Emery: I’m excited to work with all the players

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Unai Emery says he’s excited to work with his reshaped Arsenal squad and believes they can close the gap on last season’s runaway top two; Manchester City and Liverpool.

The Gunners recruited six new players and moved on 20 during a hectic summer that also saw a number of Academy graduates earn promotion to the first team.

With some of the squad returning late from international duty, a few faces likely to leave and injured players stepping up their rehab, it’ll take a few weeks for things to calm down at London Colney, but the foundations are in place for another tilt at the top four.

Facing the media ahead of the opening game of the season with Newcastle, the boss was asked which players he’s looking forward to working with.

“All of them,” he said, “and I want to show and say to our supporters that I am very excited to work with Pepe, David Luiz, Ceballos, Martinelli, Kieren Tierney, and with Willock, Nelson, Bukayo and Xhaka, Lacazette, Aubameyang, Leno, Emiliano, Matteo.

“We need every player and I want to achieve with every player our best performance. My challenge and objective is to achieve some titles in my present and future here.

“I want to achieve the top four to get into the Champions League, but above all my first and top challenge is to improve each player in his career.”

Emery also took a moment to assess Arsenal’s rivals. While he accepts that we might not challenge the top two for the title, he insists that cutting the gap should be a priority.

He said: “Last year we reduced the distance with some other teams and at the moment I think Man City and Liverpool are stronger than others at the beginning, but we want to reduce the distance to them and compete with them We want to reduce the points difference with them.

“After, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United have the same objective as us. Last year there were less points difference between us and this year is another challenge for them and for us to achieve the top four.

“Other teams are coming back and signing very good players and working very well. Everton, West Ham, Leicester, Wolves, Watford…the Premier League is the best competition in the world.

“We are going to work and be with a big challenge to compete in this competition to find the top four.”

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Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

Evidence that Xhaka has nudes of Emery.

Martin
Martin

You mean the best deep lying midfielder in the country with an incredible passing range and has a great partnership with Torreira. Captain of Switzerland and hopefully captain of Arsenal

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

Calm down Martin.

lettra
lettra

And Cliff ..but mostly Martin.

Maul Person
Maul Person

“… the best deep lying midfielder in the country…”

The best? The country?!

Shiiiiiiiiet… now I KNOW I need some of what you’re smoking!

Drogheda Gunner
Drogheda Gunner

I’m all for bigging up our players but this is to much. Lol

Ourchildrensworld

He’s not even the best deep lying midfielder in our squad.

If he makes our first 11 consistently, we aren’t utilising the abilities of our other midfielders enough.

Guendouzi, Ceballos, Torreira, Willock and AMN should be given more opportunities as their athleticism suits our team (and this league) a lot more.

John Mock
John Mock

Not to dive too deep into this, but all I will say is that although fans will always disagree and hold varying opinions of players, there is generally consensus about say, Salah, Kante, Buffon, Mbappe, Kroos, Busquets, etc. No one really debates how good they are. The mere fact that our fanbase has been fighting over whether Xhaka is a good player or not is the best argument I can make that he is at best a player with glaring weaknesses. Our fans are not blind, or looking for scapegoats. We see his flaws on a weekly basis, and yes, his qualities as well. We aren’t all facing mass hypnosis and inventing his lack of defensive awareness, his wide turning angles and lack of quick dribbling and passing ability when faced with the high press of the top EPL clubs. His errent passes and loss of possession in dangerous areas. There is a reason Cazorla is widely considered the best midfielder of the Emirates era. That ability to play quickly and accurately in crowds of pressure and release the ball to forwards, reading open space and instinctively moving well on both sides of the ball, with agility and brilliant close control. Xhaka is too slow for the premiership and doesnt release the counterattack quickly enough, which is vital against the liverpool and city press. Hes a decent player, but not for a team trying to be elite. Now that Luiz can distribute from the back, I think he will be made irrelevant.

Runnings
Runnings

Does he wants to work with Ozil?

CHIBS
CHIBS

Of course if he’s more motivated than usually, why not? There’s reason to be motivated now more than ever

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

We should have paid Monaco 30 million to take Mustafi. He will cost us between 12-18 points this season.

Bring back David Hillier

As much as Mustafi is a liability I hope he improves and backs up his ‘i want to stay and fight’ by playing better and not sliding in every bloody time and improve his positioning. If we are stuck with him, we need to get behind him.

Martin
Martin

As he is 5th in line hopefully hw will make very few appearances and even better if he is sold

CHIBS
CHIBS

Question: Which Arsenal player do you see being the first to become valued at 100 million pounds ?

