What is Arsenal’s biggest improvement from last season?

There has been much made of the unique leadership skills of Unai Emery as opposed to Arsene Wenger’s last few years at Arsenal, and his training has resulted with Arsenal winning nine games in a row with the last one being a master class of attacking football. So what is the thing that Emery has done that has made the biggest improvements to the team?

According to Guilleme Blague it is the research into our opponents. He said: “The main thing here is that basically Wenger didn’t care so much about the rival,”

“And Unai Emery for the last two days before the game concentrates on what to do to affect the rival.

“That is sometimes about the way they attack, it’s sometimes about the way they defend but it’s information that the players come out on the pitch which they didn’t have before.”

According to Martin Keown, it is the new mentality in the side, and helped by a small dose of Lucas Torreira! He said: “As much as I enjoyed the confidence and expression of Aaron Ramsey’s Harlem Globetrotter goal, what impressed me more was the grit, tenacity and determination in Arsenal’s performance.

“After letting Fulham back into the game, they showed real character to win emphatically in the second half.

“Lucas Torreira has brought balance to the midfield. He has freed Granit Xhaka to be more creative.

“Until this match, it felt like Unai Emery’s Arsenal were a work in progress. On Sunday they bossed the game.”

So there is a couple of ideas as to what people think is the biggest difference from last year. What do you think has given us the most improvement since Emery’s arrival?

Sam P


  1. Rkw says:

    Probably agree with keown and certainly on torreira but we didn’t boss the game against Fulham we bossed the second half and how… Once we do begin to boss the entire game and at least hold our own against rivals then we can begin to talk seriously of revival … Lpool game the real test on that score

    1. Innit says:

      few teams boss the first half regularly
      I dont care how we win as long as we win

  2. Jerick says:

    Most of our games are tied even at half time then we suddenly blow the opposition to pieces in the second half. That tells me Emery is using a bit of tactics to give the team’s instruction that will pay off in the second half.

    He also make immediate changes if need be. More than once I’ve seen him made changes at the beginning of the second half. That rarely happens at Arsenal unless there’s an injury. He seem to know what he is doing. Still early days to judge but let’s take it a day at a time.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Good observation

      The team seems to play more direct, more forward passes and more intensity due to the players’ high pressing

      It is too early to predict the final position, but winning consecutively like that is not a trivial task and his firmness to the underperforming stars is also another improvement for me

    2. Ackshay says:

      Every epl game has been arsenal drawing or losing at half time. It can’t be a coincidence, emery sets us conservative for 1St half then we overpower them in 2nd. Against city and Chelsea we were better in the 2nd half.

      1. TH14-TW14 says:

        Even last season, Arsenal were more efficient in the second half. I don’t think that’s new

  3. Lupe says:

    Attacking efficiency, use of substitutions and confidence.

  4. Sparkles says:

    In few words: the new found confidence, pressing and willingness to fight until the final whistle are the major differences from the last few seasons.

  5. jon fox says:

    I will be blunt as usual. No fence sitting for me. Our biggest improvement is at last having a proper manager, who can and does COACH! GLORY BE AND AT LONG LAST AFTER A WASTED DECADE. One who understands the need for tactics, shape, having players behind the ball when under attack – NOT having both fullbacks upfield together when opponents break out. One who inspires players; and fans. One who drops non performing players , in the game if they are not doing the business. One who is not a slave to the bloody 70 th minute(sacred to WENGER). One who actually earns the wage he is paid. And finally , one who has lifted , in thrilling fashion, the long term air of doom in our club. I call Emery the “Spring Cleaner” or the Transformer. I call WENGER , OTHER , NON PRINTABLE THINGS! They are all actually ONE thing; a new manager!

    1. Durand says:

      Emery coaching and managing to keep his job. Players performing and improving to keep their spot, and hopefully keep their job.

      Ruthlessness that we’ve been asking for.

      Torreria playing as a DM; amazing how that balances our team. One wonders why Wenger refused to buy and consistently play a DM.

      Coaching playing a big part as well, if one believes Bellerin and Mustafi’s comments. Why didn’t Per ever speak up when he was the bench captain?

      Change in many facets which club desperately needed. Glad to see thechanges paying dividends, long may it continue

      1. Pires says:

        @Jon Fox
        don’t get carried away pal.We obviously are all delighted, but we have done nothing yet.Emrey has cleaned for good the toxic atmosphere around the club BUT he hasn’t win anything yet compared to the long list of silverwar won by Wenger.We used to go on a run of form ,during the last years of Wenger, around september and october before bottling it in the winter…..

        1. jon fox says:

          Who is getting carried away? Not me certainly. The article asked where we had improved and I told the plain truth about how your “hero” WENGER HAD RUINED US OVER HIS LAST DECADE and how Emery has made a good start so far in the huge repair job. I presume you are still weeping that your “HERO” was rightly sacked. Most of us are delighted he was , though clearly not you. Though I see even you admit the atmoshere- thanks to WENGERS dereliction of duty, became toxic.

