It has certainly been a season for upheaval for Arsenal and although the decision to sack Unai Emery can be viewed as somewhat harsh, the recent evidence under his replacement is starting to look rather impressive.
That’s because, under the stewardship of Mikel Arteta, the Gunners seem to be firing once again and although this current season is in something of a state of flux, the signs towards the following campaign look rather promising.
With the Premier League schedule on an enforced hiatus and most of the tournaments around the globe with the exception of Nicaraguan tournament (That’s another story) Arsenal as much as the clubs around them will be frustrated by the pause in action and especially when you consider their impressive run of results as of late.
Before the pause, the Gunners had the current longest unbeaten streak in the division at eight games and although it pales into significance as far as league leaders Liverpool are concerned, there is no doubt that the North Londoners are starting to display a swagger once again.
Admittedly it has taken a bit of time for Arsenal and Arteta to mesh and with the club sliding backwards down the table during his first few weeks in charge, there was the acceptance that the former Everton midfielder was going to be in charge of a work in progress.
While three draws in a row signified that although they were hard to beat, there was still something lacking in the final third and if Arsenal were to salvage their season, a statement of intent was soon required.
That statement was thankfully evident during their 4-0 home demolition of Newcastleand since then, they have followed up that Emirates success with two further wins at home to Everton and West Ham.
The mood will have undoubtedly been tempered after suffering a rather shock Europa League exit to Olympiakos and with that perhaps an easier route to next season’s Champions League. However, progress is still being made in this year’s F.A. Cup and we have a chance for the next tournament.
The progress which has seen them reach the last eight of the competition and with Sheffield United in the Quarterfinals, fans of the club will be confident of planning at least one trip to Wembley before the end of the season.
Of course, the big question that currently hangs over English football is just when the season will not only restart but also conclude and with the threat of matters being declared null and void, the F.A. Cup may not even get as far as the final.
That would ultimately be a disappointment to Arsenal and the other seven clubs left in the competition. Although if the season was scrapped and events did not restart until August, Mikel Arteta’s men will be well placed to move quickly out of the blocks.
This is a club that has once again managed to fuse youth and experience and because of this has been playing with a real swagger these past few weeks and suddenly there is a genuine belief in the new manager.
Something that was clearly not evident in the last few weeks under previous boss Unai Emery and although Arsenal took a while to get their current man, it does seem as if the capture of the 38-year-old has been worth the wait.
At the same time, if the action does get underway in the next few weeks and this season does come to a conclusion, everyone within the Arsenal ranks will be confident of ending their campaign on a high and finishing much higher up the league table.
Something that when you consider Manchester City’s pending UEFA ban, means that Arsenal are still in with a genuine chance of returning to European football in the 2020/21 season and that’s before any potential cup success.
With everything starting to align on the pitch, the biggest piece of work that Arteta will be required to carry out is off it and with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang being linked with a move to Barcelona, his departure would be a hammer blow.
However, this is an institution that has shown in the past that no-one man is bigger than the club and if the Gabonese forward was to move on, they will be primed and ready to replace him accordingly.
It does seem as Arsenal have a bright future ahead of them and after a state of indifference in the post-Arsene Wenger years, do they finally have a man ready and able to open a new chapter at this historic club.
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