Long-Term Plan Looks Good as Emery Picks Up Short-Term Success
Arsenal have been impressive at the start of the season, both in the Premier League and during their Europa League campaign. This short-term success has come when the club are looking at the long-term bigger picture, which can only be exciting for fans of the club.
When Arsenal brought Unai Emery to the club, they laid out plans to take the team back to being regulars in the top four and challenging for league titles. That won’t happen overnight and Arsenal don’t have the financial power that Manchester City have to just throw money at the problem to fix it. Instead, Arsenal have to do things slower than others, bringing in youngsters and turning them into players that are good enough to make their presence felt at the top of the table. The signings made by Emery have all been with the future in mind but some of those players, and the ones he inherited from Arsene Wenger, are showing they can also bring short-term success back to the North London club.
There is a genuine chance that Arsenal can get back into the top four this season, something that wasn’t expected at all just yet, and something that would show Emery as overachieving. Bookmakers have slashed the odds on Arsenal making the top four this season and they are now far shorter in the betting than Manchester United, who finished 2nd in the Premier League last season, well ahead of Arsenal. Redbet shows Arsenal at 6/4 to finish inside the top four, while Manchester United are out to 7/2 to do the same.
It may have only been against bottom club Fulham but, back in October, we saw one of the best performances of the season from Arsenal when they defeated their London rivals 5-1. Shortly after, they impressed again, beating Leicester 3-1 at home in another good performance. We have seen a string of performances from Arsenal that bode very well for the future.
The Europa League has given Arsenal a chance to give some youngsters the chance to shine, and give fans a glimpse at some of the names they can expect to see over the next few years. Two players leading the way on that front are Emile Smith-Rowe and Joe Willock. In a recent game against Ukrainian team Vorskla Poltava in the competition, Smith-Rowe netted his second goal in two European starts, while Willock scored his first senior goal on his first senior start. Both players had plenty of spark about them and, when they got on the ball, it always looked as though something could happen.
Some clubs look down on the Europa League but Arsenal have a great opportunity to use the competition as a stepping stone for their young players. They are being given the chance to shine in a senior competition and, so far, we have seen a couple of them do exactly that, which all points towards Arsenal’s long-term plan slowly coming together.
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