“Unai Emery has not improved Arsenal” is a complaint I have heard a lot from bloggers, tweeters and idiots who are simply unhappy that he was not their first choice as next Arsenal manager.
The proof is in the points, however.
Yet after 27 games Emery’s Arsenal sit in 4th place with 53 points.
After 27 games last season, Arsenal were 6th with 45 points, 8 points away from 4th place. It is a clear improvement no matter what people say.
Were this improved points tally under Arsene Wenger, or under Mikel Arteta, Massimiliano Allegri or whoever the critics favourite was for the job, they would be talking about a huge improvement for last season.
Instead they are sat their moaning that we took our foot off the pedal in the second half against Southampton.
Of course, it is probably wrong to compare Emery’s first season with Arsene Wenger’s last ever season. so let’s look at the last 5 years:
2018/19 – 53 points
2017/18 – 45
2016/17 – 50
2015/16 – 51
2014/15 – 51
So Unai Emery’s points total this season is the most in the last 5 seasons.
In the last 8 years, it is only bettered by the 59 points that we got in 2013/14 – where we were just 1 point off top.
To make it clear, I am not settling for us being on 53 points, in 4th place, after 27 games. We are 13 points off top, and that is what we need to strive towards.
But look at that first league table. Liverpool are 3rd on 54 points. It was Jurgen Klopp’s second full season.
What Emery is doing is not out of this world, but it has returned us to our “par” position.
A good summer of recruitment (ignore the “£50million to spend” stories) where Emery can sign the players that he wants, Emery getting a full pre-season with his players and a bit of extra luck with injuries (Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin have been big misses) and I do not see why we can not move forward again next season. Maybe not in the title race, but certainly up to the 59/60 point mark after 27 games.
We’re on the march with Unai’s army.