How hard will it be for Unai Emery to turn Arsenal around?

How hard will it be for Unai Emery to turn Arsenal around?

Speak to over 90% of the Arsenal fanbase and they will let you know that change in the club was long overdue and, despite an admiration and love for Wenger, he should have walked away years ago. Not only did Wenger’s insistence on seeing the job through cause Arsenal to falter on the pitch but it caused a toxic atmosphere off it with the fanbase the most divided it has ever been.

All of the above has resulted in the Gunners being as far off the pace as they have been in the last 20 years. They are no longer considered genuine title contenders and will be embarking on their second season of Europa League football come September.

Emery’s men will start the season at 28/1 to win the league in the Premier League betting and that, in itself tells you how tough a job the new Arsenal boss will have. Bridging the gap between the likes of Man City, United and Liverpool won’t be easy and looking back over history at other examples of clubs trying to get back to the top table, it’s evident that it doesn’t happen overnight.

When Emery was appointed as the Arsenal boss, there may have been a few that thought success would be directly correlated to how many hard tackling defenders the Spaniard bought. Whilst the spine of the Arsenal teams needs addressing and the presence of better defenders a necessity, it simply isn't as straightforward as that. A few poor and inexperienced defenders weren’t the only things Wenger left behind. When the Frenchman departed, he left behind a culture of mediocrity, where the underperformers were left to carry on unchecked. A lot of the players that fall into that category are supposedly the club’s best players but could you imagine Guardiola letting Ozil throw his hands into the air and trot back to the halfway line after losing possession game after game? Emery will need to confront a group of players that haven’t had the whip cracked often enough. To get back to the top, he’s going to need to change the culture from complacent to one of excellence and that may involve just as much shipping out of players as it does bringing in new ones. It has already been suggested that Ozil may not have a future under Emery and some frank discussions will have to take place once the World Cup is over. Emery is in favour of a pressing game and working at a high tempo throughout 90 minutes has never been the German’s forte. What Arsenal do have in their favour is the facilities, world-class stadium, fantastic commercial deals and a recent enough history of success that makes them poised to succeed. The recent blip they’ve experienced hasn’t gone on long enough to hurt them too much in the long term. One of the most fascinating jobs to witness this coming season will be Emery’s at Arsenal. There’s work to be done and some tough decisions to be made by the new man should he want to make an instant impression on the fans. It will be hard for him to turn Arsenal around but certainly not impossible.

Five potential signings for Unai Emery at Arsenal

Arsenal have entered into a new era, with Unai Emery having been chosen as the man to replace long-serving club legend Arsene Wenger at the Emirates helm. 

Following 22 years at the Gunners, the longest-serving manager in the club's history, Wenger, made the decision to finally depart proceedings, leaving the door open for a new boss to come in and rejuvenate an evidently stalling set-up.

Former Valencia, Sevilla and PSG coach Emery was selected to take Arsenal forward and get them out of their ongoing rut in the latter Wenger years, a frustrating time which saw fans turn on the Frenchman for many years. 

Despite the recent appointment of Emery at the Emirates, Arsenal are still regarded as massive outsiders to finally claim the Premier League title again in the 2018/19 season, being seen at 20/1 at William Hill to go all the way for the first time since 2004. 

Emery has a tough task ahead of him in the English capital, and it's unclear what funds will be made available this summer for him to rebuild, but here are five potential signings for the new man in charge of the Gunners. 

Adrien Rabiot
Highly-rated French midfield prospect Adrien Rabiot played 82 times under Emery at Ligue 1 giants PSG, becoming one of the most sought-after talents in Europe. The 23-year-old could prove to be a vital signing for the new Arsenal boss on his English ventures, and he may be available at a cut price since he has just one more year left on his current contract.

Thomas Meunier
Another player from Emery's former club PSG next, this time it's Thomas Meunier, who would provide the Gunners with a huge boost this coming summer in the transfer window. 
The pacey Belgium international may well be seen as a replacement for Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin in the position, who has long been tipped to depart the Emirates. Meunier has a clinical eye for goal despite being a full-back and would make for an interesting summer swoop. 

Max Meyer
Attacking midfield talent Max Meyer is another who would get the fans excited, if he were to arrive this summer under the guidance of new manager Emery. 
The Germany international playmaker would be an attractive acquisition alongside Mesut Ozil in midfield and just behind the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette. 

Jean Michael Seri
The Gunners clearly need fresh faces in the central areas and Jean Michael Seri could be a huge boost to Emery at the club.

Currently at Nice, Seri has long been linked with both Chelsea and Arsenal, but if the Gunners can secure his signature, they will have assured a massive signing to boost their future prospects. 

Alphonse Areola
Finally, rounding off the potential moves for Arsenal boss Emery is another previous player at PSG, Alphonse Areola. It's clear that the Gunners are in need of a boost between the sticks, with Petr Cech visibly enduring a decline in form in the latter stages of his long-standing Premier League career.

With Gianluigi Buffon touted for a PSG move, this could see Areola move away from the club, opening the door for Arsenal to pounce this summer.