Emery: The players understand my English

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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…

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Danny
Danny

Just media shit stirring. Move on.

punter
punter

Credit to Emery to even attempt speaking a foreign language. Lot of respect to him for conducting his first interview in English..yes it was crap English..but so what? We got the point right?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

But giving himself 6 out of 10? Hope he is not that optimistic with the performance of our defensive game.

Neil
Neil

I have to agree with you. It’s more like a 4.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

People just love something to winge about, his English is fine,

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Agreed. Wasn’t Pochettino in England for about 2/3 years before he did an interview without a translator? How many of the people criticising are fluent in Spanish.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Also with confidence in each moment, showing our capacity in conversations, after with big commitment doing in our way.

Man Manny
Man Manny

Lol

A Different George
A Different George

Oh, you protagonist, you.

Ben
Ben

That was Perfect! LOL!

Lettra
Lettra

Ha ha wow .
That was fucking brutal..

Kolkata_Gooner
Kolkata_Gooner

At the moment, I do not have much faith in Emery – even if he gets us into the top 4. On the back of the past one and a half year, he hasn’t shown enough to prove that he’ll take us to the next level i.e challenging for the title and taking us past the RO16 in the Champions League. But I genuinely hope he will turn things around. He seems like a nice bloke, and its always better if the man holding the job is the best man for the job rather than someone else.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

“challenging for the title”

Look, Emery is disappointing right now and there is a lack of progress, and so if the club can find a new manager that can have an instant impact to take us further, then by all mean we should go for it.

But make no mistake, the current PL “title challenge” requires a whopping point tally of 98 points or more. To suggest that there is any manager in world football who can take the current Arsenal squad – given the financial limitations and all – anywhere near that number is beyond ridiculous.
Not even the invincibles could achieved beyond 90 points, so why suddenly the delusion that AFC have a ceiling of competing with the unnatural state of Liverpool & City.

No the goal can only be set at achieving top 4 and staying there consistently, until the current phenomenon that is Pep & Klopp are gone, and that cycle is finished. and the PL is back again to a state of 85+ points can win you the title.

Dave
Dave

We’ve literally spent as much money as Liverpool. We should be competing with them. As individuals our squad isn’t even that far behind.

Neil
Neil

It’s not the money spent, it’s also who you’re spending it on (we’ve made some massive blunders in that respect), how you’re managing current players (and contracts), and how you are scouting. I actually think we’re quite far behind LFC in terms of these.

Goonertom
Goonertom

Had to downvote that for suggesting that Liverpool’s state is both unnatural and unattainable. Klopp isnt a ‘phenomenon’ – he’s just a very good manager who has been given enough time and control of the club to build a squad that suits his style of football. The level of spending at liverpool is also not in a different realm to ours. They have just spent it well and have created a team arguably better than the sum of their parts.
Saying we cant even compete with that is utterly defeatist in my opinion.
Remember it wasnt long ago that liverpool supporters had serious doubts over klopp any many wanted him out. But hes been given time to build and now look at them. If emery has another 2 years and the squad hasnt progressed ill b the first one asking for change.

But you cant just get a new manager every 5 minutes and throw loads of money at the problem – what would you be then? Youd be man united.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Klopp’s football has always been discernible, quite clearly so; I’m not sure the same thing can be said about Emery’s game. If Emery can give us more consistent impressions of what style of football Arsenal are going to play under his tutelage, then he deserves our support and he definitely deserves more time; but after nearly 16 months in charge, most of us are still wondering what kind of football we are playing. I want him to succeed as I’m exhausted by Arsenal disappointment, but if he doesn’t show clear, positive signs in the next few months that this team is playing coherent, unified football, there is no sense in waiting to replace him. Everything else is in place for success at this club; it’s down to Emery now.

bob
bob

The fact that Klopp is a very good manager is reason enough to give him time. If we give Emery two more years as you suggest, and it turns out that, as it seems to appear, he isn’t a very good manager (not terrible, just not good enough), then we will have wasted two years of time and money to no benefit. Auba and Laca will be leaving, and we will still be paying our installments for Pepe etc.

