Arsenal supporters have been somewhat quieter in recent times after seeing their team’s remarkable 11-match winning run in all competitions come to an end at the weekend.
Unai Emery’s men went into their meeting with Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday having won each of their previous seven matches in the league, alongside three successes in the Europa League and a 3-1 victory over Brentford in the Carabao Cup. And while they advanced in the latter competition by beating Blackpool on Wednesday night, their winning streak came to an end last weekend in drawing 2-2 with Roy Hodgson’s Palace, with two Luka Milivojevic penalties cancelling out efforts from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to earn the hosts a deserved point.
Thus, there have been many quieter Arsenal fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent comments from Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas, who has identified the ‘best thing’ about Emery’s side, namely that they have ‘brought the joy and excitement back’ to the North London giants.
And with chants of ‘we’ve got our Arsenal back’ having been heard from the stands in recent weeks, Nicholas is absolutely spot on with his assessment of the job Emery has so far done since replacing Arsene Wenger in the summer.
Ultimately, it was always going to be a tough assignment for anybody to replace Frenchman Wenger after 22 years in the Gunners hotseat, and successive defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea was far from the ideal start for former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain chief Emery.
Yet his side have since embarked on a 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions to sit fourth in the Premier League table, top of their Europa League group, and indeed in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, and they have gone about it in a way which has excited supporters.
Going forward, the Gunners have looked irresistible in netting 24 goals in their ten Premier League matches this term, only leaders City (27) have scored more, and in that time they have swept some teams aside in beating Fulham 5-1 at Craven Cottage, as well as 3-1 successes over West Ham and Leicester City.
And Emery’s men have scored some incredible goals in that time to suggest that they are enjoying their football, and playing with a new-found confidence that wasn’t always seen near the end of Wenger’s reign.
Yes, they still look suspect defensively and arguably haven’t been properly tested during their recent unbeaten run, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that Emery’s Arsenal have entertained, excited, and scored some excellent goals – they are certainly improving under the Spaniard.
And for Nicholas to make the claim that Emery has brought the ‘joy and excitement’ back to the club underlines just how good a job he has done in his early stint at the Emirates Stadium.
And given supporters are growing in excitement as well at what Emery is building at the North London heavyweights, Nicholas is absolutely spot on with his assessment of his former club.
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