Footy Times

French Revolution: done and dusted. What next? Spanish Inquisition?

Imna Longkumer

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New beginnings are always exciting times. Whether they turn out to be good or bad is altogether a different story. Arsenal FC is facing a new beginning and rightfully so, the mood around the Emirates is that of excitement with a hint of caution. A new coach, a revamped coaching staff and a new set of players – this has set the mood running among the Arsenal faithful. For the first time in a long time, they see hope – a hope for a change that will usher in positivity and glory. They want their pride and honor restored.

After having tasted Europa League success thrice at Sevilla and domestic success at PSG, Unai Emery steps into the Emirates with heavy expectations. He is a coach known for his meticulousness and emphasis on details. He was selected among a number of coaches after heavy scrutiny by the Arsenal board. If one noticed his choice of language (English, despite of the fact that he is not fluent at all), it tells us that he is ready for the job on his part. In fact, this has already endeared him to the Arsenal faithful. Although he might not be ‘world class’ like the Guardiolas and the Zidanes, one thing is for sure: his style of football is tailored to the Arsenal tradition. This is what makes him the ideal coach. He ticks the right boxes, so to say.

Unai Emery has a gigantic task ahead of him. Let us not be under any illusion. He doesn’t possess the Midas touch; in fact, no one does, but he must make sure he is able to mend the fractured relationship between the club hierarchy and the supporters. He must pull the club out of the unsavory situation it is in, and the sooner it happens, the better it will be. He has already been up and running by signing Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus on a free, who will be competition for Hector Bellerin. He brings along with him a range of experience having won a number of titles with the Turin club. Bernd Leno has already signed, too, from Bayer Leverkusen. He is an exciting player known for his ‘no-holds barred’ keeping. He is also quite the handful when it comes to saving penalties. Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Lucas Torreira also look like it’s just a matter of time. Key areas have been identified and hence, it is a big plus. Some of the old guards, most noticeably, Jack Wilshere have left Arsenal. The winds of change are blowing in to the Emirates.

For Unai Emery and the Arsenal faithful, the road to redemption is long and arduous. His immediate job is to bring back Arsenal into the Champions League. Of course, he must also make it a point to win the Europa League once again, this time with Arsenal. That would be a great start. Last but not the least, winning the Premier League must be his top priority. The process of rebuilding is no easy task. He comes in at a time of stormy weather. Will he be able to calm the sea and and bring peace and tranquility to the Emirates? Or will he fade away in the echoes of the storm?

Exciting times indeed.

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