Press conference

Emery and Martinez press conference: every word

Unai Emery

We continue our Europa League campaign on Thursday, when we host Belgian side Standard Liege at Emirates Stadium.

Unai Emery and Emi Martinez faced the media ahead of the game - and here's every word from their pre-match press conference:

on his Argentina call-up...
EM: Actually it's the second time I've been called up. It's a dream come true. As a young kid, I always wanted to play for the national team. We've got two big games to play now, preparing for the Copa America next year. I'm more than ready to play for the national team now. I'm getting more minutes so my confidence is really high right now. I'm delighted for the call-up.

on whether he’d have been called up if he left in the summer...
EM: No one knows that to be honest. I stayed here because I believe in Unai's work and because I love the club. At the moment it's a really good decision. I'm working really hard, I'm really humble, we've got a really good squad so hopefully I'll reach my goals this season.

on the UEL giving him a chance to challenge Leno...
EM: That's what I'm working for. We both work really hard, we're both good goalkeepers and Matt works really hard too. That's what it takes to play for Arsenal. You always have to challenge everyone. Matt challenges me, I challenge Bernd. It used to be the same with Pete and David Ospina. It's a big club so challenges will always be there.

on people maybe not taking this competition seriously...
EM: I don't know that people don't take the Europa League seriously. I think it's a great competition. It's European, it's always on TV and you can reach the Champions League if you win the Europa League. It's a good competition and we always take it really seriously. I'm really looking forward to the game tomorrow.
 
on his goals this season...
EM: Since I signed for this club, my goal was always to be the No 1. I've been here for almost 10 years and I came as a young boy, now I'm a grown man. I've been on some good loans and bad loans, but at the end of the day my work ethic and commitment has always been focused on being the No 1 for Arsenal and Argentina. That's the dream. I said to my dad that I'm going to do it and I won't stop until I'm No 1 for Argentina.
 
on whether he feels he's the best at the club...
EM: Yeah of course. If you want to be No 1 at Arsenal, you have to believe in yourself no matter what. I believe in my talent and I believe in my work. I have been lucky to have really good goalkeeper coaches. Gerry Peyton really helped me, and Sal and Javi have taken me to another level to be honest. I'm grateful but my goals are much higher than that.

on whether he thinks more young players could make the breakthrough...
UE: But this is not [just] now. This academy, the Arsenal academy, was in the history a very big academy. Also, the responsibility in each moment as a club, as a coach in each moment, is to have the responsibility to give them chances. When I arrived here, the same, I know I have a big responsibility with the club and also the academy and after is to look for the best performance every time. In training, in the matches... but also giving the young players chances to be with us in training, if they deserve to play, give them chances to play and after if they are playing well, they have more chances to be with us and to play in more matches. We are doing that. Last year, we started working in every training with Willock, with Eddie Nketiah and with other players. There are a lot of players in the academy that are close to us and we want to give them that opportunity. Now is the same, I don't know in other clubs if they are doing the same. Some clubs more, some others less, but our responsibility is our responsibility and Arsenal's responsibility, the Arsenal coach's responsibility.
 
on if he is looking at his team to keep a clean sheet tomorrow...
UE: To win. For me, it's to win. With a good performance, with good pieces, with also controlling the match and with good positioning on the pitch for good pressing against them. Tomorrow, we need that. Also, a clean sheet is important. Yes, it's important. But I think it's one process, to be strong, to be competitive defensively and offensively. I think we are getting better little by little, but each match is a big challenge for us to show how we are improving as a team. But above all is to win. After, if we can do a clean sheet, that is better but winning [is the main focus].
 
on how Emile Smith Rowe is and if he will be involved...
UE: He's not ready for tomorrow. He needs more days to rest for starting to train with us again.
 
on Kieran Tierney and if he may feature tomorrow...
UE: He still needs time and confidence, training and playing. Tomorrow is a good opportunity again, because he is ready to play tomorrow. He will take minutes, he will take confidence and will be able with us to show also his progress.
 
on if he spoke to Steve Clarke to keep Kieran out of the Scotland squad...
UE: No, I asked Kieran yesterday because we are waiting first to be with us consistently playing and after his injuries, each step is important to do them with being consistent. For example, he didn't play in Manchester because he had some small problem - not important - but the doctor told us that it's better for him to be here, working alone and preparing for the match tomorrow. We are with him, taking precaution, it's also important with the national team and we are thinking it is not the moment to work with them. For the next matches, I think he is going to be ready to play with us and to play with them. But now he is going to play tomorrow and also hopefully he can be good, completely physically and completely tactically ready with the performances that we need. But really, I think that with us he can play but being and taking precaution also for not playing a lot of matches in a few days.
 
on whether Hector Bellerin will play tomorrow...
UE: Hector Bellerin is the same, but with a small difference. Because he was injured for more time and after a long time, nine months, I think he needed to first play 15 minutes with us last week, perfect, the first minutes. He played with the under-23s for taking confidence and he was doing actions on the pitch to feel good and to repeat them when the level is higher. For example, for tomorrow, we are thinking that it depends on the training that we are going to do now on how he is feeling. But if he is feeling well, then tomorrow, normally, he is going to play.
 
on if Mesut Ozil could go out on loan in January...
UE: He's our player now.