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Alan Smith fears "long road back" for Arsenal despite Unai Emery appointment

Smith fears
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Arsenal legend Alan Smith believes that the Gunners face a "long road back" in returning to their glory days despite the "good" appointment of Unai Emery.

Alan Smith has claimed that Arsenal face a "long road back" in returning to their glory days despite the "good" appointment of Unai Emery.

The former Paris Saint-Germain head coach took the reins at the Emirates Stadium following the departure of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger at the end of last season.

While Emery has set about overhauling Arsenal's tactical blueprints, his reign at the club has begun with successive Premier League defeats to Chelsea and Manchester City.

"The first two games were always going to be difficult and there are things you'd hoped he would have eradicated in terms of tracking runners or dealing with long balls over the top," Arsenal legend Smith told The Mirror. "But I guess old habits die hard.

"The lack of accountability is what wound up a lot of us ex-players. If we didn't follow orders then we wouldn't play in the next game and that didn't always happen under Arsene Wenger and that was always frustrating.

"[Emery] is certainly a sea change, he'll pick on merit rather than reputation and that's good to see. But it's a long road back, although the club has turned and is heading in a better direction. That's almost the most you can hope for.

"I think success would be a top four finish. That would be a fantastic achievement. To claw that back won't be easy, but maybe more than league places and trophies, it's more about being a more substantial team with more substance, a bit more steel and a team which won't roll over."

Arsenal's next three Premier League matches are at home to West Ham United, away to Cardiff City and away to Newcastle United.

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Mesut Ozil wipes his nose on his shirt during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 12, 2018
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