Unai Emery has overseen reasonable improvement in his debut season in charge of Arsenal and the fact that he has his side in the top four with just weeks of the season remaining is testament to that.
But with a defence that is still leaking as a result of Arsene Wenger’s seasons of neglect and the poor away from that blighted the Frenchman lingering, it’s perhaps surprising that the Spaniard hasn’t adopted a more aggressive gameplan.
That could centre around playing strike duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette – two of the club’s best players – together more often, which he has often been reluctant to do.
But Emery has shed some light on his opinion of the players, outlining that he has had elite front players before and they have all improved under him.
According to Total Football, Sunday People, page 9, 07/04, Emery said: “They can be anything they want. I’ve worked with pairings like them – Villa and Morientes, Soldado and Aduriz, Gameiro and Bacca, Cavani and Mbappe.
“It’s perfect. Sometimes you need to play both, sometimes you can play wide and have a player on the bench. I’m so happy to have them. They are scoring, they are playing all roles. Every striker had developed under me in the past. I’m very, very demanding.”
Emery has made it clear that he knows what to do with front twos but it still doesn’t really explain why they don’t play through the middle together more often.
Arsenal’s weak defence could do with some pressure being eased, and perhaps the best way to do that would be by having their most potent duo of attackers on the pitch at all times.