Unai Emery has been tinkering with the Arsenal starting XI right from the start of the season, and despite the complaints from us fans, he has managed to quietly lift the Gunners into the Top Four again, and we have chances to consolidate that on Wednesday when we take on Bournemouth.
It was obvious that the Spaniard would have to make changes after an exhausting game on Thursday night, but he was very happy with the way his players coped with it, despite the changes. “We have the habit to play a lot of matches in one week.” Emery said. “I think today I am happy because I said to them, Thursday I was very proud of them after how they worked in a very difficult match for the result. Also it was a dangerous match with the result of the first leg losing 1-0. Today we decided to do some changes in the squad and it’s very important to carry on with our intensity and performance with different players. We need to be together and we can feel stronger with every player, and the possibility of using different players in different matches with the intensity that we want to play.”
It is clear that Emery is trying to manage the squad to keep us fresh for all these games, and he admitted that there would be yet more changes as we we keep our focus on keeping the top four spot which we have finally reached this weekend after all the other results went our way for a change. “For us it’s positive, but it’s not changing our idea or our way. (We are taking things) game by game and Wednesday we want another three important points against Bournemouth. I think we can use these moments and different players to get good paces and fresh players with energy and quality. We need the mix to reserve some players for some matches, because we are going to play a lot of matches. We started Thursday, then today, Wednesday and after Saturday, so it’s important to play with a big performance like today when we can change some players in the first XI.”
Emery also made it clear that the team should only focus on their own results and forget our rivals, and should just concentrate on the points in every single game. “Our focus is on our way because we cannot control the result with Manchester United, Chelsea or Tottenham, only when we are going to play against them. That’s the only moment when we can decide their result and ours. The most important thing in our matches is to think step by step and game by game and on Wednesday we want three points against Bournemouth. We want the same three points against Tottenham and the only difference is that we can control our result and their result. Our focus is to win Wednesday and use the players who can give the best performance possible with intensity, quality and organisation like we showed today.”
It is a fact that Emery is trying to instill the tactics in every single squad member so that they can be interchangeable depending on fitness and fatigue. It may have taken a long time for them to understand what he wants, but I am getting the feeling that it is all coming together at last.
What do you think?