Here's why Arsenal fans finally have something to smile about

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 09 October 2018, 12:46

THERE SEEMS little doubt that it was right the move by Arsenal to bin Arsene Wenger for Unai Emery.

Nine wins in a row but more importantly a show of resolve and backbone to complement the pretty football which made Wenger’s teams pretty to watch but easy pickings.

The run which has taken Arsenal to fourth is a big moment in the Spaniard’s fledgling reign. It hasn’t won them anything tangible yet. But it has achieved one thing.

Arsenal are back above Tottenham in the Premier League for the first time since January 1 this year. That’s a long nine months of waiting for a club which traditionally looked down on Spurs as the nuisance neighbours not so much noisy.

Whether the momentum will carry through until the end of the season and Arsenal will be re-established as number one in North London is too far ahead to call.

But for now the Arsenal supporters should make the most of their temporary superiority. Emery has given them something to cling onto after seasons spent watching Tottenham creep up on the rails and overtake them.

Arsenal are fighting back on every front, both on and off the pitch. They are fourth - back in the Champions League spots.

Consistency was not the watchword during Wenger’s last few years in charge. His teams lurched from spectacular victory to crushing defeat.

It’s why they became such a good FA Cup team during the final seasons of the Frenchman’s immortalised but also blemished 22 years in charge.

Surprising as it may sound, Emery’s nine game winning streak is still some way short of the dozen victories on the trot Wenger pieced together during 2007.

It kicked off with a 1-0 win over Manchester City, took in a North London derby and a 7-0 demolition of Slavia Prague.

That was an Arsenal with Cesc Fabregas as captain, Kolo Toure in his prime and Robin van Persie. Emmanuel Adebayor stuck two past Spurs.

They finished third that season, just four points behind champions Manchester United. They have only topped that final resting place once since - finishing second best to Leicester in 2015.

 

Maybe this is a sign that Emery is breathing life back into Arsenal after years in the doldrums. The players certainly feel that way and they are most definitely playing that way.

Serial-winner Petr Cech said as much recently when admitting:

“Sometimes, in the past playing the Arsenal way was more important than the points. But that’s not how you win league titles.”

There’s no reason why Emery cannot redefine the Arsenal way. It’s not illegal to play good football and win things.

Arsenal are undergoing a cultural shift at present. It’s not as painful as was first feared.

Nine wins on the spin and the best run of form for 11 years just a few months after Emery is officially appointed as Arsenal boss suggests that.

Manchester United’s problem has been that they let their last manager leave on a high with the Premier League title in his hands.

As such they are having problems filling Alex Ferguson’s boots.

Wenger’s slow decline into mediocrity and beyond has actually provided Emery with the better platform from which to launch a transformation of Arsenal.

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