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Arsenal 2018/19 preview: Viera replacement, unity and Emery’s new approach

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After missing out on Champions League football last season the Arsenal hierarchy took action in bringing in experienced European manager Unai Emery.

Ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, we caught up with Gunners podcast The Same Old Arsenal to get the low-down on progress made on and off the pitch…

What do you make of your club’s pre-season preparations, both on and off the pitch?

We are very happy with what has happened both on and off the pitch.

There seems to be a more unity between the players and, while the signings the club has made might not be the names supporters were hoping, they arrive in positions that have needed strengthening for several seasons.

Which of your club’s summer signing has you most excited about the new campaign?

Lucas Torreira excites us very much. He looks to be the central midfielder the club has needed many seasons.

We failed to replace Patrick Viera when he left years ago and, while we are not saying that he will reach that level, of the midfielders we have at the club, he looks the most likely to do so..

Coming a close second for best summer signing is the manager, himself. 

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Who’s your club’s young-player-who-could-make-a-breakthrough this season?

Emile Smith Rowe could have a big part to play at Arsenal this season.

He has impressed throughout pre-season with his desire to demand the ball from top senior players and for them to actually give to him with out any hesitation says a lot about the kid.

What will be your club’s biggest factor behind achieving its targets this season?

Unai Emery. Since arriving at the club he has gotten his head down and worked on bringing in the players that he feels the club needed. 

He has brought a huge breath of fresh to Arsenal and the fans are really excited to see him make his managerial debut in the Premier League.

What will be your club’s biggest barrier to achieving its targets this season?

Like always, it will be an injury to a big player and, of course, our budget is much more limited compared to the clubs you would consider our rivals.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Which club outside yours do you think has done the best business this summer?

Liverpool have addressed the weaknesses by spending big money on top players.

They now have a spine which could see them genuinely challenge for the title this year, along with the Champions League. 

Meanwhile, for West Ham to sign one of England’s top midfielders on a free is fantastic business, while the addition of Felipe Anderson has given fans reason to be excited again!

Manuel Pellegrini is going to do a fine job there. 

If you had to pick a six-a-side team from your club’s current squad, who would be in it?

Finally, how do you think your team will have done come the end of the 2018/19 season?

Hopefully, Arsenal will be up there challenging for the top four once again and it would be nice to see the squad become much more of a collective unit instead of individuals. 

The Boot Room is a football analysis website, bringing original and creative content to the fans of the English Football League.

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Arsenal

Arsenal fans want Emery to sell Granit Xhaka after Man City loss

Fans are demanding Arsenal sell Xhaka in the next two weeks.

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Arsenal fans have made it clear throughout the history of the internet they need someone to be angry at and Granit Xhaka has inherited the crown.

With Arsene Wenger finally out, the Switzerland international has followed the likes of Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott as Arsenal’s weekly scapegoat, a title that is tough to shake, and his performance against Manchester City did not help matters.

Poor on the ball and struggling to cope with the Citizens’ quota of stars, fans on social media quickly flocked to criticism the midfielder and demand that Unai Emery sells the former Borussia Monchengladbach man ASAP.

With Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira amongst Emery’s summer acquisitions, Xhaka has plenty of competition for his role in midfield and many fans have made it clear they don’t want to see Xhaka wear the Arsenal shirt once again.

Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen and, a few months down the line, another scapegoat may have been identified. For now, it’s best Xhaka avoids logging onto Twitter…

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Emery’s Arsenal conference: Left-back options, Ramsey & further exits

A new era under Emery dawns for Arsenal.

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Arsenal enter a Premier League season with a new manager for the first time in over two decades, with Unai Emery now at the helm in north London.

The new boss starts life in English football with a baptism of fire as Arsenal host defending champions Manchester City on Sunday, where Emery has five new signings to potentially include in his starting line-up.

Ahead of his Premier League debut, Emery spoke to the press and we picked up three key takeaways from his comments.

