Arsenal fans came into this new campaign with great hopes that Unai Emery could breathe fresh life into an Arsenal side that had plummetted down the table at the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign. His new pressing tactics were going to get the Gunners running rings around our opponents and he was going to get our back line back into solid shape and stop them conceding Keystone Kop type goals.
Sadly this has not happened yet and it looks like the Spaniard has not got such an easy task as we had hoped, and according to Jamie Redknapp, we have no hope at all of fighting our way back into the Top Four. He said: “I don’t think any manager could [get this team into the top four], not at the moment. I just think it is going to take time. Arsenal have been falling further and further behind and I think Arsene Wenger has left Unai Emery with a badly-balanced squad with not enough quality in it. It’s as simple as that. I don’t care who the manager is – Pep Guardiola or whoever – it is going to take time and he needs it.
“What the squad and the type of players Emery has brought in has told you, is that the finances have been pretty strict on him. You look at the squad that Wenger inherited with that famous back four and the goalkeeper, he’s got a lot more work to do with this group. I don’t think he’s inherited a great squad. I don’t think they’re as bad as what they showed last year but he’s got a lot of work to do with them.
“If you’ve got the right manager, it’s going to take a couple of windows. I said last week, with the Arsenal team that played Chelsea, how many of those players would have got in the Blues’ side? Not many, maybe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of Alvaro Morata but there wouldn’t be many more and I think that’s the most worrying thing for Arsenal.
“I think they’ve got a good manager now, they needed to change, but when you want to play out from the back like he does, I think you’ve got to give it a bit of time because it doesn’t happen straight away. My only worry with it is that I don’t think he’s got the personnel to do that, I really don’t, but then comes the question of ‘do you adapt or do you keep working that way even if you’re going to make mistakes and concede goals?'”
So what do you think? Is it as bad as Jamie thinks it is? Is the squad really as bad as all that? Or do you think Emery can still get the team improving steadily for us to challenge for Top Four?