The new Arsenal coach Unai Emery is trying to instill a totally new tactical system to a squad that is only used to playing under Arsene Wenger’s tutelage, and the Armenian star Henryk Mkhitaryan thinks that the new man is going the right way about improving the Gunners style of play.
Mkhitaryan said: “Emery kept the philosophy of Wenger but is building something new on it. He knows he can give something different to this club, like the balance between attack and defence. It’s not easy but I think he’s doing it in the right way.
“We have to keep working because we have a new manager, a new philosophy and want to play in a different way than before under Wenger. It’s not too easy but we are trying to achieve that and do what the coach is asking from us.
“He wants to play football and dominate the game and that’s what we’re doing, we’re not just kicking the ball up front.”
“We are trying to play football, our second goal against Chelsea we had 19 consecutive passes and then Alex finished the attack and we scored,” he said. “It’s a new philosophy, we have to accept that and work hard to achieve our goals.”
Mkhi is also philosophical about Arsenal losing the first two games, but is certain things can only get better. He said: “We’re not happy with the result but we know where we’re going, what we’re doing, what the coach is demanding from us and we’re trying to do that,”
“We can say we had a hard schedule having played Manchester City and Chelsea, but we had to face them now or later so it doesn’t matter.
“We did our best. In one case we can say we were unlucky a bit, but that is football, it can happen. The most important thing is to stay positive, believe in ourselves and to keep working the same way and the result will come.
“We are creating chances. Maybe we are not as good to score at the moment but I think it’s just the first few games.”
There are definitely green shoots of the new system working, especially in the excellent lead up to Iwobi’s goal against the Blues, which was started from the back. We can only see how we fare against Jack Wilshere’s West Ham side next weekend, where hopefully our season will begin in earnest with Emery’s first win as Arsenal boss.
Onwards and upwards!