Unai Emery has sounded a confident note after conversations with his players, as well as Head of Football Raul Sanllehi and Technical Director Edu.

The Gunners return to Premier League action tonight after a two week Interlull, and the manager appears certain that we can do better than last season when a poor end to the campaign put paid to any hopes of Champions League football.

A win tonight would send Arsenal above Chelsea and Leicester City into third place, and Emery is urging his men to do their talking on the pitch.

“Our work is more important than our words and really now I am very happy at the club,” he told Sky Sports.

“I am really happy with the players. The last two, three, four weeks, every player – and Mesut Ozil – is working very well.

“This is why we can be positive and we can think we are going to do something important this year.

“I was speaking with Raul and this is the same idea when he is speaking with me.”

There are concerns that Arsenal’s form in general might cost the team points, with each of the Premier League wins coming by just a single goal, and the Spaniard acknowledges that improvements can be made.

“We can play better each match,” he said. “For us it’s very important to be competitive each match. We are being competitive at the moment. Being competitive we can then achieve a better way for how we can play.

“If we are competitive we can use different players in different moments, some with more skill, some with more capacity to do pressing and transition.

“We can use them if we, like a team, can feel strong in our mentality and being competitive and consistent each match.”

Arseblog Preview of tonight’s game

Sheffield United preview: Can we get points and a performance?

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AussieGooner
AussieGooner

Good on yer Unai, some very positive and upbeat messaging there. Sounds like Ozil might well feature.

Looking forward to Tierney launching three balls onto Pepe’s left foot for his first Arsenal hat-trick.

Come on you Gunners!

Jay
Jay

Why would you downvote this?
It’s the only positive thing I’ve seen all Monday so far!

Amusa
Amusa

Yeah Fuck Monday

Prince Gunneralaysia
Prince Gunneralaysia

Happy Mooooooooaaaaaaannday

IamaGoober

Absolutely buzzzzing for the game tonight.

Goonerink

honestly, no football at the weekend is pretty shit.
However football after a monday back at work is a pretty good silver lining.

unless we lose!
COYG!

James Stevenson
James Stevenson

Tierney and bellerin will be vital for us

Akbar
Akbar

There was a time, not too long ago when we wanted Wenger out because he was finishing in the top 4 only and playing beautiful football, then he missed top 4 by a point, and then we made every loss toxic for him. Now we play ugly/non existent football and would consider finishing in the top 4 an achievement.

P.S not saying Wenger did not deserve any criticism however it was overboard at times.

Gunnermite
Gunnermite

How dare you state the obvious! Buckle up, Emery boys will come for you.

Martin
Martin

Who are Emery boys? Are they some sort of gang like the Billy boys as shown in Peaky Blinders. Grow up.

Pete Strong
Pete Strong

What part of ‘transition’ don’t you understand? Under Wenger the club banged its head against a brick wall for 10 years, yet you seem to think Emery can turn it around in one?

If you think it’s easy, look at Man Utd who have spent £800m and lie 13th in the table, yet here you are expecting Emery to walk into the top four and play ‘beautiful football’.

You say criticism of Wenger was overboard then come out with this drivel about Emery. Hypocrite.

antony
antony

I remembered (via the arsenal vision podcast) the Liverpool game where Wenger dropped sanchez because of a row between him and ramsay, only to bring him on at half time because we were losing. The once great man had fallen from grace, his time was up. It was no longer about position in the table, rather things HAD to change. How his successor got on was besides the point.

Dave M
Dave M

Agree, it’s ridiculous that people say Wenger should never have left because Emery doesn’t seem like the answer himself. Wenger is an absolute legend at this club, but there is no question his time was up. He was burnt out with the stress of it – he was losing his way not adjusting the system to get the most from the players we had and his non-confrontational style was not working with guys that were finding to too comfortable to not get the results we needed and then be defended at all costs in the public by the manager. Being a big fan of Wenger and what he achieved isn’t synonymous with meaning he should be the Arsenal manager forever.

