Can Unai improve upon last season?
As we kicked off a new season over in the land of Geordies, it’s time to think about what as fans do we expect our club to be doing over the course of the season. In the simple terms, this is something I would like for us to do over the upcoming season. This is not about wishing for unicorns and rainbows this is about reality not playing football manager or any FIFA (or pro evolution soccer) and going unbeaten for the entire of your tenure. Let’s look into each competition separately.
The ever-growing premier league attraction last season we failed short by a small margin in getting champions league football. When we were in the driving seat and was even pretty much given the key to put the whole thing to bed but continuously failed. You could look to a leaky defence, bad organisation or even Unai’s choices then having to make subs at halftime. This is now in the past with the new season comes new optimism. We have heard from the Spaniard himself that he wants to close the gap on the top two.
It is up to the team to prove that we are on track to do that. Looking at the teams in our way are Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham. By any chance, is anyone else getting déjà vu? Behind these teams, they all have their own issues as well as strengths. If we are to have any hope then we should look no further then the first North London derby of the season to see if we are more then able to accept the challenge in front of us. So where do we think we will finished? I am expecting us to finish in third or fourth, third would be good as we would be able to ignore the qualifying round of Champion’s league and focus on the group stage more. However, in reality I could see us finishing fifth or fourth.
In the league cup we did not do so well, out within the first few rounds may have been Unai’s plan last year to make sure we focus on the Europa League instead. This year I think we should be going further a trophy that was one of the only things missing from Arsene’s trophy cabinet when with us would be quite an achievement. I expect us to get at least to the finals this time around and to make sure we don’t embarrass ourselves against our rivals. In reality, I think we would be able to go for the quarterfinals maybe at a stretch a semi final. Unai has his own plans for the season and when we get to this competition, we should find out soon.
Again, in the FA cup we failed at some of the earliest hurdles again it could have been to help with the push for the league and champions league but was in vain in the end. Unai needs to be looking at trophies and i am sure he would like to add something prestigious as the oldest club cup competition to his list of honours. With this in mind, I expect arsenal to be looking toward a quarter final or at least a semi final. In reality, I think the quarterfinals would be a huge improvement by Unai.
Finally, the Europa League after the dismal display in Baku, a lot of reflection has gone on behind the scenes especially from the owners. It is clear to be in a final and be so disappointing in one needs to be eradicated by new memories. This year the final is being held in Poland, I would like to see us walking away with the trophy and happier memories and I expect this too. I can see that Emery knows this time he has to get it right in the competition something he has done before on numerous occasions.
To sum up:
- Premier league expectation – third/fourth Reality – fourth/fifth
- League Cup expectation – finals Reality – quarter finals
- FA Cup expectation – quarter final/semi final Reality – quarter final
- Europa League expectation – final (winners) Reality – final (winners)
I hope Unai and the team are looking for a huge challenge for the season ahead and that it goes our way and who knows maybe some of these expectations might become a reality. This seasons going to be a rollercoaster, get ready to buckle into your seats.