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Having a new Manager is not always easy, especially when the Manager to be replaced is one who has been with the club for a record number of years, winning trophies along the way, although the last couple of years have not been the most memorable. For fans, they want to see their club win regardless of who the Manager is, but also have it in mind that getting a Manager replacement that matches the club ethos is not an easy task – just ask the fans on the red side of Manchester.
Enter Unai Emery. Three-time consecutive Europa League wins with Sevilla as Coach. Former PSG, Spartak Moscow and Sevilla coach. A rebuild was need at Arsenal as the squad was a mess. A number of good signings were made (okay, but not enough). Arsenal and Emery started a bit slow but picked up shortly after and had a long run of unbeaten games. It looked like Arsenal had found their man. At the business end of the season – where results really made a whole world of difference- Arsenal could not take full advantage of the consistent (weekly) failings of their counterparts in Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to grasp one of the two Champions League positions available – there were some woeful results during that period. Eventually, Unai Emery and Arsenal ended up just outside the top-four with two points but still ended up with more points than in the previous season. Arsenal seemed to be progressing – at least the fans wanted to believe that. Arsenal and Unai Emery still had a chance to qualify for the Champions League via the Europa League as they had also gotten to the final. Chelsea was the only stumbling block remaining. Defeat Maurizio Sarri’s men and it would be akin to victory on two fronts for the Gunners.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. As soon as Arsenal conceded the first goal, you just got the feeling that it would take some very serious effort to get level. Unai Emery and his men eventually lost by four goals to one, conceding all four goals within the first 25 minutes of the second half. If we thought that Arsenal had progressed, this defeat and the manner in which it came brought back the feeling of the old Arsenal days when Arsene Wenger was still in charge. Arsenal tried to fight back at the death but the die had already been cast. It still seems that this Arsenal team cannot function effectively when under pressure, just like in previous regimes. Not a very good end to the season.
Arsenal still has a lot of things to get done in order to catch up (and probably surpass) their counterparts. Will Unai Emery be the one to get them there? Only time will tell.


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