Gunnermite
Gunnermite

Say all you want about Wenger but he wouldn’t play this crap football we are witnessing especially with the squad we have now. Wenger’s time was obviously up but comparing the state Wenger left us to that of Fergi and United is a lazy way of finding excuse fòr Emery and his anti-football tactics.

Frank Bascombe
Frank Bascombe

‘Anti-football tactics’? What are you on about?

Paul
Paul

Man city spent just a little more I’m that time and won a title . Chelsea won two and spent less again not to mention Leicester who spent less on their team than we did on xhaka. Transitional periods are overplayed . We’ve a talented squad that isn’t firing yet. We have winnable games coming up while Liverpool have a couple of tough ones. In three weeks we could be right in their tails with momentum and a bellyful of belief. Titles are built for on heart skill and momentum not this over thought under cooked stuff we’ve seen .

DB10s Air Miles
DB10s Air Miles

Whoa, steady on with that kind of balanced and clearheaded thinking.

DatguyPepe
DatguyPepe

Everyday I wait for a us to dish out a 5 nil. Hope today’s the day. Would love to see Torreira and Tierney start. COYG

C.B.
C.B.

I hope so too, though the word of caution is that Sheffield United have conceded the least goals of any team in the PL (tied with Liverpool). And we are playing away.

So their defence is good, if we get 5 it would be a wonderful sign going forward! Would be happy with 1-0 to the Arsenal.

Dave M
Dave M

If we get 5 it would also mean Emery finally woke up and realised Xhaka doesn’t really fit and started Torreira and Willock instead (along with Douzi) in midfield. Because we ain’t getting 5 with Xhaka out there – no matter who we play.

Goonerrific
Goonerrific

My general feeling with Unai is that he enjoys the “underdog” tag, this works pretty handy when taking on the big boys, but I believe sees us struggle against lesser teams.

Talking about competing with smaller PL clubs is an irrelevance, we need to be heading out with a more positive attitude with the mind set of netting 2-3 early and strolling through the second half.

hustle6
hustle6

nice to hear Ozil’s been working well in training. I hope he/we reap the rewards tonight!

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

Unai will reward him with the role of an unused sub.

Samu
Samu

that made me laugh more than it should have lol i feel evil

Martin
Martin

And toxic too

Goonerink

tbh the only 2 reasons i can see of him specifying ozil, is if he is preempting questions from the press and dealing with them before they get a chance. which i doubt because it opens the door for more ozil questions if anything.
OR
he has genuinely changed his feeling on ozil, weather thats because of him or ozil im not sure but it definitely feels like they are on better terms now.

that could be down to our now full defensive compliment, giving unai the confidence to play ozil as opposed to his other options who add more defensively.

would love to see auba ozil laca and pepe start, and perform. not sure we will though.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Hopefully tonight marks the start of an upturn in performances

Rich
Rich

All that matters is the 3 points, another clean sheet on top would be a bonus.

Steve
Steve

You say;
“There are concerns that Arsenal’s form in general might cost the team points, with each of the Premier League wins coming by just a single goal”…

As much as i understand that way of thinking and goal difference can play a huge part at the end of the season, my attitude is, if we win each game by a single goal, we are guaranteed a top 4 and maybe top 2/3 finish. The optimum point here is obviously winning each game.

If we can improve the way the team defend as a unit (because defence starts from the forwards and continues through the midfield, it’s not just the defenders jobs to defend, it’s the whole team), concede fewer goals and keep more clean sheets, success will follow.

With Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Martinelli, along with others contributing from the midfield, I’m sure that scoring goals wont be an issue.

Samu
Samu

If we win every game by one goal we would be champions mate lol.

Goonerink

you wouldnt be so confident had utd not drawn with the mugsmashers yesterday.
they are still undefeated remember.

Martin
Martin

So sad to see such toxic negativity by so many

Xha-low-ka
Xha-low-ka

No Xhaka please

antony
antony

What with players coming back and the latest painful 2.5 week break, it feels like the first day of the season…again!

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

International football is just the fucking worst.

Dom47
Dom47

Hate to be negative before the match, and I am looking forward to the match and hope for three points.

But with this “safety first” approach that Emery dishes out, handbrake on etc. we will not get far. So our players need to make something despite of bad tactics and preparation dished out by our count Dracula lookalike manager. Sorry, had to.

