Press conference

Emery & Mustafi press conference: full transcript


Unai Emery and Shkodran Mustafi faced the media at London Colney on Wednesday ahead of our Europa League group-stage match against Eintracht Frankfurt.

They discussed our German opponents, their respective futures, our recent form and more.

Read on for a full transcript:

on our Europe League performances...
SM: Well, I think that it was a difficult start to the competition because we played Frankfurt away which was not an easy place to go and win. I think we had a good gameplan, we stuck to the gameplan and we dealt with probably the strongest team in our group very well. We took the three points which was very important to go into this competition and then we played very good games at home against Liege and the other one [against Vitoria] was more of a character game where we came back from going behind and believed until the last minute and we got rewarded for that. We had a few good games in this competition and I think me and all the team are looking forward to continuing this in the next game.

on Frankfurt...
SM: You noticed from the beginning in Frankfurt that they're a team with identity. You could see what they were trying to do and how they were trying to play. The players knew what to do, how they were moving and it's always difficult to play against very organised teams like that and they have the individual quality to hurt you as well. We had to be fully focused for 90 minutes and play when we had our chances, when we had our moments of the gameto finish them off. We did that well. In this game they had a red card which made it easier for us towards the end, but I think the team did very well when we played in Frankfurt.

on six games without a win...
SM: Football is a game, obviously if I can choose I would like to win every game but other teams are playing football as well and they want to win as well. But as an Arsenal player and this club, you want to win every game. When you don't win you come back here to the training ground, like we do every day. We work our socks off because at the end of the day it's a day-to-day job. Every day, you have to keep fighting, you have to work, you have to improve and in the last games we didn't manage to win. Every day, after every game of the six, we came back to the training ground and we've been working, we've been analysing, trying to get better and trying to improve on things that we didn't do well. That's what we are going to keep on doing. When things are not going like you want them to go, you go back to the basics and you look to improve on the things that didn't work out and that's what we're going to do in the next games as well. If you win, if you lose, you have to analyse and try to improve because this is what our job is all about. If you win five games and then you lose one, people will always remember the last one, so we're going to try and win the next game so that people can remember the game that we won. And then win the next one and then the next one if we can.

on the manager being under a lot of pressure...
SM: First of all we play for the club. If you play for Arsenal, you play for a big club and you have to know you have to give everything to win. We play for each other because we are a team, the boys in the dressing room and the coaching staff are all in the same boat. If the coach is under pressure, the players are too. We stick together, we fight for each other and everyone is trying to give their best. The coach is trying to organise the team and we, as players, try to put on the pitch what we do every day in training. We play together, we're in the same boat and we will try to fight our way out of this.

on whether he may leave in January or if he'll stay until the summer...
I am still here. I am a player of Arsenal and I've got a contract with Arsenal for one and a half more years. I have always said that if there is going to be something where it suits me and if there is going to be something where I want to make a next step then I am open to it and I am open to talk. But at the moment I think it's a situation where we have to put our own interests in the background because we have to focus on the team and we have to focus on winning games. So at the moment I'm really not thinking about my own personal future. I am thinking about when I have the opportunity to help the team, I am trying to do that. This is not only me, this is everyone in the dressing room. I know there are always a lot of things going on and a lot of people talk and give opinions on what is going on, but I can say that in the dressing room that everyone is fully focused on giving everything to get out of this situation because it makes life easier for us when things are going good. So everyone is really looking to play football and win games with Arsenal.

on how Frankfurt play...
SM: Frankfurt is a team with a coach who has a very good identity. You can tell their idea of the game and how they want to play. Nothing is random, they're very coordinated. Even if you know how they play, you can't always anticipate it as a defender. If you anticipate their attacking moves, you may open up different spaces for them to capitalise on. It's a team with attacking strengths so you have to be focused for 90 minutes. They don't hog possession without gaining any space. They're very organised on the ball and want to get it back as soon as possible. It's hard to play against teams like these. It's not easy.

on the importance of tomorrow's game for confidence...
UE: Good afternoon. We have two objectives tomorrow. One is in the Europa League and we are doing a very good job in this competition but tomorrow we need to make sure of first position in the table and our second objective is to win and take confidence, as well as content with our supporters, as well as our capacity and our quality.

on speculation about Emery's future...
UE: My future is today and tomorrow.

on reassurances about his job...
UE: My job is to prepare for the match tomorrow and only look at the match tomorrow, to show the best performance for the team. We are playing at home with our supporters so we want to transmit our energy, our game plan and everything we work on here at the training ground. Those are my only thoughts.

on how difficult it is to focus on the games with all the speculation...
UE: We know that the last match we were disappointed and the supporters were also and now we are only speaking here to prepare for the match and to show and to come back with a good performance like we were doing before. And then, my only focus is to show tomorrow a good performance and connect with our supporters. We know our supporters are disappointed but tomorrow we have the chance to come back with our supporters in the Emirates and show them that reaction. I know some teams come here and are fearless against us and we need to be strong for our supporters but first we need to reconnect with them, but really, my wish is tomorrow that the supporters and every supporter helps the team because we need them.

on whether the players believe in his tactics...
UE: Yes, of course, they've showed that.

on whether this is the most difficult time he's had as a coach...
UE: As a coach, each moment in my career is difficult. It’s a very good job, but it’s very hard. When you are winning, you feel the support from everybody, but when you're not winning like in the last matches, you have some doubters. Really, I believe in us, the players, the group. I know I am going to work very hard to come back with this performance and take the confidence we need now. Each match is a very good opportunity The good and bad moments come and go, but the most important thing for me is to show my work and our capacity. Each match is a good opportunity to do that. Most importantly it's to connect with the supporters. They need to back and help the players tomorrow in each moment. Our confidence depends on how we can feel in our stadium with our supporters. The teams are coming here and playing fearless against us. This is the first thing we need to change. We need to change it and we need to be strong and we need to be together. I know we need to show our supporters our capacity and our skills. I know we're not really showing that skill and performance 100 per cent with the players, but tomorrow we have a very good opportunity and we are going to try to change that. We were speaking about how we can improve and how we can change that and the first way of changing that is by being more compact. Then being confident we can show our skills, our quality. In the last matches, we've had tactical issues and we need to do better.

on if he feels that he is isolated at the moment...
UE: But in my career I had successful moments and also in those successful moments, with a small moment of not being well, like being consistent every time. In those moments I need to be focused for my work and focused with the players. I know some doubt is coming about the results but my objective is to change that and come back with the performance and connect with the supporters. The players need to connect with the supporters and the supporters need to help the players. Then for me, it’s about supporting them. The players are working every day with very big commitment and very big behaviour. Some players aren’t feeling confident 100 per cent and this is the first target we need, to feel confident and take our performance through the teams. At Emirates we need to be strong and feel strong with our supporters, and if we feel that, we are going to take our confidence and our performances will be better.

on Granit Xhaka...
UE: He's in the group and has the possibility to play tomorrow. I hope every supporter supports the team. Xhaka's comeback is going to be important to us.

on if we've lost the connection with the supporters…
They are angry and they are now disappointed, but we are as well. Tomorrow we have a very big opportunity to change that and this is my wish. This is also my idea and to create a big atmosphere in Emirates with our supporters. Each match here in the Emirates with our supporters is very important. We need their support. They need it more than me because they’re on the pitch and they need to feel them backing them over 90 minutes.

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