Between 2015-2018, anyone tuning in to a match at the Emirates stadium in North London was often given an eye-opening glimpse into how toxic the atmosphere had become at Arsenal. There was mutiny in the stands as fans turned on each other, with the ‘Wenger In’ faithful and the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade clashing every matchday.
It was six months ago and just before the summer, that the 69-year-old Frenchman made the decision to leave Arsenal after 22 years in charge. In reality, the numbers of the ‘Wenger In’ clan had dwindled so drastically to the extent that there probably wasn’t an Arsenal fan around that thought Wenger's decision to leave was the wrong one.
It was said at the time though, that the Emirates crowd should be careful about what they wished for as there are no certainties in football. Those warnings fell on deaf ears as the Arsenal fans figured that the going couldn’t be any worse under a new manager as it had been under Wenger. Given the size of the club, there was no doubt in the minds of the Arsenal supporters that success would follow once the right man was appointed.
It was on May 23, 2018 that Unai Emery was appointed the manager of Arsenal and with that, a new dawn broke over the Emirates.
The more Arsenal play, the more it looks like the board picked the ideal candidate in Emery and for that, outgoing chief executive Ivan Gazidis must take some praise. It could turn out to be the perfect parting gift to the club he served for ten years and the stats are there to back it up.
10 wins in a row— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) October 22, 2018
30 goals scored
9 goals conceded
2 points off the top
Scoring team goals for fun
Arsenal fans clearly enjoy life under Unai Emery pic.twitter.com/KkriuEyHfW
The above statistics are relevant prior to Arsenal's Europa League match against Sporting CP
Emery is doing everything Wenger refused to and there is no better example than how the Spaniard is using his bench. To date, and this figure is likely to grow exponentially over the course of the season, Arsenal have the record for the most goals scored from the bench. Out of their 22 goals so far in the league, six goals have come from their substitutes.
Emery’s willingness to change things up is a breath of fresh air for the Arsenal fans. It was two minutes after the Arsenal boss had sent on Aubameyang against Leicester last weerk that the Gabonese player scored, and he would then score only three minutes after that to put the result beyond doubt. Talk about having the Midas touch.
They are inspired changes to say the very least but they are by no means fortuitous as the Gunners' steady rise up the Premier League table proves. In fact, in the blink of an eye, Arsenal look like top four contenders again, with punters visiting moplay.co.uk seeing that Emery’s men are at evens to finish in the top four. There are no two ways about it, Emery’s revolution from the bench is making waves.
Emery’s appointment, looking back in hindsight, seems to have been a stroke of genius as Arsenal managed to win 11 games in a row in all competitions prior to the weekend draw with Crystal Palace.