|Job||Arsenal FC Manager|
|Spanish Football Coach|
|Club as Coach||Arsenal FC|
2018 02 10 Retrieve
[Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery is relishing the prospect of facing Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16] We are going to be the focus of the world that day. This game will be, calmly, a possible final. The message is that we believe in ourselves, we are prepared to play games like this. It’s making us excited to play against [Real] Madrid, winner of three of the last four [UEFA] Champions Leagues. It’s a challenge and naturally I’m facing up to it
2018 03 12 Retrieve
[Ozil - making his 200th appearance for the club - ensured Arsenal won consecutive away league games for the first time since May 2017] His quality helps the team. It is important he scored. I want not only for him to assist, we need him to go in the box and score like today.
I see the players are the same, each has quality. I will work with every player and continue our process to create the team as we want
[…that Arsenal’s players are adapting to Emery’s philosophy - although on evidence there remains plenty of work to do] We are improving. We need to continue working individually and collectively to improve more things. In the first half we didn’t control like we wanted but the second half we were better and the victory is just
We need to improve and score more individually. We need to work, every player - not only the attacking players but the midfielders and centre-backs from set-pieces.
2018 08 10 Retrieve
The captain of this group is Laurent Koscielny, who is injured at the moment. After Laurent, our other captains are Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, and Granit Xhaka. I want leaders in the team - every player at every time to have the capacity to show leadership, but these are the five players who have the possibility to be captain
2018 10 23 Retrieve
[Unai Emery backs Mesut Ozil and Arsenal to continue] Yeah, it’s very important [to be a leader] in this situation. But we have in the team a lot of players with this capacity. I think he [Ozil] can play every match with this commitment and with this quality, [whether he is] captain or not captain
Yeah. For Mesut, today was a very good performance, and a very good victory together. And also we are going to push and demand for ourselves and for him also, this regularly
[But Emery still singled out Stephan Lichtsteiner for praise because of his attitude on the pitch] It’s not easy for Lichtsteiner to play left-back because [with] his [right] foot it is more difficult to progress on the pitch, helping and pushing with the combinations. Maybe it was not a very big performance in [terms of] the quality, or a very big performance in the combination with another player. But with the attitude and the commitment, for us it’s very important. And the same for Xhaka when he was playing left-back, I am very happy with every player. With Mesut Ozil and the same with Lichtsteiner
[Emery refuses to speculate about the team’s title chances when Arsenal remained just two points behind leading duo Manchester City and Liverpool and are now level on points with Chelsea] I think we need to continue with calm. For us it’s not important to think about the end (of the season). We need to think that the next match is against Crystal Palace next Sunday
2018 11 08 Retrieve
[Arsenal Welbeck sent to hospital after suffering horrific ankle injury in Europa League clash with Sporting CP] The worst news tonight is these injuries. We think [they are] serious injuries. He has been taken to hospital. We are going to wait [for updates]. Danny was working well. He is a very good person, his commitment to us is very big. This injury is very big for him, for us and for everyone
[He wasn’t the only Gunner injured, though, as Stephan Lichsteiner was also forced off with an apaprent muscle injury] Lichtsteiner is muscular. We will know [more] about his injury tomorrow
2018 11 11 Retrieve
[Danny Welbeck has broken his ankle and undergone surgery] Danny’s injury is big. We spoke with him yesterday and today. We support him. I think he will not be with us for a long time
2019 01 13 Retrieve
[Unai Emery on Mesut Ozil] For me he is like another player. It’s one decision, when one player is coming or not coming. Sometimes he is helping us, at other moments he is not helping us because of his injury or because maybe the match is not for him. But he is a good player
[Arsenal, who host Chelsea on Saturday evening, have picked up two points from their last five away games] It’s our challenge. Each match is our challenge away. We are working on that. We need to take more confidence, more performance collectively, being competitive away to change this moment. We started the season away well, being competitive and winning. But we need to do more to be more competitive and to impose our idea and our quality
2019 02 24 Retrieve
[Emery offers positive Arsenal injury update on Iwobi, Lichtsteiner & Maitland-Niles] I hope it’s only one knock and not a more important injury. I hope Iwobi can play Wednesday. Lichtsteiner has back pain but I think he can also be okay for Wednesday. I hope also Maitland-Niles can be ready for Wednesday
[Emery said of that battle] For us, the first competition is the Premier League because it’s giving us the possibility to be consistent. It’s the first target for us, but also the Europa League. The Premier League is giving us consistency and at the moment I think we are feeling strong at home. Away in the last match we won away at Huddersfield, but I think we need more consistency away. We know that
We have the habit to play a lot of matches in one week. I think today I am happy because I said to them, Thursday I was very proud of them after how they worked in a very difficult match for the result. Also, it was a dangerous match with the result of the first leg losing 1-0. Today we decided to do some changes in the squad and it’s very important to carry on with our intensity and performance with different players. We need to be together and we can feel stronger with every player, and the possibility of using different players in different matches with the intensity that we want to play.
2019 02 28 Retrieve
[Arsenal 5-1 Bournemouth] We worked with intensity and we imposed, little by little over the 90 minutes, our superiority. In the first half after we went 2-0 up, they gave us problems. But we showed maturity to continue pushing and doing our work. The second half was good for us. It was a good performance and we can be proud of every player
Mesut helped us with his quality and work. All the players should be proud tonight and it is the same for Mesut
2019 03 02 Retrieve
[Unai Emery doled out compliments for Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino ahead of their meeting at the weekend] I have a lot of respect for him as a person because he’s a good person, but above all as a professional and a coach. He’s young and he’s going to do important things in football. I hope [Saturday] it won’t be the case
2019 04 28 Retrieve
[Emery bemoans Maitland-Niles red card as Arsenal suffer more woe on the road] We worked, we prepared our game plan and [when it was] 11 v 11 the match was going like we prepared. For me the first yellow card should not be one. It has affected our game plan a lot. One player less is difficult. Today the reason [for losing] is the red card. We will continue, we will not look at the table. The Europa League is a big motivation for us
[Leicester, meanwhile, are still in the hunt for a seventh-place finish and a potential Europa League spot, and boss Brendan Rodgers was delighted with his side’s dominant display] Firstly our defence was nice and aggressive and we pressed the game really well. When it was 11 v 11 I thought we were the better team. I’m very pleased we got our reward for our hard work
2019 05 05 Retrieve
[Welbeck to leave Arsenal in the summer after five years] I spoke with the club about this situation. The decision is he’s going to leave
2019 05 22 Retrieve
[Arsenal complete £27m Saliba signing as defender loaned back to Saint-Etienne] We’re delighted William is joining us. Many teams wanted him but he decided he wanted to come to us and be part of our future. He will stay in France next season for more experience and then we look forward to him joining our group
2019 05 25 Retrieve
[Unai Emery is calling on his Arsenal side to summon up the spirit of tennis icon Rafael Nadal as they prepare to go in search of major silverware in the Europa League final] I read his book and I know some things about his history and he is work, work, work. When he is also struggling sometimes in one match, playing for five hours in one game, tennis players have a lot of difficult moments. In the difficult moments you have to be strong in your mind to change the negative situation into a positive. Football is the same, only it’s in 90 minutes and you need your teammates because it is 11 players that are playing and you need one strong mentality, but each single player being together too.
I saw him live in one match and I also like to play tennis too. When I am playing tennis, I am thinking in each moment during the match that I need to be very strong in my mind to battle my opposition player. If he’s better than me, with different strategies to play and fight against him too. Tennis is different from football because tennis is an individual game and an individual sport. Football is one team with 11 players and we need to do the combination and we need also where one player is not playing well another is playing well, the relation between them is very important.
Tennis for me is a good sport because the mindset is very important. Because you need to be very strong in your mind and for the relationship with football I think it is the same. It’s the idea to transmit for the players, for each single player, to take this mindset to work strongly and to have a big individual mentality. After, if you can play with 11 players with a big mentality, for example like with Rafa Nadal, you can take the best performance and results for this sport.
2019 05 27 Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Unai Emery says stopping Eden Hazard will be vital if his side are to beat Chelsea and win the Europa League on May 29] We know Chelsea well, a team with quality and a high physical level. Hazard is a player of moments, but decisive moments. It is what we have to avoid. Chelsea is capable of winning thanks to him, and that ability I have only seen in Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar or Mohamed Salah. For me, he is in the quintet of the best in the world. City, for example, has won its second Premier League but has done so more as a collective. It is a more complete team, like Tottenham, despite the contribution of Harry Kane and Son.
[Emery says he was brought in to help the team compete at the elite level once again] I did not promise titles, I promised to compete. What Wenger did in this club was very big. He managed to give a touch of quality to make the game more fluid and colourful, but little by little he lost the competitive gene. That is what was transmitted to me and what I was hired for when I interviewed Raul Sanllehi and the owners. The economic potential of United, City or Liverpool is greater than ours, but by history and structure, Arsenal is among the top 10 clubs in Europe, and we have to place there again
2019 05 28 Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Unai Emery has lauded the retiring Petr Cech, although he refused to confirm whether the veteran goalkeeper will start Wednesday’s Europa League final against Chelsea] The most important thing for us is to win the title. Each title is important for Arsenal, and for Chelsea, both in England and in Europe. We want to enjoy this moment. The first XI, I will say it to the players first. I can speak about Cech a lot, but above all he is a good man, a good professional, his career has been amazing, both elsewhere and with us. It’s going to be his last match because he decided to finish his career. I want to do something important with him in his last moments in his career, whether he is playing or not playing. I respect him a lot. He is amazing, first as a person and a professional goalkeeper. He deserves trust in him, his career says to us he is a gentleman. He can start or cannot start, I am going to decide. How can we not believe in him?
2019 05 28b Retrieve
[Unai Emery says he wants to ‘hold on to and improve’ the Arsenal culture left behind by his predecessor Arsene Wenger as he prepares his team to face Chelsea in the Europa League final] All [Wenger] did was amazing. My respect is more than the top. After he gave this team and club a lot of important things, a new culture. I want to hold that and improve things. We spoke when I arrived here to give Arsenal some things: to be competitive in all situations. I learned a lot from Arsene Wenger as a coach and I respect him a lot. I want to help Arsenal, to help this team, to achieve all the possibilities in our way. One is this European title, also continuing improving in our way to achieve the best position in the football world for Arsenal. Arsenal in the past, present and future will be in the 10 best teams in the world. Our objective is to achieve that.
[They last played in the final of Europe’s secondary tournament in 2000, when they were beaten on penalties by Turkish side Galatasaray following a goalless draw] I am not thinking only for me. I want to do something important here, for example to play this title [the Europa League]. We deserved to play and did a good way in this competition. After our target started with two ways, one is in the Europa League and the second in the Premier League, to go to the Champions League. That’s our first objective and then to play for the titles. We are going to do two objectives tomorrow, to win a title and go to the Champions League. Above all it is about enjoying and play with all our good spirits. This competition is improving a lot, big teams are playing
2019 05 29 Retrieve
[Chelsea vs Arsenal. Unai Emery says the silverware is more important than winning a place back in the Champions League next term] There are two targets here but the most important target for us is to win a title. The second target is to help us to achieve the Champions League. Each title is very important for us, and for Chelsea too. We want to enjoy this moment, for our fans and also for ourselves. Chelsea will have the same idea.
2019 05 29b Retrieve
[Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are charged with leading Arsenal to glory in Wednesday’s Europa League final with Chelsea] I had [Kevin] Gameiro and [Carlos] Bacca at Sevilla, [Edison] Cavani and Mbappe at PSG… and now I’m very happy to have Aubameyang and Lacazette
2019 05 29c Retrieve
[Unai Emery refused to confirm whether Cech would start] I respect him a lot. His career is amazing. First as a person, second like a professional. He deserves trust in him. Because his career says to us he is a gentleman. On Wednesday he can start or not start. I am going to decide. But both will be with respect. How can we not believe in him?
2019 05 30 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has asked Arsenal’s supporters to trust him as he embarks on a long-term rebuilding process in North London. His first season in charge ended in 4-1 defeat to Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku] We knew it would be difficult, and we are in our process. I want to say to all the supporters we are in this process. Really the first target has not been achieved this year, but I think we are closer, firstly in the Premier League, and second in this competition, playing the final. Next year is a big challenge for us to take one more step on our way, in our will with the young players. We are disappointed today, but in general, I think we made a new step improving and being competitive. We’ll have to take one more step next year.
2019 06 06 Retrieve
[It is a clear indicator of how difficult a job Unai Emery is facing ahead of his second season in charge at the Emirates] We have good, big players with experience and some young players. I think this year we’ve been closer to the other teams. But next year we need the same idea, also to add some new players to give us some situations we can improve
: 2019 06 13 Arsenal finished outside the top four in the Premier League for the third year in succession last season, coming fifth, and they will be eager to bring an end to that habit in 2019-20
2019 07 16 Retrieve
[Arsenal head coach Unai Emery insists Laurent Koscielny is still ‘an important player’ despite the uncertainty over the club captain’s future] He has one year left on his contract. For me as a coach he’s an important player. Now it’s one matter for him and the club. The club and him need to speak, they are speaking about his situation. I cannot say more than that. I spoke with him before he came here and he decided to stay there
He started training with us this pre-season and I spoke with him three times for his situation. We wanted him to come with us on this tour but he decided to stay. Now it is a matter for the club and for the player
2019 07 16b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has urged patience in what has been a frustrating summer transfer window for Arsenal so far] The club is working. We are speaking every day with the club and Edu. I prefer to work with patience and calm and take the best decision. We have very good players, very young good players. We need someone to help us. The club is working on that. We prefer to take the best decision with patience. If we need to wait more time for this reason I prefer to do that
[When asked how two former favourites, Freddie Ljungberg and Edu, are settling into their new roles] You know better than me they are two Arsenal ex-players! Freddie was working with the Under-23s but when he proposed to us and the club, speaking with him and Steve Bould, we changed the two situations. I am very happy with Freddie. Edu played here and also I was his coach in Valencia for one year. He has experience. He knows Arsenal. He’s a very good worker for us in this sporting director job. Raul Sanllehi, Vinai Venkatesham and I were trying to find the best person who can help us with experience and also with knowing this club. It’s Edu. For me he’s the perfect man to do that
2019 07 17 Retrieve
[Unai Emery insists Arsenal are looking to sign very big, very expensive players] We are being patient and calm because we really want to sign players who can help us with a big performance, and also because we think in the team we have very good players and young players. We also need to take the best player in some positions. Really, I can say to our supporters that we are going to have a very good team with the players that are there now and also with three or four players who can help us in a few days
We are speaking about the big players and because we are starting thinking about our team and our squad now. We have very good players and very good young players that can progress and make big performances with us. Other players can come here to help us. We need, really, that they will come with a big performance. Our target is to achieve three or four players who really improve our team and our squad now. We are being very, very demanding and we are first speaking about the possibility to sign very big, very expensive players and the first player in our list is our first target. And after, if we cannot achieve that, then the second. But we are thinking every time that they are going to improve our squad
[And though Emery would not be drawn on any interest, he does rate Dani Ceballos] I don’t want to speak about the names. But Ceballos is a very good player
2019 07 17b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has stated that he is hoping to see three of four new faces arrive before the transfer window closes on August 8] We need players with big performances. Our target is to get three or four players who really improve our squad now. We are being very, very demanding and first speaking about the possibility to sign very expensive players. The first player in our list is our first target, if we cannot achieve that [we’ll go for] the second. We think they’re going to improve our squad
2019 07 18 Retrieve
[Emery was asked about transfers and whether he believed Arsenal fans should be excited following Josh Kroenke’s remarks to be as aggressive as possible in transfer window] Yes. We are speaking about big players because we are starting thinking about our team and squad now. We have very good players, very good young players who can progress. Other players can come here to help us. We need really players with big performances. Our target is to get three or four players who really improve our squad now. We are being very, very demanding and first speaking about the possibility to sign very expensive players. The first player in our list is our first target, if we cannot achieve that, the second. We are thinking every time they’re going to improve our squad
2019 07 18b Retrieve
[Unai Emery vowed to give high-performing youngsters a chance at Arsenal following Eddie Nketiah’s late winner versus Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup] We have a responsibility with young players to give them chances. We want to use different young players to help. Some players will be with us in pre-season; some players will be with us in the season. Each minute they show their performance against big players. For example, the [duel] Nketiah [won] against Niklas Sule. Today was very positive. Against Colorado Rapids a lot of young players played. We need them for the moment but also in the future. Our responsibility in this club for the history, present and future is to give young players a chance
[Freddie Ljungberg’s recent promotion from Under-23 head coach to first-team assistant should expedite the emergence of these youngsters] With Freddie we are working. Above all he’s helping us with the young players because he knows every young player better than us
2019 07 19 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has admitted that Laurent Koscielny could possibly leave Arsenal this summer] I want one English player in these five captains. Last year Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil and Nacho Monreal were working as captains. But after Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech left - and possibly Laurent Koscielny - I will want more. An English player who grew up in our academy can understand the English spirit and Arsenal values. We lost some players with big experience and a long time in England and Arsenal like Cech and Ramsey. We lost Koscielny too. They started one day being captain, when they were young
[One man who could take up leadership responsibilities for Arsenal is Rob Holding] We are really happy with his (Holding’s) progress. We need his performances as a centre back. [Before] he had his injury, he was really playing with big performances
2019 07 20 Retrieve
[Arsenal vs Fiorentina. Arsenal, it seems, will have a youthful look to them this season - at least that is what manager Unai Emery intends if the youngsters continue to perform well this summer] Our responsibility in this club for the history, present and future is to give young players a chance. If they deserve minutes they’ll get minutes. I’m very happy with them and their work. We are going to play against Fiorentina on Saturday and will use young players. It’s another chance for them to show us how they can respond. For them it’s important that each match and each training they give us their performance and energy. We have the responsibility with the young players to give them chances
2019 07 21 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says that Arsenal will not settle for second-choice signings in the transfer market] Some players are expensive and we are working on these possibilities because we don’t want to go to the second line of player. We are waiting. We have very good young players, but we are aware that we have to improve with some players in the squad, but only I want to achieve or to sign some, one or two or three or four players, only if we can be sure they are coming to improve our team only. Only that. There are a lot of names and the club is working
[Emery says that, even with business being done behind the scenes, his current focus is preparing his current squad, both young and old, for that Newcastle match in three weeks time] Our mind is that we are starting the first match Newcastle and we are preparing every player. Some players missed coming to join with the national team, but to the players that are here, the young players, it is the moment for them to show how we can use them to help us now and in the season and with other players to prepare with our structure and be competitive. We know with our last year, it is positive to continue in our way. We were one point only away from the top four, but we need to do more, one more step.
