We are now close to the end of Unai Emery’s first season in charge of Arsenal. The Spaniard has done a decent job. The Gunners look set to miss out on the top-four but are closer to the teams in the Champions League this season than in recent campaigns. They could even miss out on a top-four place courtesy of an inferior goal difference to Spurs.
The team from north London also have an excellent chance of making it to the final of the Europa League. The Gunners of course travel to Spain to face Valencia on Thursday night for the semi-final second leg with a 3-1 advantage from the first leg.
Arsenal losing players for nothing
In truth, the Arsenal squad was not in great shape last summer. Arguably, the Gunners have a stronger squad now than under Arsene Wenger. However, the exits of the likes of Nacho Monreal and in particular will weaken the squad this summer. Even the likes of Petr Cech and Danny Welbeck are leaving on free transfers.
Some of those players are easier to replace than others. However, the fact that an already relatively weak Gunners squad is losing numbers, particularly without any transfer fees is a problem.
Gunners will struggle to strengthen this summer
Arsenal will have major problems bringing in quality players this summer if they have a similar summer transfer budget to last season. The likes of Sokratis, Lucas Torreira and Bernd Leno have been decent signings.
However, if the Gunners are ever going to return to the pinnacle of the English game, they will have to bring in real quality. Those sorts of players do not come cheap and usually want Champions League football.
Emery’s team could still secure Champions League football for next season by winning the Europa League.
Emery can succeed with the right backing
Unai Emery is a good coach, who I believe has at least nudged Arsenal in the right direction this season. The Spaniard impressed at both Valencia and Sevilla with little resources. However, neither club had the same expectations as Arsenal.
I really do think that the former-PSG boss can succeed at Arsenal. To return the Gunners to the glory days, though, he needs the rick backing from the club’s hierarchy, which he has struggled to get during his tenure so far.
In reality, the Arsenal job is one of the hardest in the English game. Hopefully, Emery can succeed with the Gunners and his work is not in vain.
Can Unai Emery succeed at Arsenal?