Arsenal hires Unai Emery: What Gunners new boss must do to improve team's chances in Premier League
The Spanish manager is Arsene Wenger's replacement
Arsenal officially hired Spanish manager Unai Emery to replace Arsene Wenger, signing the tactician after his tenure at Paris Saint-Germain. The former Almeria, Valencia and Sevilla boss joins after a pretty successful stint in Paris but failed to even get close to the team's ultimate goal - winning the Champions League.
The 46-year-old has plenty of work to do at the Emirates as the boss of the Gunners, and we'll have to see if he is given enough time to potentially reach those goals. Here are the three biggest tasks he has to deal with in year one:
1) Get results early
This is an easy one. Arsenal has been slow out of the gate and that won't be accepted here. In the Premier League, Arsenal has had too much results that leave you scratching your head. They would at times lose to teams they should beat and vice versa. While he'll likely be given time to get things right, if Arsenal starts off really poorly, I wouldn't be shocked to see him go before December.
2) Find consistency by building confidence
A luxury few teams have, Arsenal always expected to be in the Champions League every year and more often than not, they were. Perhaps spoiled by the consistency Wenger brought, fans are going to have to deal with a manager of likely lesser quality who will likely find it tough to deliver consistent results in London. He's been critiqued for being too passive, for focusing too much on showing his players videos, poor in-game management and more. While he had a successful stint at Sevilla in Europe by winning three Europa League titles, many, including myself, attribute the success to the structure established by former director Monchi, now at Roma. It's always been felt that he's a pretty good manager but that these top-tier gigs like PSG and Arsenal may be too much for him to handle.
3) Squad improvements
There are a lot of questions about the current Arsenal squad. The team needs help at the back with Petr Cech no longer a top goalkeeper, Laurent Koscielny is coming off a big injury and Shkodran Mustafi hasn't been sharp since his big money move a few years back. This team is missing a key, truly defensive midfielder but is set up top with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. But don't be shocked to see him try and bring many of his former players to the team. He did that in the past plenty, like taking Adil Rami and Ever Banega to Sevilla after they were with him at Valencia, bringing Grzegorz Krychowiak with him to PSG from Sevilla and so on. It also wouldn't be shocking to see him try and bring PSG players to Arsenal like Goncalo Guedes, Thiago Motta, Angel Di Maria, Yuri Berchiche, Julian Draxler and so on, all to help him with the move and give him a sense of comfort and familiarity with the players.
The truth is, he has a massive task at hand. Where other teams big teams haven't accepted below-average performances, Arsenal got used to it. But Emery isn't going to be given more than of the fraction of the time Wenger had to get it right. There were better coaching options out there like Carlo Ancelotti, but they go with Emery who has proven incapable of handing big jobs in the past.
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