I am positive we will achieve signing some good players to help us, but at the moment I think we are looking very well. I am very happy with the players and we are working behind with the club all we can to improve with some players from the transfer market
2019 07 21b Retrieve
[Unai Emery says that Eddie Nketiah will get the chance to earn a bigger role with Arsenal after considering loaning the forward last season] Last year in small moments when we could give him chances to be on the pitch he did very well. His progress can confirm, we want progress with every player. He has a very good attitude and they need experience, minutes and confidence. The young energy is very important. Nketiah was playing very well. Last year, in December we were thinking of loaning or not loaning the player to Germany and we decided he should stay with us to train and progress with us. We started this preseason with the same idea as we finished last year. He’ll stay with us and my idea is that if you progress like we are seeing from you, you can have a chance with us
[Nketiah, though, had his doubts at one point, Emery said, but the coach assured the forward that he, and any young player, will have the chance to earn more minutes] I spoke with the club and with him because he started with a doubt on whether it was better for him here with us or for him to go to play on another team with more minutes. We have examples with some players who are loaned away and didn’t play as much as we want. I said to him, ‘First, be focused here, and if you earn to be with us, I can promise you that you will have minutes’. The minutes, you have to earn, and at the moment, he’s played well. Aubameyang plays some time on the wing. Last year we had Lacazette, Aubameyang and Welbeck. They had space to play. We want to give the chances to Nketiah. Every young player, if they deserve to be here, we’ll help them
2019 07 22 Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Emery had previously said when quizzed on his plans for Nketiah’s immediate future] Last year in small moments when we could give him chances to be on the pitch he did very well. His progress can confirm, we want progress with every player. He has a very good attitude and they need experience, minutes and confidence. The young energy is very important. Nketiah was playing very well. Last year, in December we were thinking of loaning or not loaning the player to Germany and we decided he should stay with us to train and progress with us. We started this preseason with the same idea as we finished last year. He’ll stay with us and my idea is that if you progress like we are seeing from you, you can have a chance with us
2019 07 23 Retrieve
[Arsenal head coach Unai Emery voiced his admiration for Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos] We were speaking about the possibility to sign one player on loan and we have different names. The club was working on that. Ceballos is a very good player, I know him from Betis at the beginning and also at Real Madrid. He played very well with the under-21s, they won with his national team in this competition
[The Gunners have beaten Colorado Rapids 3-0, Bayern Munich 2-1 and Fiorentina 3-0 with a number of their youngsters impressing, including Eddie Nketiah, who has provided three goals so far] We started to play against Colorado Rapids with a lot of young players and progressively we are using less minutes and to share with the experienced players. It depends on the matches. Tomorrow, at the beginning I want to take more minutes with the players thinking about our progress for the first match against Newcastle. But also, we are going to use some young players at the beginning or during the match to continue trying with this difficult capacity against Real Madrid
2019 07 23b Retrieve
[Unai Emery says Arsenal need to be realistic and admit that there is a big difference between their side and the two that dominated the Premier League last season] We need to be realistic and the distance between Liverpool and Manchester City and us is [a lot of] points. We want to reduce that, we want to be more competitive. We need to improve defensively but with no loss offensively, because the first idea we developed with this team is to be offensive. Sometimes it’s true that we struggled defensively, and to take the balance. Sometimes we took this balance last year. Our challenge is to keep producing that. And with other teams we know, we are realistic. At the moment Manchester City and Liverpool they are very strong, but we want to do our way.
To be in the top four is the same difficulty because Tottenham is growing up, Chelsea also kept their players [other than selling Eden Hazard] and can keep the performance. Manchester United were behind us last year but they have a lot of potential as a team. We need to believe in our way, we need to believe in our process, believe in our players. We have very good players, very good young players. We want to sign two or three players to help us and to do our way.
I think we progressed, it’s not enough for our first target but it’s our way. I think some players’ development was clear and I want to continue this year. Our target generally is going to be if we can take some titles, and, overall, our first objective is to get to the Champions League. But we need that process and we are doing that process. We need to reduce the difference with Chelsea and Tottenham. We must remember it is only two and one point behind them [respectively]. It is not enough. I know it is not enough, but we can be positive to do one step more in our way to achieve and to compete with them and to fight for the top four in the Premier League
2019 07 23c Retrieve
[Unai Emery hints the loan of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid to Arsenal] We have been speaking about the possibility to sign one player on loan. Ceballos is a very good player. I know him from Betis at the beginning, and Real Madrid
2019 07 24 Retrieve
[Emery admits Marco Asensio injury ‘could be bad news’ for Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos deal] I don’t know. Our target also was not to take injuries in that match, and they maybe have with Asensio. It [could be] bad news, for them and also for us. I don’t know if it can change something.
[Koscielny has one year left on his Arsenal contract and the coach indicated he feels he has done all he can to keep the 33-year-old at Emirates Stadium] I’ve spoken about him, with respect to him. I tried to be with us in the position here and continue working and finding one solution between the club, between him and us. When he decided not to come here with us on tour, the solution is now only for the club and him. He decided to be out. I respect him but I have a responsibility, he has a responsibility, and the club have their responsibility. Now it’s one issue only for the club and him. My idea is to continue with the players we are working with, and the players that want to be here
2019 07 24b Retrieve
[Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has expressed a desire to ‘continue working with the players that want to be here’] I tried to continue working and finding one solution between the club, between him and us. When he decided not to come here with us on tour, the solution is now only for the club and him. He decided to be out. I respect him but I have a responsibility, he has a responsibility, and the club have their responsibility. Now it’s an issue only for the club and him. My idea is to continue with the players we are working with, and the players that want to be here
[Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both got themselves on the scoresheet against Madrid on Tuesday] Their combination is very good but they can play both. They were playing both and sometimes we are playing with one striker or two strikers or with one as a winger. Aubameyang can play like a striker alone, like a striker with two and can play as a winger on the right or the left. But above all with him, we want to be very aggressive in the attacking third and moving forward to score with him. When we are deciding to play with another player maybe they are more of a one-to-one winger or a player like Mesut, a player who goes deep to take the ball and keep our possession with him in the pitch. It’s different in each moment and each match. But above all, with Aubameyang, we can take different options with him and he is very good and very rich for us
2019 07 25 Retrieve
[Arsenal sign Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan] We’re excited to see Dani join us. He is a talented player with big technical ability, creativity and precision
2019 07 25b Retrieve
[Speaking in the United States ahead of Arsenal’s game with Madrid in Washington] Ceballos is a very good player, I know him from Betis at the beginning and also at Real Madrid. He played very well with the under-21s, they won with his national team in this competition.
[When asked where he saw Ceballos fitting in at Arsenal, he added] He is a No.8 or No.10 player
2019 07 28 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has attempted to downplay concerns after Alexandre Lacazette limped off just 12 minutes into Arsenal’s Emirates Cup clash with Lyon] The doctor said to me he’s going to check tomorrow. It’s in his ankle. He’s going to be assessed over the next few days - it’s not serious
2019 07 28b Retrieve
[Arsenal coach Unai Emery has hailed Nicolas Pepe as a very good player as his side close in on signing the winger] The club is thinking about how we can improve. There are different players on the table. Pepe’s a very good player. We only want players who can really, really improve the squad. We want the best players possible for the first game at Newcastle
2019 07 28c Retrieve
[Unai Emery revealed that Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac missed Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Lyon because their minds were ‘not 100 per cent there’ following their involvement in an apparent carjacking attempt] Every player is very important in the team, but also each moment and some circumstances give us a decision between the players and us. It’s not a good moment to play because their mind is not now 100 per cent. It’s a very personal circumstance and the most important thing now is that they can feel good, they can feel safe, they can feel with their family
[He also said the decision to omit the pair came on the day of the game as both players reported in the morning, but were unready to play] They came this morning but I spoke to them and decided it was best to continue resting with their families and wait for a few days to hopefully come and start normally with the team. We are going to see each day. Tomorrow we are going to check again how they are. This morning they came here but weren’t ready to play the match
2019 07 30 Retrieve
[Speaking about the prospect of the Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe arriving] We are working, the club, and also thinking about how we can improve. There are different players on the table with the possibility that we can achieve their signature. Pepe is a very good player and also we are thinking only of players who can really, really improve this squad and also give us some different conditions to improve. We have been working for the last few weeks and before we start the season in the first match against Newcastle, our aim is to get the best team with the best players in our squad
2019 08 01 Retrieve
[Arsenal coach Unai Emery says the proposed deal for Lille forward Nicolas Pepe has not yet been sealed] He played here in Angers a few years ago, and then in Lille. He has progressed as a player. We have different options. This one at the moment is not closed, but he is one we are following
We are going to play the first match away against Newcastle, and tonight was a similar performance against that sort of opposition Angers, and also they were giving everything in their performance against us for their supporters. There were two very different halves. The first half they started harder than us and they scored. We didn’t control the game like we wanted. In the second half we became better to control the game, with the ball and having more chances to score. I think from the second half we deserved a better result. But the most important thing today was to work well physically and with different players. Also today the young players took some minutes, knowing we needed a performance against a difficult team here away
2019 08 01b Retrieve
[Unai Emery says Arsenal are still aiming to sign another player once the Nicolas Pepe deal is wrapped up, fuelling talk of a renewed move for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney] We are speaking about a lot of players. We want to select players who can really help us, give us big performances and improve our squad. We are working on the possibilities to sign players. We signed [Dani] Ceballos, and we have a possibility with Pepe. We are looking for the possibility to improve, but only if we can take more steps in the squad. Our target is to sign another player if he can really, really improve us. Our target is continuing to sign another player if we can
2019 08 01c Retrieve
[Laurent Koscielny could still stay at Arsenal this summer despite heavy speculation linking him with a move away from the club] He’s a very important player for us. We are speaking with him and with the team, about my responsibilities, the club’s responsibility and his responsibility. With respect it’s better for us, it’s better for the team … if he is here with us this season, it’s very different than if he isn’t with us. At the moment it’s a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him. We want to be strong in our defensive line, working with the players we have now
[The speculation surrounding Koscielny and Mustafi has led some to suggest that Emery will be forced to dip back into the transfer market for another centre-back if one or both of them leaves] We have a lot of centre-backs. We have good centre-backs, and if we can sign one more centre-back, it is because he is clearly better than what we have. Because at the moment we have six. We are in different positions with some players because Konstantinos Mavropanos has his injury and we are continuing to see that situation. We have until August 8, and we need to speak over these few days about how we can be, and how we can close our squad
2019 08 01d Retrieve
[Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Nicolas Pepe in a £72 million deal] Nicolas is a highly-rated and talented winger who was wanted by many of the top teams in Europe. Signing a top-class winger has been one of our key objectives in this transfer window and I’m delighted he’s joining. He will add pace, power and creativity, with the aim of bringing more goals to our team
2019 08 05 Retrieve
[Unai Emery claims Arsenal have never talked about a loan deal for Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho] We’ve never talked about Coutinho. He’s a splendid player, but we haven’t talked about Coutinho at any time
[One player that the Gunners have acquired from La Liga ahead of the new Premier League season is Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos] Dani comes to contribute his qualities. What I like most is the desire he is putting in and the hunger with which he comes. We will try to help him take a step forward as soccer player
Tomorrow, we are going to train together. Each day for him [Nicolas Pepe] and for us is information we can save. We hope he can be [ready] for this match. With him, I want to be patient. Hopefully he will be ready for the match against Newcastle. The doctors are optimistic and we are going to wait. If he is okay for Sunday, perfect. If not, for the next [match]
2019 08 05b Retrieve
[Unai Emery appears to be happy with the squad he has pieced together. He told reporters after a 2-1 friendly defeat to Barcelona when quizzed on his recruitment plans] It has not changed, our idea and our message. Only if we can sign a player who really, really can improve our squad, then we are going to do that. If not, then not. We have good competitive players to achieve or try to achieve our target this season and we are going to be looking at something if we can sign someone, but with this idea. Only, and only, if we can improve
[Emery has already moved to quieten talk of Arsenal making a potential loan swoop for Barcelona’s former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho] We’ve never talked about Coutinho. He’s a splendid player, but we haven’t talked about Coutinho at any time
2019 08 06 Retrieve
[Unai Emery hopes to have Nicolas Pepe ready to feature in Arsenal’s opening Premier League fixture against Newcastle United] Pepe]</b> has been training with us for two days and we thought it was better to continue training alone [rather than face Barca]. [On Monday] we are going to have one training session together. Each day for him and for us is information we can save. We hope he can be available for this match [against Newcastle]. With him, I want to be patient. He’s in the same situation as the other players who have been coming in the last few days. For example, Lucas [Torreira], after one week training, had his first 10 minutes. With Pepe, it’s the same. After training twice, I think it’s better to be training, to be working with us, without playing the match
[Alexandre Lacazette was absent due to injury against the Blaugrana, but Emery could still include him in a front three with Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the first time at the weekend] Hopefully [Lacazette] could be for the match against Newcastle. The doctors are optimistic and we are going to wait. The next few days are going to be very important for how he can progress with his injury.
[Emery insists the club will only splash out on a player who offers something different] It’s not changed our idea or our message. We can only sign one player if they can really, really improve our squad, and if we can do that, we are going to do it
2019 08 07 Retrieve
[So Arsenal have been exploring others options ahead of Thursday’s deadline, with Emery admitting he would like to add another central defender] We want our supporters to be happy. If we can in the last day we are going to try to sign another centre-back with the capacity to help us, so we can have a good balance with attacking and defending players
2019 08 08 Retrieve
[Arsenal have finally completed the signing of left-back Kieran Tierney from Celtic, for a fee of £25 million] We’re delighted Kieran is joining us. He’s a very talented player who will continue to improve. He increases our options defensively and I look forward to him joining our group
2019 08 08b Retrieve
[David Luiz has completed a shock move from Chelsea to Arsenal in an £8 million deal. And Arsenal manager Unai Emery welcomed his new charge to the club, highlighting that experience] David has huge experience and I look forward to working with him again. He is a well known player and adds to our defensive strength
2019 08 08c Retrieve
[Arsenal head coach Unai Emery wished the outgoing player Alex Iwobi well] Alex has made a big contribution here at Arsenal. He worked hard in the academy where he was an example to many young players and has been an important part of our squad. We wish Alex every success in the future
2019 08 09 Retrieve
[Unai Emery is expecting more movement at Arsenal before transfer windows across Europe close] We are changing players at the last moment. We had Laurent Koscielny, the first captain, but just five days ago he left. Other players were coming in, we finished our market but it is at the moment open in other countries. In the next 20-25 days some players will leave. It’s the reason I want to close our squad clearly
[Emery added on those added to his ranks] We had signed some players and let some players leave. I am delighted with our work, the club did well to get the best players to help us and make our squad stronger. We’ll start Sunday looking to see our response with the players, working only on that focus
[Pressed further on who he is most looking forward to working with] With all! I want to say to our supporters I am very excited and enthusiastic with Pepe, David Luiz, Ceballos, Martinelli, Kieran Tierney and with Willock, Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, everybody! With Bernd Leno, with Emiliano Martinez, with Matt Macey. We need every player and I want to achieve with every player our best performance. My challenge is to achieve some titles in my present and future here and go to the Champions League. My first, first objective is to improve each player in his career
[Asked what he is hoping to achieve this season] Realistic? We are happy, we are delighted with our players and our squad. We know it will be difficult but our ambition and motivation is to do the best possible in all competitions. The most important competition is the Premier League, we are going to start on Sunday trying to find the regularity to be consistent in 38 matches. Our first objective is to be in the top four but knowing it is going to be difficult. Last year we reduced the distance. Manchester City and Liverpool are stronger than others at the beginning but we want to reduce the distance to them and compete with them.
We can achieve more and more points against them. After Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United have the same objective as us. Last year we had a very small points difference between us. This is another challenge for them, for us. Other teams are coming back, signing very good players, working very well. Everton, West Ham, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Watford. The Premier League is the best competition in the world. We are going to work and be with a big challenge to compete for the top four in this competition
2019 08 09b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has hinted that new Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe and striker Alexandre Lacazette are unlikely to start their Premier League opener against Newcastle United on Sunday] We played progressively in pre-season, including some players later. We are going to start on Sunday with the players I am very, very convinced are 100 per cent [fit]. For some players, it’s impossible to achieve that performance for us because they arrived later, they’re starting training with us after one injury. Lacazette, for example, he started training with us yesterday [Thursday]. For Sunday, I don’t know now [whether Lacazette will be fit], tomorrow [Saturday] we will check. The same with Pepe, he is working and training with us for a week. Progressively I want them to feel good with their partners, with their coaches, with us. It’s different to how he was training in Lille. I want to give him the best moment to make his debut with us. Maybe it can be Sunday, I will decide [on Saturday]
2019 08 09c Retrieve
[Unai Emery admits he has told Shkodran Mustafi that he can find a new club] I spoke with him when we finished last season. I spoke with him when we started pre-season and I spoke with him also two weeks ago saying maybe there was the possibility he can leave. We decided to be more competitive in each position, at centre-back with David Luiz, with another player in the middle with Dani Ceballos, with Kieran Tierney, with Nicolas Pepe. I think being more competitive we can respond better in the season. Some players maybe they can play less with that situation and can leave. But it’s one decision taken with the player, with the club, with the team. At the moment he [Mustafi] is here and really if we need, he plays with us. I have confidence he will do well
[Emery admits it is not an ideal situation and insists he will do all he can to try to keep Mustafi’s confidence up in case he is needed] We have a big responsibility. The responsibility is to give them the best possibility to be with us with confidence. Some supporters can believe in or like one player more than another player, that’s normal. But inside I want to be strong and to create a big squad with a big, competitive, winning mentality and above all, one with confidence in each other. If he [Mustafi] needs to play, he can help us with confidence
2019 08 10 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says young forward Eddie Nketiah is a part of his plans for Arsenal’s future, despite being sent out on loan] We decided to let Alex Iwobi leave to Everton. He was very important for us last year. But we need to manage with a good balance with different players. It was the same with Eddie Nketiah, my first decision was not to let him leave. But after he spoke with me and [considering] the possibility of how many matches he is going to play with us, I said to him I could give him a lot of minutes this year but maybe he can improve more playing regularly 90 minutes each Sunday with Leeds. Our objective with him is: ‘play and come back here, we want to be with you in the future.’ It’s the same with other young players
2019 08 10b Retrieve
[Unai Emery says new signing Dani Ceballos has impressed him with his mental fortitude during his first couple of weeks at Arsenal] Ceballos’s mind is very strong. His mentality. Last Sunday, when he received a big kick on his ankle I thought ‘oh, it’s broken’. But after, on Monday, he was training - (he said) ‘I’m fine and want to train’. He is showing us every day his ambition, his hunger is big. I think we need players like this
[Nicolas Pepe was brought in for a club-record fee, Kieran Tierney was finally lured in on deadline day, William Saliba scheduled his arrival for next year and David Luiz came in as a surprising last-minute addition] We are very happy and we are delighted with what the club did (in the transfer window). [Head of football] Raul Sanllehi and [director of football] Edu were working together to find the best solutions, being competitive in the moment we can sign another player and also using the club to support us economically to do that. And now we are going to fight strong with a big responsibility with this squad and after that we want to continue doing well
2019 08 11 Retrieve
[Newcastle United vs Arsenal. Unai Emery’s second season with Arsenal begins in earnest with a trip to Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday] Our ambition is to do the best possible in the all the competitions, the most important of these is the Premier League. Our first target is to be in the top four, we reduced the distance last season. Manchester City and Liverpool are stronger than the others at the beginning. We want to compete with them and reduced the points gap. Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea have the same objectives. Last year the difference was really small and the challenge now is for us to achieve a top-four finish. Other teams are coming back, signing new players and working very well. The Premier League is the best competition in the world. We are going to work to compete and get into the top four
2019 08 11b Retrieve
[Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has admitted that he is not sure if Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will feature in next week’s Premier League clash with Burnley] The club is managing that circumstance [the safety of Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac]. We want to be with them as soon as possible and with normality in training and normality to be ready to play. I don’t know now [if they will play next week]
2019 08 15 Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Unai Emery has confirmed that Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are back in his plans after a security scare surrounding the duo] Yes [I’m] 100 per cent [confident]. One hundred per cent with them. Their mentality, their focus is with us, for training and matches. I want to help them to live with normality with us, training, thinking and focussing on each training and each match. They came back training with us the first day on Tuesday. They had the day off but came to start training with us.
