Emery provides fitness updates on Lacazette and Pepe

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Unai Emery says the club’s doctors are optimistic that Alex Lacazette will recover from an ankle injury in time to face Newcastle United on Sunday.

The France international hasn’t featured in either of the Gunners last two friendly games since hobbling off in the Emirates Cup defeat to Lyon and while he’s been seen in training, it appears the medical staff have urged patience.

“Hopefully he will be ready for the match against Newcastle,” Emery told his post-game press conference following Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Barcelona. 

“The doctors are optimistic and we are going to wait. The next days are going to be important if he can progress with his injury. If he is OK for Sunday, perfect. If not, for the next [match].”

The Spaniard was also asked for a fitness update on new signing Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian had only just returned from his holiday when he completed his move to Arsenal and had previously spent the summer on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.

It sounds as though our club-record signing is unlikely to play a part at St James’ Park in our Premier League opener with Emery preaching patience.

“Tomorrow we are going to train together,” said Emery. “Each day for him [Pepe] and for us is information we can save. We hope he can be [available] for this match. With him, I want to be patient.

“He is in the same situation as the other players who have been coming in the last days. For example, Lucas, after one week of training today has his first ten minutes. With Pepe it’s the same. It’s better to be training and be working with us.”

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Jai
Jai

Make or break season for Mr Unai.

Jai
Jai

Not sure why this is seen as negative? Any manager with what we’ve spent this season would be under pressure to perform. It’s how big clubs work.

Rich
Rich

This season will be just another scrap for 4th.

Lacazette needed a season to settle, and was much more accomplished than Pepe, I’m not expecting Pepe to be much more than an impact player to begin with, Ceballos will likely require an adjustment period as well.

This season will be dependant on the progress of Torreira, Guendouzi, Niles, Willock, Iwobi, and also how Bellerin+Holding recover.

If the youngsters can kick on from last season? Then it might tip the balance in our favour.

But I’m not expecting anything other than an almighty struggle, our deficiencies are glaring.

LifelongGooner
LifelongGooner

Tbh that’s fine by me mate. If we get 4th, it’s progress, and we can look to build upon it. We don’t have a squad capable of challenging for the Premier league, at least from a defence perspective.So if taking another year or 2 to build the squad is the plan, I’m all up for it.

Goonereality
Goonereality

True, but those rules didn’t apply with Wenger, did they. Perhaps that’s why our club didn’t work in his latter years? He just went on and on and on, regardless because there was no real “pressure to perform” as you put it. Emery and the new management team inherited several of the major problems arising from that period and it’s bad luck for him that he has a short period (a two year contract + one year option) to try and sort things out.

BigStick
BigStick

Emery still hasn’t been backed properly. We’re in serious need of a new back line and it still hasn’t been addressed yet. Hopefully we’ll get the Tierney deal completed and bring in a decent centerback (anyone better then Mustafi & Chambers). I like Chambers, but he gets skittish when he has to touch the ball anywhere inside our penalty box. Papa is decent as well but needs to stop running and dribbling into the touchline. I can’t wait until Holding returns.

Goonereality
Goonereality

But “backed properly” with what? We aren’t going to get any money from “Silent” Stan, that’s been clear for years now, and we just don’t generate the surplus funds (the key is surplus – it’s nothing to do with size of turnover) to spend consistently on the level of the usual suspects. We’ve raised about £10 million in sales so far this window so there’s little help there.

I think we’ve done very well to squeeze out so many additions to the squad with what we have – or don’t have, more accurately. That’s been through extended instalments, loan backs, add-on etc. all designed to make a little go a long way. If we had the dosh, we wouldn’t be bothering with these “device” so much.

I’d love to see a “decent” centre back as you would, but how much will he cost (on the new “Maguire” scale, say £40-50 million?). Oh, and Tierney as well … .

The truth is we don’t have the resources that City, Utd, Chelsea and now Liverpool have, or that Spu*s are busy getting (unfortunately). For the present, we’re stuck with it I fear.

Martin
Martin

Nonsense. He improved the team last season and must be given much more time

Andre Santos' car keys
Andre Santos' car keys

His deal is two years with an option for a third. Conservative outlay from Arsenal. Came agonizingly close to reaching the objectives but no such thing as almost in this game. Has to deliver UCL football and one of the cups. I’m saying this as someone who trusts the man.

Maul Person
Maul Person

Well it is the second year of an initial two year contract so that in itself would suggest make or break surely? One hopes that the first year has told him everything he needs to know as we head into the new season as one hopes the new signings will help him better last year’s finish… but it doesn’t hide from the fact that if he doesn’t make those improvements, he may be out.

High gunner
High gunner

that is true, but im wondering who game him that 2+1 year-deal? If it was Gazidis then the new heads might be thinking differently about that deal, as was proven with the Koscielny case perhaps..

BigStick
BigStick

Emery is highly respected in Spain, and the big boss (Don Raul) is Spanish. I doubt Emery is going anywhere anytime soon. It would take something catastrophic to get him fired before his contract is up. If we bring in a couple of new defenders, I think we’ll have 3rd or 4th place locked down.

DyGooner
DyGooner

Improved what exactly? our game changed a, we did more pressing, and we played out of the back a lot, and did some others but overall we looked the same at time if not worse, so to go so far as to say we improved that’s kind of a stretch!

Kit
Kit

Again it was shown that it was the players that messed up, just as they did Arsene.
As too the style of play, I agree with DyGooner. The free flowing game which was so beautiful to watch no longer there. I found the majority of the games boring to watch. Just plodding along. For the first year in many years, I did not watch all the matches.

