Oh, “its his First season”, “the board did not making any signings”
“Too many deadwood players” “Not enough squad depth” “Its not easy to make top 4”
The aforementioned were the excuses given for Unai Emery in the 2018/2019 season as Arsenal failed to win any trophy.
The first season cliché, how valid was it? Afterall, we have seen managers win the League in their first season as managers in the Premier League.
Almighty Pep Guardiola with all his managerial achievements went trophyless in his first season in England, despite spending millions on transfers.
Tactically brilliant Jurgen Klopp also failed to land any trophy in his first season as manager in England, then, Unai Emery going trophy less in his first season is forgivable, right?
In his 2ND season as Manager of Arsenal, Unai Emery has had virtually everything going right for him-
A club record signing in Nicolas Pepe- 72 million pounds, plus other notable additions like Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid, Gabriel Martinelli, and William Saliba who was eventually loaned back to French outfit, St Etienne. Not forgetting the addition of David Luiz from Chelsea on deadline day.
Those signings puts Arsenal’s summer signings net spend on over 100 million pounds- A total rarity.
Arsenal spent more money than Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs
Competition is as rife as ever in the Premier League, what would be considered as a successful season for the Gunners?
The realistic targets.
It is a wild chase to expect Arsenal to finish above Liverpool and Manchester City in the 2019/2020 Premier League campaign, given the strength of both sides.
So, what is realistic for Arsenal?
The Cup competitions- The FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the Europa League.
There are no excuses for Unai Emery if he can’t bring one of the aforelisted trophies back to North London or even two!
Its not rocket science or building a castle in the air when one expects Arsenal to at least win a cup competition, or is it?
ARSENAL AS EMERGING THIRD FORCE.
Manchester United and Chelsea, have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard as managers.
United have let go of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, and it won’t be until the January transfer window before they can further strengthen a weak squad that would be relying on strikers that have never delivered 20 goals in all competitions- Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to deliver the goods.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have a Frank Lampard as manager, the Chelsea legend has just one complete season as a manager under his belt- With Derby County.
Chelsea have also lost a gem like Hazard, to Real Madrid coupled with a transfer ban.
For the top 4 race, after Manchester City and Liverpool the situation at Chelsea and Manchester United leaves Arsenal and Spurs as the strongest contenders to make top four.
By May 2020, anything less than a top four finish and a cup win for Arsenal would be seen as massive underachievement for the Gunners & Unai Emery. The old excuses that seemed viable last season are no longer tenable.