Ozil was a little sick. He didn’t train yesterday [Wednesday] but today he is getting better. But each training session gives us good information and different options with them, also for us to decide whether to take the option that they can play on Saturday the first 11. For us first it is like a person, after like a player but we will wait for tomorrow the last training. If they are training consistently each day with normal work, each training I am going to decide and achieve the best solution in each moment. It is positive they are with us now. When they are training consistently every day it is good news for us because we can chose them to help us and the first match is Saturday
2019 08 15b Retrieve
[Emery demands improvement from Arsenal as he avoids Ozil future question] We need to improve. We were happy with the three points and we played seriously, but I want to improve on each position for us. We need to and can improve with the same players and other players who were out of that match. My idea is to be more competitive in each position. We worked very well that match, above all defensively we worked very compact. The balance, we must improve.
[Arsenal matched their Premier League away clean sheet tally for the whole of last season with their shutout against Newcastle] The build-up needs to be better. We need better progress with our combinations and need to be safer each moment when we pass the ball between us. When we progress with the ball like a team we can find better positions and solutions in the attacking third. The clean sheet is important but the most important thing is to win. If we can win scoring a lot of goals, good. If we can have a clean sheet each match, it’s perfect
[New signings Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli made their debuts from the bench against Newcastle, while David Luiz was an unused substitute] Each player is different. After Newcastle and this week the players are working well. We can decide to choose different options in each position. Really I think we need to be competitive. Pepe is training with us, improving with us, knowing us. He’s understanding our style little by little and physically getting better. He is more close to help us at the beginning of a match
[Emery was unwilling to comment on speculation surrounding Mesut Ozil, who struggled to hold down a starting spot last season] My focus, my direction is playing on Saturday. When we’re playing against Burnley, do you think I am thinking about if a player can leave here?
2019 08 15c Retrieve
[The players missed last weekend’s Premier League opener due to the ongoing security issues that are surrounding both. Emery sends message of support as Ozil & Kolasinac prepare to return] I think the fans, and us, are with them together. We are 100 per cent with them. They need to feel our passion for each moment, each match. I want to help every player on the pitch. When they can feel our supporters with them, they perform much better
Am I pleased that they’re back? Of course. For us, for me, first they’re a person and second they’re a player. They came back on Tuesday. Mesut was sick but today [Thursday] is getting better. When they are training regularly every day and consistent every day it’s good news for us because we can choose them to help us in matches - and the first match is Saturday
[David Luiz is fully fit and available, but Emery is set to continue with a centre-back pairing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Calum Chambers this weekend for a game which he expects to be a battle] It’s going to be a very physical match and we need that adaptation physically to be strong. We need our game plan with our structure, with our tactical positioning and then after with individual duels against them. Burnley are very strong in the duels, they are very strong in their structure, with two strikers. They are going to demand a lot of us defensively, with their long balls especially. They have players who play very well. If you let them play. I respect their team a lot and I respect their coach a lot
2019 08 16 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says Arsenal are working on new contracts for star strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette] They are very important players and their contracts need to be in the same balance. It’s one circumstance, one issue now, that the club is working on. Edu is here for that reason. There’s also Raul Sanllehi and Huss Fahmy, working with the players for that. It’s important for them, but my focus is on preparing the matches, each training session and making sure the players are focused and concentrated for us and on the work
[Emery is adamant he wants both to stay in north London for a long time] I want the best for the club. And I want the best for the players. I think if the club and they are speaking about that, it’s perfect
[Emery - who again wants his squad to include five skippers - stopped short of naming Xhaka as the new club captain ahead of Saturday’s game with Burnley] At the moment there is no change. Some circumstances are meaning it is taking more time to do that meeting and close with the five captains
2019 08 16b Retrieve
[Ljungberg’s arrival has already seen the likes of Robbie Burton given a chance during the summer, with the 19-year-old midfielder making a big impression during the tour to the United States] Freddie is helping us with the young players because he knows better than us every young player. For example, I didn’t know Robbie. Freddie said to me he’s a good player with the capacity to play as a six or an eight. Really, he helped us like we needed.
2019 08 17 Retrieve
[Arsenal vs Burnley. Unai Emery’s side got their campaign off to a satisfactory start last weekend as they went to Newcastle and picked up a narrow 1-0 victory] We need to improve. We were happy with the three points and we played seriously, but I want to improve on each position for us. We need to and can improve with the same players and other players who were out of that match. My idea is to be more competitive in each position. We worked very well that match, above all defensively we worked very compact. The balance, we must improve
2019 08 17b Retrieve
[Teenager Joe Willock was tidy alongside Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi in midfield, while David Luiz looked comfortable at the back and club record signing Nicolas Pepe provided flashes of excitement after he came off the bench to replace Reiss Nelson] We wanted to create one big atmosphere with our supporters. Together we did that. I think with some new players, they made an impact today. We can be happy. Our idea, our gameplan on the pitch was knowing it was going to be tough because we need to adapt. A lot of moments we couldn’t impose our gameplan because [Burnley] pushed and their gameplan was a struggle for us. Our challenge is each match. We are happy with six points. Next week we are against Liverpool, a big challenge. Being realistic, it’s going to be tough
I want to speak about the team, but for the first match [at home] it was good. It’s good for David, for Pepe, for Dani, who are another step ahead
2019 08 22 Retrieve
[Unai Emery suggested he is ready to hand record signing Nicolas Pepe a first Arsenal start in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool] The most important thing is, like a person, to help him and his family to feel comfortable here. Now he is three weeks into working here with us. He didn’t do the pre-season here but he’s progressively feeling better. For example, in the first match, he played 15 minutes in Newcastle, then he played 45 minutes against Burnley. I think his individual performances are progressively getting better. For Saturday, he is maybe ready to have more minutes. I am going to decide tomorrow, but really his progress has been positive and has been good for the team and for him. The most important piece of the adaptation is to help him to feel easy and be comfortable with us
[Arsenal’s last visit to Anfield they were ransacked 5-1 by Jurgen Klopp’s men] Each match is a big challenge and each match is for us to prepare best as possible. The idea is to continue creating in our way and style. We need to be strong and also we can recover some players to be fit. I think we are closer to achieving everyone being ready to play, but we need some more time. For Saturday, we are in good spirits and our players are ready to play with big ambition to do something important. It’s a big stadium with a big atmosphere and I want to play every match in our amazing stadium with our amazing supporters in our home. It’s going to be a different game to Burnley because the team is different. They are going to demand different tactical issues, but we want to play and show how we are now. It’s a big test to show their capacity and our capacity
2019 08 22b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has told Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny to leave Arsenal this month for the best of their careers] We have some players, they know their situation. For example, Elneny and Mustafi know their position in the squad and really I want the players to be happy here, I want the players to be protagonists here. Last year with Mustafi and Mo, when they didn’t play they weren’t happy. I spoke with them a lot of times last year and this pre-season and I think it is positive for them to leave and sign for another team where they can be protagonists and be happy and continue their careers
[Mustafi has been the subject of severe criticism during his three-year spell in north London having arrived from Valencia for £35 million in 2016] They are very big players. But for one circumstance or another, they are going to have less chances to show their capacity or to be happy with us and the minutes they play in matches. But they know the situation and really, really I am wishing the best for them and I think now the best for them is to be protagonists in another team and sign to get another challenge. We respect them, they are training with us, but they know their situation and only I am wishing the best for them
2019 08 23 Retrieve
[Emery urges Arsenal to seize ‘amazing opportunity’ against Liverpool] We are in a good spirit and we have good preparation. We need more with some players getting fit to help us, but we are ready to get a good performance from the players. I feel that we have improved, above all being competitive in the Premier League. We lost at the end [last season] but we also had some very good moments in the season and finished one or two points different from third and fourth in the table. Right now, the distance between Manchester City, Liverpool and us continues to be big but we have the opportunity on Saturday, and this season, to reduce that distance
Liverpool have a very strong style. Their mentality is very, very strong. They are adding titles and I think we are doing it our way to create a big mentality. We also need time. I think they have an advantage on us in this way. But I really appreciate their work a lot. I think their performance is amazing, their spirit and quality also. They are a team that can feel strong. I want to create our mentality, our style, and get stronger in our way little by little. And each match is a very big opportunity to show how we are now. Saturday against them is a massive match, an amazing opportunity for us to do something important
[It was a painful defeat for Arsenal, one that Emery hopes his players have learned from] We conceded two penalties which is not normal also we were winning 1-0 and we conceded two goals very quickly from mistakes. I want us to not have those mistakes this year, but they are going to break and fight against us to provoke us into mistakes
[It could be that that only Maitland-Niles keeps his place at Anfield, with Nicolas Pepe and Granit Xhaka expected to come in] They are coming. They are coming in the near future to be very big players. We need to achieve a big mentality, a big spirit, with some experienced players and some young players, because they are giving us a lot of energy, a lot of power in their wish to achieve and help us
We really need the young players to share their energy and capacity and hunger and we need also the experienced players. We need both. Not only for Saturday but each match. For example, Reiss Nelson started against Burnley in the first 11. He struggled more than we wanted that match, but that is one experience for him. I am speaking to him and saying: ‘Reiss you are very good one on one, but you also need tactically to improve in how to decide each action on the pitch technically’. This is one process for Reiss and Saturday in Liverpool is another step
2019 08 24 Retrieve
[Unai Emery admitted in the build-up to Saturday’s game that the Ivory Coast winger was now ready to start, but a lot will depend on the formation] For Saturday, Nicolas Pepe is maybe ready to have more minutes. His progress has been positive. The most important piece of the adaptation is to help him feel comfortable with us
2019 08 24b Retrieve
[Liverpool vs Arsenal. Arsenal have a wretched recent record against the Reds, having failed to win any of their last eight, but come into this match on a high after wins over Newcastle and Burnley] For us, we don’t ever want to play against Liverpool - but it’s really a challenge, a good test. Really our target is to reduce the distance between us and Manchester City and Liverpool last season, and when we go to play against them it’s a big moment to show how much stronger we can be
2019 08 24c Retrieve
[Emery hails ‘big professional’ Nacho Monreal as Arsenal exit nears] He made a very big match, he’s a big professional for us. We need to speak in the next days. In Europe the transfer window isn’t finished. We are going to speak about all the possibilities
2019 08 24d Retrieve
[Liverpool (3) vs (1) Arsenal. Unai Emery sees reason to be optimistic despite Arsenal defeat to Liverpool] In the first half we worked together. We were doing some very good transitions and we had some chances, but in the second half the penalty was very soft. After 2-0 our reaction was good. We needed to attack and take a different moment in the match. Yes we are disappointed we lost 3-1, but watching some players we can be optimistic. We need to improve in possession and countering the pressure but Liverpool is the best team with this. We have to be realistic but we can fight closer to them. For me today, without the result there were some good periods we showed
We were a little more deep, but we also had the positivity to try to score. In the first half, the best chance was for us with Pepe. The key was the second goal, it was a really soft penalty. I don’t think it was enough, but our reaction after that was good. The impact of Lucas Torreira, Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan was good. Joe Willock also made another step today. I am positive because we are going to improve. We can be happy with different players and how they are working
2019 08 28 Retrieve
[Arsenal will sanction Nacho Monreal’s move to Real Sociedad, if the defender decides he wants to return home] Some players can leave but we cannot sign another and it depends a little over the next days how we can decide about some circumstances with some players. With Nacho one possibility is open and we are going to speak about that
2019 08 29 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has confirmed Mesut Ozil will not be making a last-minute exit from Arsenal ahead of the closure of the European transfer window] This week he is training well, he is progressing physically better and doing normal work for us. He is going to be closer for us and available for Sunday I think
[Further pressed on whether Ozil would remain] Yes, we’ve finished our transfer window and in Europe it’s going to finish on Monday. We cannot sign another player but we have some players who have the possibility to leave before the window closes. The club is working and some players know their situation. My focus and the team’s focus is for the game on Sunday and being very concentrated on Sunday
[Asked again on Ozil, he gave the definitive answer of] No, we are not speaking about the possibility he could leave
2019 08 29b Retrieve
[Unai Emery stated last week that Elneny, along with Shkodran Mustafi, was free to leave and that it would be better for his career if he found a new club] Elneny and Mustafi know their situation in the squad. I spoke with them a lot of times last year and in this pre-season. I think it’s positive for them to leave and to sign for another team where they can be protagonists, they can be happy and they can continue in their careers as very big players. They are very big players. I think now the best for them is to be protagonists in another team, to sign and to get another challenge for them individually and collectively with another team. But really we respect them and they are training with us and they know the situation and only I am wishing the best for them
[Speaking on Thursday, Emery admitted that Nacho Monreal could be on his way back to Spain] We have some players the possibility to leave in next four days. The club is working. Some players know their situation. Yes, he’s [Monreal] one possibility [who could leave]
2019 08 30 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says Arsenal need Mesut Ozil at his very best as the German prepares to return to the squad for the first time this season] Mesut Ozil, it’s the same message to him that I can say to you: we need him. We need him first to be consistent in training and to be available in each match. Last week he wasn’t ready to play 100 per cent in Liverpool. This week, he is getting better with each training and I think physically he is now better. He is closer to helping us. We need him because he is a different player in our team. We have different ways to prepare one match thinking to win and different qualities with the players, different characteristics from them. Really, for us, we need him to be available and he can help us with his quality
We signed the players we wanted and we are very happy with those players. They [Spurs] signed as well very good players, Ndombele and Lo Celso, I know him good. I think our capacity and their capacity is very similar. The last year they are getting better in the table than us, but our challenge is now to reduce [the gap] and have the possibility to become better this year than them. Sunday is the first match, the first challenge for them and for us. Really I am looking forward to seeing our team with our supporters, how we can respond, how we can do that test against them
2019 09 01 Retrieve
[Nicolas Pepe will then play on the right, with Aubameyang on the left and Dani Ceballos could be charged with dictating play from the No.10 position] I think they can start together. It depends how we decide our game plan. But I am very optimistic for that situation
2019 09 01b Retrieve
[Arsenal v Tottenham. Mesut Ozil’s return the squad also presents something of a selection headache for Unai Emery in midfield. Joe Willock has taken his chance well so far this season while Dani Ceballos was somewhat brought back to earth against Liverpool] We are more rich tactically with different formations and tactics, and can change in each match and each moment in the 90 minutes. For us, to play matches like last week against Liverpool and this week against Tottenham, the two teams who played the final of the Champions League last year, is amazing. I think it’s the best test and every time is a good moment to play against them. Sunday, with our supporters, I think is the best moment to play and enjoy with our supporters in that match, that derby
2019 09 01c Retrieve
[Arsenal (2) vs (2) Tottenham. Unai Emery insists Granit Xhaka played well for Arsenal against Tottenham even though he conceded a very disappointing penalty during the first half] In 90 minutes, I am very proud of his work. Some mistakes we can have and I want to use [them] to progress and improve. There are more positive things collectively, individually and also with Xhaka for me. The penalty is really one action that is very disappointing. He worked very well. He played very well. If we won the match, maybe we’d speak about the mistakes less
Obviously, after 2-0, we can be very proud of our response and the atmosphere we created and how our supporters pushed us after our goal to get the second goal and have chances to score the third. The result… we deserved more. Their movement, [in] the second half, we controlled better than the first. Tactically, the first goal is one mistake but because we played that action more with heart than head. We had two players trying to win the ball with Harry Kane - we needed one to cover. The second half, we did that work perfectly. With our supporters, we created a very good atmosphere. The game was amazing for football but, for us, it’s not enough. Really, I am very proud of our work, our players, our supporters
2019 09 01d Retrieve
[Lacazette injury not as bad as first feared as Arsenal striker substituted with cramp] Yes, I think it’s a hamstring problem. It’s not severe.
2019 09 13 Retrieve
[Among those to have been welcomed into Emery’s plans are Hector Bellerin and summer signing Kieran Tierney, although neither full-back is ready for selection just yet] We need to look at the next steps in each training and also if we decide to play with Under-23s, maybe they can take confidence, better rhythm and then be ready to play with us at 100 per cent. They did this week the first time training normally with us. We want the next week to take the normality training with us. After that week we can decide how they are to start playing with the under-23s and us [the first team]
[Tierney and Bellerin will not be in contention to face Watford] They finished with Javi Gracia and did a very great season last year. Now they’ve signed a very great coach also with Quique Sanchez Flores. We [Emery and his staff] played against him in Spain, his teams are very organised. He has a good experience here in England and the Premier League with Watford. I respect him a lot. He is going to know the team and players. He knows some players because he trained there three years ago. He’s going to do well. I really respect every coach. I think now with Sanchez Flores they will continue working well like they were doing with Javi Gracia. We are going to respect them, prepare the match thinking about us and after respecting their characteristics. Their characteristics are going to be the same. They are going to push a lot with their supporters, they have very good players
2019 09 13b Retrieve
[Emery backs Mustafi after Arsenal misfit rejects move] Mustafi decided to be here and when he decided to be here, he’s like any other player. Of course I respect his decision. When he decided I spoke to him and said, ‘You’re one more in the squad, I’m going to work with you as other players’. I don’t know exactly who was in his decision [to stay], but when he decided to stay here, it’s another player in the squad. Since he decided to stay here, he’s working every day with a big motivation and good spirit. That is one issue I want from every player: training with good spirit, helping and after giving us his performance in training and after, if I decide, in the match.
