Two wins out of four is clearly not the best start but not the worst either. The last two wins have given Emery a bit of stability; his own way of doing things is coming into focus and as such he is now starting to be able to stand on his own two feet. But this obviously was not the case after the first two games; headlines declaring that Arsenal are in crisis were appearing as frequently as daffodils in spring.
What surprised me at the time was that there were people outside of Arsenal who attempted to come to Emery’s aid. Supporters from Man City and even Gary Neville on Sky were not slow in coming forward to defend our man in charge, all insisting that he should stand by his principles and be given time to implement them.
Among the majority of Arsenal faithful Unai Emery seems to have been already given a pass this season for many reasons but standing close to the top is the reason that it took Guardiola a season before he was really able to make an impact.
Like drowning sailors scrambling for life boats I can only assume that the Arsenal supporters who grabbed onto this comparison after our first two games did so in the hope that similar things would happen to us in Unai Emery’s second season.
Guardiola has been elevated to demigod status for the way he got his team to play last season. Arsenal supporters who really should know better have sung his praises pointing to how he resisted buying marquee names such as Ronaldo, Neymar or Messi and yet somehow managed to put together a strong team with an amazing work ethic capable of winning the league all of which demonstrated what a great coach he really is.
“Manchester City have taken their summer spending to more than £200m with the signing of Benjamin Mendy from Monaco and increased their total outlay in the transfer market since Pep Guardiola took charge 13 months ago to £385m.” (The Guardian 24/7/17)
The man spent 200 million at the beginning of last season. Two Hundred Million!
“City confirmed over the weekend the £26.5m switch from Real Madrid of Danilo, who is expected to provide cover for the first-choice full-backs Mendy and the £45m signing from Tottenham Hotspur, Kyle Walker. They will line up alongside other expensive arrivals including the centre-back John Stones, signed last season for £47m, and the £34.9m goalkeeper Ederson from Benfica.” (Guardian 24/7/17)
Money talks, ok there was the Leicester league win but surely that is now understood that it was a one off; yes, I would take one of those one offs at any point of Unai’s tenure but I am not holding my breath.
I certainly intend to stand by Emery regardless of almost any outcome this season but the comparison with Guardiola and the spending power he can call upon is laughable; the only thing that I see that they have in common is that they are both from the Iberian Peninsula and neither of them is Spanish.
A special thank you to GB for giving me something to bounce off of.
Written by LB