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Wenger has gone. Arsenal Fan TV are optimistic about the future. What can Luis Figo bring to The Emirates in his first ever management job

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So it's taken planes, banners, painted bedsheets and obscene amounts of #WengerOut tweets but finally Arsene Wenger has cleared out his office at the Emirates Stadium. The media are in a frenzy debating who the right person to take over the prestigious role is. They spoke about Ancelotti, Emery, Zidane and even Mikel Arteta. The powers that be at Arsenal decided to go with none of them. They did however go along the Arteta route and go with a brand new manager but a former international.

The man is a Portugal legend and was even braved the trip from Barcelona to Madrid, much to the dismay of fans who decided to throw a pig's head at him whilst taking a corner.

That's right the new man at the Emirates is Luis Figo...

https://imgur.com/kenkhpV.jpg

He's been spending his time away from the game after his failed FIFA Presidential bid getting his coaching badges and the former Real Madrid man decided it was the best time to dip his toe into the management waters. One thing is certain he'll have a lot of people to impress in North London.

We caught up with Luis to discuss the current squad situation at the club

https://imgur.com/MNZ6Dyr.jpg

https://imgur.com/XYL3EN5.jpg

"I'm quite happy with the goalkeeping situation, we have two great options that both offer us a variety of talents. Regarding our defence I think the board did a fantastic job before I came in with the additions of Sokratis [Papasththopoulos] and Stephan [Lichtsteiner] and the attack is strong with Lacazette and Auba. My main concern is the midfield. The way I want to play utilises a defensive midfielder and a more standard central midfielder and it's those areas where I think we could do with a little something extra."

Below is the tactic that Luis talked us through once the cameras stopped rolling, and you'll certainly see that the including of Elneny and Ramsey could lead to some unhappy fans on AFTV if there's any negative results. It'll be interesting to see how Luis fares in the transfer marker and how he'll juggle the upcoming youth players.

https://imgur.com/xYhiuP3.jpg
Good luck Gaz! this'll be fun!
https://i.imgur.com/zgMyvyG.png?2
Pre-season is over and with the opening day of the Premier League season against Wolverhampton Wanderers on the horizon we sat down with Luis Figo to discuss the goings on during the pre-season tour and the ins and outs at the Emirates Stadium.
Last time we spoke we heard that he was planning on making additions to the midfield so has he managed to do that?

https://imgur.com/bMzUJtI.jpg

"Yes, it was a good window for us I think. Not playing in the Champions League has limited the amount of players that we can afford to bring in. I can confirm that we did look at Wilfred Ndidi and did make an approach to Leicester City but with an asking price upwards of £100M it was evident that a deal could not be done.

My first move was to bring in a central midfielder like I said, by bringing in Kramer. Not necessarily the quality of player we wanted by he certainly adds something to the squad and it looks likely that he will start on the opening day in that holding midfield role.

https://imgur.com/KBRVA1f.jpg

Next up I saw that Jack Grealish would be available for a good price, so with a need for home grown players in the side and with Jack's versatility allowing him to play anywhere across the midfield it seemed like a fantastic oppurtunity to add some depth to the squad whilst adding another home grown player into the mix. It's unlikely that he'll start many league games but he should see some action off the bench and during cup competitions. Or, God forbid a serious injury to Mkhitaryan.

https://imgur.com/7k10yzT.jpg

The final signing (I thought) was German international Jonas Hector. Again, with a formation that utilises a Left Back, a Left Wing Back and a holding midfielder someone as versatile as Jonas will be a valuable addition to the squad. If Nacho Monreal or Kolasinac have a poor run of form then Jonas can go right in and make that position his own.

https://imgur.com/b1vLxaA.jpg

Like I said I thought Jonas was going to be my final signing that was before I realised that Daniele Rugani was available from Juventus. Not wanting to pass up a chance to improve our defence I jumped at the chance to bring him in, despite the relatively high loan fee of £5M. The upside of bringing a Juventus player in is that he'll be able to play in all the matches that we'll have this season, unless of course Juve have a shocking Champions League Group Stage.

https://imgur.com/8IarMPD.jpg

Now let's take a look at pre-season, it was a fantastic start and hopefully we will be able to bring this form into the domestic season. We played some good sides in Benfica and Malaga and managed to get positive results there. Of course we can't read too much into this and the first test will of course be Wolves and Man Utd in our first two games of the season.