2019 09 14 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has backed loanee signing Dani Ceballos to adapt to life fast in the Premier League] Every player when they come to a new competition and a new team, they need some adaptation. He is playing, he played for example in Liverpool and he told us that he knew in that moment how difficult it is to play in the Premier League, above all against a team like Liverpool. That’s good. He recognises he needs that adaptation. In each match, each training, it’s very important for him to adapt faster with us, with the new ideas, with the new team and new team-mates and opposing teams. Really, his wish is very important for helping us and giving us his skills and his quality for each training and each match
2019 09 14b Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Unai Emery has thrown his support behind Granit Xhaka after the midfielder conceded a needless penalty in the Gunners’ North London Derby clash with Tottenham earlier in September] We were speaking this morning. [Make a] mistake, recognise that mistake, learn, correct it, improve and repeat with success. We could speak about every player’s mistakes in every training session and each match. Only, some mistakes can be ‘big picture’ because the consequence is more [apparent]. But really we can’t have more mistakes like that after they score a goal against us or if we haven’t scored. But I am focused on the good things, on the positives. Xhaka has a big character and he’s very important for us
[Asked if the 26-year-old brings something to the team that fellow central midfielders Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira do] Of course, he gives us very good balance in the middle with the ball and without the ball. He’s very important for us. We can talk about the defects of any player, for him too, but we can speak about the very positive performances he gives us in most matches [too]
2019 09 14c Retrieve
[Emery reveals learning of Javi Gracia’s Watford sacking during bizarre chance encounter in Spain] It’s amazing. I met him - we found each other last week in my town, in Hondarribia, when I was there with my family. I was walking and in front of us was Javi Gracia! And in that moment we started speaking about our match [on Saturday]. We finished [our conversation] knowing that he was sacked. It’s a good story, yes? He’s a very good coach as he showed last year with Watford. The club made a decision and I have to respect that. He is going to work and he is going to continue his career like the great coach that he is
[Having lost to Flores in the Europa League over two legs, the Arsenal boss will be looking to get one over on his opposite number after learning some valuable lessons] I remember [playing against Flores]. Every coach, every player, every person in football remembers things. I remember we drew 2-2 at home and we drew 0-0 away. In the last minute, the referee did not give us an amazing penalty for the opportunity to win. In my way, everything that happened to me is something to learn from, for experience. Sometimes it’s positive, sometimes it’s negative - but I learned from it all
2019 09 15 Retrieve
[Arsenal made a decision to give youth a chance this season and Reiss Nelson is about the benefit from that approach] With young players, we need to help them achieve their performance helping us on the pitch. They are playing with us, they are training sometime with us, and we have big expectation for their performance in the team. The reason some players are leaving is to give space for these young players
2019 09 15b Retrieve
[Watford vs Arsenal. Emery having reshaped his squad during the off-season with the arrival of several key targets and the exit of a clutch of former big names. Some however, such as Shokdran Mustafi, have chosen to stay and fight for their place] Mustafi decided to be here and when he decided to be here, he’s like any other player. Of course I respect his decision. When he decided I spoke to him and said, ‘You’re one more in the squad, I’m going to work with you as other players’. I don’t know exactly who was in his decision [to stay], but when he decided to stay here, it’s another player in the squad
2019 09 15c Retrieve
[Arsenal manager Unai Emery was also harsh in his assessment of the Gunners’ performance, admitting his side dropped points despite grabbing a draw away from home] When you are trying to break their lines you can have chances. They won the second half and my summary is it is not a good point. We need to continue working. When we tried to play the long ball we lost the ball as well
[Emery said that Watford played to force errors from the Gunners, and conceded his team had struggled with the physical nature of their opponents] They pushed us. Watford last year played like today. We were up in the first half and we knew that we needed to score the third. They had the capacity to come back with the supporters and that’s what happened. We couldn’t break their pressing in the second half. They are physical, a very strong team. They pushed for our mistakes, they were playing for our mistakes
2019 09 15d Retrieve
[Unai Emery took ultimate responsibility for Arsenal’s capitulation against Watford on Sunday] We have some young players and they need to have experiences like today. Matteo [Guendouzi] is young and very emotional; sometimes he needs to make some mistakes to improve. In the first half he made a mistake and they didn’t score. When we are analysing the mistakes, we prefer to speak about them collectively. I have responsibility. I don’t want to say it’s the fault of one player or another. It’s my responsibility to give them the confidence to execute our game plan
[The Arsenal boss was frustrated with his side’s inability to deal with Watford’s aggressive pressing] The second half was going to be difficult as they changed their plan to push more than us. If we could break that pressing, we could connect with our midfielders and have space to continue imposing our game plan. We couldn’t control the match and break their pressing. They’re a good team and in the second half they showed that. We also spoke about the need for calm to achieve what we wanted, and we did not do that. We need to work and improve things
2019 09 18 Retrieve
[Emery defends decision to rest Ozil despite just 71 minutes of football] We are playing now a lot of matches and I want to use different players and also can have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad. Sokratis and Mesut they rest this match. I prefer after Sunday’s match [for him] to rest and train and to be ready for Sunday [against Aston Villa]
We are going to play another match on Sunday. My decision is because he played [at Watford] and also I’m thinking about Thursday, with the focus on the first 11, and after that I decided who are the players who can be the best for Thursday. The players [who are] not is Sokratis and Mesut.
The first match he [Ozil] played on Sunday he played good physically, also giving us his capacity and skills. His first minutes for us were good and now he is ready to help us, not on Thursday, but Sunday. On Thursday we are thinking to do some rotation
2019 09 19 Retrieve
[Unai Emery made the decision not to include Ozil in his European squad] We are playing a lot of matches now and I want to use different players and also have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad. Sokratis and Mesut they rest this match. I prefer after Sunday’s match [vs Watford for him] to rest and train to be ready for Sunday [against Aston Villa]
2019 09 19b Retrieve
[Emery on Lucas Torreira’s performance] Lucas gives us good balance in the team between offence and defence. He lets me play my game with the ball and go forward a bit more
2019 09 19c Retrieve
[Joe Willock opened the scoring for Arsenal in Frankfurt seven minutes before half-time when his shot deflected in off the crossbar. Bukayo Saka, who only turned 18 a fortnight ago, doubled the lead late on with his first senior goal before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rounded off an excellent night in Europe for Emery’s side] Everybody can be happy. To start with that result, against a good team, I think it’s important. Frankfurt, they are a very offensive team. They play with three centre-backs, their full-backs are wingers. We know they would demand us defensively. But our pressing was, in moments, very good against them
2019 09 22 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says Arsenal’s club-record signing Nicolas Pepe needs to complete his adaptation to the Premier League quickly] He needs more adaptation. He is playing good but progressively we know there is going to be more performance in him to help us and I want to do now quickly the last step in the adaptation for us, for example, against Aston Villa. We are working with him first for that adaptation. After the training now we are watching individual videos with him, also to push him to achieve the details tactically we need for him because he is playing well but also we need in our organisation to be strong with every player to improve a lot
2019 09 22b Retrieve
[Arsenal vs Aston Villa. Emery assured reporters that they expect more to come from the French-born star] Nicolas Pepe needs more adaptation. He is playing good but progressively we know there is going to be more performance in him to help us and I want to do now quickly the last step in the adaptation for us, for example, against Aston Villa
2019 09 23 Retrieve
[Unai Emery defended Granit Xhaka after he was booed by his own supporters during Sunday’s pulsating 3-2 Premier League win over Aston Villa] We need our supporters and we need them helping each player. It is our responsibility to transmit our commitment and Xhaka is doing this. He played very well on Thursday [against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League] and last week at Watford he did well. Here, I changed him because he played for 90 minutes on Thursday and I wanted to bring fresh players on. But Xhaka is a very important player for us. He has a big commitment here, he is improving. I am not asking people to support him but I assure you he is going to achieve his best things if the supporters help him. We are professional; Xhaka is an experienced player and he knows sometimes we can receive criticism and we need to be mature and continue working. For me he is a very important player and I am going to support him. I am going to decide when he plays and when he doesn’t, but he is important for us because his commitment and behaviour is great and he is a good player
[Emery was full of praise for the 20-year-old and said he has exactly the kind of attitude he wants from his players] With Matteo, last year when he came here he progressed and he is progressing. Really, I like that spirit he has. He has talent but above all I like his attitude, his energy, his commitment and his behaviour. He’s one player who is angry when he is not playing but I like that. When you decide that they play you know they will give you what you need. I want to be calm with him. He is humble, continuing to improve and growing up with us
2019 09 23b Retrieve
[Rob Holding will start his first Arsenal game in 10 months on Tuesday night when the Gunners host Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup] Holding, I think, will play on Tuesday. We are going to decide on Tuesday [on Bellerin and Tierney]. The first idea is if we can they’ll have minutes. It depends on their feelings and the decision for the first XI. With Hector and Tierney we will want to use them. I don’t know if it’s starting in the first XI. If they’re feeling well
2019 09 25 Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Unai Emery does not believe Hector Bellerin will be able to start for the Gunners against Manchester United in the Premier League despite his successful return to action on Tuesday] He wanted to play 90. He said I’m ready and wanted to play. I think no [he won’t be ready to start against Manchester United]. Maybe in his mind yes. We need to listen to the doctor. The first minutes were amazing for him…The most important for him is his attitude. He wants to help us.
[Rob Holding marked his comeback from a knee problem that kept him out for nearly 10 months with a thumping header to put Arsenal 2-0 up] It is perfect to have more options at centre back. His spirit, his positive minutes. Every day in training he helps us to have more performances like a team. He needed to take minutes and confidence. It was a perfect match. He was a little tired at the end, he’s happy
2019 09 27 Retrieve
[Emery confirms Xhaka as Arsenal captain as leadership group revealed] Xhaka is mature [and] he has experience. In the dressing room, the players voted him first for the leadership. I spoke with him, [and] we want to change that opinion [of him]. The respect he has is important, but [he can now] also show that he can keep moving ahead in playing, improving behaviour, commitment. I trust and believe in him. He is a good man, [a] professional. Sometimes he makes a mistake. [The] most important thing is to learn and correct those mistakes. His challenge is to change that opinion, improve in each match and giving us his help each time
2019 09 28 Retrieve
[Unai Emery on naming Granit Xhaka as Arsenal captain] Xhaka is mature, he has experience. We are living under pressure and criticism; as a coach, as a player, as a club. The most important thing is to stand up in each moment. I spoke with him, we want to change that outside opinion [of him]. The respect he has inside is very important. I trust and believe in him. He is a good man, a good professional, a good player
2019 09 29 Retrieve
[Emery denies Arsenal communication problems] I think no. I have conversations particularly with Bukayo and Freddie Ljungberg does the same with individual players, not only with Saka. Also I spoke to Saka alone in my office and prepared sometimes some videos [for him]. I have also done videos with English players, Spanish players, German players, French players
[The Spaniard admits it was a struggle during the early days of his tenure in north London] Last year on my first day I spoke to them (the players) very bad, worse than today. But I have [continued to speak] English and now I think better. My English is, from one to 10, maybe a six. But at six I think the players can understand me. But if not, some help is good
2019 09 30 Retrieve
[Granit Xhaka has been a player who has fiercely divided opinion since the moment he arrived at Arsenal] His challenge, and our challenge, is to change opinion. Sometimes he has made a mistake, yes, but the most important thing is to analyse, to learn and to correct that in the future
[Both incidents are examples of Xhaka at his worst, but Emery remains convinced the 27-year-old is the right man to wear the armband] He is mature and has experience. I trust and believe in him and he is a good man, a good professional and a good player
2019 10 01 Retrieve
[Emery defends VAR after Aubameyang goal awarded in Man Utd draw] For me it’s very clear. It’s VAR - it says if something is good or not good and that action is clear. The referee had to wait and finish the action and then raise the flag after. Then check the VAR. This is the first adaptation for the referees and for us. I said at the beginning when the Premier League decided to work with VAR that it’s positive. It’s going to be fair for both teams after we’ve adapted and when we know when to use it. In Europe they use it more than here, more action, but the action here was very clear tonight
2019 10 01b Retrieve
[Arsenal coach Unai Emery has been impressed with Matteo Guendouzi’s attitude but believes he still has plenty of improvement left in him] With Matteo, last year when he came here he progressed and he is progressing. Really I like that spirit he has, he has talent but above all his attitude, his energy, his commitment and his behaviour. He’s one player who is angry when he is not playing but I like that. I like that player because when they are angry they are asking you to play, when you decide that they play today they know they have a commitment to give what you need and he is one player, he is improving. I want to be calm with him, he is humble and continuing improving and growing up with us
2019 10 01c Retrieve
[Unai Emery defended Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka, praising his commitment against Manchester United in Monday’s Premier League draw] He worked with a big commitment. He ran back, maybe the first run back in this action. I didn’t see that action [the apparent duck]. I watched when he was running back and really he did perfect with that run
[Emery, who left Mesut Ozil out of his squad, said of the 18-year-old] Bukayo Saka is working and improving, being mature and playing matches. With his work it’s natural. He’s improving, he’s helping us now as an important player. We are going to go with him with calm and patience but also if he deserves to take minutes to have that confidence to help us, it’s fantastic for us.
[Arsenal came from behind for the second Premier League game in a row after a 3-2 home defeat of Aston Villa last time out] Football is changing. Physically it’s very important. Every team physically is very strong. You need to play with quality, you need to play with quality of course and be able to use the space on the pitch for 90 minutes. Every player in each team is very, very fit. We both have very quality players. We need to improve our mental work, tactically to achieve the best performance
2019 10 02 Retrieve
[Emery confirms Tierney is ‘ready’ to return for Arsenal in Standard Liege clash] After his injuries, each step is important to be consistent. He didn’t play in Manchester because he had some more problems. Not important, but the doctor told us it’s better to be here working alone and preparing for the match tomorrow. If we are taking precaution with him it’s also important that, with the national team, we are thinking it’s not the moment to go with them. For the next matches, I think he’s going to be ready to play with us and to play with them. Now he’s going to play tomorrow and also hopefully he can be complete physically, complete tactically, with the performance we need
[Emery hopes supporters will get behind the club’s bid to go one better] I want to feel that it’s not only me that loves this competition, that everybody loves it. We want to do something important. It’s one title, one way to the Champions League
2019 10 02b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has urged Nicolas Pepe to relish the pressure that comes with being Arsenal’s club record signing] When they are here working and playing, it’s not relevant to speak about the money. Not for him, not for young players or experienced players. They are players, they are human, they play and are not thinking about that. I am not thinking about my salary when I am the coach. The players are not thinking about salary or what one club paid to use him
We are playing every time, as a coach or a player, under pressure. [Being] under pressure is a positive. We are at a big club with a very demanding objective. Every player is in the selection to be here and it’s a privilege to be here. That privilege brings pressure, of course. But it’s positive. Not for the salary, not for how much the club paid for him. No, no, no. It’s because we need to achieve a good performance, individually and collectively. We need to be very demanding of ourselves
[Emery, however, says Pepe’s progress is where he expected to be following his move from France in the summer] He needs to play, get confidence, know progressively better the other players. Every player needs time when they arrive here. Young players or players as important as Pepe. I was speaking with him and Dani Ceballos. The Premier League is a very strong competition. It is the best competition and the strongest competition in the world. Liverpool with Man City are the two best teams of the moment, they are very physical. We need quality and the adaptation to play at that intensity. Because you need to think quickly, to move the ball quickly or keep the ball with strong intensity around you. We are in that process and Pepe, is the same
A lot of players when they came here, the first month, the first year it was not easy for them. But I am going to work with him. Pepe is an amazing player, I am sure he is going to be have a big career
2019 10 03 Retrieve
[Arsenal coach Unai Emery has stated that Mesut Ozil remains a Gunners player for now but refused to give him any assurances over his future at the club] He’s our player now. We are going to train and after we are going to decide. I am going to decide the best first XI and in the squad also the best who can help us
[The Spaniard won the competition three times with Sevilla and he believes the Europa League is a great opportunity for his players] I want to feel that not just me loves this competition, that everybody loves it. We want to do something important. It’s one title, one way to the Champions League. We are going to play very good matches, we started against a great team, playing a very good match away. The response of the young players was amazing, one example is Bukayo Saka.
[Arsenal’s club-record signing Nicolas Pepe has been criticised for his performances] He needs to play, get confidence, know progressively better the other players. Every player needs time when they arrive here. Young players or players as important as Pepe. I was speaking with him and [Dani] Ceballos. The Premier League is a very strong competition. It is the best competition and the strongest competition in the world. Liverpool with Man City are the two best teams of the moment, they are very physical. We need quality and the adaptation to play at that intensity. Because you need to think quickly, to move the ball quickly or keep the ball with strong intensity around you. We are in that process and Pepe, is the same
2019 10 03b Retrieve
[Quizzed again on Ozil’s future ahead of a midweek continental outing for his side] He’s our player now. We are going to train and after we are going to decide. I am going to decide the best first XI and also the best squad who can help us
2019 10 03c Retrieve
[Emery called for calm after the draw at Old Trafford, however, and urged supporters not to expect too much too soon] We have to have patience with Nicolas Pepe. He now knows how difficult the Premier League is and how difficult it is against teams like Manchester United. He needs minutes and confidence
2019 10 03d Retrieve
[Emery said of Ozil on Wednesday] He’s our player now. We are going to train and after we are going to decide. I am going to decide the best first XI and also the best squad who can help us
[The manager had originally cited rotation as the reason he left Ozil out of the travelling party for September’s Europa League exertions] We are playing now a lot of matches and I want to use different players and also can have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad. I prefer after Sunday’s match [for him] to rest and train and to be ready for Sunday [against Aston Villa]
2019 10 03e Retrieve
[Emery suggesting Nicolas Pepe will improve with more game time] He needs to play, get confidence, know progressively better the other players. Every player needs time when they arrive here - young players or players as important as Pepe
2019 10 04 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has suggested that he sees other players as more deserving of a spot in Arsenal’s matchday squad than Mesut Ozil] I am thinking every time to decide with the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and help us. When I decided Mesut Ozil isn’t in the squad, it is because I think another player deserves it more. Sunday we have another match. And we are going to decide the same. The best first 11 possible to achieve our target to win on Sunday and also adapt to that difficulty of playing Bournemouth. And carry on our way, that is the same in each match
[Emery insisted that the teenager is naturally a winger, but praised him for his display despite being out of position] He prefers to play as a left winger - striker is not the best position for him. But the first thing in his mind is to help us. Tonight his performance and his attitude was amazing. If he continues training with that hunger, I think he is going to do well
2019 10 04b Retrieve
[Arsenal manager Unai Emery believes Mesut Ozil is able to play the style of football he advocates] He can play how I want, but now we have a lot of players being competitive in each position on the pitch, and they deserve to be able to help and to play. Now every player is the same and I want to train, I want them to be pushing to achieve one position in the squad, in the first XI. If we continue being competitive and getting better, it is the best for our present and future
2019 10 05 Retrieve
[Emery tips Joe Willock to fill Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere voids at Arsenal] Willock started the pre-season with us last year, I didn’t give him more minutes but he was with us in every game, working in training, playing matches in the cup and at the end of the season. He deserved to start this season with the first-team and with us. My decision was after I saw him the last two months of last season working with us, his really big challenge was that Jack Wilshere left here, Aaron Ramsey left and he had to take that opportunity to be with us.
