Arsenal are set to welcome Leicester City on Monday evening, as part of round nine of the Premier League season, and Unai Emery spoke today (Thursday) to the press regarding the clash against the 2015/16 surprising title winners. This, in short, is what he chose to reveal.
Only Sokratis Papastathopoulos is a doubt with a small injury, the rest are OK.
The Ramsey problem
The boss seemed reluctant to discuss this matter. He instead spoke about motivation and commitment, saying that he likes to focus on each game as it comes and that he needs Ramsey, like everyone else, to stay focused regardless of whether he starts the game or is named on the bench.
He also didn’t comment on the Welshman’s recent statement about wanting to stay the full season, except by saying January was still far away for him to think about it; he only thinks about the next match.
Aubameyang and Ozil
The Gabonese forward played only one match for his country and missed the other during the international break, and Emery seemed grateful for that.
To a question about the motivation of Mesut Ozil, he answered that every player needs to be properly motivated for every game, and Ozil is no different in that aspect.
His own impact
It feels fair to say Emery diverted the attention away from himself at this point. Instead, he spoke about the win against Fulham, saying it was a very good all-round performance, but in the first half there were things that could have been better. He then went back to the home win against Watford earlier, and said that despite the three points, the team wasn’t playing the way he had wanted it to.
He again heaped praise on the opposition, pointing out their identity as a team under Claude Puel.
The boss rightly points out that there is still a lot of room for improvement. A manager not getting carried away by a string of good results and keeping the picture real is always a good thing.
The winning mentality
According to Emery, it’s not about being able to say “now we’ve got winning mentality”. It’s about working for it and showing that mentality for 90 minutes of every game.
Cech or Leno?
The boss as good as confirmed that Bernd Leno will start in goal. The boss said Cech was recovering well from his injury but still wasn’t training with the team.
Despite six consecutive league wins, the aim is to improve further and stay up there with the best.
Leicester have a decent team throughout, but the striker who recently retired from international duty is certainly their biggest threat, the man most capable of causing damage. And Emery recognizes the threat Vardy poses. Arsenal boss praised his quality, his pace which is very important for counter-pressing, and emphasized the importance of not giving him opportunities to hurt the Gunners’ defence.