You could say Unai Emery was thrown straight into the deep end when he arrived at Arsenal last summer.
The Spaniard took control of his first Premier League match in charge of the Gunners in front of his own fans on 12 August 2018; against a formidable Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. Things do not get much tougher than that.
As we all know, the champions managed to kick-off their first game defending their title with a 2-0 win, however, not many had expected the north London outfit to have come away with anything from the game in the first place.
As is the norm in the modern era, fans took to Twitter after the game to share their opinions of Emery following the game and it would seem many were on his side and prepared to give him the time he needed to get things changed.
Here are just some of their reactions towards the manager:
Unai Emery needs a bit more time than just one PL game to get 6th placed Arsenal to compete with record breaking champions Manchester City. Shock horror. Drop Mkhi and Čech, we go again next week, our pressing game would unsettle and dismantle most other teams too. #COYG
— ∞ (@TheFalseNein) August 12, 2018
Positives in this game:
– Emery isn't afraid to sub off players like Ramsey & Xhaka (untouchables under Wenger)
– Emery doesn't waste time in switching formations & tactics at half time
– We created many chances & should've scored (Bellerin & Lacazette)
– Our CB's had a good game
— Sensible Arsenal (@ArsenalSensible) August 12, 2018
— ARSENAL (@tomgunner14) August 12, 2018
I love Wenger to bits but I’m excited about the new era at AFC. I really hope Emery is given time. He’s got a decent squad but needs to be able to put his own stamp on it. Free pass for him this season IMO. Let him get used to England & the club. Good luck @UnaiEmery_
— Wrighty (@_Wrighty7) 12 August 2018
Lots of very good points today. You can see how Emery wants to play, how he wants to press and play it out from the back. It took Klopp and Gaurdiola time to overhaul systems, and it will take time at Arsenal. And, we won’t be playing sides as good as City every week! #AFCMCFC pic.twitter.com/vIBEVnNdgg
— Adam Keys (@_AdamKeys) August 12, 2018
For the first time in a long time I'm positive after a defeat. I was impressed with what I seen today. I know it's only early days, but I like what Emery is doing.#COYG
— Ste (@Ste160404) August 12, 2018
Yes Arsenal have a ways to go but we knew that. Performance was a mixed bag. Thought there were some poor individual performances but was actually relatively pleased with the team shape and overall approach from Emery.
— kyle whitman (@whitmankyle) August 12, 2018
Despite a few shaky moments, I'm pleased with that first half. We definitely seem more organised and have a greater urgency to press than before. It's gonna take time for Emery to figure out his best team and remove some weak links but I'm very optimistic. #Arsenal
— Adam (ʘᴥʘ) (@ItsMrProducts) August 12, 2018
Being an Arsenal supporter has to be the most frustrating thing ever but I'm actually optimistic for the club: Emery is one of the most promising managers in Europe and he will definitely up the ante at the London club. #ARSMCI
— Tshegofatso Blessing Mashiloane (@ThatBlessing) August 12, 2018
And, it is hardly surprising to read the comments that fans left regarding Emery. Let’s face it; starting life at a new club against the defending champions would be hard for any manager, regardless of who they are.
Arsenal were also a club in disarray and one that needed sorting out as quickly as possible to have any chance of competing in the top-flight.
As the campaign wore on, Emery managed to start to get things going his own way and saw his club go on a 22-match unbeaten run across all competitions towards the backend of 2018 and has since managed to guide the club to a Europa League final.
Admittedly, there is still a lot of work to do at the Emirates in terms of player recruitment, whilst their form away from home has been hugely concerning at points throughout the season.
However, as many eluded to, it was always going to take Emery more than two transfer windows to sort out their mess and get away from the Arsene Wenger era. It will be interesting to see what business Arsenal conduct in the summer.
If he is able to do that, then these fans would have been right with their reactions and could potentially enjoy his tenure in charge of the Gunners for many more years to come.
Arsenal fans, did you agree with the sentiment fellow supporters shared after the Man City defeat? Let us know below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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