The last months of last year was the moment I spoke with him and said: ‘For you it is a big challenge in the new season to do differently and really show us you can take their position in this squad’. I told him he is improving but he needs to not stop that improvement, we are working with him to improve even more. But, if his progression keeps going the way it is going right now, I don’t know when he will stop and how far he can go
[Willock, alongside players like Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson, are demonstrating the strength that Arsenal have in their academy] The very first thing I learnt when I came here was how historically important the academy and young players are to this club. It is my responsibility to carry on that work from the academy and progress those players for when they arrive to the first-team, help them in training every day
2019 10 05b Retrieve
[Unai Emery believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang merits his role as Arsenal’s vice-captain, seeing it as a reward for his leadership and experience] He is an experienced player now. He played in France, Germany and now in England at a high level and with a high performance. His experience is good, his team-mates decided with the vote that they wanted him as vice-captain. I am usually speaking with him and now he is more confident and more mature in the Premier League compared to when I arrived last year, he came only six months before me
[That kind of decision reinforces the leadership qualities of a man who is on the verge of 50 Premier League goals] I told him when he decided against Aston Villa when we were losing to give the penalty to Pepe for his confidence, it was an amazing decision. It showed him as a big player with big responsibility in this team, a captain of this team. He gave that responsibility to Pepe and in that moment it was a great moment between two big players - a very good connection. In the the dressing room and in the matches, that connection with Pepe, also with [Alexandre] Lacazette, it means Aubameyang is important to make these positive connections
2019 10 06 Retrieve
[Arsenal vs Bournemouth. Arsenal will be motivated following their emphatic 4-0 victory over Standard Liege in midweek, which featured a mix of youth players and fringe players] I am thinking every time the best players for the match. When I decided he isn’t in the squad it’s because other players deserve it more. What does he have to do? Continue working. Sunday we have another match. We are going to decide again
[On the display of his youngsters] Historically Arsenal have that responsibility with the young players. I told you before, my responsibility now is, speaking with the club, to give them chances. Our demands are very high to achieve our target. We are in one process. We want to do that process as quickly as we can. Our targets on the season are very important. Each match for the young player, if they play like tonight, they deserve to be with us and to carry on creating our way with them. Matches like tonight it’s good to use them. Here they are deserving to be with us for the next matches. When they are coming at key moments, matches with a high level, they are closer to us
2019 10 06b Retrieve
[Unai Emery admits it was important for Arsenal to claim third spot in the Premier League table with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth] It was our objective today. For our confidence it was important [to go third]. Maybe in the second half we were struggling more than we wanted and maybe in some moments we felt that pressure. For me it’s one step more for the young players, for us. We didn’t feel fear with that moment when the opposition was pushing us. Really I think the second half we can analyse and improve, we will do. In 90 minutes we deserved to win
[With Bournemouth never out of the game] We were speaking before the match, the first four matches we played, today we wanted to do one step ahead, doing better and controlling better the match but knowing it was going to be difficult. We played with a very good organisation, defensively very strong. We scored one goal and got into their box with possibilities to score goals. The second half was a very good opportunity to keep our confidence, to get better with the ball and stop their action with the ball. We did it perfectly in the first half but in the second half, maybe because the chances arrived late, we lost that. We are very happy with that result and very proud of that result
[Emery said of David Luiz, his flamboyant centre-half] The most important thing is to have a lot of corners. We had a lot in the first half. When we have a lot we can score. He is very positive. He is every time speaking about positive things. He is helping the young players. He came late in the squad but his commitment is very high, his behaviour
2019 10 07 Retrieve
[Martinelli has been used sparingly by Unai Emery in the Premier League, making just two appearances as a substitute. In other competitions, however, Martinelli has shone for the Gunners, scoring two goals in his first competitive start for the club in a 5-0 mauling of Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup] He’s hungry, he is very humble and he fights. I told him to have patience for his opportunity. He did that and he deserved [these goals]
2019 10 10 Retrieve
[Emery has suggested that Lucas Torreira may be used in a more advanced role from this point] His qualities are that he can give us good pressing, and he can win the ball high up the pitch to give us the possession to score. He did that [in the 3-0 Europa League win at Eintracht Frankfurt]. After, we need someone with the ball and in his position, he can help us with the build-up
2019 10 17 Retrieve
[Bukayo Saka has become a regular under Unai Emery, starting Arsenal’s last three Premier League games] Bukayo Saka is working and improving. He’s being mature and his work is natural. He is helping us now as an important player. We are going to work with him, be calm and have patience, but if he deserves to play minutes, that is fantastic for us
2019 10 17b Retrieve
[Emery: Ozil can play if he trains well - we need him] This year started difficult for him. He worked well in pre-season and he was playing in the games. But then the problem he had along with Sead [Kolasinac] stopped him. After that he was sick for one week and then he lost a lot of training to keep his fitness. But in the last two to three weeks he’s improved with us in training and I think it’s good. I didn’t close the possibility for him to play. Because I want him to be OK and ready with being available for training and giving us a good feeling every day. Then he can play. My idea is to use every player and he is one. The player can help us. He has very big skills and quality we will need in the next matches. I am happy now how he is improving and training every day. He is one player more in that squad
[Quizzed further on his previous comments on others being more deserving of a place in the squad ahead of Ozil] When I said that it was because, at that moment, [others were] maybe physically [fitter] and also had more [match] rhythm. It depends what we need from players in each match. They were in front of him at that moment. But now I am telling you I am feeling better with him every day in training and also he is another possibility in the squad now to play and to help us
[Unai Emery took time to praise Chris Wilder’s well-drilled outfit and insists the Gunners are ready for a challenging 90 minutes] They are playing well with a lot of players who have come from the Championship. They are a tough team and with their supporters they will push us very hard but we are ready. We want to give them a good 90 minutes
2019 10 17c Retrieve
[Unai Emery insists Mesut Ozil remains an important player for Arsenal after the German complained that he has been made to feel like a scapegoat at the Emirates] If we don’t do well in a big game, it’s always my fault. If that’s true, how do you explain our results in the big games when I wasn’t involved? There’s no real difference. I know people expect me to offer more, dictate play and make the difference - I do, too - but it’s not that straightforward. I’m not the only player in the team and, don’t forget, some of our opponents are simply better than us
[But ahead of Monday’s trip to Sheffield United, the Spaniard is adamant that Ozil remains in his plans] We are in our way and we live in the present. In this present we are looking for the best way to be competitive, to play each match with our best quality and best mentality.
Mesut Ozil, for us, is important. Sometimes one player could be important playing or could be important being on the bench or could be important preparing for the next match. This is our mentality and this is the way we want to create with 25 players in the squad. Mesut Ozil is in the same way and I told you now for the last three weeks he is working and improving and being better in the training. If we need him we are going use him
2019 10 19 Retrieve
[Emery has sought to rubbish suggestions that Ozil has become a scapegoat in north London] We are in our way and we live in the present. In this present we are looking for the best way to be competitive, to play each match with our best quality and best mentality. Mesut Ozil, for us, is important. Sometimes one player could be important playing or could be important being on the bench or could be important preparing for the next match. This is our mentality and this is the way we want to create with 25 players in the squad. Mesut Ozil is in the same way and I told you now for the last three weeks he is working and improving and being better in the training. If we need him we are going use him
2019 10 19b Retrieve
[Unai Emery says now is not the time to consider recalling Eddie Nektiah from his loan spell at Leeds] Now is not the moment, we are in October. He is in Leeds and I respect the coach and his decision. I think he [Nketiah] is going to play more because he is going to deserve it. Each match he is playing with his national team, with Leeds, I think is very important for him and also for Arsenal because our way with him is to give him the possibility of going on loan to play, to take confidence and experience to use in the future for us. He is maybe playing less than we want, but I’m sure that he is going to play more
2019 10 21 Retrieve
[Unai Emery is confident that Arsenal are on the right track to become a major force in English football once again] I am speaking every day with Raul Sanllehi, Edu and with the players. Our work is more important than our words and really now I am very happy at the club. I am really happy with the players. The last two, three, four weeks, every player - and Mesut Ozil - is working very well. This is why we can be positive and we can think we are going to do something important this year. I was speaking with Raul and this is the same idea when he is speaking with me
[Emery singled out Saka for praise before insisting the younger members of his squad can help Arsenal become more competitive] We can play better each match. It’s one process. Little by little we’re using the young players to achieve the performance, giving them confidence and experience in the matches. For example, Bukayo Saka is improving, helping us and taking a good performance. I know he needs to break more steps ahead in his improvement. Other players are the same.
This is the way he can give us the best performance and best way to do our way, playing maybe better sometimes. I think this is one process. For us, it’s very important to be competitive in each match. We are being competitive at the moment. Being competitive we can then achieve a better way for how we can play. If we are competitive we can use different players in different moments, some with more skill, some with more capacity to do pressing and transition. We can use them if we, like a team, can feel strong in our mentality and being competitive and consistent each match
2019 10 22 Retrieve
[Emery says Arsenal were denied ‘clear penalty’ against Sheffield United] We did not deserve to lose and we conceded a lot of corners in the first half and they scored in one action. Above all, we have to improve by not allowing balls like that. When we have our opportunities to attack, we created more chances than them but did not score today. We deserved more from the game but they have conceded the least goals in the Premier League and it was going to be difficult if they scored first. We tried in the second half, created three good chances to score. There were two key moments in the match - one was their goal, and the second was a very clear penalty for us for a foul on Sokratis. It was very clear
[Bukayo Saka was later cautioned for a perceived dive inside the box under pressure from Enda Stevens, five minutes after Mousset’s winning goal from close range] Saka drives forward but I do not know if it was a penalty. It is a hard action for a yellow card. With VAR, the foul on Sokratis should have been reviewed. It was clear but we have to accept it. We did not deserve to lose and we will think about where we can improve. When we were losing 1-0, we controlled the game and defended well but they had a lot of players in their box so it was difficult to achieve attacks
[Arsenal are now winless in four league games away from home since the opening weekend] We have challenges in each match. Tonight we had a big challenge to get the three points. We are playing some young players who are taking experience but the most important thing is to win. The result is one thing, but we can analyse positively.
2019 10 22b Retrieve
[Unai Emery claimed Nicolas Pepe’s miss from six yards was a key moment as Arsenal’s run of eight games unbeaten in all competitions came to an end at Sheffield United] The chance for us, for Pepe, was the key. Because if they score the first goal, defensively they’re very strong. Pepe is improving I think, but his way with us is little-by-little getting better, and the next step is to score. Tonight for example, the best chance is one he is usually going to score, but he didn’t take it with efficiency. He is improving and taking confidence, but it is one process
2019 10 23 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has accused his critics of having short memories amid the backlash that has come his way since Arsenal’s defeat at Sheffield United on Monday night] Sometimes we forget the memory and we need to remember. When I arrived here, this team needed to improve being more competitive. This club, historically, was winning 1-0 and being very competitive, but it wasn’t enough. Then it was being competitive with improved creativity. When I arrived, the creativity was good, but being competitive was worse. It was not enough. I think last year I started to improve being competitive, with some very good matches playing with creativity. This year we are in a process, but we need patience because our strategy as a club is with some new players and some young players. We changed 10 players and are continuing being competitive. Creativity, maybe we lost a little, but I know we are going to recover that
[It’s the style of play which is the bone of contention with some supporters] There are a lot of supporters with different opinions. Some want more creativity, some want maybe more intensity, more energy. I want both and my way is both. My idea is to be competitive, with creativity. Our creativity sometimes is good, sometimes very good and sometimes worse. We have time and we have very young players, who we are giving confidence, minutes in the Premier League to adapt to the rhythm we want. We are in one process. Here, the most important is the club, the strategy of the club, the team, the group. Our job is finding how we can improve and get better in our way, and one is creativity. We are winning at home, but I think we can win and we can also be more clear in our style, improving maybe that creativity
We need to win, we need to achieve our targets. And then [it’s about] how we can play better and then how we can show and transmit to our supporters all they want to see in our team. Playing with energy, playing with a good combination, playing with a very big intensity. This is the way. We are in the process. And why we are in the process? Because we changed players and because we are taking young players and giving them chances. We are not saying to them ‘you can train with us but you are on the bench on Sunday’. No no no. They are playing. It is a process that needs patience sometimes.
For example, Bukayo Saka little by little is getting better. It’s amazing. It is the same with [Joe] Willock, with Reiss Nelson, with Matteo Guendouzi. Last year Matteo arrived here from the second division in France but we used him all season, playing. Sometimes he struggled with some issues tactically, above all defensively. But this year he is doing better defensively and the supporters are happy with him. It’s because last year we worked and we used him on the pitch, not on the bench.
2019 10 23b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has admitted he wanted to bring Fabinho to Arsenal before the Brazil international joined Liverpool] Nicolas Pepe needs time to adapt to the Premier League. For example, in France, I loved Fabinho a lot. He was at Monaco and I wanted to sign him for PSG. When I arrived here [at Arsenal], his name was on the table to try to sign him, but he signed for Liverpool. The first six months he didn’t play, it was adaptation. But now he is amazing and I want the same with Pepe
[Emery continues to back Nicolas Pepe to make the type of impact which convinced the club to smash their transfer record to bring him in from France] We need patience. Pepe is improving. On Monday, the key to win was with him. If he scores the first goal, it’s different. But it’s one process and I believe in him and I know he needs time and patience
2019 10 24 Retrieve
[Arsenal’s new Golden Boy: Phenomenal Martinelli is this season’s Guendouzi] Martinelli is a very young player. But he is very humble, he fights, he’s hungry to help us. He is with us because he deserves to be with us
2019 10 24b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has fended off questions regarding Arsenal’s reported interest in doing a £30 million deal for Dani Ceballos, with the Gunners boss claiming it is too soon to discuss a potential agreement] Of course I know he has a lot of potential and I think this is just the beginning. But, always, all the players need time to adapt to the Premier League. He’s in that process and I really want to accelerate it. We are trying to use that energy and enthusiasm reflected in the way we want to play.
He has had some good games, sometimes it’s not been easy for him. But I think that’s normal. But I think it’s too soon to say that we want to incorporate him in different conditions. We are only in October, still a long way to take that process. The ultimate goal for me with Ceballos is that he can bring us all his potential and help us to achieve all our goals as a team, with more positive performances. We are more than happy to count on him
2019 10 24c Retrieve
[Unai Emery has fended off questions regarding Arsenal’s reported interest in doing a £30 million deal for Dani Ceballos, with the Gunners boss claiming it is too soon to discuss a potential agreement] Of course I know he has a lot of potential and I think this is just the beginning. But, always, all the players need time to adapt to the Premier League. He’s in that process and I really want to accelerate it. We are trying to use that energy and enthusiasm reflected in the way we want to play.
He has had some good games, sometimes it’s not been easy for him. But I think that’s normal. But I think it’s too soon to say that we want to incorporate him in different conditions. We are only in October, still a long way to take that process. The ultimate goal for me with Ceballos is that he can bring us all his potential and help us to achieve all our goals as a team, with more positive performances. We are more than happy to count on him
2019 10 24d Retrieve
[Unai Emery acknowledges the key contributions by his record signing Nicolas Pepe as vital for his development within the club] It’s important for Pepe. He can gain confidence from tonight. When he scores it’s good for him and the team. He’s getting better and he helped us tonight to win this match. Our aim in this competition is to top the group. Each match is a chance to use different players and grow experience and little by little get better. We didn’t play like we wanted but we showed good spirit. It’s a good victory. We have more information for the away game and for different players it was good to play tonight.
Some players need experience and playing sometimes under pressure at this level and the first half we didn’t play or control the match as we wanted and we were losing so with the substitutions we wanted to take control and impose more. We didn’t play offensively like we wanted but again the players showed good spirit to come back after the first half
2019 10 25 Retrieve
[When asked to comment on Ozil’s future following Arsenal’s fortunate 3-2 victory over Vitoria on Thursday] I think tonight is not the time to speak about that. I prefer to speak about the match and about the players that played. He wasn’t in the squad and that was the decision and we will now work for Sunday [against Crystal Palace].
Usually every new player needs time to adapt and Pepe is a very good player, we believe in him totally. Also what he’s doing sometimes feels better, sometimes more difficult depending on the opposition. But he’s improving, tonight that’s two goals which are very important for us and for him. He’s continuing his adaptation process and the quicker he does that, the better it is for us. We are very happy for him because those two goals were perfect. He was trying a lot of set pieces on the training ground this week and I was expecting him to shoot because I was positive about having a situation like that. I think the most important thing is three points and how some individuals can improve and become more confident.
2019 10 25b Retrieve
[Emery urges patience with Pepe as Arsenal face up to Wilfried Zaha] Wilfried Zaha’s a very good player and he has made the difference in a lot of matches - against us, against other teams. And this year the same. For us it is [about] our players - our capacity, here at the Emirates. On Sunday, Crystal Palace are coming here feeling good. Zaha is a very good player and is coming here very motivated. Our challenge is how we can stop him but, above all, how we can battle them using our whole capacity
[Nicolas Pepe’s form has been patchy since becoming Arsenal’s record signing] We signed Pepe, not for two months or six months, or one year or two years. [We signed him] for a process with us. The process is coming, little by little, better for his performance and to help us with his quality. I don’t know if he is going to play or not on Sunday but he is going to be ready and also he is going to be more confident after the [Guimaraes] match
We are very happy with Pepe and we know we are wanting more. But it is a process and I know we need patience and to be calm with him, help him and protect him because sometimes he can feel he is playing under pressure. For us and for me, when we are ready to play under pressure is when we can be better
2019 10 27 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says the decision to leave Mesut Ozil out of the Arsenal squad was made by the whole club and not just him] Here, we have one agreed strategy as a club and a team. Because the most important thing is the club, the team and finding a performance. Previously we were all speaking between us to take that decision. I know all the supporters want to know something but now is not the moment. I think it is not the moment to speak about him. We are going to play on Sunday and in the next matches and we are going to decide, and when we can speak about him something differently we will look
[Emery is keen to see Lucas Torreira try his hand at a more advanced role again after his performance against Vitoria in the Europa League on Thursday] He is playing. I think he is very important for us. We are sharing and changing some matches with the midfielders like Matteo Guendouzi. I am very happy with him and we need him. Then we use different structures in different matches and he has confidence. I was speaking with him about his best position to help us in our shape.
