Press conference

Emery and Lacazette's press conference transcript

Unai Emery and Alex Lacazette faced the media on Wednesday to discuss our Europa League quarter-final first leg against Napoli.

The pair discussed the Italian side's qualities, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and more.

Read on for a full transcript:

on team news…
UE: Good afternoon. We are going to assess tomorrow. Granit and Laurent are improving and they today with us, but I would rather wait for tomorrow morning to decide.

on Lucas Torreira…
UE: For me and for us, to have every player available to play and then afterwards decide. We’re going to play important moments in the Premier League and the Europa League. Some players will be injured, some suspended, but now we can choose from them all to have a big performance for the match tomorrow.

on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being benched for the last two games…
UE: Yes but the first reason [he was benched] is because he had a small problem and he has taken antibiotics for his illness. That’s the main reason he didn’t start those two matches. For tomorrow, he’s getting better and can start or can play after.

on Mesut Ozil’s mental state…
UE: Our focus is the match and our focus to take confidence, to take performance, and being together. We want to be calm when the bad results come because we are in our way. A few months ago, we had this moment like now, but now we are in a good way. But each match is going to be very important in the Europa League tomorrow and also in the Premier League. We are closer to our target now than then, but we know it’s going to be difficult. The best thing for us is to be together, to be strong, to be calm and to have a clear focus. Your question is without this idea for me.

on being knocked out of the semis being a driving factor this year…
AL: Last season we fell just next to the final so this season we want to go forward. We have to play well in this game.

on the home form being better than away form…
AL: We know we are better at home than we are away, so tomorrow is really important for us. We also know we can get a good result away, so both games are going to be important for us.

on playing with Aubameyang…
AL: Yeah, Auba is a good player. We play well together but I like to play with all of my team-mates, not only with Auba or any individual players.

on Napoli's qualities...
UE: I think 50/50. Napoli has a big history like us. Now they are second in the table after Juventus and making a big difference with other important teams. They are playing very well. They have come from the Champions League but from a strong group with Liverpool. They were very competitive in this group. I know it’s going to be very difficult for us but we have confidence. We know we need to be very consistent in two matches, with big preparation and with respect to them. Also, we want to trust and believe in ourselves. We want to work hard, prepare hard and play hard.

on Emery and Ancelotti having lots of European success...
UE: I have a lot of respect for every coach. Carlo Ancelotti is top. He has experience in all the competitions, in all the countries. His coaching career is amazing. For me, my challenge is every day and every year. All I did in my past is only to gain experience. I need to create a new future, a new present, a new good career for us, for Arsenal. This match is a big level, a big-level match, and the level we want to play. It’s a very big test for us in this competition. We want to play the best teams and Napoli now is one of the best teams, with the best players and also a very experienced coach.

on only conceding one goal at the Emirates in the Europa League…
UE: We need to be consistent in each match. Each match for us is giving us a lot of information. Our balance defensively and offensively was getting better but isn’t enough at the moment. Tomorrow we are going to play at home with our supporters and we know we need to win tomorrow. Our first target is to win, but also we don’t want to concede chances for them to score. That’s important. We know they have good players and also have had good performances in the season. In the last matches there may have been some doubts, but tomorrow they will play with the best performance. I am sure. We need to be very competitive in the 90 minutes. We want to win and not concede goals, but we know that can come. We will play two matches, 90 minutes here and 90 minutes away, and we are prepared for if it’s decided on extra time or penalties. It’s going to be a very good game tomorrow and away between us because we have two teams of very good players.

on qualifying for the Champions League without winning the Europa League…
AL: On Sunday we played badly, all the team. We didn’t do what the coach asked us but we still have confidence. We know we’re still in the race for the Champions League in the Premier League, but we want to win trophies so we are confident.

on Ozil throwing his coat…
AL: He’s still a leader even if he knows he doesn’t have to do this. When you are upset for some reason, sometimes you do things you don’t have to do. That’s something for him but today everything is fine.

on whether he feels other players can take on more responsibility to score…
AL: No [I don’t feel like they do]. If we score a lot of goals, it’s because our team-mates put us in these positions and give us good balls to score. If they give us these good balls to score, then I’m OK.

on what we didn’t do against Everton…
AL: First at home we have the fans, so of course we feel more confident. Sometimes we want to do something but some days it’s not as we want, you can’t play as you want. That’s it.

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