North London currently isn’t home to many if any happy football fans. Whilst Tottenham are having a big struggle to replicate any kind of form from the past three or four seasons, Arsenal are sitting well placed but there is more than a murmur of discontent starting to sweep through the Emirates.
Just three points separates the two arch-rivals, but with it eight places in the table despite Arsenal appearing to be more comfortable than their neighbours. The supporters however see a completely different side to the story. The Gunners are once again well off the pace for a Champions League place, the only consolation for them is the poor performances from Spurs which are helping to keep them out of the race as well.
Being a results business pressure is starting to make its way onto Unai Emery’s shoulders. Now in his second season, the Gunners aren’t showing too many signs of forward progress, a lack of quality signings are beginning to show up across the pitch. This is despite the club having a front three of Mesut Ozil, Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, talented players but also struggling to help the Gunners make an impact on this season’s Premier League.
Emery spent over £100millon in the summer, most of that going on Nicolas Pepe from Lille but he has not yet put together a run of seriously good performances. David Luiz has failed to gel together a porous defence, turning in some horrendous performances across the first twelve games, suggesting Frank Lampard’s decision to let him leave Stamford Bridge wasn’t a bad one.
Giving Granit Xhaka the captains armband, another player who underperforms regularly, backfired spectacularly for Emery with supporters recognising he’s not the man to lead the team with the same gusto as previous Arsenal captains.
Two big losses from the Emirates in Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech last summer have not been replaced convincingly and draws comparisons of years gone by when major and talented players were allowed to depart and replaced by players of a lesser talent. The board always stated money was available for Wenger and was never spent, Emery has loosened the purse strings but with little success.
There is a lack of identity at the Emirates which goes back a few seasons, a team that lost their way before the end of the Wenger rein and still hasn’t yet started to take shape for Emery, but supporters believe the club should be doing a lot better than it currently is.
Having been used to nineteen consecutive years of Champions League football, there is only so much Thursday night Europa League action fans will take when they are used to mixing it with Europe’s elite, that only serves to attract lesser known players and transfer targets who want to be playing in that type of competition yearly.
If you are judging the Premier League standards by Liverpool and Manchester City Arsenal are still years away from challenging for the title, the question is will Emery be given time to build his own squad?
The board it appears are prepared to back him in the transfer market, but just like at Manchester United the manager must be given the time, although in this day and age success yesterday is more important than tomorrow’s future.
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