Press conference

‘Football is emotion, especially in a derby’

Unai Emery loves the emotion and passion of a north London derby.

He saw plenty of both in his first encounter with Tottenham on December 2, a game that swung this way and that before it was settled by our stirring second-half performance.

One of the flashpoints was a scuffle after Erik Dier made it 1-1 in the first half and then celebrated in front of our fans. But our head coach understands that a highly-charged atmosphere is normal when the north London rivals meet.

“I think showing emotion is very important,” said Unai. “I think football is emotion. And in a derby, maybe this emotion is greater.

“When you win it’s amazing, when you lose it’s horrible. But respect is very important. We can show this emotion with respect when we are playing, but also when they scored against us, they can show their emotion with their supporters. But with respect. 

“We need to show this emotion when we are playing, when we are winning, because I think football needs this passion.

“I say to [the players] that, in every match, we need to respect the opposition. Against Southampton, against Tottenham, against Manchester United, against Huddersfield, it’s the same. This respect is by playing with a big motivation and a lot of excitement to win against them. 

“We must respect this emotion in every moment. But the emotion is not bad. I think showing our emotion, the players, the fans and me, is good. But every time we must respect them.”

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