Maitland-Niles in defence

Arsenal begin the season with a major issue in defence, as Sead Kolasinac will miss around ten weeks through injury and Nacho Monreal is not back to full fitness after returning from the World Cup with a knee problem.

(Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

That means that young Ainsley Maitland-Niles may be thrown into the deep end due to his versatility, featuring on the left-side of a defence against the Premier League champions. Fortunately, he has experience in this position and Emery is confident he can impress.

“We want to give him confidence and the possibility to play. I’m not sure because I am going to decide tomorrow or on Sunday on the first 11, but Ainsley is the player who started the last match against Lazio.”

Ramsey update

Arsenal fans will have breathed a sigh of relief as soon as the transfer window closed yesterday, as it brought an end to speculation that Aaron Ramsey would be sold. However, it is far from the end of the saga concerning the Wales international.

(Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC)

With less than 12 months remaining on his contract, Arsenal are fearful that Ramsey could walk for nothing next summer and are working hard behind the scenes to secure the 27-year-old favourite to fresh terms. Unfortunately, Emery did not have a positive update to share.

“That’s not my work. For me it’s very important he stays with us. His experience here in Arsenal and the Premier League is very important and will give us all the information and performances in his quality. Then, the contract is for speaking with the club and the players.”

Three could still leave

The transfer window has come to a close in the Premier League but the European window remains open until the end of the month, while Football League sides also have until the end of August to negotiate loan deals.

(Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Emery named three players that could leave by the end of the month in David Ospina, Carl Jenkinson and Joel Campbell – with goalkeeper Ospina currently the closest to an exit as Besiktas try to complete a deal for the stopper.

Interestingly, Danny Welbeck was omitted from the list despite speculation that a number of sides were keen on his services and that suggests he could still have a part to play this season.

“Today, we had a meeting with the players to close all the possibilities to leave or come with more players. We only have three players: Carl Jenkinson, David Ospina and Joel Campbell, with the possibility to leave.”

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One winner and loser from Arsenal’s pre-season campaign

Major changes took place in north London this summer

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Photo: Getty Images

A new era has dawned for Arsenal, we will enter the Premier League season with a new manager for the first time in over two decades.

Unai Emery has taken charge of the Emirates Stadium and swiftly rejuvenated the squad with five new signings, while also waving goodbye to established players like Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, both of whom left on free transfers.

Overall, Arsenal’s pre-season campaign was a positive one as the Gunners thrashed Paris Saint-Germain, edged Lazio in Sweden, beat Chelsea on penalties and held Atletico Madrid to a draw before losing on a shootout.

From those results we have identified one winner and one loser.

Winner: Emile Smith Rowe

Every pre-season there seems to be a young starlet who announces himself to Arsenal fans, catching the eye and providing a platform to build upon in the forthcoming campaign with the aim of fighting into the first-team squad.

(Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

This year it was the turn of Emile Smith Rowe, who made headlines with a stunning goal against Atletico Madrid in Singapore and impressed in the other games where he featured, potentially opening the path for regular football under Unai Emery.

Still just 18, the starlet has now outlined his plans for the forthcoming season as he seeks to earn opportunities in cup competitions.

“My long-term goal is to get in the first team permanently. But this season it’s to try to get as many minutes as I can in the Europa League and cups, and hopefully make my Premier League debut.”

– Smith Rowe reveals his plans for 2018-19.

Loser: Danny Welbeck

It has been a very strange summer for Danny Welbeck. Only returning to training this week following an extended break after the World Cup, Welbeck featured for just 11 minutes of football for England in Russia and may wonder if his career would have been better off staying at home.

In his absence, Welbeck has seen Alex Iwobi and Reiss Nelson awarded new contracts as well as witnessing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette craft an exciting partnership in attack – which left the former Manchester United man on the fringes.

After failing to earn a permanent exit, Football.London states he will remain in the squad fighting for a place but it is clear the 27-year-old is now a spare part in north London.

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