Press conference

Unai Emery’s press conference: every single word

There were a variety of topics on the agenda when Unai Emery sat down in front of the press on Thursday afternoon.

Our head coach was asked about what he learnt from his first Premier League match, his left-back options and who will start in goal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Read on to find out what he said:

on what he learnt from his first match…
The first game gives us more information about things to improve and also things to continue doing. It’s clear that the result was the first [objective] we wanted. But it was Manchester City’s day. We need to continue with our work to make the differences in the next match and in the future. For me, what was most important was the players know the positive things we did in this game and also the things we need to improve on and work more for.

on what we must do to get a positive result against Chelsea…
First, we want to build a competitive team. We are going to play away but we need to keep our personality, keep our mentality, because I think on Sunday against Manchester City, the team kept their ideas, kept their spirit in the game for the full 90 minutes, even when we were losing, and didn’t let [their heads] go down. That was a good thing, [despite] us losing 2-0. I want us to continue with this work and to be completive for 90 minutes, but with a better performance than on Sunday, both individually and collectively. We want a good preparation before and a good response on the pitch to that preparation.

on Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ injury and who will play at left back…
It’s clear that we don’t want to have injuries in the team. When you want to play and be competitive, they can arrive. The first injury with Kolasinac was important because I think he was playing well in pre-season. But we needed to play with another player like Ainsley [once Kolasinac was injured]. His performance can improve, he can get better in his career in the team. Maybe not especially at left back, but he was playing well in the first 25 minutes on Sunday. After this injury, I tried with Lichtsteiner, who is a player with experience. He can play at left back but his position in the team is more at right back. This week Nacho Monreal is working every day, training every day with us. The two options we have now are Nacho Monreal and Lichtsteiner to continue in this position.

on if Petr Cech will start in goal…
I am very happy with his performance. He has experience, he has quality, he has the capacity. Also, with Bernd Leno [it’s the same]. They are two goalkeepers who are important for us. They have different qualities but for us in the way we want to play, they can [both] play. For Saturday, the decision for me is easy. Petr Cech can continue to start the match, I believe in him. [But] If Bernd starts, I believe in him also.

on if he’s become more aware of his task at Arsenal…
We wanted to start [in front of] our supporters, against a great team like Manchester City, but the difficulty on the pitch was big. For me, the result is very important but also the way [of the result]. I think we can improve in each match, in each training. The difficulty is clear: I believe in our team, I believe in our players. We can improve and we need to improve playing in the difficult games. Our demands are very high and I want these demands for me first, but also for the players and the club. We need to work hard, we need to work together and we need to suffer together when we lose. It’s the same for me, for the players and for the club. When you are [at the op or at the bottom] you need the resilience. You shouldn’t change your mentality if you lose the first game. I want a consistency in our way [performances]. I want us to do well with our thinking and our mentality.

on if he has a timescale of when he will be happy that the players understand him…
We have one plan, we have one process. Maybe in one match you can be very happy with the performance and the result - and I want that on Saturday. But then you need more time to completely watch your team as you want [them to play]. For example, on Sunday, we saw good things on the pitch. I want us to show more personality in each match to improve, so the performances arrive quickly. Saturday is a very good option to show our personality, our capacity against a big team like Chelsea, and away from home. [When you’re] away, you have an opportunity to change last year’s difficulties when the team played away. On Saturday we need to be a more competitive team on the pitch to change these away performances.

on what he expects from Chelsea…
We played two or three weeks ago against Chelsea, but with different players on the pitch, to Saturday - Hazard, Kante, Giroud, Kovacic. The personality we want to play with will be the same in this match. It will be different because both teams could have different players on the pitch, but it’s a good reference match to work with ahead of this Saturday against Chelsea.

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