I love that Unai Emery has made Arsenal into a team of leaders and fighters again

We now got leaders, we got a spine and we are slowly getting our Arsenal back!! by Patrick Karani

Good morning Gooners from the land of the big five, the beautiful East African country Kenya. It’s a while since I wrote my only other article. Arsene was still our manager, we were still searching for his successor. The club was supposedly on the brink of appointing Mikel Arteta as the new manager/coach. My article then attempted to justify why that intended appointment was not such a bad idea after all. Then came Unai Emery, at the last minute! And boy oh boy, what an appointment it has been. A masterstroke if you ask me. I know many of us Gooners have fallen in love with Unai mostly because of his tactical prowess, but for me, there is another reason I have fallen in love with with our new manager/coach.

For years, we were accused by pundits of lacking leadership. Many were the times that many teams would literally bully our boys into submission. No-one in our teams would stand up against such bullies. Other teams would wind us up and get under our skins. Many are the times we lost games because we lost the mental battles against these teams.

Credit to Unai though, things seem to have changed, and for the better. Nothing typifies this better than our game against our bitterest rivals, the Spuds. When Dier scored that goal and ran towards our fans, our players on the bench couldn’t stand it. While I don’t advocate for such chaotic scenes in football pitches, that act by our subs, particularly Litchsteiner, demonstrated to all and sundry that those times when we could be bullied into submission are well and truly gone.

It may also not be lost to many of us fans how some of our players have really stepped up, not just in their games, but also in their mentality. Who would think of Xhaka donning the armband a few months ago without a worldwide uproar? Look at him now, he may still have his flaws, but you cannot question his leadership. Look at Bellerin, he now appears ready for a fight. And Kolasinac? He hasn’t wasted a moment to show opponents that the boys mean business. It would also be a great injustice if I don’t give a mention to Papa Sokratis who has equally been up there whenever he has played.

For me therefore, one of the reasons why we are not losing games is because of our players gradually taking responsibility, becoming leaders, generals so to speak. When as a general you are leading your troops to war, you want them to fight to the last drop of their blood. And that is exactly what Unai’s Red and White Army is doing currently.

I know we are still not at the level of Liverpool or Man City, but surely we can compete against most other teams. That is why, for the first time in several years, I feel so confident against Man United on Wednesday night. It is regrettable that we shall not have Xhaka (who would think I would be saying this a few months ago?).

Thank you Gooners and great day ahead.


Patrick Karani,
Nairobi Kenya.


  1. Jeremy says:

    Yeah, we were certainly showing the grits that we once have.

    Glad to see—- No more wimps.

    It’s important that we get in more fiery players and show we are right up there for any fights that come along.

    I am quite thrilled to see we confronted Scums when they messed with us.

    The old self seemed to be back at last.

  2. Adega Olatunji says:

    Pleas we need to pay more money to sampdoria for fee of little but giant Torrera. To me, only two players I will put ahead of him in that position today are Toni Crops and Ngolo Kante. Respect

  3. Uzi Ozil says:

    well said Adega…

    What I also love about Torreira is the fact that he can pick and spot a perfect pass. He intercepts, tackles but it doesn’t just end there like most DMs. He also pass the ball pretty well.

    I read somewhere that he started his playing career as a striker /winger (not so sure) but you can see even while attacking he knows what to do. Such a humble guy as well

    Definitely a great signing and amazing celebration on derby day. Scoring your first goal in such games can make a player really emotional

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      When you look across the entire Premiership, I wonder if Torreira is the signing of the season? Especially when you consider how little we paid for him.

      1. Sue says:

        Of course he is!

      2. Lance says:

        We paid more than the asking price for Torreira. Sampdoria wanted 22 million pounds. We offered to pay 26million so as to spread the payment over a number of years, three years I think.

        1. Sue says:

          A bargain!! Can’t believe they let him go!!

  4. Bonface Sumba says:

    We never go to war lately with defeatist mentality..we always rise up to the challenges superbly…with the devils defence in a state of a turmoil and wrecked with injuries, our generals upfront should treat us to the 20th unbeaten record

  5. kenya01 Ars fan says:

    bulling days are over i love the way we are aggresive when need be rmb the watford game we merged their physicality love it.Thanks at karani nice post

  6. gotanidea says:

    Emery and the staffs have been doing great, but they have another big task at the Old Trafford

    The fans have been supporting his unpopular decisions as well, such as benching Ozil and keeping Mustafi/ Xhaka as the first team players

    So let’s keep supporting them, even if Emery excludes your favorite players and even if he loses against Man United

    1. Things are changing says:

      Have to agree! Before the game when the formation came out many moaned but I felt the manager has earned the benefit of the doubt and I believe effort goes much further than formation.