It depends on the shape. Last season his best position was playing as a deep midfield two alongside [Granit] Xhaka or Matteo. This year we are playing also sometimes with just one, and he can achieve with his quality to get to the box and get closer to score and is very intelligent about getting space around the box and taking chances. Then also, when we prepare the team to do high pressing, for us he is very important because he is very intelligent tactically but he can play in the two positions - the two midfielders, he can play higher for the pressing and to get into the box. Sometimes we also use him as a one-man in midfield doing the covering for the two other players ahead
2019 10 27b Retrieve
[Arsenal’s head coach is well aware that Wilfried Zaha - who scored the winner at the Emirates last season - will arrive in north London with a point to prove this weekend] Zaha will be coming very motivated for sure. He is a very good player and he has been the difference in a lot of matches against us and against other teams, but we have players to stop him and also to impose our quality
We signed Pepe not for two months, six months, one year or two years but for the process. And that process is coming little by little. This club is following a lot of players in the world and here in England, we have very good scouting [network] to achieve these players and we are very happy with Pepe. We are waiting for more but we need patience and to be calm with him, to help him and protect him
2019 10 27c Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Unai Emery hinted that Granit Xhaka will face internal disciplinary action for his foul-mouthed reaction to being substituted in Sunday’s Premier League draw with Crystal Palace] He’s wrong but we are going to speak inside about that situation. I want to be calm but, really, he was wrong in this action
[Emery also spoke out against the use of VAR in Sokratis’ last-gasp strike, suggesting that Arsenal had once more been handed a raw deal by the technology] I didn’t understand the referee and VAR reaction. Last week they didn’t check VAR for a penalty for us but we respect that. Two weeks ago there is one penalty for Pepe against Bournemouth, they didn’t check, okay. I don’t understand. For me there is no confusion - it is not a good decision. We deserved to win, we had a good reaction after they equalised, we scored but then they didn’t count it. We didn’t concede many chances apart from the penalty to score. Our reaction was very good, also the supporters help us in the last minutes to score the third goal and win the match but this doesn’t happen
2019 10 27d Retrieve
[Emery baffled by VAR decision to overturn Arsenal winner] I think he needed to watch it again. He needed to do that. VAR is positive and it will be better, but only when them and us can manage it better with the rhythm and the decisions. I checked [the goal] in the dressing room after we finished the match. VAR is very important, above all for the referees because it’s very important to reduce their mistakes. VAR has come in and we’ve decided to have it for this reason. When the referees use it in the right way, I think it’s going to be amazing because it will reduce the referees’ mistakes.
Now, we have started not checking a lot of actions because we don’t want to stop the rhythm or the pace of the match. OK, but we also need to check the important ones. For example, against Bournemouth the penalty on [Nicolas] Pepe. Last week, the penalty on Sokratis. They were very clear and in the match, it’s a penalty. Ok, they didn’t check because the referee didn’t watch it and decided he didn’t want to check it.
This evening, maybe this week, they are starting to check more because they are thinking they need to check more actions because a lot of difficult decisions for the referee are coming, and they want to take more time to check that. Also, for me the penalty was perfect because they decided it was a penalty. It’s perfect because it helped the referee in this action. But our goal, the third goal, he is not fouled. That is not a foul. Who is the person who checked that? If the referee watched that action on the TV, I am sure he would not decide that it was a foul. In the office with the TV, I don’t know who the person is who decides this
2019 10 28 Retrieve
[Emery chastised Xhaka in the wake of the game, saying ‘he is wrong’ to react to supporters] We are going to speak [internally] about that situation. I want to listen to him and also to be calm, but, really, he was wrong in this action
2019 10 29 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has refused to confirm if Granit Xhaka will continue as Arsenal captain] I don’t want to speak about that. Firstly, he has to recover. We cannot anticipate the circumstances. I’d prefer to keep moving forward
[Xhaka received criticism for his failure to apologise to fans in the immediate aftermath of the incident] It’s not easy for him and for the team. He is now devastated, sad. We spoke yesterday and Sunday night and this morning. He trained normally with the group but he is devastated. He is sad about that situation.
His commitment is great every time. He wants to help. His behaviour was perfect in training, with the group and club. Really he knows he was wrong. He feels inside, very deep. It’s normal as a human. Every player needs the supporters’ support. We need to be strong, to know and learn to play under our pressure. It’s our work, our job. The supporters are the most important in our lives. If there aren’t supporters and fans behind us there’s no reason to play football. He is down. The most important thing now is to look after him and his family and also recover our best Granit Xhaka. After that wrong situation on Sunday I have one challenge every time
[Emery said the man elected as captain by his team-mates in a vote should have handled the situation differently] When we make individually some mistakes we need to make some apologies. I prefer to do that. We’ve suggested he do that. He has the mindset to be the captain. I decided that and the players respect that. He was wrong on Sunday and also did not respond as captain
2019 10 29b Retrieve
[Emery wants Mesut Ozil back to his best] We need his quality, his skill and his consistency. We need his positive mentality and then he will help us on the pitch. That’s the next step. I think he’s done the steps before, and now I want the steps like in pre-season and one month ago to help us on the pitch. He’s in the group so he has a chance to play. We have had this morning a very good conversation, Mesut and me, and I said to him I haven’t changed my idea about him.
He knows what I want from him because it’s the same as last season in the first day of pre-season training when we had a conversation. It’s the same as one month ago and in that way, some circumstances weren’t helping us in every moment to be consistent or available to play. But I will say I think the last weeks he has progressively been training well and adding his spirit to help us. For example, our conversation this morning was because I wanted to listen to him about how he’s thinking now to help us and be with us tomorrow
[Emery says he will even consider Ozil, who is one of Emery’s five-strong leadership team, as skipper with Xhaka’s given time out to reflect on his future at the club] It depends because he’s one of the captains. I’m not thinking exactly yet, but we are going to decide the first XI and if he’s in the first XI. It depends on who else plays. He could be [captain], yes
[Emery sees the match as a good opportunity to give their spirits a lift after Sunday’s negative publicity] Each match in this competition can be different, and tomorrow is one very good opportunity for us. We will be thinking that the Carabao Cup is important and it’s an opportunity for us to recover confidence and our way. Each game is difficult and maybe they will change some players also, but to win at Anfield is difficult in each match
2019 10 29c Retrieve
[Under-fire Arsenal coach Unai Emery says he has the support of the influential son of the owner Stan Kroenke despite the club’s current inconsistent] We are responsible, the club and I. We know our responsibility is to help everybody, and also when we are making some mistakes to recognise it. Sunday, for example, after the match, Josh Kroenke was also in the dressing room speaking with me. We were speaking for 10 minutes about the situation but all the time helping each other. He’s supporting me, he’s supporting the players, we were talking about the circumstance with Granit Xhaka, saying that he was wrong and we need to manage that with him
[Emery said he and the club’s brains trust had been readying themselves for that game but with the challenges ahead weighing on their minds] And yesterday the same, it was the day off for us and the players but we were here also. I was here and also I was speaking with [head of football] Raul [Sanllehi] and [technical director] Edu, and also speaking with Xhaka. But now preparing for the match tomorrow is the most important, but we also need time managing different situations
2019 10 30 Retrieve
[Emery has hinted heavily that Ozil will at least play] He’s in the group so he has a chance to play. We have had this morning a very good conversation, Mesut and me, and I said to him I haven’t changed my idea about him. He knows what I want from him because it’s the same as last season in the first day of pre-season training when we had a conversation. It’s the same as one month ago and in that way, some circumstances weren’t helping us in every moment to be consistent or available to play.
But I will say I think the last weeks he has progressively been training well and adding his spirit to help us. For example, our conversation this morning was because I wanted to listen to him about how he’s thinking now to help us and be with us tomorrow. Then if we are in the same spirit and the same idea, to play. It was a very good conversation and tomorrow he’s in the group
2019 10 30b Retrieve
[Arsenal want Xhaka to apologise and they have been trying to make that happen almost from the moment the midfielder trudged off the pitch against Palace, shirt in hand having flung the captain’s armband in the direction of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] I think we make individual mistakes and we need to make apologies for one circumstance. We suggested it to him to do that (apologise). We are seeing that he is devastated and very down. The first thing is to look after him. We need our family, our friends, our supporters to support us, like us, love us. He is not feeling that with the supporters at the moment
2019 10 30c Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Unai Emery hailed the performance of Mesut Ozil as the Arsenal playmaker returned to action against Liverpool on Wednesday] Mesut Ozil is back helping us with his quality and his spirit. It was in the plan to replace him, we had spoken about that before.
[The Gunners were ahead for much of the game before conceding Liverpool’s vital fifth goal to Divock Origi in the fourth minute of added time to force the shootout] A crazy match. I am very proud of their work, we had a high rhythm in the first 45 minutes. At the end we were winning until the last action. Penalties are 50/50 and we lost. We are sad but our work, we deserve to have more. There are lots of positives to take. Defensively, both teams cannot be happy with that. But for the supporters it was an amazing 90 minutes. The result was always changing. It was spectacular. We can be proud of our work but not the result
[Emery revealed that no decision had been taken on when to include Granit Xhaka in the side again] Granit Xhaka? Now I cannot say how we are going to play on Saturday [against Wolves]. We have to take it step by step.
2019 11 01 Retrieve
[Following Arsenal’s penalty shoot-out loss at Anfield, manager Emery was positive in his assessment of Ozil, leading fans to believe the star may have hit a turning point as the club look ahead to a Premier League clash with Wolves on Saturday] He was very positive every time and I think he played a very good match. We have a match on Saturday and we will look at the possibility to use him again alongside other players. This is the way sometimes
2019 11 01b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has confirmed that Granit Xhaka will not be included in the Arsenal squad for the Premier League clash with Wolves on Saturday] He said sorry, he gave the apologies to the supporters, to everybody and now the focus is for tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) match. It is not in my mind that he is going play tomorrow. I am thinking tomorrow he is not going to play because I think now we need also to be focused only 100 per cent on the match
[When asked if Arsenal have a responsibility to protect Xhaka] The first is the person. The human, like everyone, feels. Xhaka’s issues last week is one issue that needs time. He needs time to recover the normality in him
[Emery went on to acknowledge the significance of Saturday’s encounter] We are going to play at home with our supporters. The same objective is to win. Above all, we need in that 90 minutes in the game to connect with our supporters. It is very important
2019 11 01c Retrieve
[Unai Emery suggests Mesut Ozil’s midweek performance in the Carabao Cup for Arsenal may have paved the way for a much-need Premier League recall] He is in the squad and I think he has the possibility to play. I spoke with him on Tuesday. I said to him every time what is my plan with him. When he’s available, when he’s training well, when he’s consistent, when he’s positive he can help us a lot. Now I am seeing him positive and consistent. On Wednesday with his performance in Liverpool, I think this is the way we want. Also I am helping him, supporting him, demanding of him. This is the Mesut I think everybody wants. He has big experience. When you talk about players who are ready to play under high pressure, one is Mesut Ozil. I think he has confidence and I think he has respect. When he is in that positive way, when he is available consistently, he has the respect from us and from every supporter
2019 11 02 Retrieve
[No more excuses! Why Emery must start Ozil vs Wolves to unlock Arsenal’s front three] I think he played very well. You’ve seen he is a skilful player. He was very positive every time and played a very good match
We spoke before the match and made the decision in the second half to take him off because he hasn’t played for a little while and we want to keep his fitness. He was very tired but it was great for him to play 65 minutes. We have a match on Saturday and we will look at the possibility to use him again
2019 11 02b Retrieve
[Ozil in Arsenal starting XI to face Wolves as Aubameyang named captain] Mesut Ozil need his quality, his skill and his consistency. We need his positive mentality and then he will help us on the pitch. That’s the next step. I think he’s done the steps before, and now I want the steps like in pre-season and one month ago to help us on the pitch
2019 11 02c Retrieve
[Emery’s bizarre response to Arsenal’s draw with Wolves: Tactically it worked how we wanted] It’s a bad result, but tactically it worked how we wanted. It was an equal match and maybe we deserved more. It’s disappointing. I think the players tried and we scored the first goal but we needed a second for more confidence. I am frustrated because we are dropping points at home like we did last year
[Emery was asked about the understanding between himself and his players] I think they understand me, yes. They feel the responsibility to win and when we draw they are sad. We can improve the balance defensively. But the key was to have more clear chances to take the result for us
[The Spaniard also praised the contribution of the returning Ozil] He worked and played well which pleased us. I am very demanding of myself and we have to come back with better matches
2019 11 02d Retrieve
[Emery had praise for Ozil’s contribution despite the disappointing resultwith Wolves draw] He worked, played well and I think he was very positive for us
2019 11 03 Retrieve
[After the draw with Wolves, when Arsenal had conceded 25 shots at home, the Spaniard suggested that tactically the game had panned out as he had planned] We worked on different tactical situations well today. The result is a bad result, but tactically I think we worked how we wanted
2019 11 06 Retrieve
[Unai Emery reiterated that he is still Arsenal’s manager as rumours continue to swirl linking the likes of Jose Mourinho with the club] In this competition, our objective is to be first in the group. We are going to play the next two matches to make sure we’re in that position. Now we’re going to prepare for a new competition. We worked, we played, fighting against a team with strong organisation. When we did the most difficult, score one goal, they drew at the end. It’s a little disappointing for that result. We’re first in the group, we want to make sure of that position in the next matches
Our objective this evening was to have a clean sheet. We need to improve defensively and be strong in that moment. We are using each match to achieve that. We didn’t achieve that against Vitoria Guimaraes. In that competition we’re taking good results, taking a lot of goals and not conceding a lot of goals
2019 11 06b Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Unai Emery says Dani Ceballos has what looks like a small hamstring injury sustained in the Europa League draw with Vitoria SC] We are going to wait for the analysis tomorrow but, at the beginning, I think it’s a small injury. The players worked and tried and we were very close to winning. In the last minute, they pushed a lot and they scored. The objective is to be first in the group and we are. At the end of the match, we’re thinking about Saturday and Leicester. We tried [to score] but also they are a very competitive team. We did better defensively. Offensively, this team are very organised and it’s not easy to have a lot of chances. It’s not good because we want to win but we are first, and this is our target
2019 11 08 Retrieve
[When asked if Xhaka would be back in the squad] Not yet. I spoke with him on Tuesday about how he’s feeling now and how he is in his mind. He’s working well, he’s training well, but he said to me that he’s not feeling good enough at the moment to play. We are going to wait
After I started with Granit Xhaka because he has the quality to take the captain’s responsibility. Then after the [Palace] issue, I decided it was better for him not to. Next in line is Aubameyang, the second after him is [Hector] Bellerin, third is [Alexandre] Lacazette and the fourth is Mesut Ozil.
The first is Aubameyang because he has experience and he has the respect in the dressing room. He was the top scorer last year in the Premier League and also I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100 per cent. But we are going to support him. Every player, we are going to support the four captains, and we are going to support him as our first captain because he has also made one extra step to achieve that responsibility.
For example, Sokratis Papastathopoulos said everybody can take responsibility as a captain. We want to be a strong family here and I know for the supporters it is very important who is the first face, in front, with the captain’s responsibility. I decided to give it to Auba, and everybody also agreed with that decision and now I am telling you he needs time to take that responsibility with confidence, but we give him that confidence, I give him that confidence. He has the quality and the values to do perfectly with that responsibility
2019 11 08b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has admitted that Granit Xhaka may never play for Arsenal again] I don’t know if he’s going to play again. If he is available in his mind to continue helping us and continuing defending the Arsenal shirt, I think time gives us that solution. If I decide he is in the group with us, if he is ready and 100 per cent in his mind to help us play with his quality, we know we need that quality and that player. It’s important now to stay with Granit. We are going to continue but the club knows how he is thinking and also how I am thinking about that circumstance.
Yes, I asked that question. The club knows the player’s decision at the moment and my idea about that situation and the circumstances. We are now a little weaker without him in that position because we have one less player in that position. [At the moment] I am not thinking about that [selling him] because we are in November and we are going to play a lot of matches in November and December. We cannot change him in that two months
[Emery insists he is not disappointed with how the season has started] I’m not really disappointed with our work. I am being realistic because some circumstances did not help us to achieve best emotional balance because with that, comes best performance. First we are speaking about the captain’s circumstances. If Laurent Koscielny was still here, the captain would be Koscielny and that would give us no problem. Then also some circumstances with some players - with Sead Kolasinac and with Mesut Ozil - then also circumstances that didn’t help us with Xhaka.
