The season, Unai Emery’s first and the beginning of a new era of Arsenal, is in full swing.
The football is in a transitory stage, and when the dust settles, an Unai Emery modelled team will indeed make us a far tougher outfit than before. We can already see the seeds of Emery’s free-flowing attack in flashes – the non-stop movement and team-built moves that were the foundation of his success with Sevilla.
We also have a squad that is better equipped than in previous seasons. Defensive inequities remain, but this isn’t down to the personnel like in years before.
The future is bright, but for some, the future isn’t good enough.
Success is never quite close enough, glory always on the horizon but never within grasp.
We are filled with promises from politicians that carry as much weight as the flakiest pastry, it is becoming the norm where someone’s word is worth nothing. So is it really surprising that we hold no optimism where the future is concerned?
Unai Emery will be painfully aware that he needs a modicum of success if he is to etch his name permanently into the annals of Arsenal. If he fails then he will be just another managerial casualty.
The requirements are simple, far simpler than at the majority of clubs. Do what Arsene failed to do in his last two seasons – reach the Champions League.
This means ousting two from Man United, Chelsea, tottenham, Liverpool and City. the Champions. Seeing as two of these teams look to be ahead of the chasing pack, that leaves two teams from four, including us.
The League is getting tougher and tougher to get at those pesky top four spots, but Emery’s prime objective could be fulfilled another way.
As aforementioned, our squad has been bolstered beyond what means we had for our last foray into the Europa League. We reached the Semi-Final then, with a tired team that couldn’t fully motivate in what was Wenger’s last season.
We now have a coach who is somewhat of a specialist in this competition. Like it or not too, if we were to lift this trophy, it would be our biggest European triumph. If Emery were to recreate his winning with Sevilla, it would be more than enough to sate the doubters and also the Board.
The Top4 may be a big leap, and so is the Europa League, but fighting on both fronts is a must. Emery is equipped to bring glory to the team, but his first season is a building effort. Targets may be in place but we must also realise that if we fall short, there are reasons why.
We aren’t where we need to be. We are building, pushing towards an accumulated effort which takes time.
We could lift a cup, we might not, but we need to enjoy the journey, as we are on the right path and progress is being made. If it doesn’t happen this season, we can at least rest assured that this is a lesson we need to learn to achieve more.
Patience is indeed a virtue, but we need to stop being so short-sighted and only see the struggle. Obstacles make the journey more exciting and for once, we need to have faith in the promises being made.
The struggle is real, but so are the words being spoken. We are on our way to silverware again.