Unai Emery says he’s wary of Wolves’ ability on the counter-attack after the Midlands outfit recently defeated reigning champions Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad proved to be thorny opponents for the Gunners last season on their way to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League, grabbing a 1-1 draw at the Emirates and beating us 3-0 at Molineux Stadium.
Blessed with pace and power in attack, they could well pose more problems in N5 even if their league form this term hasn’t quite matched up to expectations.
“They are a very strong team and their defensive structure is strong and tough to play against,” Emery said on Friday.
“Last year we drew here against them, and their transition is an amazing transition.
“Their structure is to play with that transition and then when they play, they can build up, they can use the quality players they have.
“It’s going to be a difficult match and it’s our challenge. We are preparing, we are working to improve our things and I am looking forward to seeing our team respond with our supporters at Emirates tomorrow.”
While impressed by the eye-catching result against Pep Guardiola’s side, Emery also hinted at a level of inconsistency that he hopes his side can take advantage of.
“They won at Man City’s stadium and it is an amazing result, it is very difficult to win there,” he said.
“They lost to Everton and drew in the last minute against Crystal Palace. It depends on each match. Who would have thought they would win at Manchester City? Normally they won’t.
“We have to respect that result at Man City, how they played at Palace and also how they played at Newcastle. Now we want to play and prepare our match with respect for them in 50 per cent and imposing our idea in 70 per cent.
“This is my idea in each match and tomorrow is the same. We are thinking and respecting them but above all we need to create our strongest way with the ball, with possession, with our game plan and we defensively we know we need to stop them.”
Not sure how or why there’s a mistake on Arsenal transcript but 100% certain Emery said 30% respect, 70% imposing. https://t.co/75uTaXDR0k
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) November 1, 2019
For the record, Football.London’s James Benge reckons the transcript of the official site may be slightly out and that Emery actually said: “….with respect for them in 30% and imposing our idea in 70%.”
It’s good to know the Spaniard hasn’t completely lost his marbles to the point when basic arithmetic about hypothetical situations escapes him.
Emery also confirmed that Granit Xhaka will not play a part in tomorrow’s game. Mesut Ozil and Gabriel Martinelli, who both impressed at Liverpool, could be part of the squad.
“It is very important to use lots of players because we are playing lots of matches, and it’s a challenge for them to show how they can help us,” said Emery.
“The performance was positive at Liverpool and I am thinking how they can help us tomorrow.”