer. Arsenal really needs to put themselves back in the pantheon of football giants again. They should rise to the standards they once set for themselves. In order to do so, Arsenal hierarchy and their supporters need to put their trust in Emery, given time, the Spaniard will deliver.