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Unai Emery has come to Arsenal with new ideas, new strategies, and new tactics. In his first preseason game against Boreham Wood, we got a glimpse into what they are. And, actually, it’s all fairly clear.
Under Arsene Wenger, it was always fairly well known how Arsenal would set up for the season ahead. In fact, last summer was one of the only uncertain preseaons in his latter years because of the 3-4-3 shape that his team finished the previous season in. Other than that, it has never really been all that difficult to decipher the system and style of the team.
This year, obviously, that is not the case. With Wenger now gone, the same principles and philosophies that had dictated this club for more than two decades no longer remained prevalent or significant. Change had arrived.
The man dictating that change, at least on the pitch, is Unai Emery. The Spanish manager, who has enjoyed stints at Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain in recent seasons, is an experienced and accomplished continental manager who has worked with some of the best players in the world. He has won consistently, displayed great detail and understanding during the interview process, and is renowned for his meticulous nature.
One thing that I found extremely interesting would be the system and style that he would implement. Throughout his coaching career, Emery has favoured 4-3-3 shape with three more traditional central midfielders, one of which screens a flat back-four, and two speedy wingers who stretch the pitch wide and create space for the midfielders in possession in central areas.