The full-back position is widely considered the most important role in modern football - and for good reason, too.
Originally deployed as wide defenders, the full back has become a more attack-minded offensive outlet required to get up and down the flank for 90 minutes, contributing to all phases of play.
So how does this role fit into Unai Emery’s philosophy?
“Wing-backs for us, and I think for football generally, give us the opportunity to get wide, and sometimes also the surprise of getting deep,” our head coach told Arsenal Player. “They give control with the ball when you have players inside.
“They can go outside, keeping wide and going deep for the last attacking moment. But also it's very important for every team, and for us as well, for them to defensively and tactically have quality.
“Maybe they can be runners and have the capacity to add the attacking moments when the team needs it. They can offer a surprise with an attacking moment. But not forgetting that for every defensive player, the first work from them is defensively.
“In each match I usually want to take the positions with the squad or the starting XI, the positioning and control with the positioning the spaces on the pitch when we are attacking or defending.
“When you want to use a lot of players inside for the counter attack maybe, it gives us the possibility for the players to touch the ball, to keep the ball between some players. You also need to use the space on the side, on the right or left, for the balance defensively and also for the balance when you want to do the attacking moments and surprise the opposition.”
Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.