          1. pires says:

            Wenger isn’t my “hero”,it’s just that he has done a great job for the club even though his last years were a failure.And Unai has all my support.BUT how can you compare the two after just few games of tenure for the latter . In your own admission ,we have played just two good teams losing to both.

  6. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Emery hasn’t win any Title for Arsenal yet, but he looks to win for Arsenal sooner than latter. More so if Arsenal continue to play in the current brilliant form they’ve been playing leading up to their winning 9 on the spin in all competitions.

    Us Gooners are hopping to be witnesses to the continuation of Arsenal excusite brilliant form in the PL and in the Cup games after the international break when they take on Leicester, Sporting CP, C Palace and Blackpool in 2 PL games and 2 Cup games. 4 games they are highly expected to win them all to extend their current winning run to 13 games before they host Liverpool in the Pl at the Ems in a big game that will but to bed the contention and argument between Paul Merson and us Gooners as to whether Arsenal will receive a thrashing from Liverpool or is Liverpool that will receive a thrashing from Arsenal.

  7. Lucas T. says:

    Biggest difference is having a proper DM in Torreira. You can see the difference even in this season.
    With him on the pitch we scored 20 goals and only had 3 scored against us. With him off the pitch we scored 9 and had 10 scored against us.
    He protects our shaky defense and allows Xhaka to play a more attacking game.
    The fact that Unai is also finding a way to play Laca and Auba together helps as well.

    1. Yossarian says:

      Interesting statistic. I’m a big fan of Torreria. We’ve needed somebody like that for a very long time.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ??since Gilberto Silva!

  8. Mihado says:

    So far so good the team has been playing awesomely… Whatbi sure know is we don’t have a 1st eleven…the beauty of the current team is every one is performing greatly…d sub’s are doing their job when called upon…d difference BTW Wenger era and d current Emery team is DAT they have lots of Cojones…Emery tactics are spot on…his Aura on the touch line tends to reach the players and the gooner faithful… Compare to zipping Wenger…the best feeling i get and I know most of the fans out there get and what have been missing that leads to empty seat at the Emirate is knowing you are going to watch a match with a really tough fighting spirit we the current team sure has that…it beaming out of the player Iwobi said the team fears no One…That a strong statement… And I hope all the changes and hard work leads to lots of Trophy

  9. Jagdeep Matharoo says:

    Getting lucky…. that’s the difference

  10. Sue says:

    Torreira the DM!! Our away form!!

  11. Declan says:

    A coach who makes decisions, not on 70 minutes but when needed, 45 minutes, 55 minutes, whenever.

  12. Iwaloye adewumi says:

    Who knows the game will surely sense the differences . Boldness in attack nd concentration in defence

  13. Ian wrights bruva says:

    Togetherness and belief, tactical awareness and a will to improve.

  14. Paul R says:

    What a cameo by Reis Nelson for the U21s. The lads got immense talent!!

  15. ThirdManJW says:

    The biggest improvement is the in-game management from Emery, which isn’t a surprise in all honesty. Wenger barely paid attention to what was actually happening on the pitch! His coat zip being his main focus of concentration, the token substitution between 65/70th min, and the worst player rarely getting taken off.

    Emery is really earning his money thus far. Long may it continue!

  16. Midkemma says:

    For me it is Gazidis leaving, I never thought he would be good enough to bring the ambition to win, he was a CEO who is good at boosting share prices in short term but lacks any real understanding of how to be a giant in football.

    We have Sven and for all the good he can do, he was handicapped by Gazidis and his budget setting, play it safe over investing in our ambition…. Good for share prices, insulting to the fans.

    Emery has a record of developing talent, he is fresh to the club and I assume wants to prove himself, these are good qualities and I really hope Arsenal now have the ambition to buy the best young talent and integrate them into a core of self developed players.

    What Sanllehi could bring with him is one top marquee signing a season and real understanding at how us supporters will support this ambition by buying kits and filling the stadium weekly, he isn’t afraid of sanctioning big spending if it makes the club bigger. If Silent Stan doesn’t have to put his hand in his pocket then who thinks he will stop Sanllehi from making the club worth more?

    Look at Barca transfers since he took over on 1st July 2008, see how each year he got Barca a marquee signing until the team was so well stocked that they then had a couple seasons at trusting in youth development. Before he was doing that he was doing the marketing at Barca, he knows that the more ambitious the club is on the field then the more the club can get from sponsors, if we’re more attractive then we become worth more… Again, if Silent Stan isn’t putting his hands in his pocket to fund it then I bet this would make him happy.

    I don’t want to understate how much Emery appears to have done already in such a short space of time, I am excited because what if he gets full support with everything the club can offer? Better raw quality for Emery to develop…

    I have so much hope now Gazidis has left that for me it is the biggest improvement.

