Top-six Premier League finish would be a good first season for Unai Emery, says Paul Merson

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Top-six Premier League finish would be a good first season for Unai Emery, says Paul Merson


A top-six finish in the Premier League would represent a good first season as Arsenal manager for Unai Emery.

That’s the verdict of former midfielder Paul Merson, who joined talkSPORT on Wednesday to discuss the Gunners’ start to life after Arsene Wenger.

It’s still early days, but Arsenal have so far struggled with Emery’s high press tactics and have two wins and two defeats from their opening four games of the season.

Merson says it’s hard to see any difference in the way the team are playing since Wenger’s exit at the end of last season, but concedes it will take time for the team will get to grips with Emery’s new regime.

Emery has steered Arsenal to two wins from four – but they have not been convincing

Emery has steered Arsenal to two wins from four – but they have not been convincing

And the former Gunners believes the team are in for a long and tough campaign as they continue to adjust to their manager’s style, and fully expects Arsenal to miss out on Champions League football yet again this term.

However, he believes Emery could clinch a place at Europe’s top table by other means, by going all out for the Europa League title – a competition he knows how to win.

Asked what would represent a good season for the Gunners, Merson said: “I think sixth.

“If they come fifth I think they would have had a right result – I think that would be brilliant.

Unai Emery won the Europa League title for three straight seasons as Sevilla manager

Unai Emery won the Europa League title for three straight seasons as Sevilla manager

“And I think they’ll go for the Europa League too. I think this manager likes it, foreign managers like this competition and why not?

“Arsenal haven’t won a European trophy since 1994 [And Merson played in that game – a 1-0 win over Parma in the Cup Winners Cup final].

“They’re not going to win the Premier League, so why not have a go at it?”

Listen back to Paul Merson’s Arsenal verdict IN FULL above!





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