North London is entering a new era, with major changes affecting both Arsenal and Tottenham. Both clubs are looking to form a new identity and open a fresh chapter in their history, and the changes will be coming in various ways for each side.
For the Gunners, everything starts at the top. Legendary manager Arsene Wenger has stepped away from the club, and the pressure will be on Unai Emery to lead Arsenal back to a top-four position.
Emery has proven himself to be an effective coach and has found success in recent stops. The 46-year-old captured domestic trophies with Paris Saint-Germain following an excellent run in the UEFA Europa League with Sevilla (three consecutive titles between 2014 and 2016). However, he will face great expectations at the Emirates Stadium considering the talent that he will have.
With players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil in the team, this is an Arsenal squad ready to compete right now. Fans will want to see results after years of screaming “Wenger Out”, and Emery will have a unique mood around the club to deal with.
It is never easy to follow a legend, as Manchester United have demonstrated during recent seasons following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. But Emery has the ability and the intelligence to achieve success. The key will be if he can bring all those elements together quickly enough.
A new stadium
Spurs have their own mountain to climb, and that will be the journey for silverware. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has done a tremendous job improving the quality of play and overall results, but trophies have eluded him since signing on in 2014. Tottenham finished third in the Premier League table and fell at the Round of 16 stage in the Champions League during the 2017-18 campaign.
Striker Harry Kane is a true goalscoring force, and midfielder Christian Eriksen has been an outstanding playmaker. The big change that will be facing Tottenham in 2018-19 will be their home grounds, as the club unveil their new stadium this coming season.
After playing home matches at Wembley Stadium, Spurs will certainly be looking forward to their new surroundings. A massive state-of-the-art structure, how quickly the team adapt to the new environment will likely have a significant impact on results.
Tottenham spent many years consistently finishing below their North London rival, but that is no longer the case. Something needed to be modified for Arsenal, and that is what has led Emery to the position.
It will be fascinating to see the dynamics of what is improved for the club, as Wenger accomplished quite a bit during his two decades with the Gunners. Changes take time, at least in terms of bringing success. At a point where our society is looking for instant gratification, and immediate joy, how Emery performs will likely not have much patience attached to it. Ultimately, the same could be said of Pochettino.
Arsenal and Tottenham will again battle against the Premier League’s best (and themselves) next season. The ability to navigate a new footballing landscape will be the crucial element for both clubs in the near future.