West Ham v Arsenal

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Interview

‘Unai's given me confidence to feel comfortable’

Ainsley Maitland-Niles had a tough start to life under Unai Emery, but he’s found form in recent weeks.

Starting our opening game of the season against Manchester City, the 21-year-old was substituted after just half an hour with a fibula fracture which would ultimately sideline him for 10 weeks.
 
It was a tough time for Maitland-Niles but the versatile midfielder has come back stronger, and has thanked Emery for his resurgence.
 
“I feel more comfortable this season,” he said. “It is the manager that has given me the confidence to feel comfortable. He gives me a lot of confidence when I’m playing. He tells me what I need to get better at. We have regular conversations which settles me more before games, knowing what he wants me to do.
 
“He has brought a lot of energy to the club - he is very passionate about his football as well.
 
“Everyone is still trying to get used to it but it is going well at the moment. It’s all about trying to get as far in any competition we are involved in. It is a new season for us in that everything has changed.
 
“There are a lot of different things happening around the club, such as the manager, and this season is more about adapting to what he wants from all the players, taking information from him and sharing it with others.
 
“I’m just looking forward into the future and maybe finishing fourth as well. Getting back in the Champions League would be nice.”

Pre-Match Report

West Ham United v Arsenal: The Brief

Arsenal v West Ham will bring back happy memories for Unai Emery, as it was the fixture that brought his first victory as our head coach - but it was not all plain sailing.

The Hammers took the lead, and even after we equalised they continued to threaten before an own goal and Danny Welbeck's late strike sealed a hard-fought 3-1 win.

The reverse fixture at the London Stadium should prove equally testing. Manuel Pellegrini, after a difficult start, has steered his side up to 10th in the table and with Felipe Anderson one of the stars of this Premier League season, plus former Gunner Samir Nasri added to their ranks, they have the firepower to cause us problems.

Read on for a comprehensive match preview, including the very latest team news, classic goals, match stats, and an expert view of the opposition.

The Breakdown - West Ham
Unai Emery quote on Bellerin
Team News - West Ham
The Dangerman - West Ham
AN Live: West Ham

Gallery

First team train ahead of West Ham United game

Team train

We're back in Premier League action this weekend, when we travel to London Stadium to take on West Ham United.

On Friday afternoon, our first-team squad trained for the final time ahead of the game. Our club photographer was also at our London Colney training base and sent back these pictures:

Team news

Team news: Six players back in full training

The six players back in full training

Here's the latest team news update from our medical team ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash at West Ham United:

 
Hector Bellerin
Returned to full training.
(Left calf) 
 
Laurent Koscielny
Returned to full training.
(Back spasm during warm-up at Blackpool)
 
Dinos Mavropanos
Returned to full training.
(Groin)
 
Shkodran Mustafi
Returned to full training.
(Right hamstring)
 
Nacho Monreal
Returned to full training.
(Right hamstring)
  
Mesut Ozil
Returned to full training.
(Left knee)
 
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Right foot. Expected to return to full training in February.
  
Rob Holding
Left knee. Recovering after surgery.
 
Danny Welbeck
Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

Interview

Emery - How I like to use my full backs

The full-back position is widely considered the most important role in modern football - and for good reason, too.

Originally deployed as wide defenders, the full back has become a more attack-minded offensive outlet required to get up and down the flank for 90 minutes, contributing to all phases of play.
 
So how does this role fit into Unai Emery’s philosophy?
 
“Wing-backs for us, and I think for football generally, give us the opportunity to get wide, and sometimes also the surprise of getting deep,” our head coach told Arsenal Player. “They give control with the ball when you have players inside.
 
“They can go outside, keeping wide and going deep for the last attacking moment. But also it's very important for every team, and for us as well, for them to defensively and tactically have quality.
 
“Maybe they can be runners and have the capacity to add the attacking moments when the team needs it. They can offer a surprise with an attacking moment. But not forgetting that for every defensive player, the first work from them is defensively.
 
“In each match I usually want to take the positions with the squad or the starting XI, the positioning and control with the positioning the spaces on the pitch when we are attacking or defending.
 
“When you want to use a lot of players inside for the counter attack maybe, it gives us the possibility for the players to touch the ball, to keep the ball between some players. You also need to use the space on the side, on the right or left, for the balance defensively and also for the balance when you want to do the attacking moments and surprise the opposition.”

Press conference

Emery on Ramsey, Suarez, Banega: read every word

With the January transfer window in full swing, transfers dominated Unai Emery's press conference at London Colney on Thursday.

Our head coach discussed Aaron Ramsey's situation, and was also asked about potential transfer targets such as Ever Banega and Denis Suarez.