For me he is done and somehow coming to top 4 with this zig-zag approach, no consistent plan, playing xhaka and especially not believing in yourself (which translates to players), will never be enough.

Emery out.

henry
henry

It will be evident by team selection this evening. Everyone fit and available should make a strong starting line up. Anything less would seriously damage my already damaged view of the manager. Just prove us wrong Emery.

Wiszley
Wiszley

I think some people here cannot even manage a small coffee shop but here they are criticising a manager who have managed big teams all his life and won trophies. When he came to Arsenal it’s not like the players are what he wanted but we are on transition. No player who was playing for city when Guardiola or klopp arrived are still there. They spent the money and they are getting the result and soon we will get there. Wenger was making to 4 because we have only City, Chelsea and United to contest with. Spurs and Liverpool picked up few years ago and that was when Wenger stopped going to champions league.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Pretty sure Klopp and Guardiola had imprinted a philosophy and style of play after 1 season, even if the results weren’t quite there yet. To not have questions about how we play and our performances since the end of last season would be wrong IMO. And the fact he not only plays Xhaka but made him captain could be one of the biggest reasons people do not trust this coach to take us forward.

anonarse
anonarse

Yeah … KDB, Sterling, Silva, Aguero and Fernandinho isn’t players then I reckon.

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

Did he really say “every player – and Mesut Özil”?

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

Yeah, and he meant it.

A.S.17
A.S.17

Emojis required ASAP. Little bit of this 😝 and these 😂😍😛😭🤣

anonarse
anonarse

I guess he isn’t a “player”. He’s got to be something else a human being perhaps or simply a gamer or perhaps I’m mistaken and he’s a robot, I’m quite confused tbh

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

The last two, three, four weeks, every player – and Mesut Ozil – is working very well.

Emeri manages to hit out at Mesut even while praising him.

The Far Post
The Far Post

Could be an issue with fumbling for the right English word? I assume he meant something like “including”.

On the positive note, by addressing the Ozil situation explicitly, he is acknowledging the interest fans have. It’s too bad it has gotten to this level, however.

Nordin
Nordin

Play Özil tonite….or Emery OUT!!

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Ozil can’t play tonight he’s got a really important game of fortnite to play

Goonerink

tbh its quite a coincidence that fortnite was down during mesut’s resurgence in training.

truj
truj

What is he talking about? Being competitive, capacity, with skill, used players etc. I do not get the message. Please translate it from emeritian english.

John C
John C

I don’t really understand the criticism Emery’s currently facing from some.

It’s quite clear to anyone with eyes that last season was a free hit to see what Wenger had left him and to see who in the squad he could keep to implement the kind of football he wanted to play.

This summer, out have gone the attacking playmakers Mkhitaryan and AI, even Ramsey and in have come in more direct players like Pepe, Nelson, Saka and Martinelli. It’s very clear that with these changes, the not playing of Ozil, and the passing out from the back, that Emery is trying to get us to play a much more direct style of play and stretch the pitch out.

The problem with this style of play is that it either works or it doesn’t, there’s no real shades of grey and when you add in the large turnover of players there’s bound to be teething problems.

I do believe that when it does work it will be devastating and i think Emery (or any manager for that matter) deserves at least a season to get it working.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

If he wants to play a more direct style of football fine, but why contradict these words but playing the Xhaka snail?

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

Playing a game of decent, attractive football!?!

Laca New Signing
Laca New Signing

I look forward to the day Arsenal wins by 3-4-5 goal margin and playing our trademark beautiful football again. I don’t want to imagine that 22 years of Wenger’s “total football” philosophy could go down the drain.

MonkeyJoe
MonkeyJoe

Just sack him now. Oily hair, shity football and a lot of bla bla bla with Spanish accent. #EmeryOut

Biscuit
Biscuit

When arsenal fail to qualify for CL football once again I hope he remembers that.
Emery is a failure…
The only thing he will lead us to is disaster…

Dave Hyland
Dave Hyland

The only important thing it looks like we are going to do this season is join some big clubs outside the top six.