‘I want to transmit that desire to be better’

Ivan Gazidis and Unai Emery

Unai Emery and Ivan Gazidis followed their press conference on Wednesday with a separate sit-down briefing with newspaper reporters.

Among the topics they discussed were the club’s traditions, bridging the gap at the top of the Premier League, bringing in young players, and making the right appointment.
Read on for some of the standout quotes:
on retaining the traditions of the club…
UE: I think that all of the many positives there are about this club and the history, under Arsene Wenger and before him, I think it is very important and I am the sort of person who always respects that history and adapts myself to that history wherever I go. Wenger has left a very important legacy here, he did some fantastic things for this club, therefore I want to both continue with that and contribute something of my own as well. It is obviously important to start with the history and everything that comes from that.
on closing the gap on Man City…
UE: That is our objective, Arsenal is a club with fantastic personality and identity and I believe, and the club has shown me that they believe. It is about showing that personality and showing the stature of this football club. What we want to do is not fear any team neither here in the Premier League or in Europe and our objective is to be among the best and to beat the best.

on improving the players…
UE: I think it is about having belief in the players. We will have time to speak about where we need to improve, we have already touched on that a little bit, we do need to go into more detail but we have got that strong nucleus if you like. I'm the type of coach who has always worked really hard, not because I do it better than anyone else but because that is what I believe the most important thing is. I'm very demanding of myself, I'm passionate and I really want to transmit that to the people around me - that we can, and must, improve in the future. That is the kind of thing I want to transmit, that desire to be better and I think that will lead us to improve in the Premier League and in Europe.

on bringing in young players…
UE: In terms of young players, it's important to give them the opportunities that they deserve. And when they earn those opportunities, they also earn the respect of their teammates. I've never seen anything handed out for free in football and in terms of Arsenal and their history, the young players have always earned those opportunities. I'm not going to be closing the door to anyone so I'll be giving young players just the opportunities that they deserve.

on getting it right first time with the appointment…
IG: I feel really proud and good about the process we went through. We didn't know how long it would take to manage this process because we wanted to have in-person discussions with everyone we had an interest in. We also didn't start before Arsene made the announcement. I was very pleased with the way that we came up with our shortlist, I was very pleased with the way we we able to conduct our interviews underneath the radar. I was really pleased with the level of interest and engagement and we had some top, top class candidates in that pool. We had tens of hours of video tape on the three finalists that we eventually narrowed it down to. So we were watching, looking at, with expert eyes, coaching in action on the pitch. We took extensive personal references from really top quality people across the game, people we could trust. As I said, candidly, I was surprised at how confidential almost all of that process turned out to be.
When we sat down, we sat aside a day when we got to the end of that process. We went through a pretty wide-ranging discussion, challenging each other on as much as we could on preconceptions and assumptions we might have had going into the process. By the way, all the way going through the process, Raul and I and Sven spoke to each other as little as possible. Because we didn't want to pollute each other's viewpoints from the discussions we had had. We wanted to come to the discussion fresh when we had been through all eight of the finalist candidates. We narrowed it down to three. We spent an entire day discussing those three. At the end of the day, three of us all wrote on a piece of paper, 1, 2, 3, and put them into the middle of the table. And the choices were all 1, 2, 3 the same. And Unai was at the top of all of our lists.
on the length of Unai’s contract…
IG: It's a three-year contract.

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