It was great to watch a positive performance get Arsenal a good result on Thursday night, but it does not mean they have turned a corner under Unai Emery.

I played for the club for 15 years, I am Arsenal through and through and I love the club, but I say things how they are because that is my job as a pundit – and I don’t trust this Gunners side.

You cannot trust them, because you don’t know what is coming next.

To beat Valencia 3-1 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final after going behind early on was a brilliant comeback, especially getting that late third goal which gives them a decent cushion to take to Spain next week.

With Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in their attack, Arsenal will always carry a threat of getting more goals, but I am still nervous about what will happen next in the tie because we have also seen that they can concede left, right and centre.

It is the whole package when they lose the ball where they sometimes let themselves down, and that could still cause them problems at the Mestalla.

Would I back them to go away and get a result that will see them into the final? I don’t know.

‘Arsenal form has left supporters subdued’

I don’t think it is just me who distrusts this Arsenal team a little bit right now.

I was at Emirates Stadium for BBC Radio 5 Live on Thursday and, in the build-up to kick-off, it felt a bit flat.

It did not feel like a big European tie to me – the Gunners fans seemed subdued beforehand, probably because of their form leading up to it.

Nine points had just sailed out of the window in three Premier League games, which has left Emery’s side hoping for other teams to slip up to have any chance of a top-four finish when they could have been in the driving seat.

That was why I looked at Thursday’s game and thought the Emirates would be absolutely jumping, because the chance of gaining a Champions League place by winning the Europa League gave it extra significance.

Instead, what has happened in those previous matches meant the Arsenal fans were sitting there and going ‘right, let’s see what they are going to do this time’ as opposed to trying to urge their team on in the first place.

‘Fans need to see progress on the pitch’

I can understand why there is a bit of a disconnection between what the fans expect and what they are seeing from Arsenal on the pitch.

For all the good work that is going on behind the scenes, for example in changing the culture of the club and the methods and intensity of training, the supporters need to see progress on the pitch.

That takes time and what hasn’t helped is that it has been an unusual season in terms of Arsenal’s form.

It was actually better at the beginning of the campaign, when you might have expected them to be a bit rag-tag because they had changed their manager and everything was new.

If you flipped their results now with when they went on that unbelievable unbeaten run at the start of the season, then everyone would be saying ‘we are going to make the top four’ and it would feel like the club was heading in an upwards direction.

Because it has been the other way around, everyone is uneasy and saying ‘it is no better than towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s tenure’.

But if you ignore the good and bad runs they have been on, and look at where the club is at, in fifth place in the Premier League, then they are not too far away from where most people would have expected in Emery’s first season.

If you had said to Arsenal fans last summer that next May they would be in the semi-finals of the Europa League and still be in with a chance of a top-four finish with two games to go, then most of them would have taken that – even if there is still definitely room for improvement.

‘Defensively, they are not getting any better’

One of the most disappointing things about Arsenal over the past few months is that, defensively, they are not getting any better.

They are still making the same awful mistakes and Emery is still chopping and changing from a three to a four at the back, which can’t be helping matters.

He is obviously not happy with what he is seeing and trying to juggle the players to find the right defensive combination.

I think there will be some major movement in that area in the summer because he realises it is one of the major issues for this team, and will by know by now which players are not good enough.

He changes the formation all the time because he is trying to find the magic mix with what he has got at the club, when maybe he does not have the right personnel for the team to have the correct mentality when they don’t have the ball.

‘Some signs of the spirit and character they need’

I went on a bit of a rant about Arsenal’s defensive shortcomings on radio but if you go through the team, the situation is not all doom and gloom.

Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have developed a brilliant understanding up front and they are a strike-force that can hurt any opponents.

Elsewhere, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Lucas Torreira have had good seasons and, in goal, Bernd Leno has settled in quickly and made some brilliant saves.

There are also signs that the team are developing the kind of spirit and character I have wanted them to show when things have gone wrong and I have asked if it has really hurt them enough.

It is one thing to tweet about how you are going to react to a defeat, as some Arsenal players have done in the past few months, but it is another to actually respond on the pitch.

Like the Arsenal fans, I’ve seen it happen on social media recently where the players have said a lot, but not backed it up in the next game.

Well, on Thursday night, they did. It was even more impressive because they went behind early on, but bounced back brilliantly.

They have put themselves in a really strong position to reach the final in Baku on 2 June through a performance that had a bit of fight and endeavour, and also saw them play some good football as well.

It will have lifted the entire club, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Lee Dixon was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

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