For your loyalty in these times of adversity, I thought that both of our readers deserved a quick recap of the season so far under the new guy Unai Emery so here goes…
So, as you know, we were handed a nightmare start to the season, having to face the two richest clubs on the planet or at least in the country to kick things off for us. First at home to Sheik Mansour’s Man City, then a visit to Roman Abramovic’s Chelsea. As you could have probably have predicted both ended in defeat (2-0 and 3-2 respectively), our Stan Kroenke budget squad was literally no match for their unbridled spending over recent years.
We gave a good account of ourselves despite the scorelines, we were creating chances yet not scoring them and despite zero points of a possible six, most Arsenal fans weren’t throwing in the towel just yet. In fact, if, after two games, you are throwing in the towel, football probably isn’t the game for you.
So as the nerves starting to jangle a little bit, it was on to West Ham at home, Jack Wilshere and Lucas Perez had moved to East London and could have easily been a thorn in our side, but Perez wasn’t in the squad and what did we think of Jack Wilshere? Exactly. (Sorry Jack). Anyway, we’d gone 1-0 down, courtesy of Marko Arnautovic, and this seemed to spur (sorry!) us into action. Monreal equalised on the half hour before an own goal and a late strike From DGW saw us off the mark for the season with a 3-1 win over our London rivals.
As August went as quick as Ryan Shawcross’s Mum’s car when she heard Stoke had been relegated, our first game in September was a European game of sorts, and a visit to Cardiff, which is in Wales. In a topsy turvy game, it was a late winner from Alexandre Lacazette which made it 3-2 and two wins on the spin for our mighty red and white gladiators.
Newcastle away up next, and despite a late consolation goal from the hosts, it was sadly never 1-1 at any point, but we managed to hold on for a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil.
Then, just last week, it was our first Thursday forage into the Europa League against reasonably unknown opponents, FC Vorskla who are probably from Russia or somewhere foreign like that. Anyway, we cantered to a 4-0 lead and appeared to be coasting, but were pegged back to 4-2 after the Ukrainian Premier League side scored twice late on (obviously). Aubameyang scored 2, Danny Welbeck and Ozil the other scorers for the boys in red and white, on a very chilly night in North London.
This brings us up to date, just our last game to recap, and this was this very previous weekend where we ran out 2-0 winners against Everton at The Emirates thanks to goals from Alex Lacazette and P.E. Aubameyang, meaning we’ve now won five games in a row and even managed a clean sheet thanks to a Man of the Match performance from Petr Cech between them there sticks.
We face Brentford this week in the Carabao Cup, and then another home game with Watford next weekend, with an unusual kick off time, 3pm on a Saturday? Whatever next!? Full fixture list here on Arsenal.com.
So in summary, we are slowly creeping up the league, notched up a nice win in the Europa League, and things feel like they are starting to take shape under Unai Emery after a very difficult start to his tenure.
Not sure about you, I still miss Akers and Wenger, but it was time for a change, and things certainly feel refreshed and positive ahead of a run of some very winnable games.