Liverpool had Rodgers before Klopp. Rodgers isn’t a bad manager, as evidenced by Leicesters current league position, but he wasn’t good enough to take them to challenge for the title.

In our scenario, Emery is Rodgers. And no amount of “giving him time” will magically make him into a manager that challenges for the PL title. I think the board knows this, being flexible with his extension. And it wouldn’t be a bad thing, or failure to have appointed him, even if we move him on this season. He has, more or less, kind of steadied a ship that could have sunk after Arsene left, so has achieved that important goal. But to go from there and challenge at the very top? We need a new coach for that.

myrtle
myrtle

Rogers famously did challenge for the title..

A Different George
A Different George

Here’s a handy data-point: Oxlade-Chamberlain is good enough to play for Liverpool, even to start, though he is pretty clearly a half-step below their best players. Exactly the description that you would put to his time at Arsenal.

Runnings
Runnings

that accumulated total of above 90 points is because most teams wont improve their level.
….during the invincible era , teams were more comparable ,…it wasnt a one or two team league.

JB_
JB_

The league is even more competitive now than it was then, though. It just seems to be 2 managers at the pinnacle of the game, pushing each other to the limit.

It’s not like either team has way more talented players compared to title winning teams of the past. They’re both incredibly team-oriented, and have deeply ingrained football philosophies, which I think is the difference.

Futsboller
Futsboller

AW vs SAF — those were the days!

Man Manny
Man Manny

Apart from City and Liverpool, Arsenal can compete favourably with the other 17 in terms of player quality.
Where we fall short is in the quality of coaching.
Emery is an average coach…EL standard at best.
Apart from Guardiola, and Klopp, there are three other managers I’d take above him –
Pochettino, Brendan Rogers and Pellegrini.
I’ve kept out Lampard because of his lack of top level managerial experience.

Alex
Alex

I’m personally not concerned by the language barrier.

But it was telling in the match at one point against Watford I think it was? Emery was speaking/gesticulating to his coaches in Spanish, and it’s his coaches that were then talking to the players during a break in play.

Certainly, in a 1v1 environment, the barrier disappears, but when emotions are high, I think he definitely has his “translators”

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

People in France say he lost all his credibility trying to explain Barcelona’s remontada against PSG in french.

Win,lose or draw Emery remains the wrong choice
Win,lose or draw Emery remains the wrong choice

Alright!….we are grateful Emery.. Thanks.

Gudang Bedil

I think it’s not ‘more bad’ than what the media said.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

What does The Ebening Standard have to say?

Newxieland
Newxieland

Don’t know too much about Spanish football… please enlighten me on what Valancia and Servilla were like under him? Style, identity etc…

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

They played a much more flowing football is what I remember.
This could probably be his worst spell as a manager from a perspective of performances.

Prince Gunner
Prince Gunner

Articles in the internet should enlighten you.

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

“Given the first team squad hails from 13 different countries…”

I guess you don’t count Scotland 🙂

Pkub
Pkub

Oh snap. Shots fired haha

backsakacrack
backsakacrack

That’s because Scotland is not an independent country.

Torterrier
Torterrier

It fucking will be soon hopefully

Okester
Okester

It’s not so much if they can understand what he’s saying in english, more so his actual grasp of the language. At the moment, it seems he has learnt a few soundbites very well and recycles them often. A trick I used to use myself when my spanish wasn’t great and living/working abroad in a foreign environment.
“No tocas mis cojones!”

bob
bob

Interestingly, I have heard that trick also works well in certain part of Watford.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Plus, that phrase is easy to change to the positive instruction – just take off the “No”. (Could be useful to know as well)

Magneto
Magneto

I agree that it feels like a bit of a red herring worrying about Unai’s language skills.

The fact is it is far from easy learning a new language as a middle aged man, and
Unai should be praised for doing so.

N10
N10

Agree with that 100%

Oregoon

I think that is why Xhaka was put forth as the “first captain”. Believe he and Emery communicate better together than Emery and the other choices. Here’s hoping that this will actually translate to better performances by the team and Xhaka.

Pooner
Pooner

If his team talks are anything like his interviews and press conferences, I suspect the players understand the words but not the meaning.

ach
ach

Classic arseblog news always make a snide remarks regarding emery at the end. We know you don’t like emery very much but give it a rest won’t you.

