Going into the 2018/19 season, there’s reason for Arsenal fans to be cautiously optimistic with new manager Unai Emery looking to bring the change that the club have needed after Wenger’s final years at the club. Arsenal have made a promising mix of young and experienced signings in all of the key areas that they needed to strengthen in with young Midfielders Lucas Torriera and Mattéo Guendouzi being joined by experienced defenders Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno will hopefully prove to be a high quality signing and will give Petr Cech some needed competition. So with the club having a seemingly successful summer, how will they get on this season after such big upheaval after the departure of club legend Arsene Wenger.
The main goal for the club has to be to gain a top four finish after two years outside of the Champions League positions and to re-establish themselves as one of the divisions premier teams. For years Arsenal were the team that always managed to get Champions League football, even if there was a severe lack of silverware, but now they’ve dropped into the Europa League and are seen as a joke amongst other team’s fans. The fans won’t accept another season outside of the top four as they need to be seen as proper contenders in the league and one of the best teams in the country. They can make a real statement in their tricky first two games of the season, with an opening day clash against Manchester City and then a visit to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea, a win in either of those two matches would be huge for Arsenal in order to build momentum for the season as it would show everyone that they are able to compete with the best in the league. Another vital part of their challenge for top four football will be the two games against Spurs, as in those they can make a real statement. In recent years Arsenal have fallen behind their North London rivals, having beaten them only once in the league since 2014 and having finished below them in the last two seasons. So to beat and finish above their fierce rivals in the coming season would show that the club have made a real change.
It is also incredibly important for Arsenal to do well in the cup competitions. Last season they went out in the third round of the FA Cup for the first time in Wenger’s time at the club and had a very disappointing Europa League Semi final loss to Atletico Madrid which guaranteed that the club wouldn’t be playing Champions League football this season. One of the main reasons Arsenal fans were so excited by Emery’s appointment was that he has a near perfect record in the Europa League, after winning it three seasons in a row whilst managing Seville. If Arsenal fail to finish in the top four of the Premier League, then winning the Europa League will be their second chance of getting into the Champions League, which will be Emery’s main goal entering his first season at the Emirates.
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