Arsene Wenger worry raised by Stuart Pearce

ARSENAL will take this season and next to fully adjust to life without Arsene Wenger and new man Unai Emery will have done a “fantastic” job if he finishes in the top four in that time.
Emery’s side have won their last two matches to overcome their worst ever start to a Premier League season in which they suffered back-to-back defeats to open a top-flight campaign for the first time.

But the Gunners still remain vulnerable defensively as they take time to adjust to the Spaniard’s tactics - namely the use of a high line at the back, playing out from the back and high pressing.

Former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain tactician Emery replaced Wenger in the summer after the Frenchman called time on a 22-year reign in north London that yielded three league titles and seven FA Cups.

Yet the core problems that undermined the final few years of Wenger’s time at the Emirates Stadium - particularly a lack of steel, organisation and resilience - remain despite Emery’s attempted changes.

Unai Emery has won his last two matches as Arsenal manager

That was demonstrated by their 3-2 win at Cardiff last weekend, where Arsenal were shaky at the back despite ultimately claiming the full three points thanks to a late Alexandre Lacazette strike.

And former England and Nottingham Forest defender Stuart Pearce thinks that before Arsenal can fully adopt a new style of play and new way of thinking, they will endure two seasons of going through the motions.

“I think Arsenal will get judged on whether they finish in the Champions League position,” Pearce told The Debate on Sky Sports.

“The problem they’ve got today is they’ve got a really strong Tottenham side out there, you’ve got Liverpool, Chelsea that are strong, both Man City and Man United - they’re up against some real competition.

Arsenal have been out of contention for major honours for the last few years

“Any football club that has had a dynasty, Arsene Wenger, 20 years, we’ve seen it at United [with Sir Alex Ferguson] and with Forest and Brian Clough - when one person has been there that long you’re never going to make a change and it comes like that *snaps fingers*.

“Arsenal might be in the doldrums for a couple of years before the Arsene Wenger hangover, if you like, goes through the system at the club.

“I don’t think they will [finish in the top six]. I don’t think they’ll finish in the top four, without a doubt.

“Where outside of that depends on potential recruitment in January, tactics, good fortune, you name it.

Stuart Pearce believes Arsenal will take time to come to terms with their post-Wenger era

“At this moment in time I could probably name five teams better than Arsenal. It will be more than a year in transition.

“If he turns this round and gets them in the top four this year or next year I think he’s done a fantastic job.”

Arsenal return to action after the international break with a trip to winless Newcastle on Saturday 15 September.

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