    1. Gunner22 says:

      Its sad wenger left before ivan
      If wenger had to stay with ivan gone we could have had a phenomenal season this year.its no coincedance that emery is doing well now after ivans exit was confirmed and was struggling before.

      1. Kstix says:

        that’s not true at gunner22. It’s an illusion and misconceptions to think that wenger would have succeeded without gazidis. Gazidis is not responsible for in game substitutions at 70mins. He is not responsible for lack of tactics and pure favouritism to flops under wenger. As much as i don’t like gazidis. He wasn’t the one that told wenger not to evolve as the game did. Played the same tactics with every team and hoped to win. For the first time in 22 years we have a coach who can actually prepare for different teams. Read the flow of the game in the first half and know what needs to be done to win in the 2nd half. Little wonder why we’ve been winning games in the second half. This is not luck, this is down to coach’s tactics. Knowing when and which player to remove and which to leave. It was the reverse under wenger. He makes the dumbest of substitutions 90% of the time. Leaves a flop to play 90mins and removes a performing player for another flop. It’s like he always planned to fail. Look at lacazette and a whole lot of other players when they played under wenger and when they’re playing under emery now. The difference is very glaring even to the blind. Was all that gazidis fault too. Don’t kid yourself. As a matter of fact i would like to thank gazidis for bringing us emery rather than an unproven arteta as first proposed. Yes we lost two big games but only barely. We have a coach who actually wants to win. We are winning games now that we would normally lose last season especially the away games. When we played away games last season under wenger, u were irritated by the performances of the players. It was like they were struggling to play. Look at the away matches this season. When the players try to struggle. The coach barks at them and motivates them. Gives them a winning mindset. Where wenger would have just sat there battling with his zip clueless. I don’t expect emery to perform miracles and win us the league or something like that. But a top 4 finish would be a huge improvement from last season. Any other thing we win is a bonus.

      2. Phil says:

        Are you real?So you are saying the obvious decline of the Club and Mis-Management of the team was not the fault of Wenger but of the CEO.I believe you are the first person I have read this season who believes the utter nonsense you have just written.
        With the fixtures we have had and the team being managed by Wenger I doubt we would have half the points we have now.Nothing would have changed.Two players who we bought in Sokritis and Torreira would never be at the Club if Wenger was in charge and these two more than anyone have improved the leaking sieve of a back line we had under Wenger.
        Time will prove that Ivan Gazidis made his biggest contribution to Arsenal Football Club by SACKING Arsene Wenger.His biggest mistake was not doing it a DECADE EARLIER

        1. ClassyGunner says:

          Exactly Phil, Wenger is a great manager but even the greatest of products have use by dates. And unfortunately Wenger was way past his. Having said that, the man deserves the greatest of respect for what he has done for Arsenal during the first half of his tenure.

    2. jon fox says:

      At last! Something we agree on in Gazidis leaving , even though I think WENGERS LEAVING FAR MORE IMPORTANT, GAZIDIS GOING WAS A MASSIVE PLUS TOO.

  17. Welbeck says:

    The biggest improvement has to be the team spirit. I know we score a GOT month/season at least once a year but that Ramsey effort demonstrates confidence, tactical nous and teamwork. Emery’s doing well so far. Kudos

  18. Water says:

    No more fruit juice

  19. Grandad says:

    Under Emery I feel the players are fitter and more physical in challenges for the ball.Even Ozil seems to be chasing back on occasion.In essence they seem to be working harder for each other which is what we want to see.There are still glaring weaknesses in terms of the lack of real defensive quality but all in all i have to credit the Board for their recruitment of Emery.

  20. bur says:

    In fairness we have beat teams this season that I would expect to beat comfortably. We have rid our luck in several games but its still good to those points on the board. On defining change from last season is that we can win away from home.

    1. ClassyGunner says:

      “In fairness we have beat teams this season that I would expect to beat comfortably.” Looks like you haven’t watched The Arsenal in the last 3-4 years.

  21. Ash says:

    The main difference between emery and Wenger is it seems emery is always “ahead” of the game except the against MC ,whereas Wenger always looked to be chasing the game …

  22. Break-on-through says:

    This is way late and nobody will see it. I’m sorry people you are all wrong, the single biggest difference is not having a crowd full of toxicity stinking up the place. That atmosphere was rotten, acidic, terrible conditions to play in and allot of our players have no doubt felt a huge weight lifted from off their shoulders. All those near misses and the shaky defending, all could’ve turned out another way if last seasons support was still in full effect. I was gonna say Lacaette bedding in is surely a huge difference, but felt, I needed to get to the root of it, a dose of authenticity for the realists out there if you like. You might not like hearing that, but that there is true realism for you ..cough! cough!, realists of the bunch.

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