Press conference

Emery’s press conference: every single word

Unai Emery completed his pre-match press conference more than four days before we kick off against Leicester City - but he had plenty to talk about.

Our head coach fielded questions on Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, his goalkeeper options and, of course, the winning streak that has propelled us up the Premier League table.

Here’s a full transcript from Unai’s latest media briefing.

on his squad following the international break...
Good afternoon. The players are coming back now. Only Sokratis had one problem, one small injury. Maybe for Monday it’s difficult [for him to play]. The others are OK.

on how advantageous it is to play on Monday and have two extra days to prepare…
I prefer to play Saturday or Sunday. It [playing on Monday] has the advantage for more time to prepare the match - that’s one positive. After, we are going to play Thursday, we are going to play Sunday also, two matches very quickly after Leicester. For me it’s not an excuse because we are preparing for Monday. For us this match against Leicester has the same importance as the other matches, above all because I think the difficulty now is to not relax. After winning six games in the Premier League, we need to continue to be demanding in each match and think about the next match as the most important.

on Ramsey saying he wants to stay until end of season…
For me January is very far [away]. I’m thinking about Monday’s match first. I want every player to stay OK, with the mentality to prepare, to play and [be] together to win.

on if Ramsey could stay at Arsenal…
It’s the same, my answer. My focus is on every match. The football, the future is tomorrow. My reason, I explain to every player and to you also, I want the mentality for the next match. Individual things are not for me to speak about now. 

on if Ramsey is still part of his plans now…
I want his performance like the other players. For example, in the last match he started on the bench, then he played 25 minutes with this performance. On Monday it’s the same if he starts in the first XI or on the bench, to come with the focus for this match to help us. It’s not different [than it is] for other players.

on if Ozil will struggle to motivation after retiring from international football…
We need every player with a very big motivation every day in training and to continue improving and to continue helping us with his quality. It’s the same with Mesut. The motivation is very important for us. We want to find this motivation every day from every player.

on if Aubameyang came back early from international duty…
He didn’t play the last match [for Gabon]. Today he’s training with us like the other players who are working here. He played 45 minutes against the under-23s for us today. I think it’s good when he’s thinking also to play one match with the national team and then rest to stay better with us.

on if he expected to make such a big impact at Arsenal…
I think we need to improve a lot. I think we have to continue doing a lot of the things to get better. Our demands need to be very high. The supporters can enjoy it with us but also we’re speaking with our reality every day. We need to improve because for example the match against Fulham was a very good result and a very good game for 90 minutes. But in the first 45 minutes I thought we needed to do better. If we are remembering the last match at the Emirates [against Watford], we won but not playing like we want, with the control against the opposition. For me now, the most important thing is not to rush. The next game against Leicester is very big, very difficult. Leicester are a very good team and play with a clear identity under Claude Puel. They are very competitive, have very good players and we need every single player, and our mentality together to be stronger than in the last match.

on if he’s brought a winning mentality…
This is one process: to work every day and not the possibility to say now we have a winning mentality. We need to continue improving, continue creating in our way. The strong mentality is [to show] each minute, each ball, each moment of the 90 minutes to show every supporter we are deciding to win with our example on the pitch. We need to give every action with that mentality. This process is very hard, very long and this is the way to do it together. Also with the supporters, we are stronger with them helping us, like for example against Fulham and in every match at the Emirates.

on who will start in goal…
Petr Cech is getting better from his injury but he’s not training with the group. But I think he’s very close to start with us.

on if he’s changed targets for season based on team performing so well…
We need to continue working calmly in our bodies and our mentality. Our target now is the same as in the first matches. The first two matches we lost, against Manchester City and Chelsea. But after six matches winning in the Premier League, it hasn’t changed. [We need] this calm because we [beat] a lot of opposition teams with very [poor] performances. We need to stay with the best teams in the Premier League. To stay with them, we need to do better and get better at different things.

on Vardy’s threat and if he likes him…
He’s a very good player. He has talent, his speed [helps] for the counter-press. On Monday we will not want to give him possibilities to continue scoring against us.