Unai Emery begins life at Arsenal. by Konstantin Mitov
As we all know Unai Emery has officially joined Arsenal and after his press conference is done and dusted there are some very interesting notes to take. First of all, the Spaniard tried to do his press conference in English and he’ll have to work on that, but I like it.
These are very challenging times for the club and you have to embrace them. Unai will have to speak regularly to the English media, who are not the most forgiving bunch, so why not try it in English from the start. And before he is slammed, I’d invite you to check out some of Pochettino’s press conferences when he took over at Spurs. Obviously the Spanish speaking players will take a key role in helping our manager settle in, but if Emery is as smart as he is regarded, in a years time we should see vast improvements on that front.
Onto the press conference, both Unai and Gazidis spoke about “chemistry” when it came to the football side of things. “Unai has an energy, has passion and competetive energy. And it is this combination of detail, hard work, passion and love for football, a will to win that made us feel that his was exactly right for Arsenal”.
You cannot deny the energy the guy has on the touchline and that will remark a stark contrast to Wenger. Add that to the way Gazidis, Raul and Sven were almost always mentioned together and you see just how different this set up is from the times where it was all Arsene. The power is now shared and very interestingly Emery will be “head coach”, not manager.
Journalists wasted no time to ask Emery what the targets will be at Arsenal for him and he said this “Developing. But how do you develop? I think that’s about battling for every title. That’s something in Arsenal’s history and in my history as well. And I want that to continue. Our objective is to be among the best teams in Europe, to win titles and to be in the elite of European teams”.
No big surprise here. What else is he supposed to say when you take over one of the most popular teams in the world? The real target is getting back into the champions league, whether that’ll be through the top 4 or the Europa league. It would be a damn miracle to jump from 6th to first with the vast improvements at City and Liverpool and United ready to bomb another 200 million at the title.
Emery was asked about his style of football and he said “The history here is one thing, they love to play with possession of the ball. I like this personality and, when we don’t have the ball, I want a squad to play with intensive pressure”. Can’t really argue there. Our pressing has been shocking to non-existent last season and this one area where I’m 99% certain we’ll see improvements.
Another thing that needs major repairing is man-management and Emery was asked about Ozil particularly and he had this to say: “I want to speak individually with all the players face to face. I don’t want to speak about individual players today”. It’s really interesting what will happen to the likes of Xhaka, Bellerin and Ozil who had the comfort of Arsene always sticking by them. Now everyone has to link up with the new boss and actually fight for their place!
Now add up the deflecting comments from Ivan regarding our budget and you get the idea of why Emery was appointed. We’ll try to mainly improve the squad that we have by completely changing the technical, medical and fitness staff. It’s the opposite of what we did previously where we stuck with Wenger and the yes man, but despite numerous players passing through Arsenal, things didn’t really improve.
This is why I am backing Emery. I hear a lot of people questioning him for all sorts of reasons, which seem a bit picky to me. I also see a lot of people who didn’t want Arteta, now questioning why we are going for Emery. Arsenal fans change opinions quicker than a compass arrow finds the north, so this isn’t a big surprise. Also we’re so used to the manager being the main problem here that even though he’s changed we’re still at a hangover and it will take some time to adjust to a new guy after we’ve been stuck with mostly the same for over two decades.
I am excited. I can’t wait for the season to start and I want to see what we will look like. We don’t have too many players going to the world cup, so I hope senor Emery will use the summer wisely to get most of his ideas to the squad as early as possible. One thing is for certain, interesting times lie ahead.