Huge two months for Unai Emery at Arsenal
Arsenal earned their first points of the season as they claimed a 3-1 win over West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. These were also the first points of Unai Emery’s era at the club.
However, as the scoreline might suggest, the Gunners were far from comfortable in the game, and they were opened up quite easily by the Hammers on multiple occasions. There were obvious defensive lapses in Arsenal’s game, and on occasions, they were helped by Hammers’ lack of intelligence in front of the goal. Following the game, Emery admitted that there are things to improve in his side.
Lucas Torreira has made three substitute appearances but should be a starter in coming weeks. Emery is now faced with a decision between Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi. The young French midfielder has impressed in early weeks, but his performance against the Hammers suggested that he shouldn’t be an automatic starter for Arsenal.
Emery also needs to work with his defenders in coming weeks as the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, and Hector Bellerin have been guilty of multiple errors in opening three rounds.
Arsenal’s upcoming run of fixtures gives Emery a perfect opportunity to bring some much-needed solidity to his midfield and defence.
After facing two direct competitors in opening two weeks, Arsenal doesn’t have a fixture against any direct rival until the first week of November when they host Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Arsenal’s upcoming seven league fixtures are Cardiff City(A), Newcastle United (A), Everton (H), Watford (H), Fulham (A), Leicester City (H) and Crystal Palace (A). There are some tricky fixtures in there, but Arsenal would be favourites to win each of them.
The Gunners have looked impressive going forward in each of their three games, so there are goals in Emery’s side. However, the defense is very much a job in progress, and we expect to see some high-scoring Arsenal games in coming weeks with very few clean sheets.
Nevertheless, Emery’s job has been made somewhat easier by this fixture-list. Next week, Arsenal travel to Cardiff City, who are without a win this season. The Bluebirds are favourites to go down, and this game would be a good opportunity for the Gunners to build some momentum.
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