Emery: I’ll blood the kids in the Europa League


Unai Emery says Arsenal’s Academy graduates can expect first team opportunities next season and revealed that those who’ve been included in the pre-season tour of the US are making a good impression.

In addition to the four youngsters, Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, who’ve earned a summer promotion, the Gunners have taken a number of last season’s under-23s and under-18s with them to Los Angeles.

Zech Medley, James Olayinka, Bukaya Saka, Robbie Burton, Tyreece John-Jules and Dominic Thompson all featured in the 3-0 win over Colorado Rapids, as did new signing Gabriel Martinelli. The next challenge is giving them minutes in competitive matches and it looks as though that could happen in the Europa League.

Facing the press ahead of tomorrow’s friendly with Bayern Munich, Unai Emery fielded a question from Blogs himself about integrating our teenage contingent.

His reply: “We are going to play every competition thinking to do the best. Our objective this season is playing to get some titles, we are going to work to achieve that.

“Where we can give young players chances to play we will. We are thinking to win titles but in the Europa League we will give young players opportunities to play.

“Last year we did that but also thinking their first objective is to achieve the performance with them to win and do a good way on all competitions.”

Emery also touched on how the Stateside training camp has gone so far. So far, so good by the sounds of things.

“Really we are working very well,” he said. “We are working with patience, the players are coming after their holidays.

“Now needs to be with us Iwobi, Elneny, Matteo and Lucas but the other players are here and also with the young players we are working very well.

“We are creating a strong moment now for all the season, working hard and really we are also working with the possibility to sign some new players to help us.

“We are doing a lot of meetings with the club, with Edu, also with Josh and Stan Kroenke yesterday in Denver. We have a very clear idea: to sign the players who can help us with a good performance and in the positions we need.”

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Last year for some reason the Arsenal board didn’t care for result in the league as most thought Unai will deliver his magic because of his Europa record. The same was very much apparent from Vinai and Raul’s interview just before the final. Focusing on that one match instead of a easier way to get into Europe by doing things right in the league did cost us eventually. Hope the focus is just League this year with better co-ordination between the players and style of play. Still frustrates that we could have been in Champions League if only we had… Read more »


..*one more game


down It was the players who let themselves down and the club so badly. Doubly frustrating as they had put in the work earlier to get us into a top four finish and through the Europa League semi-final. If the youngsters Emery plans to use now are good enough, then they’re old enough. Fingers crossed.


It was the players who let themselves down and the club down* so badly


I really don’t give a toss about the EL final either. What’s most frustrating is that with one more win we would have royally shafted spuds in the process.


Yer finishing above spuds is a must every season in my eyes


Well, the majority of Gooners wouldn’t agree with you I think. Had we beaten Chelsea by the margin they beat us, most Gooners would have been celebrating, wouldn’t they? If we win, great, but if we lose, we don’t give a toss – it doesn’t really work.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Five easy games, plenty of gifts from other clubs and we failed to be top four. What we need primarily is players with great fighting spirit. Lot of fans said we needed Ziyech. The guy had bigger responsibility in the elimination of Morocco at AFCON than any other moroccan player. Missed PK and plenty of opportunities. Ramsey was better than Ziyech during 2013 season. Five more years before Ramsey gave us another very good season.


Here, here. Anyone with eyes can see that Ziyech is a second-rate player. Far, far too wasteful with the odd feint and dribble thrown in. A poor-man’s Mahrez.


This tour has come as a breath of fresh air – after wants seemed like an eternity of silence, finally we are starting to hear about plans and preparation. It’s not going to be enough for everyone but for me I’m glad to hear that things are going on… it doesn’t feel as doom and gloom as it did a week or so ago.

Still a lot to go but let’s hope the positive noises turn into actions.


Agree, i was the same, Only natural after the last few years i suppose, I didn’t mind JK letter yesterday either, and Emery talking about signings has cheered me up a bit,


Is it only me that’s taking Emery’s repeated mentioning of signings as laying the gauntlet down to the execs a bit too? Makes it very clear to us what he wants and that ultimately who’s to blame if it doesnt transpire.
Suppose the cynic in me says he’s just doing it to placate us post-letter but still.


Emery needs to work with what he has, and focus on building a team that plays as a coherent unit. You don’t always need new signings for that; if we get them, great, but no excuses. This team was one or two wins away from CL qualification last season, and one win away from silverware, so coherence and consistency are everything going forward. And give that youth a chance, as the kids are alright!


I see where you’re coming from but I do disagree. Emery can’t coach the shite out of Mustafi. His alternatives look better than they were. No holding, Koscielny who was good but crocked, Papa makes the right noises and gestures but is actually not that great anymore, and don’t even get me started on the nonsense fan hype around Mavropanos – whose few apps actually don’t support that he’s even half decent yet. Emery should coach the team better but he also can’t be blamed for the lopsided, hyperwage inflated squad he’s inherited without acknowledging a new coach can expect… Read more »


Right, but no one expects Emery to win the PL anytime soon (the “his signings” business is a multiyear process, of course, for coaches like Pep and Klopp to win big titles, but don’t forget that Emery already has four of “his” signings last summer, and it looks like he’s getting a few more this summer, not to mention the fact that we’ve shed a lot of players from the previous regime in the past two years). All we wanted from him last season and want this season, is to get us back into the CL spots — anything more… Read more »


