It hasn’t been easy in Unai Emery’s first season in charge. But with just a few weeks left this season, the club have the Europa League and top four still to play for.
But away form has continued to be a big concern for the Gunners. Despite making a slight improvement in terms of points picked up on the road, Arsenal have dropped points too often when away from the Emirates and to get anywhere close to competing for the title again, that is an area that really needs to improve.
So why are Arsenal so bad away from home? Emery thinks he knows.
‘In the Premier League, technical quality without physicality is not enough,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea… All the top teams here are physical and technical. Arsenal need to be the same.’
It’s good to hear that Emery is on the same page as Arsenal fans. Wenger appeared too stubborn to accept that his team needed more physicality, but Emery seems to have reflected on his opening season and come to the right conclusions.
The Gunners are thought to be looking to sign a new central defender, left back, central midfielder and winger this summer. In all of those areas the team currently lack physical presence. In particular, in central midfield and defence Arsenal have been bullied away from home, whilst the club have also lacked pace in wide areas.
Arsenal still have everything to play for this season, though, and following Tottenham’s defeat on Saturday afternoon, even third place is not out of reach. If Arsenal can find some form and win their remaining Premier League and Europa League games, the club will be celebrating a very successful season.
‘Overall, I think it has been positive,’ Emery said.
‘We are here today with the opportunity to achieve our objectives in both the Premier League and the Europa League, albeit knowing that it is going to be difficult – just as it has been since the start.
‘I want us to be more defensively solid, of course, and we know we need to work on certain things, but the team has made progress.
‘A season can help you to improve, to understand everything better and to continue with your process, and I believe that’s where the club is now.
‘We all want immediate results, but sometimes it requires patience.’