Unai Emery’s second Premier League campaign in charge of Arsenal got off to a fine start last weekend, as the Gunners beat Newcastle United 1-0 at St James’ Park. There is also plenty of optimism currently surrounding the north London club following an excitingly productive summer transfer window.
The Spanish coach must seek to maintain those high spirits for as long he can. He will be aware that should he fail to deliver champions League football again this season then he’ll almost certainly lose his job. Therefore, he’ll be desperate to take advantage of anything that can help him get his side’s season off to a good start.
He will also hope, that having had a year to adapt to his methods, that his squad will now be more responsive to his instructions. Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka certainly feels that this familiarity will be a positive this season. The 26-year-old told the official Arsenal website, “we know each other more and the coach knows the players better. We know him, what he wants, the mentality of the staff and as I’ve said before, I’m so excited because this is the second year now under Unai Emery and we want to make a good season this year”.
If this is to be a successful season at the Emirates Stadium, Xhaka himself must improve too. The 74-cap Switzerland international has been too prone to defensive errors in previous seasons. As an experienced player and natural leader, Xhaka will need to up his game to help Emery’s vision for his side take fruition on the pitch.
The squad must have faith in Emery’s approach. Without that the club will be doomed to fail this season. However, in return, Emery must be able to trust his players to execute his tactics accurately and effectively.