There used to be a time when Arsenal would rip teams apart within a matter of minutes with blistering speed. The team was solid in attack, it played beautiful football. However the team lacked the ability to win ugly or grind out a lead or a draw. They lacked the steel to maintain the lead.
Unai Emery has inherited a gifted attack at Arsenal, but he has had to solidify the defense. The team that was prone to losing with huge scorelines has seen itself motivated by a manager who is a specialist of come backs.
Many will remember Sevilla getting back from 3-0 down to win the final of the UEFA Europa League. Unai Emery has won the Europa League three times with Sevilla. This earned him the title ‘Mr. Europa League’
We saw that happen at Stamford Bridge when the Gunners went 2-0 down in the first half, to come back into the game was something we wouldn’t have seen under Wenger. This team has won more games from the second half than any other team this season.
Many will say this is not good because if they were to play a big team they will be embarrassed after getting devastating results.
However, I am of a different view. The slow start may not be a planned tactic but rather a slow start to a new game play. It is an issue of teething. As the season progresses we will see a team that is resilient and hard to beat.
The Gunners will be the team that brings chills down the spine. They have the right players to build a team that can win titles. Winning in the second half is a mark of great mental strength. It actually works for a team in transition.
The defense is holding up as they wait for the attack to get the goals even when the lead is lost, the team is playing with confidence to open up the opposition. This will be important in Cup games where such mental strength is vital to win games.
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