Imustafiyou
Imustafiyou

Now is not solely about Unai. If Unai failed to reach a top 4 finish this season, he should be gone. Apart from Unai, we had spent out budget this season with huge installment in our future budget, if we can’t achieve a top 4 finish, we will definitely in deep finnancial shit. Plus, we have aging player that are going to decline (Ozil, Mikhi, Papa, Monreal, Auba), with the financial constraint of Arsenal, we will actually be a mid table team in a not long future. To conclude, this season si extremely important for both Unai and Arsenal.

Goonereality
Goonereality

He’s in the last year of his contract (albeit there’s an option for a third year by mutual consent) so, yes, the pressure is on even more now than last season.

Nick
Nick

Wanting Pepe to be fit for the first match is asking too much.
It would be pretty cool if he made his debut against Liverpool on 24th August, which is our third game, and dribbled past Virgil van Dijk to score his debut goal in front of the Kop in a win.
We are allowed to dream.

Flavoured Rice

With or without Pepe we should still have enough to win at Newcastle. Providing Emery does not try and reinvent the wheel away from home (which he has a bad habit of).

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Did you see our defence today? Don’t be surprised if Newcastle put 3 past our shit of a defence.
Sokratis is the only defender we have how gives a shit.
Montreal is too slow
Mustafi is not a footballer
Chambers is good for Fulham
Holding is not ready
Berellin is out
Kolas can’t defend
Aniesly is not a right back or a defender
Kos can do off to France
We have one kid who will come next year
And we might buy an injury prone player who is not ready for 8 weeks.
We will be lucky to get any thing in our first 5 games till Holding is back.

Ricochet
Ricochet

I wonder who pissed on your chips today

Maul Person
Maul Person

After reading that, I’d happily piss in his chips!!

Martin Dufosse
Martin Dufosse

Never ceases to amaze me just how many people on here can’t grasp the reality of our current situation.
We are shit at the back. Can’t defend for fudge.We need defender’s. Not wingers. Clueless.

G-Man
G-Man

Well, it’s a good thing Montreal, Berellin and Aniesly don’t play for our team then eh.

Martin
Martin

If you are going to criticise at least spell the names of the players correctly. Montreal, Berellin, Aniesly.

Tankard Gooner
Tankard Gooner

As a resident of Montreal, I take great offence.

kaius
kaius

Fitness update on Pepe?

Read that he hasn’t missed a league game for 3 seasons or something. Emery’s right to preach patience with him but he’ll probably be ready if Laca isn’t

Jodav
Jodav

Emery may be prone to mistake again by sit out pepe with lacazette. At least, he can start pepe for the first 45 minutes if lacazette is not ready

Lanre
Lanre

We are always overly cautious. Mo Sallah played in the same tournament as Pepe and he went the full 90 for liverpool today and he did okay too. Can we just live for a bit?

G-Man
G-Man

I would love to rush Pepe in but if we, as a team, cannot beat Newcastle without Pepe, then what does that say about us? He is supposed to be the difference against the Top 6, not a team that has a new manager and is constantly hovering just above the relegation zone.

TeddyT
TeddyT

I believe it was the games against teams other than the top 6 that cost us last year. Our record vs the top 6 was actually much better last year.

Glasgow_Gooner
Glasgow_Gooner

Watching Emery during matches and training sessions. He’s all over the players, constantly demanding more. It’s great to see.

Flavoured Rice

I also thought it was refreshing at the start of last season, but it soon faded as the hopelessness of our squad began to reveal itself to him. My primary concern with Emery is that he over analyses the opponents, especially towards the end of last season. It leads to us performing with nerves and a high amount of trepidation. I don’t like to see our creativity stifled.

Sometimes less is more. And I’m not sure that side of him will change. In some ways he is the polar opposite of Wenger -for better or worse.

Johnno
Johnno

If less is more then wenger would have won the league in his last 4 seasons. He basically did nothing.

Salman
Salman

My overall observation of most of the games we lost last season were as a result of Emery’s unnecessary experiments. I hope we’re done experimenting.

BigStick
BigStick

Emery needs to put out a good team and stick with it. A front four of Ozil, Auba, Laca, and Pepe will win us a lot of games, but the players who sit behind those four are going to dictate how our season goes. Willock should be on the pitch no matter what, that kid has what it takes to help us out bigtime. I feel the same way about Guendouzi, but he still needs to polish up on his handling of the ball on the edge of our box. A little more awareness, and getting rid of the ball quicker would be a big improvement to his game. Not all of the refs are going to give him that foul he’s always looking for on the edge of our box, and a lapse in concentration there could hurt us badly when it counts. I really wish Emery would have played Thompson a lot more then he did, he looks promising. That he didn’t play him as much means that he won’t get much of a look while one of Kola or Nacho is still around.

Ray Smuckles
Ray Smuckles

So the season starts in a week and we still have Muatafi in the team and haven’t signed a central defender who can defend? Ground hog day with that sinking feeling in my stomach just like the last however many seasons.

henry
henry

He was not asked about Mustafi?

peter mills
peter mills

We have needed anew backline for ten years and we buy another forward can anybody
undrestand that logic?

Mark
Mark

I know we are all really anxious to see Pepe on the pitch with Arsenal, but good they are being patient. That’s the tough thing about late Summer transfers where players come in and have to start playing league matches with no time to really integrate into the squad in preseason (plus is in this case he was on break from the AFCN).