Press conference

'Players will respond to the energy Unai brings'

Ivan Gazidis is unequivocal in his belief that the first-team squad will embrace the "new energy" that Unai Emery will bring to the club.

The Spaniard was appointed as our new head coach on Wednesday, and the chief executive fully expects him to make a big impact.

This is what he told the media:

on how big a rebuilding job Emery has…
All of our players will respond to the new energy that Unai brings. They will have somebody under whom they can improve their individual games and their collective game. If they embrace those challenges then the players we have today can be more successful in the future. I don't think anybody believes that sixth place is a place that a club the stature of Arsenal should be in. We need to look to improve that. How big a rebuilding job that is, is a discussion that we’ve started with Unai and a discussion that will continue. The ambition is to be in a position to be a candidate to win the biggest trophies in England and the biggest trophies across Europe. We’ve got to understand that that’s not just going to be done in one leap. It’s the result of focus, hard work, discipline, energy, commitment, will to win. That’s what we need to do. The players will embrace it and I strongly believe the energy Unai can bring with his qualities, they will embrace that as well. The challenge we have is very big. I’ve always said it’s the biggest challenge this club will face: to transition from one of the giants of the game in Arsène Wenger - and I maintain that. This is not an easy process. We’ve spent a lot of time building to this moment. It is not just about the last month or six weeks of the process around identifying recruiting Unai. It’s really been an ongoing process for a couple of years, building up the capabilities of the club: from the facilities to what we do with strength and conditioning, fitness, medical, psychology, analytics, scouting - all of these support services. This year, with the addition of Sven Mislintat as head of recruitment and Raul Sanllehi as head of football relations, we are working in a different way than we’ve worked in the past. It’s going to be a team effort to support Unai’s vision, supporting his energy finding ways we can help him to be successful.

on if it was too individual in the past…
I don’t say that. I’m not looking backwards now. This is a moment where we are turning a page and opening a new chapter in the history book of Arsenal. We are doing it in a new way, it’s true, but I’m not critical of the way things have been done. Our history under Arsène is absolutely fantastic and you will not hear me be critical of what’s gone before. But this is a new opportunity and we have to embrace it. Our first motto in 1886 was “forward” and now is the time for us to look forward and do it with confidence. I do believe that this is a fantastic football club. We’ve seen it through this process, with the number and the quality of people that were interested in trying to get this position. They understand what a special place this is. I believe that to the core of my soul. There’s a special feeling here and we need to re-capture that, get on the same page and push this club forward and get behind Unai and what he can do for this team. If we do that, there’s no limit to what we can achieve. 

on the transfer budget Emery will have to work with…
We don’t discuss our budgets publicly but we are a public company. If any of you want to have a look at our accounts, they are out there and it’s not that difficult to see. We run ourselves on a very clear and transparent model, which is self-sustaining. That’s the way we will continue to run ourselves. Anyone who wants to look at that should look at our accounts.

on if all of the public money would be available…
All the money has always been available… and all the resources of the club will be available for Unai to develop the team.

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