Haha haha

CHIBS
CHIBS

Also Luiz is bout to play the best football of his career. He’ll leave a Legend at 35 because this is a special relationship/connection between him and our manager. Complete respect between themselves and admiration from Luiz.

Bunaboy
Bunaboy

Nicolas Pepe

Stuey
Stuey

I’ve a feeling Ozil will leave for MLS very soon.

Martin
Martin

He’s already rubbished that. He’s far too good

Reality check
Reality check

For some people, their only inteligent contribution is to divert every news in order to remind us how shit Mustafi is.. pls chamge the record, Mustafi didn’t even play the final and we had our a**es handed over to us by a joke of a Chelsea team. Mustafi is an easy target, there are other people also responsible for our broken defense.. some even more so than Mustafi.

Ricardo Sabubi
Ricardo Sabubi

Hope that this season will be better with the players we have. Once the injured players are back it will be fire.

Santori
Santori

All things said…I think this coming season we have some flexibility tactically to go into various different set ups.

Adrian Clarke had a good piece on ArsenalPlayer.

We will have option to go 4-2-3-1 pr 4–4-2 or 4-3-2-1

Emery has been striving to add tactical flexibility to make us less predictable and more responsive to various scenarios.

Which is why adding the right assets for him this summer has been key.

As I mentioed start of summer, we needed first and foremost a Cback, a CM and a winger.

We’ve only half fixed (if not band aid again) Cback but we got the other two done (and well)

Plus we’ve added at Lback (eventually)

SO he has a much better set of tools than last season.

Mutisya
Mutisya

Blogs is taking the piss with those Unai smiling photos and I’m all in! hahaha

Leon
Leon

Never rated Emery much and was disappointed in his appointment.
But….
He has done very well this summer and I have to take my hat off to him.
Hopefully we will see more of his team this season than Arsene Wenger’s
If that is the case we are good enough for top four and if we achieve that we can push on the season after.
Pleased to see a lot of the deadwood shipped out…

Santori
Santori

………………………………….Leno/Martinez…………………………………
…………………..Luiz/Chambers…………Sokratis/Holding………………..
Bellerin/AMN………………………………………………………Tierney/Kola
……………………..Xhaka/Willock….Torreira/Guendouzi………………..
Pepe/Mhki………………. Ceballos/Ozil………………………..Nelson/(?)
……………………………….Laca/Auba………………………………………

This is just a tentative line up with no preference on a first or second team. Example Kolasinac and AMN may suit a back 3 set up better.

But already we can see a lack of depth on the left with Nelson having to step in to fill from Iwobi’s departure but back up thereafter becomes a concern. Young Saka can fill but is still with learning curve and we can shift players from other flank but an injury would make things very tight.

right side attack is now a bit of a problem of our own making.

In the middle I’ve kept Ozil who may be sold and out wide Mhkitaryan who also maybe sold.

Its prob one of the other. Mhkitrayn may give us slightly more flexibility but if ESR is loaned, then maybe Willock has a role higher up in limited games and selling one of Ozil or Mhki even with the (as yet untested) Cebellos also represents potential risk to depth.

At the back, it all depends if the older pair of Sokratis and Luiz combine age of 63yrs, can gel.

Chambers has been as much suspect positionally in pre-season and Holding whilst many like to laud him has only been good thus far in a back 3 for most parts (which is why we stayed in a back 3 for a long time last season)

Still plenty of problems we could have fixed better and some yet again of our own making.

Dat guy
Dat guy

I think blogs needs to start giving you a character limit. I loath the energy my phone uses loading your novels.

Ealing
Ealing

Couldn’t agree more

Drogheda Gunner
Drogheda Gunner

I 2nd that. Lol

Goonerink

2000 word question
3 word answer.

martinelli and auba

Santori
Santori

Unknown clause at Arsenal that we need at minimum two player with mop hair to confuse opponents.

Elneny outgoing? Buy David Luiz.

Cunning tactical ploy to confuse opponents with Guendouzi running amok as well.

Santori
Santori

The league has to be priority. Top 3 if possible.

BUT we will have to see how the band aid holds up.

Kumar
Kumar

Let’s just stay positive and back the manager and team. They have done a good job of revamping with a limited budget. Its a good start.

Goonereality
Goonereality

I’m sure we all hope that the new look side can close the gap on the top two (both of whom have won their opening games convincingly). It’s certainly a tall order, but not impossible.

Overall squad strength will be a major factor as you obviously can’t put your best team out in every game for many reasons. Whether we’ve the strength and quality in depth, across the squad, that’s necessary to close that gap is something that we’ll see in the coming months.