I think the supporters have seen that their team needs more to improve to achieve the best results. I can and I want to say to them, they must have patience and in some circumstances they did not help us, but we are trying to achieve the best emotional balance with the players. Saturday is a very good opportunity, a very difficult match, we know, we are going to prepare and we want to be one step ahead. We want to show our best performance and I am optimistic. But I also know that we need to be 100 per cent efficient
2019 11 09 Retrieve
[Under-fire Arsenal boss Unai Emery has insisted that he has the full backing of the club’s board despite a poor run of form leading to calls for the three-time Europa League-winning manager to be sacked] When I speak to the club, they always transmit calm to me, which I try to transmit to the players and to the fans, knowing that we have an important objective this season. I have said many times that I don’t feel pressure. Pressure is just what people talk about. I am demanding of myself and I feel responsible. I prepare for games with those things in mind. Whether we win or whether we lose, I prepare in the same way. People have opinions and that’s logical. We are privileged in our position at Arsenal that we have a lot of fans who support us and also methods of communication that put us in contact with them. When you win, they are happy and they applaud. When you lose, they protest. But this happens at all the teams I have been at
[Emery may feel secure in his role at Arsenal, he did admit that the club are not where he wants them to be at present] Last year we had a good season, reaching the final of the Europa League and getting to the final weeks of the season with a chance of finishing in the top four - which is the objective, to get into the Champions League. This year is another step. We are there in the Europa League, but in the Premier League we are a few points behind where we want to be. Of course, we have to make progress. It’s our job to rebuild our confidence, to get the wins we need to make the fans happy and to see the Arsenal that we all want. I am confident that we will do that
2019 11 09b Retrieve
[Emery claims Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe still ‘needs time’ to adapt] His process of adapting to the team is positive, but a little slower than what we wanted. We have to be patient as well as demanding and what’s more, we have to ensure that he takes responsibility himself. He is not quite at the level yet to be able to play in every game. I believe, and I have always believed, that he needs to play in order to reach that level, but obviously there are also games when other players deserve to play. I use the players who I think are going to help us most in each moment. But we bought Pepe knowing that the first year would be difficult, that it would be a year of adaptation. We want that to happen as quickly as possible, but we are seeing that we have to have patience
[Emery added on the work being done behind the scenes to aid Pepe’s development] He just needs time, and to be demanding of himself. We are with him, working individually with him and showing him videos of where he can improve. The intensity of the game and the opponents in England demands a lot of you. He has to adapt to that, and we have to help him so that he can keep taking steps forward
2019 11 09c Retrieve
[Unai Emery praised his Arsenal players for sticking to the gameplan after a 2-0 defeat at Leicester on Saturday] I am speaking with the club to stay strong and recover. We also have young players who are growing up with us. I know we are receiving criticism but I have done before and I have recovered. I accept all the criticism. It is normal. Today we did one step ahead being better defensively. We can be disappointed but not with the attitude of the players, they did the gameplan. In the second half, we created some chances and when they scored we lost that opportunity
[When pressed on why he opted for a defensive-minded 3-4-1-2 formation against Leicester] I think the players felt good in that system. Last year we used it and we did well. It depends on how we can get our best qualities and we used that system last year with a lot of good results
[Emery went on to express his belief that the top four is still a realistic target for Arsenal] We are distant from Leicester now but we will take time to prepare and improve and take the balance in the team. Manchester United and Spurs are also behind us so it is an equal competition but we have time to reduce the gap on Leicester
2019 11 09d Retrieve
[The Gunners crashed to 2-0 reverse at the King Power on Saturday, with second-half goals from Jamie Vardy and James Maddison sending the Foxes to second on the Premier League table. Emery took responsibility for the defeat but insisted his team was improving at the back, despite the 2-0 scoreline] I know we are receiving criticism but I have done before and I have recovered. I accept all the criticism. It is normal. Today we did one step ahead being better defensively
2019 11 12 Retrieve
[Coach Unai Emery explained that his decision to hand the captaincy to Aubameyang was based on his experience and he has the respect in the dressing room] He was the top scorer last year in the Premier League and also I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100 per cent. But we are going to support him. Every player, we are going to support the four captains, and we are going to support him as our first captain because he has also made one extra step to achieve that responsibility
2019 11 20 Retrieve
[When Unai Emery appointed as Arsenal FC manager] I’m very excited to be given the responsibility to start this important new chapter in Arsenal’s history. I am thrilled to be joining one of the great clubs in the game. Arsenal is known and loved throughout the world for its style of play, its commitment to young players, the fantastic stadium, the way the club is run. I’m excited about what we can do together and I look forward to giving everyone who loves Arsenal some special moments and memories.
2019 11 21 Retrieve
[Swiss star Xhaka remains upset at being stripped of the captaincy for swearing at Gunners fans four weeks ago] This morning at training I had a very good conversation with Granit and he wants to come back. He is feeling better and believes his team is Arsenal. He is a good guy and good player. He loves and respects Arsenal and knows that in one game he made a mistake. First of all, we do not forget his mistake. That is why I took the captaincy off him as it is better he does not have that responsibility. But he has told me he is very convinced to help the team and the objective I am working for is for Granit to have a long future with us
[Emery acknowledges the situation is still very delicate as a number of fans are still not prepared to forgive Xhaka] The confidence of the supporters will decide when he comes back. We want him to help us and also convince every supporter of his commitment. His performances are going to be better and they are going to be proud of him. At the moment it is most important how he feels. If we can connect with our fans, we are going to improve. In this situation, it is better to do it with him on the pitch. That could be at the Emirates or away. It’s a special circumstance with Xhaka, but he is not the only player who needs to find confidence. Hector Bellerin told me he sometimes struggled with the supporters when his performances were not the best. We have had some other players in the same situation. But they have all come back and with Xhaka, it’s the same.
2019 11 21b Retrieve
[Arsenal manager Unai Emery reacts to Jose Mourinho replacing Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham] I think it’s a surprise how it finished with Pochettino. I don’t know exactly why and how it’s going to change their performance. [Jose] is a very good coach, his career is strong with titles and experience and I think also Pochettino working in Tottenham was amazing
[Asked whether he was surprised by Pochettino’s sacking, Emery said] Yes, for me it was a surprise. Maybe the last matches they didn’t achieve a good result but in the last year with Pochetinno was perfect. They decided to change and I don’t know the reason but we have our way and they have their way. We want to keep that distance [ahead of them in the Premier League table]
2019 11 21c Retrieve
[Emery keen to bring Xhaka back for Arsenal as he reveals positive talks with disgruntled midfielder] He is coming back better in his mind, his mindset is better to help us and to be closer to playing when we need him. I spoke to him this morning and we had a very good conversation. He trained very well before the international break and he trained very well this morning. My objectives don’t change from when I spoke to you before.
My objective is going to be his comeback to help us and convince every supporter of his commitment with us and his performances will be better and they will be proud of him in the short or long future with us. That is my objective, and what I am working towards.
He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with confidence with the supporters, and we are going to decide. But I think little by little we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters. We are going to decide tomorrow but I want to do that comeback, give him confidence and make him comfortable. And when we can connect with our supporters with a good moment and a good performance and being strong with them. He trained with us. He was feeling very well in the training session
2019 11 21b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has softened his stance on Granit Xhaka and could bring the midfielder back into the fold against Southampton this weekend] I don’t know if he’s going to play again. If he is available in his mind to continue helping us and continuing defending the Arsenal shirt, I think time gives us that solution. The club knows my idea about that situation and the circumstances.
[The pair held talks at London Colney after Xhaka had reported back from international duty and Arsenal’s head coach was impressed by the midfielder’s mindset] He told me he is very convinced to help the team. Our first game is Saturday and I am going to decide if it is a good moment [to bring him back] or if we need more time to help him. At the moment it’s important how he feels. Now he is feeling better and he feels he can come back and help us and also come back and connecting with the team and with the supporters
[Arsenal’s head coach is aware that Xhaka’s relationship with the fans will not be easily repaired] Maybe, but it depends. If we can show good performance collectively and individually, we are going to do better. In this situation, it is better to do it with him on the pitch. But I am going to do it progressively, I am going to do it also giving him good feeling being with us. It could be at home, it could be away. For me the most important is to achieve the performance collectively
[Emery was also keen to highlight Hector Bellerin as an example of a player who has managed to get the fans back on his side] Hector told me he struggled here with the supporters sometimes when his performance was not the best. Sometimes playing at the Emirates or away. Also we have had some other players who have had that situation. They have come back and with Xhaka I want the same. The first question is don’t forget his mistake, but he can come back showing his commitment, his good behaviour and good performances, helping and defending the Arsenal team. That is the objective. He is a good guy, a good player and he loves and respects Arsenal a lot - but knows he made a mistake
2019 11 22 Retrieve
[Unai Emery is adamant that Lucas Torreira has a big future at Arsenal after holding talks with the unsettled midfielder this week] I spoke with him on Wednesday and Thursday. He is young, his process here is starting. He started playing in the Premier League last year and he progressed, but this year again he needs to progress. He is a very good player, important for us, and his focus needs to be with us 100 per cent. His response to me was positive
Lucas has very big commitment and very good behaviour. He has a very big future here but he needs to improve. He has to learn in some situations, individually to help us, to do better. This year he’s not being consistent but my challenge to him is to improve, to do better with some tactical issues on the pitch and above all be consistent and take consistency into the next matches
[Emery believes he is better suited to a more advanced role where he can use his ability to press and win the ball back higher up the pitch] I showed him some movies about his best performances with us and how he can improve. At the moment he’s helping us with two midfielders because his pressure to the opposition is the best of our midfielders and his capacity to get in the box, to get opportunities to score, is very good for us and the team
[When pressed specifically on why Torreira has been moved away from the defensive midfield role] But what is a defensive midfielder? We need that position for the capacity to build up, it’s a big responsibility. He needs to achieve confidence, achieve more matches and more experience to take the confidence to do that. He can play as a defensive midfielder but we need a defensive midfielder [to be] offensive because the build up for us is very important. Lucas can learn and improve but to give him that responsibility of building up and creating a lot of combinations with our team, he needs more time to learn or improve in that issue
2019 11 23 Retrieve
[So when Lucas Torreira flew back to England earlier this week, Emery was waiting for him - video clips in hand] I spoke with him on Wednesday and Thursday. He is young, his process here is starting. He started playing in the Premier League last year and he progressed, but this year again he needs to progress. I showed him some movies about his best performances with us and how he can improve. He is a very good player, important for us, and his focus needs to be with us 100 per cent. His response to me was positive
[Emery reassured Torreira this week that he still has a ‘big future’ at Arsenal - but called for greater consistency from the 23-year-old] He needs to improve. This year he’s not being consistent. My challenge to him is to do better with some tactical issues on the pitch and above all take consistency into the next matches. We need a defensive midfielder [to be] offensive because the build-up for us is very important. To give Lucas that responsibility of building up and creating a lot of combinations with our team, he needs more time to learn or improve in that issue
2019 11 23b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has opted not to include Granit Xhaka in his Arsenal squad for the Premier League meeting with Southampton on Saturday] He is coming back better in his mind, his mindset is better to help us and to be closer to playing when we need him. I spoke to him this morning and we had a very good conversation. He trained very well before the international break and he trained very well this morning. My objectives don’t change from when I spoke to you before. My objective is going to be his comeback to help us and convince every supporter of his commitment with us and his performances will be better and they will be proud of him in the short or long future with us. That is my objective, and what I am working towards. He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with confidence with the supporters, and we are going to decide. But I think little by little we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters
2019 11 23c Retrieve
[Emery: I know I can do better & anger of Arsenal fans is understandable] The club are supporting me every day and also I have a responsibility. I know I can do better, I can take more performances with the players and I’m going to try to do that. I understand the supporters. They are now frustrated, disappointed and angry. The players feel the same. My job is to work, analyse and find a solution for how we can improve. I know the key is here to take confidence, to achieve the points, the good performances at home and then to take that away. The key is here with our supporters. I know that and the players also know that. Our target was to win this evening but above all, to connect. We didn’t do that. We lost a very big opportunity and now we will analyse and work on a solution for the next matches
[Pressed further on what needs to change] One is confidence and that comes with a good result. To take that confidence, we need to play better, control the game better and improve our game plan. We didn’t do that for 90 minutes. In the first half, we equalised but it wasn’t enough. We needed to impose and to show we were better on the pitch in 45 minutes. We didn’t do that. We changed in the second half and we achieved that in 20 or 25 minutes at the start of that second half, but then we were losing.
We lost some confidence and we were frustrated on the pitch, but we tried to push. The supporters helped us and we drew at the end but it wasn’t enough. We are frustrated and we understand the supporters as well. We lost an opportunity to connect with our supporters because they helped us. We want, and we know, that here is the key. Here is the key to feel comfortable, to feel strong and take confidence. We didn’t do that.
The first half, we were drawing but it wasn’t enough with how we were playing. The second half we started better, we changed. The best 20 minutes in all the season were in the second half, that moment. We created chances, we didn’t score, but I was happy with that moment. That was our moment. I wanted to look at our players in that moment. Then they scored when we were better and we took some risks after that to equalise but we conceded some chances to score the third. We drew at the last moment but it’s not enough. Really, we can be disappointed and the fans also, and me, with the result
2019 11 24 Retrieve
[Unai Emery then made his way to his post-match press conference to have his say on the 2-2 draw with Southampton] The club are supporting me every day. I know I can do better, I can take more performances with the players and I’m going to try to do that
That was an example of how they [the players] felt. They felt the point was not enough
2019 11 27 Retrieve
[Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists he has the full backing of his players] Yes, of course. They show that. As a coach, each moment in my career is difficult. This is a very good job, but also a very hard job. My future is today and tomorrow. My job is to prepare for the match tomorrow [against Eintracht Frankfurt], to look only at the match tomorrow. After the last match (2-2 draw with Southampton) we were disappointed - and the supporters also.
My only focus is to show tomorrow our performance and connect with our supporters. We know our supporters are disappointed. It’s really, really our focus [to connect with them]. My wish is tomorrow that every supporter helps the team and helps the players. I believe in us, I believe in the players. I know I am going to work very hard to come back to the performance. I am looking forward to playing tomorrow. The good moment, the bad moment, the most important [thing] for me is to show my work.
When you are winning you feel the support from everybody. Our confidence depends a lot on how we can feel in our stadium with our supporters. Teams are coming here playing fearless. We need to be strong and together. We need to show our supporters our capacity and skills. The players need to feel [supporters] backing them
[Emery was also asked whether Granit Xhaka - recently frozen out due to an altercation with fans] He’s in the group and he has the possibility to play. I hope every supporter supports him. Xhaka’s comeback is going to be important for us
2019 11 27 Retrieve
[Unai Emery is adamant the Arsenal players still have belief in him and suggested Granit Xhaka will return to the team on Thursday] They are angry and disappointed, as well we are. We have a very good opportunity to [correct] do that. Each match here at the Emirates is very important for that… The players need to feel [fans] backing them. Xhaka is in the group and he has the possibility to play. I hope every supporter supports him. Xhaka’s comeback is going to be important for us
[When asked if the players still believe in him] Yes, of course, they show that. As a coach each moment in my career is difficult. This is a very good, but very hard job. When you are winning you feel the support for everybody. I believe in us, I believe in the players. I know I am going to work very hard to come back to the performance. I am looking forward to playing. In the good moments, the bad moments, the most important thing for me is to show my work. Our confidence depends a lot on how we can feel in our stadium with our supporters. Teams are coming here playing fearless. We need to be strong and together. We need to show our supporters our capacity and skills
2019 11 27b Retrieve
[Under-fire Unai Emery insists he has full backing of Arsenal hierarchy] Really the club is supporting me. I feel the club and everyone responsible in that area is backing me. Really I appreciate it a lot. I feel strong with that support and know my responsibility to come back and change the situation. My job is to prepare for the match on Thursday and only look at that match. We are playing at home with our supporters so we want to transmit our energy, our gameplan and everything we work on at the training ground. Those are my only thoughts. We need one good match, one good connection with our supporters and I above all need mainly to be strong in my consistent way every day
Every day with the players, with the preparation, I enjoy it because I love that work. In all my career, when I lose I don’t feel good. But I feel a responsibility to come back and the responsibility to analyse and to work to improve performance
In my 15-year career I have had some situations like today. In every club. Every coach will have some moments, above all when they have a long career. Mine is 15 years now and in 15 years I have had success a lot of times but also bad moments. Usually my career is going up but I can separate moments like that
2019 11 28 Retrieve
[Tired, lonely & on the brink - Unai Emery looks like he knows his time at Arsenal is up] My future is today and tomorrow. My job is to prepare for the match. We are playing at home with our supporters so we want to transmit our energy, our game plan and everything we work on here at the training ground. Those are my only thoughts
2019 11 28b Retrieve
[Emery deflects questions about his future as Arsenal ‘lose control’ against Eintracht Frankfurt] Tonight wasn’t our moment but we won a lot of matches to be top of the group. Our aim is to win away to Standard Liege to finish as first. We want to do that to build our confidence and connect with the supporters. We need to win and we lost a very good opportunity. We didn’t do enough to win this match. We lost our control of the game for 15 minutes of the second half and they scored two goals. Then we had injuries, and Shkodran Mustafi going off meant I wasn’t able to make changes. We were better in the first half but in those 15, 20 minutes we lost control
[Asked about whether he is concerned about his future] I am thinking [about] the match
2019 11 28c Retrieve
[Emery praises Granit Xhaka on Arsenal return despite Europa League defeat] Xhaka wanted to continue playing. His match today was good and he helped the team. I am being positive but I’m also realistic and we lost against a good opponent. We have improved from our last match and we are still first and have the opportunity to qualify, but we missed the opportunity tonight. We showed an improvement in the first half and we had a lot of opportunities to score but we did not take them. The first five or ten minutes of the second half were good but then we lost control for 15 minutes and we could not change the result. We tried to come back but we did not create any big opportunities to score
We had some injuries and we needed to change David Luiz and then we had a problem with Shkodran Mustafi. They [the fans] helped the players and they helped Granit Xhaka. At the last moment they were angry
2019 11 29 Retrieve
[Arsenal have confirmed the sacking of head coach Unai Emery after 18 months at the helm and have placed assistant Freddie Ljungberg in charge on a temporary basis] We announce today that the decision has been taken to part company with our head coach Unai Emery and his coaching team. The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required. We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward. The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete
2019 11 29b Retrieve
[Unai Emery has written an open letter of thanks to Arsenal supporters and staff following his dismissal on Friday] It has been an honour to be the Arsenal head coach. To all the fans, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me to understand and feel the greatness of Arsenal. To all of you who have supported us from every corner of the globe, all of you who have come to the Emirates, all of you who have waited in the rain and cold just to greet me after a game. I want to tell all of you that I have worked with passion, with commitment and with effort. I would have liked nothing more than to have achieved better results for you.
I also want to send a message of gratitude to all Arsenal employees for the way they have treated me. The greatness of Arsenal is in every director, executive, employee, assistant and volunteer. In particular, I want to highlight Ivan Gazidis, who welcomed me to the club, and Raul Sanllehi, Edu and Vinai Venkatesham for their respect, companionship and help. Until the very last minute I have been treated with honour and honesty. And of course, I send my sincere gratitude to the Kroenke family, for their trust.
It has been a year and a half full of emotions, of great moments and some other more bitter ones, but not a single day has gone by without me stopping to think about how lucky I have been to work for this club with these players and their professional and personal qualities.
They have always honoured the shirt they wear. They deserve your support. I had already experienced a lot in football, but I have enjoyed and learned a lot in England, in the Premier League, about respect for professionals and about the purity of football. My best wishes always. COYG
2019 12 20 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says Mesut Ozil did not have the necessary qualities for the pressing game he wanted to implement at Arsenal] I’ve had a lot of conversations with Mesut Ozil. He’s a very important player for the team. There are games in which you see Mesut’s brilliance, linking with the attack. But also I had to find players around him so he felt comfortable.
Also the team needed to feel solid. And when you, little by little, have to build a team that is aggressive, intense, as well as structured for good pressure, we also had to find a space for Mesut as he gives us an important part of the game, which is his brilliant talent.