Read on for a full transcript:

on Aaron Ramsey’s future…
Good afternoon. It’s an individual situation rather than the team. My idea and focus, I say to him every day, is that we need his performance for us. In the last match I was very happy with him. I asked in the last match at Blackpool if he is okay to help us play and he said, 'Yeah, coach, I want to play" and he played with a very big behaviour and commitment to us. After, his future belongs to him, his family and agent. Every day he’s here with us, he’s working very well. I want his behaviour and his focus to be on West Ham on Saturday.

on his decision…
I respect his decision a lot.

on his situation…
I cannot say more about his situation. The most important thing is that Aaron Ramsey is with us. His future I respect a lot because he has a very private decision but he is with us every day, and I repeat that I am very happy with him.

on who may come in…
We cannot sign permanently. We can only loan players. Only loan players.

on Denis Suarez…
I don’t know his situation now. We can only sign players later on. I know the club is working on possibilities of which players can help us with big performances like we need now.

on other players being linked like Ever Banega…
I know this player and he’s a very good player.

on Ever Banega…
I cannot tell you more.

on how much of an input he has…
I can say to you that the club is working, the club is telling me the different situations in each moment. At the moment, we haven’t had any news today about that.

on team news…
This week they are working with us with quality, Mustafi, Monreal and Bellerin. Tomorrow we need to do the last training before the West Ham game. This training session is important [to work out who can play]. Mesut Ozil is also training with us. We’ve got the same injuries with Welbeck and Holding. Mkhitaryan has been training with us and Mavropanos for the past 10 days, who can help us in the next matches and start playing with the under-23s. At the moment we are better than we were a week ago.

on West Ham under Pellegrini…
He’s a very good coach, with a lot of experience and here he’s won the Premier League with Manchester City. I know he needs time to create his idea with the team. I think they are improving and they also have good individual players with quality, like Anderson, like Arnautovic - who are very good players. They are playing at home with their supporters and that’s difficult for us. Each away match is a very big challenge for us to find consistency and progression with our way. Saturday is a new challenge. We are very [convinced] to play and to give big work in finding our victory.

on the relationship with Pellegrini…
We’ve played a lot of matches in Spain and then in the Champions League with Man City and Sevilla. He was the coach at Villarreal and Real Madrid when I was at Valencia. We know each other very well. I think it will be a difficult game for us and the most important thing for us is that the starting XI and the squad are concentrated on this match. What’s most important is the quality of the players on the pitch imposing our ideas against them.

on how tempting it is to make lots of changes with players returning to fitness…
We want to find our best performance with the players. Some players can recover their positions in the squad and in the first XI, and some of them we need their performances now. Above all, we are going to have one mix of the players that have been playing and helping us with good performances and adapt against West Ham, imposing our idea on the pitch. That’s the mix [we need] for Saturday. It’s good news that we can have more players available.

on how difficult it is for Ramsey to give his best over next few months…
My last conversation with him is very important. We both spoke about the situation with respect from him and from us. His response has been a very good response in training and matches with good performances. I said to you before that I want to see Aaron Ramsey with this focus and these performances when he’s playing. This week for example, he’s been the same. He’s working and training very well with good experience. When I look at every player and they’re training like Aaron is this week, I feel calm ahead of the next match because the players are all focused.

on what makes a Pellegrini team…
Usually they are very offensive teams. They usually play matches with a balance tactically but above all with technical, offensive players. I know that Saturday will be a difficult match because we need to impose our ideas but also for 90 minutes, we need to control their players and their tactical ideas. The respect for us to them is very, very big.

Press conference

'We must control their players and tactical ideas'

Unai Emery's first win as our head coach was against West Ham United back in August, but it's fair to say it was a game that could have gone either way.

Our head coach comes face to face with Manuel Pellegrini again on Saturday, and expects a searching tactical test from his opposite number.

"He’s a very good coach, with a lot of experience," Emery said. "He was the coach at Villarreal and Real Madrid when I was at Valencia. We know each other very well.

"I know he needs time to create his idea with the team. I think they are improving and they also have good individual players with quality, like Anderson, like Arnautovic - who are very good players.

"Usually [Pellegrini has] very offensive teams. They usually play matches with a balance tactically but above all with technical, offensive players.

"I know that Saturday will be a difficult match because we need to impose our ideas but also for 90 minutes, we need to control their players and their tactical ideas. The respect for us to them is very, very big."

Fixtures

Premier League
Ticket Info
The Emirates FA Cup
Ticket Info

Results

Premier League
The Emirates FA Cup