      I am usually not one to boast of our own strengths but the manager has got be close to being the best game manager. He always reacts to what he sees going on during the game and makes the right substitutions and tactical adjustments. That is gold and speaks to his ability to play chess with other managers and to have his finger on the pulls of the game. After years of no game management and no opponent analysis or adjustment that is so refreshing.

  7. Geoffrey Ntayia says:

    A gooner for life.am glad our Arsenal is back.Emery and Mislintat need to bring a towering centreback maybe a Kulibaly.

    1. tas says:

      we are definitely missing OG type of player when we take corners or set peaces we don’t have anyone who can Jump for headers that’s why we have been playing short from corners

  8. tas says:

    Now is the perfect time to build on our success and start approaching top players to buy while we are doing well, we don’t want what we went thorough in the last few years where top players turned us down flat for not being ambitious club and you never know with injuries that could ruin our great run, Liverpool spent on top of their success so did City and they still doing so only Man-U failed that’s because of Jose Mourinho his tactics is now sussed out, widely used and out of date like he is, for shore he will be sacked if they lose to us Tomorrow but i hope they don’t sack him yet,

    if reports are right City could be banned from taking part in CL next year so 5th spot could be enough to get in to the CL, City broke FFP rules again, will find out more next week, if its true you could say we are almost guaranteed a spot which in return means at least 30 to 40 Million more income for at least last 16 position, so i say lets start to window shop for January sales 🙂

  9. Palash says:

    Yes we need to buy a winger and a creative attacking midfielder we are lacking it.I heard we are linked with Pablo fornal any one know how Pablo fornal plays is he gud?

    1. John says:

      This buy buy buy idea again…..,,there are enough youngsters crying to play first team football like now…….or we will lose them……..I think the coach has done well so far…..he is transitioning them into the first team well……I don’t think we need to buy any overpriced players now….not even in the summertime..,,,,

  10. Douglas Karani says:

    Great post Patrick. What I love about Senor Unai is that he has the audacity to make a match changing substitution at half time, as well as changing formations in the course of the game. The introduction of Laca and Rambo at halftime in the NLD game for example, was a masterstroke that Sp*rs didn’t see coming and couldn’t live with! Up The Gunners!!!

  11. ozziegunner says:

    One thing that can’t be under estimated with the Unai Emery coaching regime is the level of fitness of the Arsenal players this season. It is no accident that Arsenal has come home strong in the second half of matches, when the opposition appears to run out of legs. Also with fitness comes mental strength; the players know they still have “petrol in the tank” when the going gets tough.
    Ray Parlour has stated that he was amazed at the intensity of the pre season training and current sessions under Unai Emery and his assistants. Players were dropping in pre season due to the intensity and he was glad he was watching from the sidelines. The benefits have been shown in the last 19 games.

  12. Innit says:

    Torreira is my player of the season so far. Wish we had a healthy Cazorla for him to team with.

    Caz was far beyond Xhaka and Ramsey in quality

    My other favs so far are Guendouzi, Aubameyang and Lacazette

    Wish we had a leader type in defense like Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Keown, Koscielny

  13. David Rusa says:

    This is a very good article from Patrick Karani. Much as I don’t support violence, I feel self defence is very legitimate. There was a time when teams would get onto the pitch with a deliberate plan to kick our boys into submission and the referees would look on as if they were accomplices in this criminal behaviour. This explains the many injuries we sustained e.g. Diaby whose playing career ended prematurely, Eduardo, Ramsey who spent a whole season sidelined, Rosisky, Cazorla and many others who sustained frequent injuries such as Van Persie. I think now the boys have begun to answer back in similar fashion. This coupled with the resilience and energy levels of the team will see us regain our rightful place as a top EPL team. The days of intimidating Arsenal and getting away with it are gradually no more. All this is due to the coaching tactics of Unai Emery who doesn’t relent.

  14. chukzyking007 says:

    Goobers are now at home.old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.forward n upward

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