Unai Emery’s first season in charge at Arsenal wasn’t as successful as he might’ve hoped.
The Spaniard got off to a promising start, winning 11 consecutive matches after losing to Manchester City and Chelsea in his first two competitive outings.
But it all started to unravel towards the end of 2018 when the Gunners suffered their third defeat in all competitions away at Southampton on 16 December.
Arsenal never regained the consistency that made them look somewhat capable of challenging for the Premier League title.
They went on to suffer another ten defeats before their most recent outing in the Europa League final, which, to deny what would’ve been a satisfactory season, didn’t end in triumph.
A three-time winner of the competition with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016, Emery and his new side were dealt a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea in Baku.
The 47-year-old must’ve been feeling pretty low over the ensuing days, and his flight to the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham certainly surely didn’t help.
Emery and wife wound up on a Madrid-bound flight that was packed with Spurs supporters, who, according to the Times, heckled him throughout the journey.
Despite sitting in business class, the Arsenal boss is said to have eventually moved away from his wife in a bid to spare her from the abuse.
A bit of jeering is part of parcel of football, but, if the report is accurate, surely these fans went too far.
However, once the final whistle blew at the Wanda Metropolitano, Emery must’ve taken pleasure from Spurs being on the wrong end of the 2-0 scoreline, courtesy of Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi.
Talk about karma…
Emery is confident Arsenal are heading in the right direction - even though a sixth-place finish confined them to Europa League football for the third year running.
“The idea at the start (of the season) was to get more competitive as a team, get closer to the other teams, and we did that,” he said, per BBC Sport.
“It is not enough yet, but next season we have to continue in our mind.
“I don’t know about transfers for next year but the club is working. We have a lot of players with the possibility to improve - a lot of young players.”