Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has said that Arsenal will be better this season than in the previous campaign.
In their first season under a manager other than Arsene Wenger for over 20 years, Arsenal had a disappointing term last time around. They finished fifth in the Premier League, meaning they failed to qualify for the Champions League, whilst they were humiliated by Chelsea in the Europa League final.
“Arsenal have improved with the players they got in the summer. I think they did a good job in the transfer market.
“It’s a new Arsenal but it doesn’t mean it is going to be worse than last season or difficult now.
“Of course a few players have to adapt but I think there is a good manager there (Unai Emery) who wants to play football. I expect them to do better than last year.”
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It has not been the best few years for Arsenal. They have not qualified for the Champions League, which is where the club want to be, in each of the past three campaigns. Getting into Europe’s premier club competition is once again the objective this term, and it would be the improvement that Vermaelen alluded to.
Whilst Manchester City and Liverpool are still the top dogs in England, the Gunners have the perfect opportunity to jump ahead of the rest of the sides competing just below. Out of Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, the sides who should be competing for the top four, the latter have had the best start to the season as they lay in fifth place. Chelsea and Manchester United have won just one game each so far this term, and Spurs were eventually outplayed by their north London rivals last weekend despite taking a 2-0 lead.
As such, Vermaelen may just be right with his prediction. Unai Emery and co have already stolen a small march on their competitors – now it’s just a case of holding onto that advantage.