Arsenal will take on Stade Rennais in the Europa League on Thursday night needing nothing less than a 2 nil scoreline to progress to the quarterfinal stage. The match at Emirates will be the Gunners chance to right the wrongs caused by their lacklustre display in France a fortnight ago.
The last paragraph depicts a club that is on a downward slope, but this isn’t the case as Unai Emery has come in and bringing in a form of stability to the club after Arsene Wenger left 10 months ago.
The former Sevilla coach inherited a team low on confidence. Arsene Wenger’s last season as coach was masked by poor on-pitch performances with the Gunners unable to maintain a top 4 challenge, ending the season in the sixth place and missing out off the UEFA Champions league for a second consecutive season.
In the 2017/18 season, we witnessed Arsenal lose a massive 13 games in the league having a 50% win rate in the process. They only won four away league games throughout the season and conceded an outrageous 51 goals while they scored 74 goals in the league.
Unai Emery has overseen a sort renaissance this season. The Gunners have already scored 63 goals in the league this season, just 11 shy off their overall return from last season. Unless they lose their remaining league games, they can’t do worse on the loser’s chart compared to last season although they have already drawn as much as they did last time out.
Emery has also managed to claim a total of 12 points in matches against fellow top six sides compared to Wenger’s 6 last season. With eight matches to go, the 13-time FA Cup winners are fourth on the table and have a potentially easier run of matches compared to Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea who are also in the fight for the two remaining available Champions league places.
The Gunners might need to pull off their greatest performance of the season to progress to the quarterfinal of the Europa league but Emery’s men are definitely better off than last season regardless of the outcome of tonight’s match.