Press conference

Emery on Martinelli, Ozil and promising youngsters


After a comfortable 4-0 Europa League win at home to Standard Liege, head coach Unai Emery faced the media and praised the progress of the young players, the impact of Gabriel Martinelli up front revealed why Mesut Ozil wasn’t included in the matchday squad.

Read on for a transcript of the post-match press conference.

on how our young players adapted…
Good evening. Historically Arsenal have that responsibility with young players, and I told you before that my responsibility now is also speaking with the club and giving them chances. We want to give them chances, but we need to find our very high demands in our performance to achieve our targets. We are in one process and we want to do it as quickly as we can because our targets for the season are very important to achieve. Each match for the young players when they have the chance to play, if they play like tonight or before in the pre-season, then they deserve to be with us and to continue creating our way with them. Matches like tonight are good to use them because this competition is an important competition after the Premier League. They deserve to be with us in the next matches and they are coming in at a key moment with a high level. I think they are close with us.

on Martinelli’s performance and whether he is capable of playing through the middle…
Yes, he played in this position with us and in every training he showed us his hunger to be with us. In pre-season he played in different positions, but above all he preferred playing on the left wing. But also he played as a right winger. I used him as a striker because in Brazil he played this position (centre forward). It’s not the best position for him, but the first thing in his mind is to help us and receive some minutes with us in the team. Tonight I think his performance and attitude was amazing. 

on what he knew about Martinelli before he arrived…
I saw him in pre-season and he was working and in each training showing us his hunger. In pre-season he was perfect all the time with us in training, and I spoke to him to be calm because when he arrived with an opportunity to play like tonight, if he continues with this hunger then I think he will do well. Tonight confirmed that.

on why Ozil wasn’t included in the matchday squad…
I am thinking every time to decide the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and to help us. When I decided he shouldn’t be in the squad it’s because I think other players deserved it more. 

on what Ozil has to do to get back in the squad…
He needs to continue working. Tomorrow we have training with the players who didn’t play, and on Sunday we have another match, and we are going to decide the same. Our target is to win on Sunday against Bournemouth, and we want to carry on our same way in each match. 

on Tierney’s performance… 
Kieran after his injury is coming back with a good attitude. He played last week against Nottingham Forest for 80 minutes with a good performance, and tonight was another very good performance. We are a better competitive team with him and with Sead Kolasinac at left back. We are happy with him.

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