Category Archives: Arsenal FC

Unai Emery’s Gamble Pays Off Against Manchester United

Unai Emery has been slipping under the radar in his debut role as manager for Arsenal. The pressure is definitely on Emery since he replaced Arsene Wenger. However, in comparison to his rivals, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla head coach has had to battle to get honestly noticed.

He hasn’t been showered with the same praise that is usually lavished on Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino. Managing to escape the scrutiny that has been weighing down Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea. As for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, the ups and down for Emery at the Emirates have been wiped out by the noise surrounding the two managers at Old Trafford at the beginning of the season.

Arsenal vs Manchester United

However, the 2-0 victory against Manchester United this weekend saw Emery give a perfect reminder of his credentials and managed to answer a wide range of questions in the process. This was a match that Arsenal had to win if they wanted to finish in the qualification places within the Premier League’s Champions League. Also, the team also had to bounce back after a 3-1 defeat against Rennes in the Europa League.

With the return fixture on the horizon later this week, Arsenal’s season was hostile to hence on the outcome of two huge matches. Defeat in the first match, against Manchester United who claimed a phenomenal win against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, would have been a devastating setback for the Gunners top-four hopes. However, Emery decided to be bold.

Most believed that he was reckless to choose a complete attacking line-up against a team that hasn’t lost a game since Solskjaer joined in December. It seemed like Emery was about to make the same mistakes Wenger did against elite teams, by overloading on the attack and hoping for the best.

Nonetheless, he decided to include Mesut Ozil, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, and Aaron Ramsey ahead of Granit Xhaka along with Nacho Monreal, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, and Laurent Koscielny as the back three. This was all set up correctly to stifle Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford.

Apart from the bad finishes that were produced by Manchester United, Arsenal’s approach worked beautifully. Defending was a significant issue for Arsenal under Wegner. After watching the game over the weekend, there’s no doubt that all of this has been rectified under Emery. During the closing stages of the match, supporters of Arsenal sang that they were coming for Tottenham Hotspur who are only one point away on the Premier League table.

The Upcoming Battle

With Tottenham getting destroyed by Southampton over the weekend, it dragged Hotspur back into the fight. Therefore, we are going to see a marvellous battle for fourth place between Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal has played all their elite games, while Tottenham still has to face Man City and Liverpool. United also need to host Chelsea and Man City before the Premier League comes to an end.

Arsenal FC

The Arsenal Football Club, founded in 1886 (as the Dial Square), this club has been riddled with struggles, but is now starting to pick up. Based in Islington, London, England, this club has won 13 League titles, and a record of 13 FA Cups, amongst several other cups. But compared to other football clubs, their successes are a bit underwhelming.

Things are looking hopeful though for Arsenal FC. Last year, they reported revenue of $597.1 million, a new club record. They won their third FA Cup in four seasons this year, however they failed to qualify for the seasons’ Champions League. Even with all of this struggle, there is still a lot of hope for this group in various ways. Particularly in their choice of coach.

The Huge Switch

In 1986, George Graham returned as manager of the team, after all he was one of Bertie Mee’s double winners. From there Graham brought the team a victory in their first League Cup the very next year, followed by a victory in 1988’s Football League Centenary Trophy and a title in 1988-89 Football League. Things were starting to look up for the team from these victories, however things looked grim by 1994, after their victory of the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Graham’s reputation was utterly tarnished when he was found out to have taken kickbacks from their team agent, Rune Hauge. These kickbacks stemmed from the signing of certain players. From there there was a lot of turmoil. Graham was dismissed by 1995 and was replaced by Bruce Rioch. Rioch was only in there for one season before leaving due to disagreements with the club’s board of directors.

The huge switch happened when the club brought on manager Arsène Wenger. He was appointed in 1996 but was now coaching the team and leading them to this day. With Wegner, came massive change to the team: a new attacking football, a shift in diet and fitness practices, and money efficiency. These characteristics have defined Wegner’s reign.

The Results Of The Switch

Even though the club never won another major trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, Arsenal managed to grasp the 2014 FA Cup Final. A year later from that victory, they appeared in the finals again and achieved another victory against Aston Villa 4-0. Because of this shift and decisions that Wegner brought the team, Arsenal now had 12 titles, making them the most successful club in this tournament’s history. This was matched in 2016 by Machester United.

In the end Arsenal has become a team that has been dominating the FA Cup, winning a 13th time in 2017. This victory also saw Wenger being the first manager ever in English football to have won seven FA Cups too.

Despite the fact that their 2017 victory placed them in the fifth position in the league (the first time this has happened since Wenger stepped in), the team shows a lot of promise. With victory after victory in the FA Cup, these victory streaks are bound to last.