Press conference

Unai's press conference: Every single word

Unai Emery was a happy man on Saturday after we returned to winning ways, courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Burnley.

After the match, our head coach discussed a variety of topics including Mesut Ozil, Nacho Monreal and more. Read on for what he said: 

on his relationship with Sean Dyche on the touchline…
Good afternoon. I think the most important thing is our victory. The things that happened on the pitch between the players and between us is our moment also. Only with these moments with the referee between us, I think we need to have respect for the referee and have respect between us.

on accusation of diving…
No. I do not agree.

on whether he thinks his players dived at all…
No. It’s not my spirit. Diving, I think, is not correct.

on Auba saying it the feistiest game he has played in England - and whether it was the same for him…
Yes. They are a very organised team with one very, very clear characteristic in their game plan. But we respect that and also, we need to adapt for these moments: long balls, second actions and duels with the body. They are more physical than us, that’s normal, but we knew these situations in the game in the 90 minutes and we wanted to impose our moments with possession, with good movement on the pitch, moving the ball quickly from one side to the other and progressing with combinations and attacking play in their half. But we know usually that when they have the ball they start with long balls and second actions, and we need to adapt for these moments in the game. They are a very good team with an organised coach but we also need to play our moment. Physically they are stronger than us. We worked very well and I’m happy with their commitment. We worked very well and some players played out of their natural position. Xhaka played the second half like a centre back and Licht also played centre back - and I think their commitment is very big to help us. 

on respecting the referees and whether he felt Burnley showed respect...
No, not for them or for us. I think it’s for all. We need to respect the referee’s decision. I think VAR is coming here in the future and I think this will help the referees, because the referees can make mistakes, like us. I make mistakes every day but I want to learn and I want to also help to do less mistakes with my decisions. The referees are the same, but we need to respect them. I think today was very important for us. We struggled with their actions and they struggled with our actions. 

on Mesut Ozil starting and captaining the side…
Very good response. I think he played like we needed, today. His skills, his commitment with us today was very good and he helped us. I spoke yesterday with you in the press conference, we need Mesut Ozil and like today, he was there for us.

on being steely and whether not being steely was why we lost in Southampton…
I think not this reason that we lost in Southampton. There were more things. Today, we arrived in moments to do that but it’s not our best quality. But we had conditions to win against teams like today, Burnley, and we showed them today. Brighton is the same, a very tough match physically, very organised and like today with Burnley, a very good coach who is working very well. It is a challenge and I respect those teams a lot because they also have good players, they decide to do one line up with physical players because in the stronger moments it is like that, with a lot of crosses for the strikers for heading in our box. We need to defend very far in our box to defend better against that.

on Nacho Monreal and which defenders are available…
It’s starting to be a muscular problem and we decided to change and not take more risks with him. But I hope it’s not big and I hope he can be with us next week. I don’t know if he can play in Brighton, but we can play, I think, Koscielny. Mustafi is close also for coming with us. We can take more injuries but we can also recover more players.

on Lacazette’s reaction to being substituted…
I didn’t see that, but I think he is happy with our victory. Only he wanted to score and when a striker doesn’t score, I like that he can be angry with his situation. But he worked very well today. For me, the last matches are the best he has played. He is coming back as the best Lacazette to help us.