Press conference

Emery's press conference: read every word

Unai Emery was understandably disappointed after we were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City on Sunday.

Afterwards, he faced the media and discussed the performance, the team's mentality and Shkodran Mustafi's fitness.

Read on for a full transcript:

on the performance…
Good evening. They showed their superiority today over 90 minutes. Above all, the second half cost us. In two different times in the first half we struggled, but together we were defensively strong in some moments. We gave ourselves a chance so that we could hopefully take the chance in the attacking third against them. We also needed to work hard and not concede chances inside our box. In the first half, we can look at it with some optimism but in the second half we tried to do something different to go up against them by creating more chances, more opportunities, with more players and possibilities on the pitch. But the second half was different. We were more open than we were in the first half and they have very fast players in the transition. I think they showed today, with the possession against us when our defensive position was very deep, they can score like they did in the first half. When we needed to attack a little more against them, opening the space in the transition, they showed they were better than us at the moment. The result is the difference between Manchester City and Arsenal today.

on whether the difference has closed since the first game…
I cannot say a lot about that. They showed their superiorly at the end of the match. We lost some duels. We have some young players who are playing their first year in the Premier League and they can improve a lot. I’m very happy with Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira’s performances today, but they also need time to improve and to take confidence, to take experience for their future here. With the result, it’s not easy to say that, but there are some positives that we can look at from our players today.

on how much we’ve improved since the start of the season…
We want to do things in our way to achieve our targets. But to do that we need time and to be patient sometimes. At the moment, last week we were close with Manchester United and Chelsea, fighting for the position in the top four. Today we lost and now we are three and two points behind them. The difference is, for example with City, like today. With Liverpool, it’s a big difference, and with Tottenham, he’s keeping a lot of regularity in their matches to take a lot of points. Our situation is now that we need to think game by game, keep our regularity, be consistent over the course of 38 matches. Today, we lost but are looking to improve. It’s normal because they showed their superiority and now we continue working. The next match for us is very important against Huddersfield. These are the matches where we can take the regularity to be in the position we want, near to the top four. We know it’s difficult and we need time as well. We must be demanding of ourselves to find that.

on whether he thinks his side has a weak mentality away from home…
But the mentality is the same with superiority or not having superiority in a game. When you are on the pitch, playing one team and in general they are better, the players feel that and we need to also be stronger little-by-little and when we can feel stronger with the ball, without the ball and together that our confidence is coming. Also the mentality is coming. But I think our players have mentality. But also, when we are worse than the opposition, we feel that and it's negative on the pitch. For example, I said to you, there are good things with some players. I think we have players with a good present and future, who need time, need to take experience and need to play matches like today and lose and struggle. I think we can be optimists, but with this result it's not easy.

on City’s three goals being similar…
The first thing is their quality and their capacity. We can't stop that. But I cannot say nothing for my players because I think they worked. They struggled and we received goals also because in some collective and invidious actions, they showed their capacity. But, for us, the most important thing is that now we are behind Manchester City. Okay, we accept that. But 38 matches can give us chances and opportunities to improve and to be closer to the top four. But today is for learning, for working after the match but recognising their superiority in different situations.

on Shkodran Mustafi…
I think he's okay also. He's been having problems all this week and last week. Dinos Mavrapanos is training with us also and is good to start his first 20 minutes today and help us.

on whether he will be out for long…
No. I think last week he is with some problems also in his head and today, when in the last 20 minutes he was also with some problems, I decided to give Mavropanos 20 minutes. I hope it is not a problem with Mustafi for this week and the next match.

on the issue being with his head…
Last week, he had a problem. During the week he was improving and he was okay to play today, but after the two actions in the second half, I decided to keep him and to give Mavrapanos a chance to play.

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