Press conference

Emery press conference: every single word

Unai Emery was a much happier man after the first game of 2019 than he was after the final game of 2018.

Our head coach guided the team to a much-needed 4-1 win over Fulham on New Year’s Day to keep us in touch with the Premier League’s top four, and he dissected the big talking points shortly after the final whistle.

Here’s a transcript of the press conference:

on the game…
Good evening. We needed to win today. We spoke before in the dressing room about today being one day where we can be consistent here with our results. We knew that today we could win three points and that the three points would give us security in the table. We are behind the first four teams in the table, but we want to continue to be close and maybe in the future we can be in the top four if we take our opportunities.

on the defensive work…
Our challenge now is to improve defensively. What’s the reason? Maybe different things. First, not with every player, we need to defend more than we did today with different injuries. Today’s the first time we could play with Koscielny, Sokratis and Mustafi - and the injury to Mustafi in the first half meant we had to change to four at the back in the second half. But we are very happy with the attacking players scoring lots of goals like today, but we need to take more balance defensively and to improve. It’s one thing for us to work on, to prepare for the second half of the season. We need to do it better in the second half of the season by working with every player in the team tactically - and that’s what we’re going to do. 

on Aaron Ramsey…
He worked very well against Liverpool. Today he played 15 minutes and he scored. He helped us protect the confidence and the good result today against Fulham and I want to have this focus from him when he’s playing.

on whether he will stay for the season…
At the moment he’s working with us. I think so, yes.

on the reaction to subbing off Lacazette…
I understand the supporters. I need to do my work. Tactically, we are thinking that in this moment we needed to change to get more balance. Above all else, we know Seri very well and we needed to get a player close to him, to not let him play with the ball very easily. When Aaron Ramsey came onto the pitch, he could do that and can also help us in attacking moments and he scored. The reason for the decision was this and I need to do my work. Every supporter can think different things tactically, but for me today, Lacazette worked very well today, scored and he helped us. His reaction was very positive.

on how good it felt to see Ramsey score…
In my career I’ve also had different moments with these decisions. We also need to have more information to do that and we also need to be very calm in our mind to make these decisions.

on Mustafi…
It’s a small injury, a small problem. He didn’t feel well after the first half and said for us to change. It’s not a big injury. He wanted to play today to help us, so maybe we can give him a few days rest to help us. Yes [it’s a hamstring]. 

on transfers…
It’s not easy to change or improve our team with the possibilities in the transfer market, but the club is working. We are looking at different possibilities. Maybe we can improve in the transfer market if we get the opportunity. Maybe we can sign one or two players, but it’s not easy.

on Gary Cahill…
We didn’t speak about him.

on Lacazette and Aubameyang playing from the start…
We played a lot with both. A lot also from the start. It depends on the matches. They’ve played a lot of minutes and I’m very happy with them both. Today the most important thing for us is the victory and that they scored. Ramsey also scored a different player like Xhaka. We need to find the balance tactically with different players.

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