Arsenal made it three consecutive victories in the Premier League at the weekend, overcoming the challenge of Newcastle United at St James’ Park. Some will argue that this is a game they always should’ve been winning, but getting the job done and beating what’s in front of you is more important than any ‘talk’ before the game. So, while it may be easy to dismiss this is an ‘okay’ victory, we should really be applauding the fact that they’ve picked up nine points from their last three league encounters.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery has brought seven youngsters into first-team training during the international break. With a number of the Gunners senior players away on international duties with their national teams, it seems the Spanish boss has used the break as a chance to view some of the clubs youngsters more closely.
Youngsters promoted to the senior squad
The seven youngsters promoted to the senior squad are Gedion Zelalem, Emile Smith Rowe, Charlie Gilmour, Nathan Tormey, Tolaji Bola, Julio Pleguezuelo and Robbie Burton.
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has come in for some stick from certain sections of Gunners fans. I wrote an article recently about whether the veteran goalkeeper should be dropped or not. Spanish boss Unai Emery insists on using the former Chelsea goalkeeper, despite the fact that he is obviously not comfortable with playing out from the back.
Not his strong point
Even at 36 years old, Cech is still a very good goalkeeper, despite some errors in the last few seasons. However, as Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster recently stated, playing out from the back is not his strong point.
According to Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny’s agent Stephane Courbis, the France international was considering leaving the club in the summer prior to rupturing his Achilles in the semi-finals of the Europa League against Atletico Madrid.
Could have exited in the summer
Talking to France Football (quoted by the Daily Star), Courbis said: “When he banged the floor with his hand, I immediately knew that it was serious, that it was over.
“Everything at that moment went through my mind, including the worst, which was validated when it emerged that it was an Achilles rupture and that he would miss the World Cup.
Later today, Arsenal will find out who they will play in the group stages of the Europa League. The Gunners will fancy their chances of winning Europe’s secondary competition this season after making it to the semi-finals last season.
Europa League experience
Although the Europa League is not as high profile as the Champions League, it is still a big trophy to win. The Gunners biggest achievement in the European game remains winning the Cup Winners’ Cup back in 1994.
However, the north London’s club trip to the last four of the competition last season means they now have experience of advancing to the latter stage of the competition.
It is fair to say that Arsenal’s display in their 3-1 win over West Ham on Saturday afternoon was not perfect. However, the most important thing for the Gunners was that new boss Unai Emery recorded his first win as head coach.
Already rather strangely, some are asking questions about whether the team are producing anything different from Arsene Wenger’s team. There are similarities in the fact the Gunners are still vulnerable in defence, but you can see that Emery is attempting to change the way the team plays the game.
On Sky Sports the Debate, the panel discussed Arsenal and Unai Emery’s debut campaign as Arsenal boss. They asked the question in the title, so what would be a successful campaign for Emery in north London?
Needs to change the mentality in the squad
Arsenal have been known as a team who are mentally weak and unable to cope with a physical battle. Emery must change the player’s mental attitudes and attempt to toughen them up both mentally and physically.
Arsenal youngster Reiss Nelson has been praising Gunners legend Freddie Ljungberg, who is now in charge of the under-23. Nelson has been part of both the senior and the under-23 squads in recent years.
Ljungberg became the under-23 boss in June after the appointment of Unai Emery as the clubs new senior coach. The Swede is a club icon having made over 325 appearances for the Gunners and was part of the Invincibles squad.
Not just a top player
Ljungberg was a top player and underrated at times during his Gunners career. However, according to Nelson the former Arsenal midfielder is a top coach too. Talking about Ljungberg, the youngster told the Mirror: “They’re very high [Ljungberg’s demands],”
The Premier League is a ruthless division at the best of times, and in addition to that, the management game is even worse. Fans and media members are so fickle to the point where every single detail is criticised and analysed, but then again, many will view that as the aim of the game. One shining example is the treatment of Arsene Wenger during his last few years with Arsenal, which some will probably view as a necessity.
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.