The Arsenal in the Summer series looks at what has happened to the club during the summer months, year on year. Over 60 seasons have been covered in this series, and there is a full index here.
Just before the end of the 2017/18 season Arsenal’s manager of 22 years resigned, and Unai Emery was appointed as the new Arsenal manager replacing Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal had finished the previous season in sixth place. It was their worst performance since finishing 12th in 1994/5, the season in which George Graham was sacked. Here is the final league table for Mr Wenger’s last season in charge. Curiously that season of coming 12th showed Arsenal with a better defence than in this season (conceding 49 goals). But of course they only scored 51, which wasn’t very exciting to watch.
But back to 2017/18 – here is the league table…
And here are the events of that summer…
11 June 2018: Ex Arsenal man Patrick Vieira was appointed as the manager of OGC Nice
12 June 2018: Yassin Fortune joined FC Sion after rejecting new Arsenal deal
14 June 2018: The Football League announced the fixtures for the new season showing Arsenal and Emery having the toughest of starts: at home to Man City, away to Chelsea.
19 June 2018: Jack Wilshere confirmed his departure from Arsenal.
8 July 2018: Greek central defender Sokratis joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for £14.8 million. He played 25 league games for Arsenal in his first season.
10 July 2018: Arsenal signed defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria for a reported fee of £26.4 million. He played 34 games in his first season with the club
11 July 2018: Arsenal announced the transfer of Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient for a rumoured £7 million. He played 33 games in his first season.
14 July 2018: Arsenal beat Boreham Wood 8-0 in the first friendly of the new season. Aubameyang got a hattrick.
26 July 2018: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid, but lost on penalties after Mkhitaryan, Nketiah and Willock all failed to score from the spot.
28 July 2018: Arsenal beat PSG 5-1, with Lacazette scoring two.
1 August 2018: Arsenal beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Lacazette got Arsenal’s goal in the third minute of added on time to secure the draw.
4 August 2018: Arsenal beat Lazio 2-0 with goals from Nelson and Aubameyang.
7 August 2018, Alisher Usmanov announced that he would accept an offer from American businessman Stan Kroenke to buy his 30% stake in Arsenal for £550 million, in a deal that would allow Kroenke to take full control of the club, thus putting the ultimate nail in the coffin of Henry Norris’ ideal of a club whose shares were owned by its fans.
12 August 2018: Arsenal lost 2-0 to last season’s champions Manchester City
18 August 2018: Arsenal lost to Chelsea 3–2, meaning Arsenal had lost their first two games in a league season for the first time since 1992/3 leaving the table looking like this…
|19||West Ham United||2||0||0||2||1||6||-5||0|
The newspapers and blogs were thus full of thoughts about when the last time was that Arsenal lost the first three games, but the club did not oblige in that regard, moving on not just to win the next game but to go unbeaten in league and cup matches until 16 December.