Unai Emery explains why he usually prefers to play with just one striker

The new Arsenal manager Unai Emery is very clear and surprisingly open about how he likes to set his teams out, and he has been explaining exactly how he thinks that one striker in his formation allows his teams to be more aggressive and attacking than if he uses the traditional 4-4-2 set up.

As he explained in a recent interview: “What I like is provoking the opponent,” Emery said. “It’s a more aggressive idea, which exposes you more. Bielsa’s style, Guardiola’s style.

“When you lose the ball, you win it back as quickly as possible. Anywhere the ball may be, the team has to position themselves to press and win it back. If play stops, everyone goes back to their position. If the ball is in play, we press, all while remaining organised tactically.

“Those are my two outlooks from a defensive point of view. If the ball is in play, you press. If play stops, you reposition yourself.”

“For me, the 4-1-4-1 is the system which facilitates that type of pressing,”

“The 4-4-2 is designed more and more for zonal positioning. It’s less aggressive, but is more difficult to get past. That’s the case with Marcelino’s teams, Quique Sanchez Flores’ teams, Saint-Étienne when we last played them…

“I am not ruling out the possibility of a 4-4-2. That’s not the idea that I privilege, but if it allows me to be more competitive, then I’ll go towards it without hesitating.

“We sometimes used it in Sevilla. I would put Banega in a playmaker position, and have him move to the second striker position without the ball. With two strong, physical players behind him, it provided me with the necessary cohesion to press.”

So it looks like Arsenal fans are going to be treated to some entertaining football in the coming years. I would love to see us playing in the same style as Pep’s Man City. It could certainly lead to some interesting high scoring games, especially when we come up against the Champions next season.

Can Emery out-Pep Pep?

Exciting times ahead….



  1. I can see why we are after Emil forsberg instead of a skilled winger , to retain midfield superiority. For PEA to know that ozil , Mkhi and Forsberg are behind him , hand him the golden boot already.
    But to support this, we need a a proper hardcore Dm, and I don’t know where that is going to come from

      1. Sorry mate none of this guys are close to Xhaka in that position. Appreciate this guy for once he’s top quality footballer

        1. Nzozi was Blackburn Rovers when we use to beat them black and blue same goes to Ndidi. We came back into a game we already lost against Leicester City last season

  2. Am I the only one who thinks Liverpool, like city , are out of our league, with the front three they have , and now midfield domination with Keita and Fabinho

    1. But , let’s see What magic UNAI does at the Emirates, his heavy pressing tactics has impressed me. But for that we’ll definitely need a powerhouse DM, Nzonzi? Ndidi? Carvalho?

      1. Danilo from Porto is a beast DM but he’s injured atm


        This would be a young dynamic line up for sure but Soyuncu and Danilo would put us over budget unless we sell a few players

        1. I can only recognize 2 Arsenal players in your line up. You mean complete overhaul us possible?
          Wake up from the dream.

      2. You know what’s funny?
        UNAI has used the word COHESION.

        For 10years I have heard that word coming out of Arsene’s mouth. “COHESION & TOGETHERNESS”. But without any of it replication on the field.

        I hope this is the last time UNAI ever uses it. He needs to find a different word for conveying the meaning of cohesion.

        Jokes Apart, we probably need to buy Shaqiri and butland from stoke.

        They are way too good to be playing in the championship.

        Also I feel Bruno Martin Indi of stoke would be a great centre back, he is of the mould of SOL Campbell. With right coaching he can be great.

        Clubs such as Arsenal i.e. Huge Club with limited Spending should not be ignoring the players from the teams that just got relegated. There might be certain good to very good players who couldn’t carry their team all alone as they were surrounded by below average players and managed by average managers.

        1. So you want to take 3 players from a relegated club to get us challenging for the league and back in the UCL? Please think before you speak ?

          1. You know Mahrez?
            Where did Leicester finish the year before they won the TITLE? I remember them they almost got relegated.

            You know Iago ASPAS?
            Plays for Celta Vigo who almost got relegated a season ago, this season he scored 22 goals only behind Ronaldo, Messi and Suarez.

            As I said sometimes there will be good players playing in a very bad team under a bad system and under very bad managers, which makes them look very bad.

