Unai Emery has arrived at Arsenal at the end of a season where the Gunners conceded an incredible amount of goals compared to previous campaigns, and the Arsenal legend Emanuel Petit believes that the hardest job the Spaniard will have is to change the teams mentality when they lose the ball, and get them to defend as a team.
“I think he’s a talented coach,” Petit told Arsenal.com. “He’s got a specific vision on the pitch, just like he did with Sevilla, and I really hope that he can do that with Arsenal. I hope the leaders of the dressing room will follow his steps and his orders.
“Offensively, there is no problem. I think Arsenal has been marked as a brand offensively, the way you move, your passing, skills. Arsenal will always be able to score goals against any opponent but the question is whether you can avoid conceding goals.
“When you look at the table from last season, you can see the big difference between the top teams in the Premier League. Scoring goals? Yes, but more importantly with conceding goals.
“The coach, Unai Emery, will have to do a lot of work defensively – and that’s not just on the defenders – so that the whole team’s mentality changes when they lose the ball. For me, the main problem with Arsenal is not when they have the ball, it’s when they don’t have it.”
Wenger’s attitude to defence has always been ‘we’ll score more than you’ but modern Premier League teams are set up to stop the opposition scoring, and they are getting better and better at it, especially when they play against Arsenal!
So it is good that Emery has taken steps to beef up our defence, but can he change the mentality of the team as a whole and get them to defend as a unit as well?