Arsenal Season Preview 2018/19 – Manager’s system, predicted finish and key signing
The new era is about to begin at the Emirates Stadium under Unai Emery, with renewed optimism and fresh targets to achieve. Arsenal fans have to know that they need to give their new manager the required time to instil his philosophies at the club. For that reason, expecting high standards this season might be a mistake waiting to happen.
The Gunners have made some very good signings this summer, with the likes of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos shoring up the back-line, while Lucas Torreira has been bought to add steel and tenacity in central midfield. Their forward line is already fantastic enough to compete with the best in the Premier League.
Emery generally prefers to play a 4-3-3 formation with a fluid front-line and high full-backs to support them. The defensive midfielder sits in between the centre-backs to stop the opposition counter-attacks. A flexible forward line means the likes of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan can influence the game based on the space offered to them.
Arsenal under Arsene Wenger played a high defensive line, which should be the case under Emery too. Papastathopoulos has been bought to play the high-intensity game as the Greek defender has good recovery pace to catch up if caught in a higher line.
The arrival of Torreira means more freedom in the midfield for Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey to push forward. It will help Arsenal dominate the midfield and stretch the opposition defence.
Key signing – Lucas Torreira
Arsenal have lacked a tenacious defensive-minded No.6 for a while now. So, getting Torreira is a step in the right direction from the club. The Uruguayan has shown that he has the abilities to shield the back-line. The 22-year-old is not tall or physically imposing but he has the winning mentality to come out on top in midfield battles.
He is the kind of player who will allow full-backs Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal to move forward, as he has the awareness to cover the spaces when required.
Hence, Torreira is most certainly Arsenal’s significant signing of this summer.
Predicted finish – 4th
Arsenal have failed to finish in Champions League places for two consecutive years now and may require a good season to get back into the reckoning for Europe’s elite competition. However, with the players they have bought, and the kind of forward line they possess, one can expect them to play better and get the 4th spot this season. It will be an ideal start for Emery if gets his team to finish in the top-4 by the end of May 2019.