            Just like Salah did under Jose at Chelsea.

            I fell barring Bruno Martins Indi, Shaquiri and Butland are very good players and players that fill the positions that we are in desperate need of. And the would be wanting to get out of their clubs as quickly as possible as they don’t deserver to be in Championship.
            Can you imagine? we just have Iwobi who is trained Winger(yet his best position is No.10). We have truck load of No.10s(Ozil, Mkhi,Wilshere,Ramsey) but barely any wingers. That is why I say go for Shaqiri for 30mil instead of Mahrez, Lemar, fekir, Dembele who would cost on the upside of 75mil.

            I hope the perfect winger that Arsenal need is Martial,he is definitely leaving UTD this summer, He has so many qualities in him that resemble Henry. Only being wasted because of that sh*t set up at MAN UTD by that sh*tty Jose Defensive Mourinho. But will cost more than 60mil and that is if Jose and UTD want to sell to us.

          2. Will, shekar233 is entitled to his opinion and Arsenal has got great players from Stoke in the past. There may be potential for these players to vastly improve on a solid base, if they came to a club like Arsenal with a coach like Emery; given the debacle of coaching changes at Stoke City last season.
            As far as the word “cohesion” is concerned it must be in the Arsenal English/foreign language (take your pick) dictionary.

  3. All of a sudden Liverpool everyone’s going to Liverpool…and they already had a better team. While we only have 60mil to spend.not much to excite me during this transfer window..
    On topic thoo we really need to play all our best players..Emery needs to find a way to pair both strikers..

  4. I’m slightly peeved to read that Liverpool are signing Fabinho, def a player in a position we desperately need and with us being linked to a 21year old defender for 35mill who I had never heard before we was linked to him, 39mill for Fab is a steal. At this moment in time Liverpool are dining at the top restaraunts whilst we are still feasting on the bargain bucket at KFC’s.

    1. If Fabinho was better like everyone here say why he did make to Brazil 23 for world cup and Fred who is going to ManU took his spot? There are still better players out there for decent price and higher quality please put trust on new structure we haven’t even finish a week yet and transfer window is not opened officially till July 1st!!

  5. A power house DM can only do so much.
    Karius made two terrible blunders
    what could a top DM do about that?
    Bale scored in the box so should have been stopped by the CB’s.
    Goals come from crosses, from free kicks and defenders give away penalties.
    Kante is the best DM in the league but his team is playing Thursday night football.
    I believe we only need small tactical defensive adjustments.
    We brought in the new manager to improve the team
    through his coaching skills not to buy a new team.
    If it is all about buying success we don’t need a manager just sack Kroenke
    and bring in an oil Sheikh and let Sven and Raul go get the best players.

  6. i think our squad must have atleast experience players and 5major signings for silverware’s

  7. No much improvement can be achieved if the team is not good enough.. look how long it took kloop even at that he had to sign some top players … Even spuds had to improve on their team to get ahead.. we are obviously short on almost all fronts….and need this players.
    Like petit said….we are going no where soon.

  8. Klopp is getting this team together big time this season. Targeting fabinho, fekir and alisson(Transfermarkt info). That front 3 with keita and fabinho in midfield will be very strong.
    We also have a strong attack and need a strong CM/DM combo dont tell me we cannot get a good player because of money. I don’t believe that money equals quality but fabinho and kante cost 40m and 35m and we blew 40m on xhaka lol.

  9. Keita and Fabinho.. They are in for the title next season, no doubt a new GK will follow.

    And what the f*** is our budget again? Its OUR money, not the clubs, OUR money we have put in.

    1. LOL!

      All this time I thought the problem was Wenger! Wenger Out!
      Now it is about money?

    2. Liverpool will be unstoppable, a new manager is not everything,but money is everything do we have money to spend 40m for fabihino was shrewd business.Now we should go for fekir and loan out or sell welbeck and Iwobi

  10. Wengers stubbornness and selfishness brought the likes of xhaka. We r were we r becoz of that arrangement. Unai will need 2 summers to get the best of him. We need to be patient and enjoy every win.

