The continued comparisons between Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta’s reigns as boss prove only one thing.
How short a memory we have.
Just two months ago, we were celebrating wildly – well, as wild as we can considering we can’t actually attend the games – as we won not only the FA Cup but the Community Shield too.
We had vanquished Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea on our way too. Three of the top4 last season. We had also recovered in the Premier League from where Emery had left us, and we also defeated Manchester United in that recovery sequence. We beat the entire top four last season – and from personal experience, the optimism levels for this season were the highest I have seen for nearly two decades.
Yet here we are, just six games into the season and we have a vast swathe of Gooners who are holding up Arteta’s record against Emery’s as if to say “well, we aren’t any better off, are we?”
That is pretty ignorant.
Let us cast our mind back to where Emery left us.
We were languishing in eighth spot and were on a run of seven games without a win. The football? We think our football is without any excitement now – in Emery’s last season it appeared as if none of the players knew what they were doing. Our defence was comical – we had conceded 70 goals since the start of Emery’s tenure – more than any other of the so-called top6.
And now we come to the current side under Arteta.
We narrowly lost to City and Leicester and suddenly, we are rudderless? Our defence is the second best in the entire PL – what a contrast that is from Emery’s time – and we have yet again defeated Liverpool in a cup this season. We are 100% in the Europa League, so the critique being thrown at Arteta is based solely on our league form and our displays.
Yes, we are not creating chances, but our style and tactics are undergoing change once again. With the addition of Thomas Partey – a target Arteta has been after for some time – the Spaniard now has the pieces at his disposal to carry out his tactical dream. We have the puzzle pieces, now it must be assembled.
Is patience that hard to come by that after three abject games, we get on the manager’s back? Arteta has shown he intends - and already has – upheld the values of the club and intends to return our club to the football we are synonymous with.
He needs time though.
So let’s give the man some space before we start throwing stones.
He has certainly earned that.
There is no fire here, just the one we are creating ourselves.