Former Arsenal favourite Charlie Nicholas has praised Unai Emery for bringing ‘joy and excitement’ back to the club, after a couple of years of unrest at the Emirates Stadium.
Emery’s reign as Arsenal’s new boss began in difficult fashion, losing each of the Gunners’ first two games of the season to Manchester City and Chelsea. An 11-game winning run followed those two defeats, however, and there is now a positive energy pulsating around the club.
And Nicholas, who now works as a television pundit, has been impressed so far, telling Sky Sports (via the Express) that he believes the players are buying into Emery's footballing philosophy.
“After the first two games of the season I thought it was going to be another tough watch this season," Nicholas said.
"But since then they’ve played really well and gone on a great run – Emery really seems to be getting his ideas across and the players are buying into it.”
Koscielny: "The three goals against Leicester showed Arsenal's DNA too. We had that philosophy under Arsene Wenger and we still have it under Unai Emery. Playing forward with a lot of movement, quick transitions and sharp passing, this is us, this is Arsenal." pic.twitter.com/MWffbClqSC— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) October 31, 2018
The winning run came to an end with the 2-2 draw away to Crystal Palace last weekend, but the Gunners remain among the chasing pack at the top of the Premier League, with their goalscoring ability a particular highlight.
“They’re still some way some way off the title challengers,” Nicholas added.
“But I think the best thing I can say about them is they’ve brought the joy and excitement back to the Emirates. I watch Arsenal now and I’m expecting goals and entertainment and that fun factor is well and truly back – for an Arsenal man like me that’s great to see and a very pleasant surprise.”
Arsenal’s top-of-the-table credentials will be given a stern test as they host Liverpool in a colossal Premier League clash at the Emirates on Saturday evening. The fixture historically promises goals aplenty, and Arsenal’s new-found resilience will be truly examined.