Unai Emery admits his English may still have room for improvement but he has no doubts that he’s able to communicate clearly with his players.
Eyebrows were raised when Bukayo Saka admitted after the 3-0 win over Frankfurt that Freddie Ljungberg sometimes clarifies the Spaniard’s instructions, however, Emery made clear that he holds one-on-one video sessions with his players, including the teenager.
Ahead of Monday’s clash with Manchester United, he was asked whether the language barrier is holding his side back.
He replied: “I think no – I have conversations with players, particularly individually with Bukayo Saka. Sometimes I use Freddie to do that conversation with individual players.
“But I also spoke to Saka alone in my office and prepared sometimes some videos – I have done videos with English players, Spanish players, French players, German players.
“Now my English is, from one to 10, maybe a six. But at six, I think the players can understand me.
“If not, some help is good. Last year, on my first day (in the job), I spoke to them very bad, more bad than today. But I have spoken English and now it’s the same, but I think better.”
Given the first team squad hails from 13 different countries with the boss fluent in Spanish and passable in French and English, it feels like a bit of a red herring worrying about his language skills. His tactical acumen on the other hand…