  11. Arsenal remind me of spurs under harry redknapp atm but hopefully Emery can do a pochatino and make us solid this season and let Aubameyung n Lacazette get us the goals.
    I’d be happy is we just sorted out the defending this season and build for the years to come but as for Liverpool we’ll not only do they have the best players but there players are also roughly 24 yrs old which means the sell on value is huge in 2 years time or they’ll just dominate for 6 years along with Man City
    Kinder makes u wonna give up football till kroenke dies

  12. Just read Arsenal tried to bid for Fabinho, only to fail because the deal was already in Place with Liverpool.

    Some things never change huh..

    1. You seem to be wanting wenger back as quickly as possible. People like you are the reason we are in such dire situation. People like you who want Unai EMERY to fail as miserably as possible just so that you can say “I told you”,”Carefull about what you wish for”.

      But what you seem to not understand is, had people like you supported AOB to make Arsene leave Arsenal 2,3 years ago we would have been ready by now to atleast fight for the Title.

      But now we need to wait for 2,3years more.

      One more thing you wenger parasites seem to not understand is that almost every arsenal fan(Except for Arsene Fans like you) are ready to accept the fact that Arsenal may fail to get into top4 for next 2 seasons.

      But what we are happy with is the fact that even if we lose matches we will lose with a fight, with passion, with a satisfaction that players gave everything they could. Like the game against MAN UTD where we lost coz of Fellaini’s late header.
      But definitely not like the 2 back to back games we played against MAN City, one of which is a FINAL.

      And I have a question for all you wenger boys, Your idol wenger questions the refrees for every decision that went against his team , right?
      He even said once that “Referees are not doing their jobs properly, and they do not have a right to decide match results by making a silly refereeing mistakes”.

      So my question to wenger boys and Wenger(if he happens to be in JUST ARSENAL) is

      You(Wenger) at the start of the season have set yourself a target of 80points in the PL. Whether that was to get into the CL or to win the PL is never disclosed.

      So how many points did Arsenal finish with?

      63, i.e. 17 points from the lowly target you have given yourself. And you still utter words like “I am still the perfect guy to do the job”?
      You have conceded 51 goals in PL alone.

      So when you want the referees to do their job perfectly and question them and want punishment for them for the mistakes they do, how are you an exception when you do mistakes(for years, same mistakes year after year) and don’t achieve a target that you have set for yourself? And that too failing to at least challenge for the title in the last 10 years?

  13. If we don’t have a lynchpin like Vieira to win back the ball, we will be back to AW era again.

    4-5-1 left us exposed when there is no protection from the midfielders. The defenders are under the complete mercy of opponents.

    If we don’t have a strong ball winner, just wait and witness the disaster.

  14. The answer to your question , Mr. Admin is that we do not know. But what is certain that given the existing players we have, no man on Earth could possibly compete with City RIGHT NOW. Emery and the new set up will ultimately be judged on how long it takes us to again reach top four and also on whether we show consistent fight and passion. The latter should be achieved from the very start , which will keep us fans behind the manager and recruitment team and thus give him time to work the extensive changes we need. TBH, though I had no faith whatever in Wenger for a very long time past to improve the team, IF he had only brought some passion and fight, I think the fans would not have turned on him so ferociously.
    We fans will accept many various faults BUT NEVER lack of will to win and fight. Those reasons were PRECISELY the reasons I waged my DECADE long campaign to oust the disgraceful coward WALCOTT. He infected many others with his cowardice and “determination” to hide away from the action, while CONNING us out of millions in unearned wages. NO MORE!

  15. We need to sort out our defence first get a keeper,two defender’s, central mid.Please we must keep Lucas he’s a good player he play at the left,Auba centre and Lacazatte right sell welbeck, iwobi,campbell, and xhaka add to the 60m and bring players who will get us the title other top clubs will spend over 150m and we have 60m you can’t buy top player’s with with a budget of 60m lets be serious Arsenal board get your house in order

  16. We need to sort out our defence first get a keeper,two defender’s, central mid.Please we must keep Lucas he’s a good player he play at the left,Auba centre and Lacazatte right sell welbeck, iwobi,campbell, and xhaka add to the 60m and bring players who will get us the title other top clubs will spend over 150m and we have 60m you can’t buy top player’s with with a budget of 60m lets be serious Arsenal board get your house in order

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