Arsenal boss Unai Emery opens up on Denis Suarez, the race for Champions League qualification and more
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Despite the international break Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been busy keeping his squad ticking over at a training camp in Dubai. Read on for his first press conference since returning after the Gunners beat Al Nasr 3-2. Read on for his take on hosting Newcastle on Monday evening at the Emirates.
Here’s the full transcript of what Emery at the club’s training ground London Colney on Thursday.
Good afternoon. We are coming back after international break and after our trip away to training in Dubai and for us the most important thing is to speak about Newcastle. We started this morning, speaking about that, we worked very well before in the Premier League and the Europa League. We must be in the same spirit to start and to play against Newcastle in the Emirates and with our supporters. I think with a very big atmosphere to help us also and together we can be strong.
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We trained this morning and some players were rested to give them one day more before training with us tomorrow. That’s Aaron Ramsey, Dinos Mavropanos. But I think they can be okay and ready for Monday. Xhaka also rested today and we are going to wait for tomorrow and Sunday. But the first previews from the doctor’s analysis is that they can be okay to play on Monday.
On the Dubai trip...
- 1 Changes made to St Peter's LTN after Packington Estate used as rat run
- 2 Islington shooting victim named
- 3 Robert Rinder awarded MBE for his work on Holocaust education
- 4 Man in hospital with potentially 'life-changing' injuries following stabbing
- 5 Missing: Highgate woman known to frequent Camden and Islington areas
- 6 Phone snatcher admits guilt after robberies in Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets
- 7 Big name restaurant hints at Islington opening
- 8 Rise in London Covid rates, but people aged 25-30 can book vaccine
- 9 Murder investigation launched after teenager is shot in Islington
- 10 Woman, 48, arrested over fatal stabbing of Islington flower seller
We have the habit to play three matches in a week and when we are doing that, the players are very focused to prepare, to rest, to play three matches consecutively. When we are taking, also, the international break, we can rest other players. In this international break we decided to go away to train for four days and play a match in Dubai. But it’s the same idea, the same spirit. Don’t stop, keep moving forward to train with the players, with the young players with us in Dubai and today we meet, everybody, to focus on Monday. But I think for the players and for me, we have this habit to play a lot of matches in one week. To keep moving forward in the training session and waiting for the competition to come back.
On Denis Suarez...
I think yes [he is doing well]. I think he is okay for starting in the first 11 or for giving us this impact after. But I think now, our focus is collectively very strongly focused on helping in 90 minutes, or 50 minutes, or one minute. We are going to need every player for the next matches.
On if he took some time to settle...
I think it’s normal.
On whether he will play more now...
But now, we have a lot of players ready and with a big mentality and a big performance for playing and helping us. For me, like that, we can be stronger, more competitive for taking big performances. With Denis, or with another.
If he thinks we are best placed to finish third...
But each day, each match, for us and for them, is going to be very important. Thirty-eight matches give us [a chance to be] to be competitive, play consistently, to do the better positions in the team. Now, I think that we are taking a big performance as are Manchester United, as are Chelsea, as are Tottenham. But each match is now very important and I trust in us, but also I know, that we need to do a lot to be in the top four and I know Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, they are going to win a lot of points between this match and the last match.
On the fixtures and if our run-in is easier...
I think not. We are going to play the same matches and we are going to play five away and three at home. I think it is going to be very difficult for us.
On Say No To Racism in football and the importance to support that...
I think we are, everybody, the same. I agree with all the decisions about that.
On Solskjaer getting the United job and if it will become harder now...
I don’t know.
On if it’s a good appointment…
I appreciate Solskjaer a lot. Like a man and like a coach.
On why the home form has been so good this season...
It’s not my thought now, because I know Monday’s match is going to be very difficult. Newcastle are in a good moment. They have a lot good players and good organisation. The coach has a lot of experience and he is very competitive and I know that. The last matches they are playing, they are playing with a big confidence and very strong defensively and very competitive. My focus is on how we can break their defensive positions and also a big performance for us to take a win against them.
On the way the team has adapted to his ideas...
We are in our process but our process is giving us, all the time, better combinations with the players and better combinations tactically. We are playing different systems with different players and we are taking a big performance with them. I have a lot of confidence in us and our players, but I know Monday’s game is giving us a big challenge against them. I know we are strong at home but we need to continue working like we are doing and also keep moving forward with a big ambition and big atmosphere in our stadium. I want to create each match with this atmosphere to show them our best performance with our system and tactical plan. Every match is a big challenge for us.