Mega
Mega

You don’t have to read it you know …

Tapps

How would he know what it said if he didn’t read it?

Man Manny
Man Manny

No doubt they do; but the more important issue is: do they understand your tactics?

Thierry Walcott
Thierry Walcott

Judge the coach on his coaching, not his English… right?

bob
bob

I don’t think that it’s his English that’s the worry. I worry more that he gives the players a myriad of, potentially conflicting and confusing, tactical instructions, different for each game. This is, in itself, hard to communicate for even native speakers.

I always think that footballers (and team sport players in general) are at their best when given clear, limited instruction, such that they can intensely focus on their own thing, with the trust that the coach has a big picture and they will fit into it by doing what they are doing well.

I haven’t had the slightest impression, from Emery or the players, that this is what he is doing. So from my perspective, admittedly ignorant to the behind the scenes details, I can understand why the players on the pitch often look clueless when the opposition start doing tricky or unexpected things.

Like pressing! We seem to go to bits as soon as we are pressed. If players have a subconscious understanding (big Per’s automatisms) of the shape needed to provide options to play out through the press, we wouldn’t be so panicky and riddled with mistakes. Well, that is the hope. And if Freddie can help clarify things in the meantime then we are very lucky to have him.

para
para

What if he is forced to use players that he does not want? That’s the only way of selling them really, by giving them games.

A P
A P

Emery must really be dying to use Ozil and dump Auba then.

Kismayo
Kismayo

He knows football language, what more did you need from him.

N10
N10

So Unai, you’re just a poor thinker and speaker, then? Or the team are just stupid?! Not a good look, either way.

Ever since the March international break he’s been pants. What happened out there in Abu Dhabi?

I supported Emery in his first year out of principle but he’s clearly not the man for the job long term.

Unai:
Just get us into the top 4 and we’ll give you a good reference.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Why the nasty throw away line at the end of this piece…it’s unbecoming and unnecessary.

Futsboller
Futsboller

I have to presume that’s put forward tongue-in-cheek, based one what we read in the comments section here every single day with respect to the nastiness we direct at everything with a heartbeat, and not. Blogs and his cast of merry men are welcome to cast a little shade and doubt here and there, as they’ve earned their degrees in all things Arsenal.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

Emery’s a bit like one of those dolls where you pull the string in its back and it says a sentence

Hes got about 6 English phrases programmed into his memory and whatever question the journo asks, one of those 6 will come out at random.

Really difficult to listen to.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

If we could only get a 6/10 performance from our fearless capitan……

shaka
shaka

emery is a bum

Nordin
Nordin

For me….as long as he doesnt play Özil more because he doesnt know how to use Özil or doesnt want to use Özil….for whatever reasons…language or otherwise….he is a NOT a good coach to me. Why? Well Özilis the HIGHEST PAID player in the team, Emery has to play Özil in a system that works. The fact that he named Özil as one of the Captain or vice-captain of the team….it is out of necessity coz the players were allowed to vote….and guess who they want as one of their leaders. So same situation here, the team respect these players but it is beyond their control that Özil is not played, eventho they want him to.
So Emery is useless if he can see what he needs to do for the team. Exclude the few new players that have just come on board….the majority of the players.that have been with the club for a few seasons….they have spoken actually through the captain voting process. They just cant Emery “hello play Özil, coz we want him to play!!!”

Nordin
Nordin

*useless if he CANT see….
*just cant TELL Emery..

ATG
ATG

Good Ebening! 😀

Mike1
Mike1

Blogs I’ve been given a fuller transcript of Emery’s interview:

I also voice to Saka alone in my office and prepared sometimes some videos with the wife haha no, no I only joke, you know haha – I have done videos but not with wife with English players, Spanish players, French players, German players. But not Ozil. I give him tape of Ryan Air flights out of London.

“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. I buy man to speak for me. Very nice man, Mourinho, he offer to translate for me. He very kind. He even say he happy to talk to tictac or tactic.

A P
A P

Good to know the English is fine then. Because it means the instructions must be shit.