It was another enjoyable day for Arsenal fans as they witnessed their side win 1-2 against a strong Bournemouth side who continue to improve under Eddie Howe. The Gunners found themselves level at half time after initially leading through a Lerma own goal before King equalised just before the whistle. Much to Emery’s relief, his side managed to find the all important winner and it was star man Aubameyang who came up with the goal to secure all three points.
Regardless of today’s win, it’s easy to see why a number of people feel Arsenal’s so called success this season is somewhat of an exaggeration. Apart from Manchester United, Arsenal are the lowest of English football’s ‘big 6′ clubs currently sitting 5th in the table. They have also failed to register a win against any of those clubs losing to both Man City and Chelsea earlier in the season. To take this a step further, they haven’t always performed well against the mid-low league teams either: a Palace side which has struggled to score at all this season held them to a 2-2 draw as well as Wolves being unlucky not to win their match at the Emirates which ended 1-1. It’s safe to say it hasn’t been entirely breezy for Arsenal this season with there still being much room for improvement.
Despite a few underwhelming displays, the Gunners’ start to the season has generally been a good one. Anything better than losses against Man City and Chelsea in his first few games would have been a big ask for the new boss. Overall, the Spanish manager will be satisfied with the results since then. Emery has had a significant impact both on the pitch and off it in areas such as recruitment. Tiki-taka Spanish style football is nothing new to Arsenal fans with previous manager Arsene Wenger drilling this style of play into his side. The current side don’t appear to have lost grip of this scoring impressive team goals against Fulham and Liverpool, for example. Something new that Emery does seem to have instilled is a clinical nature amongst his team getting the best out of key players like Aubameyang and Lacazette, with them no longer being accused of trying to walk the ball into the net.
The North London side have also previously struggled to bring in players who would go on to have a real impact. Again, this is something their new manager seems to have changed with latest acquisitions Torreira, Sokratis and Leno all playing their parts. Leno is a young, high quality player who can provide some consistency in the goalkeeping position in the long term. Sokratis has added some security to a fairly brittle defence which has suffered with the inconsistency of Mustafi and the decline of Laurent Koscielny. Yet, perhaps the most influential signing has been central midfielder Lucas Torreira. Arsenal have really been lacking that player who can control the game from the middle of the pitch since Patrick Viera’s departure. What Torreira lacks in stature he certainly makes up for in ability, bite and fearlessness. He is more than capable of breaking up the opponent’s play and kickstarting an attack of his own. Plaudits have to go to the Arsenal boss for taking a risk on a player who was fairly unknown prior to the Russian World Cup.
As previously stated, this Arsenal side is far from the finished product but they certainly appear to be on the right path under their new manager. A change in leadership was much needed after Wenger’s long reign and it shows. Emery has already achieved a great deal at the club despite only being there for less than half a season. Surely the only way is up for him and his fresh looking Arsenal side?