I Want My Team to be ‘Protagonists’ – New Arsenal Coach, Emery Speaks on Team’s Style, Winning UCL
While speaking during his maiden press conference shorly after he was unveiled in London on Wednesday, the message from Arsenal’s new coach, Unai Emery was clear, he intends his team to be “protagonists” who are “very, very intensive with pressing”.
Below are the highlights of what The Gunners new manager told the media as published by Arsenal.com:
On why he wanted to come to Arsenal
I had fantastic meetings, in terms of who was at them. Firstly I met with Ivan, Raul and Sven. They analysed me as a person and as a coach, and they thought I could be an option for this team. I have to say that, after a three-hour meeting, there was fantastic chemistry between us. To be honest, that chemistry came simply from the fact that it was Arsenal because they have a wonderful history. I hoped that there could be a new future for the club.
The second meeting was with the chairman and owners. They are the heart of the club and they transmitted what the fans wanted. I really felt positive energy in terms of what they felt about Arsenal. My third meeting was with the owner in Atlanta. Again there, we had a fantastic feeling in terms of the way we spoke to each other about the project. I think every step leading up to today has been very positive in terms of what I want after Spain and France, in terms of Arsenal, in terms of the challenge of coming to Arsenal. It’s something that makes me very proud and it’s a great opportunity for me to grow.
On his style
In my career, I [have been] very demanding [on] myself. I want people here who are demanding also, and players who are demanding also. My idea is to be protagonists. We play against all the teams with this personality. The history here is a team that love playing with possession of the ball. I like that personality, I like these protagonists with the ball. When you don’t have possession, I want a squad that are very, very intensive with the pressing. The two things are important for me to be protagonists: possession of the ball and pressing when you don’t have the ball.
On Ozil’s importance
He’s one of the biggest talents at Arsenal and I want talented players here. I want to spend time with all of the players, I want to speak to them on a level about how inspired I am and how excited I am to be here. I want the players to feel that as well. Above all, I think this is a wonderful project and we all need to give 100 per cent. That’s what I’m looking for, from every player and myself.
On his immediate priorities and targets
Now it’s you! All the conversations and all the meetings with Ivan and the people who work here it was very important to give me all the information for the club. After, I want to know how we will [improve] this squad. I know all the players and I think all the players are very important. All the players, who I want, I will be with them this way, but I want to speak with all the players individually. I want to speak with them face to face.
On his aims and targets
I believe the players who are here, the objective is to work together, to work hard with this talent. The target is to be a candidate and to challenge for the title. It is very important for the club after two years outside the Champions League to work this way, to be the best club, the best team in the Premier League and also in the world.
On how big this challenge is
It’s a great challenge. In my career, every year I’ve grown up with a new challenge. For me, the challenge is a dream come true.
On what would be success for him this season
Developing – but how do you develop? I think that’s about battling for every title. That’s something that’s in Arsenal’s history, it’s in my history as well and I want that to continue. Our objective is to be among the best in Europe, so those are the two objectives. I also want the team to make the fans proud. I know they are already but I want them to be even more so.
On his plan to bring the Premier League and the Champions League to the club
We want to work to improve individually and collectively all we can. All the titles are important for us. I think we can, and we want to be candidates for them. I don’t promise today we will win, but I can promise you that we will work hard, we will together and we will work with emotion, with demands to find all the results.
On how much he relishes going up against Guardiola and Mourinho
I’m thinking about the present and the future. In terms of my past experience, that makes me feel stronger and it also allows me to have a guide in terms of my future trajectory. I’m very excited to be here, very excited to compete against some top coaches and very excited to play against some top teams. I have to say that right now, the Premier League is right at the top. Everyone wants to be in the best leagues. I speak with a lot of coaches, those are private conversations, but now that I am here, all information is welcome.
On how hard Wenger is to follow
It’s a big challenge for me but I’ve also worked with other big projects. For me, I am proud to be here, to work after Arsène Wenger.