After a few months away we’re finally back with the On This Day specials, as we take a trip down memory lane to see what the Gunners got up to throughout the last 15-20 years or so. With so much focus being on the present and the uncertainty surrounding Unai Emery, it’s always nice to look back at some brighter times – and some other miserable times, just to remember that it could always be worse.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery came in for a bit of stick for trying to play out from the back against Manchester City at the weekend. The Gunners lost the game 2-0, but in reality, whatever style of football they played it would have been difficult to defeat the reigning champions, who were simply in a league of their own last season in the top-flight.
Trying to instil his football philosophy
Playing out from the back is highly popular with many top-level teams in the modern game. City under Pep Guardiola are a prime example of it working beautifully when mastered properly.
It’s been a few months now since Arsene Wenger left his position as the manager of Arsenal Football Club and whilst we’ve had hints here and there, we probably won’t get confirmation as to whether or not he was forced out or went on his own terms for quite some time. Still, it’s interesting to speculate over it, and one thing we’d also like to know is whether or not Arsene has any real views on the situation at the club right now.
Following a tough first game in the Premier League, Arsenal manager Unai Emery would’ve been hoping to focus all of his attention on the upcoming showdown with Chelsea – but unfortunately, distractions are bound to happen in football. Now while he can obviously choose to ignore them, the fact that these rumours are suggesting that they need to significantly cut their wage bill is pretty worrying.
According to The Telegraph, the introduction of a new kit deal and shirt sponsorship next season will help out massively, but it could affect their ability to bring in players during the January transfer window. Obviously, that feels like it’s a million miles away from today given that the summer transfer window has only just closed, but it’ll come around much quicker than you may think.
One of the Gunners problem areas in recent seasons has been in goal. Petr Cech had previously been one of the best goalkeepers in the world. However, since joining Arsenal Cech has regressed as he has grown older.
Some of the world’s best goalkeepers of bygone days have played well into their thirties or even forties in some cases. However, at 36 years old, the former Chelsea stopper seems to be making more mistakes as the seasons go on.
Cech now has a potential replacement at the club
When Arsenal signed German international goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, many expected the new arrival to be installed as the Gunners first choice instantly.
As seen on Twitter, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech took a shot at the Bayer Leverkusen English Twitter account for a joke they made in regards to Bernd Leno. The German club seemed to indicate that they want to see Leno, who is their former goalkeeper, performing for the Gunners after his multi-million pound move to the Emirates. Alas, Cech took exception to this, citing that it showcased a lack of professionalism on Leverkusen’s behalf.
There were plenty of questions that fans wanted the answers to at the weekend, as Arsenal failed to overcome the challenge of champions Manchester City. It was an interesting game to watch in more ways than one as Unai Emery had his first taste of Premier League football, but as we all know, this perhaps wasn’t the best representation of what life in the top flight will be like for the Spaniard.
Obviously, Arsenal suffering a 2-0 defeat home on the opening day of the Premier League campaign is the ideal start to a campaign for the Gunners. However, the defeat must be put into perspective.
Arsenal were playing against arguably one of the best football teams that has ever graced the Premier League in Pep Guardiola’s City. It is no disgrace to suffer defeat, but it shows there is plenty of work for Emery to do to revive the Gunners.
Early days for Emery
The transition from 22 years of veteran boss Arsene Wenger to Emery was never going to be a simple one. The players have still only worked with the Spanish boss for a few months.
Arsenal fought valiantly at the weekend in more ways than one but in the end, they weren’t quite able to overcome the far superior Manchester City as they eased to victory in the first game of their Premier League title defence. The Gunners were never really able to create anything of substance against an efficient City side, and while they didn’t quite get blown out of the water, they never really felt like they were ‘in’ the game either.
Arsenal’s first Premier League game of the new season is officially in the books, and unfortunately, they weren’t able to overcome the rampant reigning champions Manchester City who ran away with a 2-0 victory. Whilst the Gunners had a few nice moments they never really threatened on the level that you’d expect in the opening game, but given that they were going up against one of the best EPL teams of all-time, that’s somewhat understandable.