Emery reveals Arsenal’s pre-Baku plans

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Unai Emery says Arsenal will treat the 17-day gap before our Europa League final with Chelsea like it’s an Interlull.

The Gunners ended the domestic campaign with a 3-1 at Burnley but it wasn’t enough to claim a position in the top four.

Our fifth-place finish in the Premier League table puts added pressure on our trip to Baku with a much coveted Champions League spot up for grabs, as well as the club’s first piece of European silverware in 25 years.

“We prepare like when it’s an international break,” Emery told his post-game press conference at Turf Moor.

“We will have two days off and for the first week we will not be thinking about the final.

“We will train three days in London and then next weekend we will have it off and then we will start on Tuesday in London with three days training preparing with all of our focus on the final.

“We will go to Baku three or four days before the final, Saturday I think, and prepare for the match over the last three training sessions. It’s the same as when we have an international break.”

Given we finished within two points of third place Chelsea, there’s a real feeling that had we kept our shit together in the last month, we might have coasted into the Champions League positions. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

Not for the first time, Emery stressed that we’re progressing. “Yes [today’s win], it gives us 70 points – not enough for the top four but we are progressing and we work on being consistent,” he said.

“We can’t be 100 per cent happy but today and all the season, the players worked well to do our process of improving and to be closer to the top four.

“We finished a very big distance behind Liverpool and City, but closer to Chelsea and Tottenham.

“Our idea is to continue with our process. Individually, we can take some objectives.

“It’s good that Aubameyang [won the Golden Boot]. Every player works for the team and to help each other to [give] their capacity.

“Aubameyang is our striker with Lacazette and Nketiah, who has the possibility to improve with us. We can be pleased with him.”

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assistantref
assistantref

“Aubameyang is our striker with Lacazette and Nketiah, who has the possibility to improve with us.”

Deep stuff from the Gaffer today.

Georgeycharles
Georgeycharles

I think that’s an extract from the dossier he presented at his interview…

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

The attack is doing fine (not great), but fine. The two strikers are great, the midfield lacks the spark though and that is a big part of the attack. The real pressing issue though is the defense.

Sign some defender, with pace, even if they lack in other aspects a bit. Even if no additions are done outside of defense, the team will still be better by some distance.

If funds are left sign a winger who runs at defenders. Go all out in the summer window, the winter window is hogwash.

With Welbeck set to leave and Ramsey on the way out and Cech retiring, substantial funds from salary would have become available. If the team could off-load Mikhi, then the club should have room to work with.

All said and done, its been a fine first season for Unai, and the gap which was wide has been closed. It was a top two then the three and then Arsenal when Wenger left. Its not top two and then the four. That is a big improvement, and if anything the team really could (and should) have done even better.

JB1
JB1

@toodrunk mate I can appreciate your optimism, but the end of season meltdown makes it hardly a fine first season… most of us are feeling wildly frustrated and annoyed from the last 6 league games

Jack but
Jack but

I love the fact that the lad Nketia was mentioned, the goal was absolutely necessary

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

It’s why I was in favour of the club not renewing Welbecks contract. Defence should be our primary focus during the transfer window.

yen
yen

Hopefully this one doesn’t come out wrong, but everytime I see Eddie Nketiah I think to myself he could be cast as one of the characters in season 1 on The Wire.

goonero
goonero

No man that COMPLETELY comes out wrong… He is however a dead ringer for Marlo Stanfield.

yen
yen

Ah, that’s who he reminds me of!

arseblog please take the comment down as it obviously did come out wrong based on the reaction. Thank you.

Bubz
Bubz

Way off – clearly a Marlo doppelgänger from season three and up

Jack but
Jack but

So far he’s been delivering the goods hot

Robert Ochieng
Robert Ochieng

His name is his name

The_Kolkata_Gooner
The_Kolkata_Gooner

Yep. Marlo Stanfield. Keep thinking the same every time I see him.

Lux Exterior
Lux Exterior

So the weekend before the the final they’re going to “have it off”.

Couldn’t that potentially affect energy levels going in to the final?

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

No he is saying the weekend of 18/19 they have off.. the weekend before the final is 25/26th.. they be travelling to Baku on 25th.

Santori
Santori

Its such a long break.

I wished we had played close to full squad today.

I guess Unai is trying to negate risk to injuries but the way we have been so tepid last 4 league games against Palace, Wolves, Leicester and BHA, you’d think it would have been great to finish as strongly as possible.

In the end, Everton could only draw anyway

But what if they had done the business with say an unlikely 3 goal win? We would have been kicking ourselves for not hitting 5 against Burnley.

Still the most vexing issue is of course we only needed 2 points (say the miss chance by Auba against BHA) to seal CL…One win out of those poor four games would have been the diff for us to finish in third.

Those that like to criticise Mustafi should bear in mind he wasn’t featured at Wolves. Instead our supposedly choice pairing of Koscielny and Sokratis still fell to 3 goals. Against Leicester, Mustafi was one of the better Cbacks with several critical chances cleared but we still lost.

Part of the problem I felt was the back4. Today the back 4 worked decent despite some naive moments by Mavropanos.

Mustafi came in with a couple of massive blocks.

As I mentioned, he is a better player beyond the hysterical opinion normally generated by people too lazy to form their own opinions and too easily influenced by others.

They want to see what they want to see (have already formed their opinion) and are looking for faults. Conveniently they will turn a blind eye to other more popular players (say Monreal or Torreira) who have also made mistakes this season.

Or when all else fails, they blame the manager..or Kroenke.

If Mustafi was out for 3 of the 4 matches prior to this one and we still had issues, these people need to be asking themselves if there are more salient issues that are contributing to our poor defensive performances.

I’m not saying Mustafi is a good defender far from it, but again, he did decent today…yet some will only casually mention say his beard. Helpful.

atom
atom

Let it go man
Even if we had tried to get Mahrez it’s not clear he would have come here given Wenger was on the verge of being sacked and the team was falling apart.

Sven did a pretty solid job in terms of incoming players and actually shifting players out – that’s important as we were absolutely horrible at that the last few years under Wenger, leaving Sven and Raul with an absolute mess. Torreira, Gend, Auba, Leno, Sokratis can all be considered very successful signings. Mik was just making the best of a horrible situation – not every transfer will work out. Lichtensteiner was a 1 year deal – his legs gave out but hopefully he has helped mentor some of the younger players.

Mustafi is a terrible defender – he’s ok for a lot of the time but then he absolutely panics/switches his brain off. That’s not something that can be coached out of him at this point most likely as he’s been doing it for years. Time to simply cut our losses on him and move on.

jw1
jw1

Mustafi. I tallied 7 points that Mustafi personally gave up in moments of stupidity. Not that he made a mistake. Not that the opposing player showed more talent or guile.

But 7 points to Mustafi’s bare-naked stupidity.

If Arsenal do not win the Europa League final and earn a slot in next season’s Champions League? I will for the entire year refer to the Europa League competition Arsenal will be stuck playing in next season as:

The Mustafi League — in his dishonor.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

I was wondering what would happen with us whilst many other teams went on holiday. Thank you Unai.

Noel GR
Noel GR

Does this make you all as sick as I feel, when I realize what a draw with Palace, and a win over Brighton could have meant to our season?
St Totteringham’s Day would have been a glorious way to finish off.

DENIS
DENIS

The moment Xhaka conceded a Murphy taken free kick I knew our season was in the drains….