Press conference

Emery on the derby, transfers, Pepe: transcript

Unai Emery faced a host of questions on Thursday as he faced the media ahead of Sunday's north London derby against Tottenham.

Our head coach discussed our rivals, the diamond formation we employed at Anfield, Mesut Ozil, possible transfers out of the club and more.

Read on for a full transcript:

on his first north London derby memories...
Good afternoon. At the beginning I want to speak about each match as different because we can remember last year's derby and the positives from it, some things were less positive. Above all I want to write a new derby [memory], a new match for us here. Against Tottenham it's a derby with our supporters at home and we want to be able to have a special day with them.

on whether that's the sort of intensity we need this weekend...
Yes, the intensity was very important but they are also going to try to play with their identity and we need to impose our gameplan against them, knowing it's going to be difficult. We need to look at our positioning offensively and defensively. Above all, we need to play each ball, each metre, each minute with that intensity. After, we need to be clever when we have the ball and are in good situations to make the difference against them. Also, I think it's a very, very big challenge for us and it's a very, very good moment, a good match and the possibility of winning against them on Sunday gives a chance for good success. We also remember that last year we finished behind them with only one point's difference in 38 matches. We are going to play against the Champions League finalists and there are a lot of positives for us, for our supporters, to enjoy that match on Sunday.

on the latest team news...
Rob Holding is training with us, playing with the under-23s but he is not 100 per cent to play on Sunday with us. We are working with him one way, playing with the under-23s and training with us, and also testing his performance each day and with each match with the under-23s. We think now he is getting better, he can play one match but not with the intensity we want on Sunday, for example.

on Bellerin and Tierney...
Really, we have to be calm but also we have to be demanding with their recovery, because we need them. That international break is going to give us two weeks to test them better than before, because now my focus with the team is the players that will be available on Sunday and to prepare with them. After that match, we will test different players and how they can be closer to us, to the team, to start playing with us.

on Mesut Ozil...
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.

on whether Ozil will still be an Arsenal player at the end of the European window...
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.

on whether Mesut could leave...
No, we are not speaking about the possibility he could leave.

on Monreal leaving...
Yes, there is a possibility.

on the diamond formation...
I understand (the question). We won with the diamond last year, and we lost with it. We can win and we can lose with the diamond. The consequence of the result on Sunday was not the diamond, but really we are ready to play with different tactical decisions. Last year we worked and used different formations with good performances because the players here have worked on different systems. Also, they have the habit of playing in different systems. We are more rich tactically with different formations and tactics and can change in each match and each moment in the 90 mins. On Sunday we will decide the best possible system for us, thinking of our gameplan and to adapt for Tottenham.

on playing Pepe, Auba and Laca together...
Yes, but be calm. My decision in each moment is thinking about how we are. For example with Lacazette he had a problem with his ankle This week is the best week of the last three weeks. He’s getting better and feeling better with his ankle, it’s very positive. With Pepe, he came here later than the others but he is getting and feeling better in each match. Aubameyang is very important for us, he scores two goals in the first two matches, he had two or three good actions in Liverpool. The most important thing for me is to have chances and after with players like Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Micki, Reiss, Ceballos and Mesut we can score with different players.

on whether they will play together on Sunday...
I think they can start together and they can play also during the match as all three, it depends how we decide our gameplan. But I am very optimistic for that situation, but not also those three players, also Nelson, Mkhitaryan, Willock, Ozil. We need to be able to make the best decisions, but above all, to have different possibilities with the players.

on David Luiz...
It is not easy for him, the adaption to us has been very quick, but I am very happy with him. His decision is very ambitious to come here and be with us, and he wants to help us. We can speak about some fault with one player or another player, but we can also talk about some good decisions and very good actions in each match from one player. And with him it’s the same. The penalty last Sunday, we cannot speak a lot about that, the action with Salah we cannot speak a lot about that. For example, for that penalty he has one yellow card so if he made a foul with Salah it’s the second. He was intelligent and we can speak about positive decisions and we can also speak about the goal. We are in our way and I like and want his mentality. I want his ambition. I want to transmit the ambition from him and me to other players. After we can be competitive.

on if this is a good time for us to play Tottenham and if we are the favourites...
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. After that is for the football. I think maybe that on Sunday, that match is the best match in the world for all football supporters.

on if he was a betting man, would he bet on Arsenal...
No, because I cannot.

on Harry Kane's scoring record in the derby...
Kane is a big and great player for them. But we also have very big and great players in our team. We are going to play with our game plan and also with respect to them, but also believing in our game plan and in our players and in our supporters, because they are going to help us. We need also to stop them, but thinking also that we have very good players to do that. Also, to show our best capacity and best performance on Sunday.

on what Tottenham player he would choose to be in his Arsenal team...
I am very, very happy with our players. Really, I respect them, I respect their coach, a very big coach and also they are doing a lot of things very positively with their players. But I trust and I want our players.