Don’t worry Gooners, Arsenal are well ahead of schedule

Ruben Hill
April 11, 2019

 

The 2018-19 season was always perceived as being a transitionary one, especially considering the departure of Arsenal’s long-standing manager, Arsene Wenger. Unsurprisingly, the Gunners stumbled at the outset, losing their first two EPL fixtures. However, since then, Unai Emery has brought back some order to the North London outfit.

But, have the positives been enough to offset the obvious deficiencies still plaguing the Gunners?

So far this season, Arsenal have been wretched away from the Emirates. The shambles of Wenger’s last few years in charge have been visible on the Gunners’ road trips with them turning in one abject display after another, limiting them to the 4th and 5th position in the EPL Table. Moreover, their defence has shipped in goals for fun as they have conceded an astonishing 40 league goals in 32 games.

Yet, one must not look at these raw statistics to form an opinion on where Emery currently is with respect to his Arsenal project.

In the years gone by, the Gunners have rightly been accused of possessing a soft underbelly, meaning they have wilted under the slightest bit of pressure. However, the evidence gathered from this season suggests that the narrative could be changing.

In December 2012, Arsenal played Tottenham at the Emirates. The game started off brightly for the home side yet like many a time before, they contrived to let a goal slip and found themselves trailing by a goal at the break.

However, contrary to the pattern the Gunners have showcased over the years, they rallied and smashed three goals in the second half to win 4-2. A couple of weeks later, they went to Old Trafford and returned with a gritty 2-2 draw.

Though a blip followed soon after the defeat to Southampton in December, Arsenal has shown admirable character and courage to bounce back.

In March, they went away to Tottenham and drew 1-1 while the home game against Manchester United ended in a resounding 2-0 victory. Additionally, they also overturned a two-goal deficit in Europe and went through at the expense of Rennais.

On paper, Emery’s men appear to have plenty of cracks and glaring ones at that. Yet, through the course of the season, they’ve found ways to paper over them. And while Arsenal’s attacking verve could still be the envy of many, it is the new found pragmatism that signals that the glory days might not be as far away as originally envisaged.

At the moment, Emery is only making the most of a hand he has been dealt. Once he has gotten the additions he craves, he might even take the current Arsenal to a higher pedestal. Thus, Gooners shouldn’t be too worried about their current position in the league.

After all, Arsenal are well ahead of schedule and one mustn’t forget that even the great Arsene Wenger took a while to weave his magic.   

 

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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