4 signings? I think those numbers are inaccurate, imo it’s 1 signing and a failed loan deal. The only signings he actively pushed & sanctioned were Torreira and Denis. Leno and Sokratis were on Arsenal’s radar for years, and were transfer targets even prior to Emery’s arrival. Emery also openly indicated in his earlier interviews that he didn’t discover Guendouzi, it was the club that brought him in. As for the old bloke that used to play for Juventus, let’s pretend he never came. Let’s put aside the talk of signings, you mentioned about pep and klopp, that their systems… Read more »


Klopp’s and Pep’s first seasons were bad — and you know what, people said they were bad. Some Liverpool fans were deeply unimpressed, and wanted Klopp gone. But by his second season, he was in the top four. I don’t know how much investment they had between those two seasons, but I do agree that they only reached PL/CL winning form until they had major investment. If Emery shows that he can do something with this team, build with what he has, the investment will come. What I don’t get is why it was only the manager’s fault when Wenger… Read more »


If Suarez is an indication of Emery’s eye for talent, I want him to stay as far from transfers as possible.

Drogheda Gunner

Socra was better last year than most give him credit for?


I agree it’s good to hear about these things, but when the first whistle is blown in the new season, talk and preparation are out the window. As you imply, it will be what Emery and the backroom team actually do in these few remaining weeks that will be what matters. They have to change things substantially because of the debacle at the end of last season. Let’s hope they can.


I miss the old Wenger-ism of saying ‘look errrr…’ at the start of every sentence in a press conference


Nothing lasts foreber.


I feeeeel errrrrr..


Maybe in twenty years time we’ll think of good ebening in the same way


Please let them play past the group stage and some of the League matches too.


Yeah, I have my doubts about our commitment to developing our young players with the first team. I don’t know if giving them only “less important” games to play really moves their development along. I’ve always felt that players truly develop and progress when they feel like they are part of the team (not just the B-Team), have responsibility, and have an equal share in winning and losing — I don’t mean starting PL games every week, but being used in those games, sometimes starting, depending on performances. That matures a player, and it also sends a message to the… Read more »

Drogheda Gunner

Yeah they should breed them in gradually, I don’t think it will improve them when they bring in 6 or 7 at a time in a one off game in belurus, I think it would be better if they playwith more established stars in a prem game.


Good/big performance is the new top, top quality

Spanish Gooner

I have to say, you can really tell Unai’s English has improved since he first signed. Speaking as a fellow non-native English speaker, I’m impressed!


Sod it, play them in the Premier League. If it works it’ll be brilliant. If it doesn’t, at least we’ll know and people like me can stop moaning we never play the kids.


Does this mean the overpaid dross (Ozil, Miki, Xhaka etc) will f*** up the league like last season?


And if it doesn’t work? Relegation fight?

Arsenala Vista Baby

I think youngsters should also be in the mix to play in the league, cup and EL.. it will be very well balanced team throughout the season..


Fantastic news. I look forward to seeing these kids play competitive matches

Tony Hall

One thing is for sure, if “Arsenal are trying to sign some “very big, very expensive players” this summer, says manager Unai Emery.” is true off the BBc website there must be a bigger transfer budget than they are letting on.


Yeah cause if we spunked 45 mil on a single player it still wouldn’t be possible to describe it as “very expensive” in this market. Something must be there. Is the powder finally dry enough Ivans 2.0?


I work in sales and I’m thinking of trying something like this for my next meeting when my boss is looking for results:

“I am working very well. It is my objective to meet all my targets with a big performance. I am looking for big big customers – I look here and I look there. If I find the right deal, I will do the deal. I will not hesitate. I am working with patience. “

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Alex, I will copy and paste your comments in my Performance Management Plan. I will tell you if I still have a job at the end of the year when the results are known.


I like this new look Emery’s got. It’s at once debonaire and slovenly, arrogant and withdrawn. Unai Emery: enigma

DB10s Air Miles

Sports casual….


I was waiting for somebody to make a comment about that…. Pleasantly amused that you did!

DB10's Air Miles

He’s got a bit of a scam with 12 inch plate at the buffet too.

Monkey Joe

Just sack him now. #EmeryOut

Arsenala Vista Baby

Hahaha..already? After that, #NextManagerOut and after that NextNextManagerOut# and after that…

DB10's Air Miles

Why don’t we just kill him? We could hang him from the clockend, that would really send a message to the board and future managers.


I read this headline as “I’ll Kill the Bloody Kids in Europe”

Voice of Reason

So no mention of our young polish defender Bielik as one who still has to join the group. We might end up with another gnabry situation here


Its a nice sentiment from Emery here, but the reality of the situation is that he *has* to play the kids in the EL (and probably even the PL) because we lack the personnel and depth to have quality players in every match.


Zzzzzzzzzzz……have we bought anyone yet? No? Zzzzzzzzzzz…..


Why not. Many of the matches in Europa tend to be against very lowly ranked teams. We need to concentrate on the league first and foremost. Meanwhile caught the highlights to the match against Colorado Rapid. Bearing in mind we were playing pretty much their reserves and younger players as well, some good performances but should be put in context with aforemention caveat. Saka continues to impress me. I don’t think he is first team ready but he will feature in secondary cup and the such. Still rough edges but exciting young talent. Nketiah seems to have great work rate… Read more »


Not convinced a red baseball cap is the smartest choice of headgear in the USA


the third jersey for the europa league is just crazy. I love it, what about you?

Startlow £1

We gotta try them out in the europa and if you can’t stand out in that …

Bobby Digital

How come there’s no mention of Krystian Bielik? He’s going to be a massive player for Arsenal and the club’d be foolish to let him go like Gnabry.