Finally, before I go I'll look ahead to the opening day of the season. I have a lineup in mind for that which won't be too different to my starting XI going forward

https://imgur.com/OcirsJn.jpg

As I said before the midfield is up for grabs. Ramsey can fight Elneny for that spot and Elneny will also be fighting with Kramer for the holding midfield role. Jonas will be looking to break into one of the two LB spots. Then of course we have Mustafi and Sokratis who can feel agrieved to be sat on the bench.

Finally, Bellerin is injured so that is why Lichtsteiner gets the starting spot.

I'm confident with how things will go, we should beat Wolves but of course the first real test is Man Utd.

My poor old head hurts looking at that formation.

Interested to see how it all works out.

Best of luck!
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

this is going to be very good, subscribed to this to see how well Figo does in his exploits at one of the sleeping giants of English football
So we're a couple of months into life at the Emirates let's check in with Mr Figo to see how things are going...

"We've started the season off well...

https://imgur.com/HdgZOq7.jpg

I said previously that I expected to beat Wolves and that's what we did and saying the first test was Man Utd, this was a test that we came through with flying colours! Two goals each for Lacazette and Aubameyang meant that United fell on their tridents. We then battered West Ham to make it a perfect August, 3 wins, 11 goals and 0 conceded.

In fact, the month was so perfect that there were several individual honours handed out for it

I picked up Manager of the Month in my first month coaching.

https://imgur.com/pp9tqjD.jpg

and in addition to this 3 players all fought it out for Player of the Month

https://imgur.com/kN6JZ7a.jpg

Lacazette's additional goal must have set him apart from Auba in the running for this award, but fantastic to see all 3 spots being taken up by my front 3.

We had a small blip at the start of September not being able to get past Southampton in the League and then the same with Sociedad in the Europa League was a blow, but nothing like getting battered by Liverpool. We managed to claw it back to 1-1 and I thought we'd be able to push on from there but it was them who pushed on and put us to the sword. We never looked like challenging and we absolutely deserved to lose that game. Disappointing to say the least. We did bounce back however, picking up wins in all three competitions.

So, what does this all mean for the league tables.

Let's start with the Europa League...

https://imgur.com/D5GPtYp.jpg

still early days but we're in a good position to qualify. We easily outclassed Basaksehir and I'm confident that we can beat Sociedad the next time we play them. I have no concerns and 100% expect to get out of this group.

Now, for the Premier League table...

https://imgur.com/l8mEdFH.jpg

It's a really odd looking table, I know it's early days and I don't expect Bournemouth, Palace and Leicester to be up there later on in the season. Perhaps even in a couple of months when I'll update you again. The important thing is that we have points advantage over most of the typical challengers for the title. I do not know what happened to Man City but I'll not complain about having a 9 point advantage at this stage of the season. It's looking positive at least.

Things are also looking good in the statistics side of things

https://imgur.com/riHUn1S.jpg

We're hitting the target most of the time which is fantastic and we're scoring goals more than anyone else as well so we're doing something right. I don't think there's many teams who are going to ship 3 or 4 past us this season, and I think that's what it's going to take to beat us in all honesty, the way things are going at the moment at least.

https://imgur.com/1f7dqKh.jpg

As you'd expect with those team stats we're dominant in the goal scoring player stats as well. Lacazette and Auba are the top in the division for goals and average rating. The challenge is to keep up this form throughout the rest of the season.

I'll come back to you in a couple of months so this is the forecast for the next couple of months

https://imgur.com/0anm6x7.jpg

We should have a really good grasp on the Europa League by this point and there are several winnable games by this point. Towards the end though things pick up in terms of big games we have the game vs Man City and I have no doubt they'll have improved their fortunes by then, and the small matter of a London Derby either side of a crunch match in the Europa League which could determine who tops the group.

An interesting couple of months I am sure.



Started off very well Gaz! well done
https://i.imgur.com/zgMyvyG.png?2
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