After two Premier League Games, new Arsenal coach Unai Emery will be feeling the pressure. Saturday’s 3 – 2 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge exposed many familiar Arsenal failings that Emery will need to address.
Conceding soft, early goals. Playing a high line and being undone with one pass over the top. Being vulnerable to the counter attack. Not playing with any urgency until the game is arguably beyond them. Failure to manage the game as it develops. Poor positional sense. These are all hallmarks of a declining Arsenal over the last five years.
This Arsenal team is still suffering from the hangover of the departed Arsene Wenger. The appointment of Unai Emery resulted in optimism from Arsenal fans, but they will have to wait to see improvements.
The fixtures were particularly unkind to the new Arsenal coach. They were always going to lose the opener against Manchester City. To follow that up with a game at Stamford Bridge is as tough an ask as any.
There is an argument to be made that the start of the season is the best time to play these games. Better to play the tough fixtures while they’re still learning, and go again in the reverse match. Emery will be forgiven for losing against two top sides during his first two ever Premier League Games. However, it’s against West Ham at home this weekend where he will be scrutinized.
He’s been sold to Gooners as the man who’s going to fix the team with hard work and tactical preparation. Any rational person would agree that these things take time, maybe a season or two. However, Arsenal fans are not rational, especially after what they’ve gone through in the last two years.
They need something to hold on to, proof that they can hang their hopes on the new coach. A convincing win against West Ham would go a long way in showing what Emery is all about.
Arsenal are 2/1 to finish in the top four, and 1 / 3 to finish in the top 6 with Paddy Power.