Arsenal: 5 things Unai Emery must do to turn Arsenal into winners

Unai Emery is an experienced trophy winner, but he needs to put his own stamp on Arsenal first and foremost.


Arsene Wenger has finally been replaced at Arsenal and it is former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla boss Unai Emery who has taken the job.

The Spaniard has had a very successful career so far, winning seven trophies in two years at PSG and  three straight Europa League titles as manager of Sevilla.

No doubt those accolades stood out on Emery’s application and Arsenal will know they have a manager with an undoubted pedigree.

Here are the five things he needs to do when he starts work this summer:

  1. 1 Fixing the defence

    Reuters/LEE SMITH

    Arsenal’s 51 goals conceded was undoubtedly their Achilles heel, and it felt as if they could not stop the ball going in their net.

    To put those 51 goals into perspective, Swansea, who finished 18th, conceded just five more goals than the Gunners.

    How does Emery rectify it? 

    Look no further than Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles. The Magpies' captain at 24, Lascelles is a natural leader and boasts the raw attributes to play at a higher level.

    If Arsenal can prise away the Newcastle man, then they will get an upgrade on their current defenders.

    Furthermore, one of the Gunners' key weaknesses is leadership and defensive organisation. Lascelles could come in and be that missing piece.

  2. 2 Aaron Ramsey


    Remember, in 2013/14, when Aaron Ramsey was scoring goals for fun? 

    Emery needs to find a way to get that Ramsey in the Arsenal team and give him the best possible chances to add more goals to his game.

    One thing cannot be denied about the Wales international, and that is his ability to get into the right areas. Often he has been deployed in roles that see him influence the game far less, so Emery ought to find a way to get Ramsey in and around the box.

    Last season Ramsey managed seven goals in 22 games, which is impressive, but over a season that could be 12-14 goals - huge for a club that’s placement in the league is often determined by fine margins. 

  3. 3 Build around Aubameyang

    Reuters/PETER POWELL

    The soon to be 29-year-old striker stormed the Premier League upon arriving in January and netted ten goals in just 13 games - making him the clubs second top scorer.

    Over a season that could mean 30 goals, which would give Arsenal their first elite goal scorer since Robin van Persie left the club. 

    Emery could be tempted to play with both Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, but at PSG he usually lined up with a 4-3-3 comprising Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria.

    At Arsenal, he could play with a fluid front three of Aubameyang, Lacazette, and Mesut Ozil, but he may also be tempted to make a big splash in the transfer market to get a dynamic winger.

    Maybe Riyad Mahrez makes sense…

  4. 4 Away form

    Reuters/IAN WALTON

    Arsenal form away from home was atrocious in the second half of last season and the Gunners only managed four wins over the course of the whole season away from the Emirates.

    The Gunners lost seven straight away matches to begin 2018 before finally winning on the final day against Huddersfield. 

    However, one worry for Arsenal fans could be that Emery oversaw no away wins in his last season with Sevilla. 

    While this seems to have been an anomaly in his managerial career, his teams do seem to struggle away from home.

    In his first season at PSG his side lost out on the league title largely due to their five away losses. Even last season, PSG failed to win in seven of their 19 away fixtures.

    For Arsenal to compete, he will need to learn how to win away in the Premier League. 

  5. 5 Reuniting the fans with the club


    Arsenal have had one of the most divided fan-bases over the last few years with a very clear split between Wenger in and out campaigners.

    Now that Wenger has left, it is important that those alienated fans get behind the new manager.

    For Emery, this means playing a brand of football that still has the qualities Wenger represented, but with a more defensively aware approach.

    If the fan-base remains divided at the Emirates, then it will be very difficult for Emery to build a home fortress, as he has at his previous clubs. 

    What do you think Emery needs to do? Let us know below.

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Connor Bromley

Connor Bromley is a Freelance journalist who covers the NHL and football. If there is a ball or puck being played with then he is covering it!

Also sub-editor for football.

Twitter: @ConnorBromley