Erasing the memory of Arsene Wenger after 22 years on the bench at Arsenal is simply impossible, however, Unai Emery is getting rid of the bittersweet aftertaste left by the Alsatian coach when his stay at the Emirates was coming to an end.
Although his debut Premier League campaign kicked off with two losses ( City (0-2) and Chelsea (3-2) ), the Spaniard has now won six in a row; four wins in the league ( 3-1 v West Ham, 3-2 v Cardiff, 2-1 v Newcastle and 2-0 v Everton ), one in the Europa League ( 4-2 v Vorskla Poltava ) and one in the League Cup ( 3-1 v Brentford ).
It’s Arsenal’s third best start – sixth with 12 points – in the last 10 campaigns, with only 2013/14 (15 points) and 2016/17 (13) being better.
“Maybe they are the best legacy Wenger has left at
Arsenal ,” said Martin Keown of the current crop of players.
Even Danny Welbeck is ‘on fire,’ with four goals in three different competitions: league, Europa League and League Cup.
Emery keeps an eye on the smallest details, and that’s why he’s upped the players’ use of the gym, subjecting them to habitual examinations for measuring their physical condition and their body fat.
He’s replaced the juices and their sugars with water, encouraged the use of English in the dressing room and prefers to avoid the use of a translator.
” Wenger was one of the first revolutionaries, he told us how many times that we should chew our food!” said former Gunner, Ian Wright .
Now Emery is adding more and more things, because when he arrived he realised he had to make drastic changes.
Another former Arsenal player, Santi Cazorla , agrees with
“I think you can improve a few things,” he said.
“I tried to help Emery and give him all the information I could as I think he’s a great coach… but fans must have patience.”
The change with respect to Wenger , according to the now
Villarreal footballer, should start by being more ambitious.
“We needed to believe that we were able to compete with the Premier League ‘s greats, not be content with being third or fourth,” he added.
That’s a sentiment shared by Petr Cech .
” Emery is more demanding in every way,” he noted.
“We have started from scratch and we are trying to acquire the right mentality to work every day, win every game, improve in every match.
“Hopefully we can get there sooner rather than later.
“In the past, sometimes, the way of playing was more important than points and that doesn’t help you to win leagues.”
The style, of course, has changed.
” Arsenal look like a new club,” Hector Bellerin suggested.
“With Wenger we played the same way independently of the opponent.
“I am very impressed with Emery , he is very detailed and very professional with tactics.
“He’s very focused on preparing a plan for each match, regardless of the opponent.”
The journalists covering the Gunners were very impressed with Emery ‘s knowledge of Brentford , their rival in the
“He is much more observant in the analysis of the opponent,” Aaron Ramsey said.
“We’re playing with different styles and trying to press higher to advance the lines and recover the ball in more areas.”
The requirements also seem greater.
” Emery demands a lot from us in training, we are working hard and running a lot,” Alex Iwobi added.
Even Mesut Ozil , who seemed to be willing to leave the club, has recovered his mojo.
“I am very happy to continue at Arsenal and, especially, with this new coach, he knows what he wants and the team accepts it,” he said.
“We have a good relationship and even players who don’t play are happy.”