To do so I had to find the right connections between players, the right tactics. I was very motivated to try to find that. I wanted Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut to work together, each one of them with their own characteristics. But there were times when I had to leave one of them out of the XI. Ozil is a very important player if you can find a way to make it work with other players. He has talent that allows other players to be better, but when you want a bit more aggressive pressure he does not have the best qualities for that
2019 12 20b Retrieve
[Unai Emery believes his Arsenal replacement Mikel Arteta will make a successful transition into life as a head coach] He really is prepared to make that next jump. He has been at Arsenal before, he’s been in the Premier League and he has been working with Pep Guardiola. I do believe this is a good decision and I would also like it to be a good decision
[Emery was dismissed by Arsenal in November following a seven-game winless run in all competitions] We had to win to regain our emotional equilibrium, to get rid of that frustration and we couldn’t. What is true is the social mass of Arsenal, which is very big, couldn’t see it, couldn’t connect with what was happening and it is true that in this situation, as happens in every country and with every team, the coach finds himself targeted. I spoke to the players three or four weeks before the process began to tell them that things were not going well and that I couldn’t see the team I pictured on the field of play; I couldn’t identify what I was looking for
We looked for solutions but results still didn’t come. The club made its decision and that was passed on to me by Raul Sanllehi [Arsenal’s head of football] with much regret, because he also felt his share of the responsibility and we were very united. But the situation had become unsustainable as regards to the protests of a section of the fans. That said, I believe there was another important section who believed we could have been shown more patience and carried on with the project. I think we could have turned things around but I also understand those at the top have to take decisions and take responsibility
Now is the time to go home. To be with my people, to analyse a lot. I’ll spend the next few days close to my family, with my coaches. And I’ve started doing a lot of soul searching. We all spoke to each other and questioned what we got wrong. There’s been interest from teams, but I want to just spend some quiet time and choose the right project. Different teams have expressed interest. To be honest I want to thank them [Everton and others] for wanting me and I told them that I wanted to be quiet, that I need to take a little bit of air. And to choose well the next project after many years of not stopping
2019 12 29 Retrieve
[Emery cites lack of ‘equilibrium’ for Arsenal downfall] For me, one of the determining things and something that I will be proud of is that, at home - and this is the difference between the Premier League and the Europe League - in the Premier League the team was not losing. My dismissal came after we lost against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League, which was the only game we lost. We were at breaking point and that day it snapped.
There was a frustration because we couldn’t get to the point we wanted to. I think we could have turned things around but I also understand that those at the top have to make decisions and take responsibility. The team had to play with energy, needed to be capable of being solid in defence and in attack, aggressive, with the ability to take the game to the opposition and, on that basis, begin to be effective at scoring and winning.
As far as the defensive-offensive equilibrium needed to win is concerned, we played a game against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup where we drew 5-5 and I, as a coach, thoroughly enjoyed that game. Of course, what you want is to win. A game like this you want to win 5-0, not draw 5-5 or, even worse, get beaten 5-0. But in this game there were many examples of what we were doing; a team more than capable in an offensive situation but defensively feeble.
This was the process we had to go through to become more competitive. Last year we occasionally managed to achieve that equilibrium. But we were unable to maintain this defensive strength and this is one of the points. A victory might possibly have arrested the situation but the team had to look for defensive and offensive adjustments in order to arrive as being that unit capable of bringing out our brand of imposing football. We managed to do it last year. This season we didn’t.
2019 12 29b Retrieve
[Emery: I wanted Ozil to play alongside Aubameyang and Lacazette at Arsenal] There are games in which you see Mesut’s brilliance, linking with the attack. But also I had to find players around him in which he felt comfortable. Also, the team needed to feel solid and you have to, bit by bit, build a team that is aggressive, intense, as well as structured for good pressure. We also have to find a space for Mesut so he gives us an important part of the game which is his brilliant talent. To do so, I have to find the right connections between players, the right tactics. I was very motivated to try to find that. I wanted Lacazette, Aubameyang and Mesut to work together, each one of them with their own characteristics. But there were times when I had to leave one of them out of the XI
We had Mesut or Ramsey playing. Ramsey was very capable of applying the pressure we demanded. With Mesut there was less pressure but we had more capacity of having the ball and his brilliant combinations with the ball. I used to play tactically depending on the characteristics of our players. If the pressure was higher or not so high, aggressive or less aggressive. You try to find a team that is competitive and I found it last season, but sometimes, for one reason or another, for instance, the injury of Lacazette, or Mesut being out for almost a month with the problems he had with the recent attempted robbery he was less available. There was a time when I couldn’t use the three of them. The capacity to try to find how to put together the three different qualities of these players was a tactical motivation for me. Ozil is a very important player if you can find a way to make it work with other players. He has the talent that allows other players to be better, but when you want more aggressive pressure, he does not have the best qualities for that
2019 12 29c Retrieve
[Unai Emery has defended his decision to make Granit Xhaka the Arsenal captain this season] The main captains last year were Koscielny, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal and they all left the team. So the natural leader in the changing room, because of his values and what he represented, was Granit Xhaka. There was a vote to see if what I felt about him was also felt by the players, and they did.
Circumstances meant that Xhaka had a clash with fans, but he is the leader that this team needs then and now, because of the values he represents, because of the respect everyone had for him and because of his experience. But from the moment he stops being captain, there are other players who also have the capacity to take over, like [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Mesut] Ozil, [Alexandre] Lacazette but the hierarchies within a team have to be established with values, the strength of the squad and also what happens on the pitch.
The coach has to let things flow naturally and allow the leadership to be established. Logically, I am the one who decides who will be the captain, but the players get to tell me who they perceive as captain. What made it difficult was that the four principal captains left and new people had to take on the responsibility. These things need a process of settling and adjusting to wearing the armband that is very important to me and very necessary for this transition to take place
2019 12 29d Retrieve
[Emery explains how even Auba, Ozil & Lacazette couldn’t save his Arsenal job] This season, theoretically, we began well and I had the feeling - and so did the club - that the achievements of the previous season were valued. We were now looking to how we could develop together even to the point where they were looking to offer a renewed contract. Then I remember we had one month that the frustrations from bad results were beginning to make us worse for the following matches.
We were losing confidence and a bit of stability. The game against Sheffield United was a bit of a turning point. In one month, everything got broken. We were incapable of winning a game in seven and the tension based on the question we were asking ‘what’s happening to us?’ was like a rolling ball that was just getting bigger and bigger.
The truth is that the coach is the first person to come into the spotlight. I’ve had it at other clubs and managed to conquer it by getting the team back on track, but at Arsenal that month was terrible. We had to win to regain our emotional equilibrium, to get rid of that frustration, and we couldn’t. I spoke to the players three or four weeks before the process began to tell them that things were not going well and that I couldn’t see the team I pictured on the field of play. We looked for solutions. At times defensively we had to be stronger, so we went with three central defenders. We were trying to find a way to tactically synergise Auba, Ozil and Lacazette so that everyone could play the best possible in their position and the results still didn’t come
Perhaps the efforts we made in the Europa League left us with too much to do. We were in the top four for the last games and effectively we lost it at home in two games against Brighton, which we drew, and against Crystal Palace, where we lost. But it’s true that I was very satisfied with how things went because I believe we learned how to become a team. A team that shone, a team that was effective and competitive - and a team that, in general, looked like one that showed why Arsenal signed me.
[We] played in the final against Chelsea where we had a great first half in a tactical sense, and where, in my opinion, we could have taken control of the game. However, in the second half Hazard separated both sides and they won the match. And then, in the league, we swam right up to the shore and died on the beach
2020 01 08 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says Neymar should return to Spain to become the world’s best player] He is 27 years old and has all the conditions to be the best player in the world. In Spain I would like him to come back because the best players have to be in the best teams. You hear a lot that he will return to Barcelona. I also left to go to PSG, but now that I’m in Spain, I think Neymar has to come back
[Emery believes he was hired to oversee a long-term project] There was a time when the illusion broke. In this case, the coach pays for it. Arsenal hired me because I have a resume with titles, for having players of an important level and because I am a club man. They proposed building a project, but the results led to frustration
[Emery has now worked as a manager in the Premier League, La Liga and Ligue 1, and he is of the belief that] The best football teams are in Spain with Madrid and Barcelona, but the best league is the English one
2020 01 09 Retrieve
[Emery reveals three-hour Everton interview but prefers return to Spain] Everton was interested in me and I thought about it. I didn’t say no, we also had a three-hour interview. They already liked me when I went to Paris Saint-Germain. I want this to be a pause for reflection. My first idea is to stay in Madrid and then go to Valencia and London. I’d like to visit my relatives in San Sebastian. I have several teams interested in me, but I have not received offers to return to coach. I would love to go back to work in Spain but I do not exclude anything
2020 01 31 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has blamed Arsenal fans for hounding him out the club] There were several problems: four captains; the Mesut Ozil - Sead Kolasinac case; Nicolas Pepe’s signing, which needs time to be that of France […] We didn’t play well, that’s for sure. That brought us bad results, there was no improvement, the fans focused on me and they threw me out. But I keep the positive things, there were many. I had the funeral and mourning. After my cessation, I dreamed a month of things about Arsenal. It was a natural process. And I overcame that duel. When I no longer dreamed them, I already knew that I had overcome it. Now I am already feeding myself
[Emery also weighed in on his replacement Mikel Arteta] Mikel Arteta fits perfectly as an Arsenal manager. The results have not been the best, but you have to allow time for that to happen.
2020 01 31b Retrieve
[Emery explains why he dropped Arsenal playmaker] He’s a very good player, that’s clear. But the physical demands in the Premier League are high. His performances are unpredictable. He’s a bit below the top players at the moment. Sometimes Arsenal play better with him but other times he doesn’t make such a difference
Mikel has a lot of experience as a footballer and has worked alongside Pep [Guardiola at Manchester City], who is one of the best. He fits the profile of an Arsenal coach perfectly. He’s playing a 4-2-3-1 formation like I did - Ozil is still their ‘No.10’ and is slowly looking for his identity. But with my departure, the hostile atmosphere has relaxed. The results are not the best at the moment but you have to give [Arteta] time to improve them
[Asked to comment on how life has been since being shown the exit door in north London] It’s the first time in 16 years that I’ve had a break of more than a month without work. I’m trying to do other things like rest, see my family, travel and see football people. I’ve been watching live games, which, really, is where you can take in the most information. I feel relaxed - I don’t have to make big decisions or do press conferences. In the first two weeks I had [job] offers and became tense about coming back, but now I want to be calm. I’ve managed to keep my phone to one side
2020 02 10 Retrieve
[Unai Emery believes he missed out on the chance to become the world’s best coach during his time at Paris Saint-Germain because there was no VAR] In Paris, I missed the chance to become the best coach in the world. I won the league, four domestic cups and two Trophees des Champions. But the ultimate goal was the Champions League. The first year, in the round-of-16 against Barcelona, were played a really high-level first leg. In the return leg, we were knocked out because VAR didn’t yet exist. We were very clearly knocked out by refereeing decisions. The second year, against Real Madrid, we bowed to a team who recorded an historic hat-trick and, again, in the first leg, we could find fault with the officiating. To conclude: we lost the first time on refereeing decisions, and the second against the defending and future champions
I wanted the team to defend higher. Thiago Silva is a great player, but I wanted him to be higher and I couldn’t get him to accept that. I wanted him to get out of his comfort zone, to dare to defend higher so that the general pressure of the team on the opposition would be more effective. I worked with him to make him accept this, but I didn’t succeed. This characteristic of Thiago Silva’s game reflected on the whole team, which, under pressure, had a natural tendency to drop deeper
I always felt supported by president Nasser. For example, when we were about to sign Neymar, it was up to me to explain in person to Ney that we were going to build the team around him. With such a phenomenal player, you can’t tell him there is already a team there and that he will have to adapt. You have to create the team for him. Otherwise, he wouldn’t come - that’s for sure. The president and the directors discuss the contract, but it’s the coach who has to convince him of the game plan
2020 02 10b Retrieve
[Emery believes his first campaign in north London should be considered a success] Arsenal was a club on the downward slope for two years when I arrived. We stopped this fall and even started to straighten the club with a Europa League final and a fifth place in the championship, only one place behind Tottenham. We had the qualification for the Champions League in hand and it went wrong in the (Europa League) final. But it was a good season and we had the idea to continue this progression
[Emery blames those poor results on a lack of leadership] We lost our four captains: Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal. We have missed personalities this season to stay on track. And some stars did not have the right attitude and asked for more than they gave. Given all that, it would have taken more time to successfully transition to the new Arsenal that I wanted
2020 02 11 Retrieve
[Emery reveals part he played in signing Neymar] I always felt supported by president Nasser. For example, when we were about to sign Neymar, it was up to me to explain in person to Ney that we were going to build the team around him. With such a phenomenal player, you can’t tell him there is already a team there and that he will have to adapt. You have to create the team for him. Otherwise, he wouldn’t come - that’s for sure. The president and the directors discuss the contract, but it’s the coach who has to convince him of the game plan
2020 02 15 Retrieve
[Emery has since come out and suggested that he was destined to fail because Arsenal were stuck in a rut] Arsenal was a club on the downward slope for two years when I arrived. We stopped this fall and even started to straighten the club with a Europa League final and a fifth place in the championship, only one place behind Tottenham. We had the qualification for the Champions League in hand and it went wrong in the [Europa League] final. But it was a good season and we had the idea to continue this progression. We lost our four captains: Koscielny, Cech, Ramsey and Monreal. We have missed personalities this season to stay on track. And some stars did not have the right attitude and asked for more than they gave. Given all that, it would have taken more time to successfully transition to the new Arsenal that I wanted
2020 03 21 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says he would welcome the opportunity to work in Serie A] I coached for 16 years in a row, so decided to take a little rest to prepare for the project that most inspires me. I won’t rule out any country: England, France, Spain, where I already worked, or Italy, which I’ve never worked in before. I did have some contact with several Italian clubs, but for one reason or another, it was not possible to work here. I am open to everything and keep a very close eye on Serie A. Out of respect and fairness, I will not name the clubs who contacted me in previous years
[If Emery were to end up in Turin, then he could be reunited with a familiar face in the form of ex-Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey] Ramsey decided to leave and he joined a big club. Aaron will be very important for Juventus, as he shares their ambition. I complimented him on his choice, because he picked a club where he can win a great deal. It’s an interesting challenge for him.
2020 04 13 Retrieve
[Sacha Wright on rekindling her romance with Emery] It was then that he blamed me for getting him the sack. He told me I was a white witch as I had brought him so much bad luck. He said, ‘It was the day we broke up that we started to lose’. He told me he was so stressed out that his mind wasn’t in the right place after we separated
We met in the summer of 2018 and we started chatting but I do not follow football so I had no idea who he was. He told me he worked in the sports industry and his English was bad as he’d just moved to London.
He asked me out but said he didn’t want to meet anywhere too busy. He asked me to go to his house in Barnet but I told him no, absolutely not. We agreed to meet at an Italian restaurant in Hampstead. When we arrived, I realised he must be someone important as even though the restaurant was about to close, they kept it open.
He had a heavy accent. He would regularly stop the conversation so he could check words on Google Translate on his phone, but I found him attractive from the moment we met. He dressed well and seemed like a really nice guy. He joked that I could be his English teacher
2020 04 29 Retrieve
[Emery hopes Neymar returns to Spain and wishes Ronaldo had never left] Now that I am in Spain I would like the best players to be there. I would like Messi to continue, that Cristiano had not left, that Neymar returns. Having those players in our league makes us bigger.
Neymar has a huge heart, you also have to understand people [and] empathise. A sports career is short, so [it is important to be] able to focus on moments that your profession requires. Neymar must be told: ‘Take advantage of these moments where you can be the best in the world, because you have the ability’. I have always said that it has been an honour for me to work with him for a year - at a football level he is so impressive [in] training sessions [and] matches
2020 05 02 Retrieve
[Unai Emery believes Neymar has the capacity to usurp Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world] I had a magnificent year with him. I learned so much watching his responses in each training session and in games. Neymar has the talent inside him but also the ability and qualities to execute it. I think he’s got an opportunity to take the baton from Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and be the best player in the world, and he has the time to do it.
Now that I am in Spain I would like the best players to be there. I would like Messi to continue, that Cristiano had not left, that Neymar returns. Having those players in our league makes us bigger. Neymar must be told: ‘Take advantage of these moments where you can be the best in the world, because you have the ability’. A sports career is short, so [it is important to be] able to focus on moments that your profession requires. Neymar has a huge heart. At a football level he is so impressive [in] training sessions [and] matches
2020 05 02 Retrieve
[Former Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery has relived the ‘worst moment’ in his managerial career by talking through his side’s 6-1 loss away to Barcelona in the Champions League] In that period of the game, I saw that an important player for us, who had had problems during the week, was hiding himself away. Perhaps I should have changed him. Those small things are what can see a game slip away from you. Then there is another key thing: the Barca players, especially Luis Suarez, kept on diving in the box, putting lots of pressure on the referee until he fell for it.
I would change the referee from that game. There are many details in that match you can analyse. But I would change the referee and that’s it
2020 05 09 Retrieve
[Unai Emery says Kylian Mbappe is capable of marking an era at Real Madrid and could be somewhat unfulfilled at Paris Saint-Germain] Of course he has the ability to mark an era in Madrid. Advise which league to play in? When I was in France, I love that he was there because I enjoyed it. When I went to England, I would have liked him to play in the Premier League. And if I return to Spain, I want him to be here
Look, surely there will be things from PSG that fill you up and maybe some will not, and there may be Real Madrid. We are lucky to have and export the two best teams in the world, which are Real Madrid and Barcelona, and I would like them to continue having the best players in the world
2020 05 15 Retrieve
[Emery slams Ozil’s ‘attitude and commitment’] In the end he has to look at himself. At his attitude and his commitment. I tried my utmost to help Ozil. Throughout my career, talented players have been my favourites and they have played at their best or close to their best with me. I was always positive with him in terms of wanting him to be involved, but then the attitude that he adopted, and the commitment levels, well, they weren’t enough. One of the captains could possibly have been Ozil but the dressing room didn’t want him to be captain. His level of commitment was not that of someone who deserved to be captain, and that’s not what I decided, that’s what the players decided.
In that game the commitment was there. We got back to London at eight in the morning and I went home, slept three hours, and then went back to Colney. I had meetings with all the players that day. Individual half-hour chats with each one. Only Ozil didn’t want to come. I don’t know [why]. He didn’t come. And that’s what we’re saying when we talk about commitment. When the commitment is 100 per cent then everyone comes.
2020 05 15b Retrieve
[Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery has admitted he would have rather signed Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha than Nicolas Pepe] We signed Pepe. He’s a good player but we didn’t know his character and he needs time, patience. I favoured someone who knew the league and wouldn’t need to adapt. Zaha won games on his own: Tottenham, Manchester City, us. Incredible performances. I told them: ‘This is the player I know and want’. I met Zaha and he wanted to come. The club decided Pepe was one for the future. I said: ‘Yes, but we need to win now and this lad wins games.’ He beat us on his own.
It’s also true Zaha was expensive and Palace didn’t want to sell. There were a series of decisions that had repercussions
It’s difficult. The energy slips, things drift; everything does, everyone does. Some support you but you feel the atmosphere, relationships [shift]. And that transmits to the pitch. Losing leads against Palace and Wolves reflected our emotional state: we weren’t right. It wasn’t working. I told the players: ‘I don’t see the team I want.’ That commitment and unity wasn’t there any more. That’s when I see I’m on my own. The club left me alone, and there was no solution.