Unai Emery is doing it spectacularly as the boss of Arsenal after succeeding Arsene Wenger in the summer. London giants have so far seen only 2 initial losses and remained unbeaten ever since.
The Spaniard believes that he can and has a lot to do to unlock the potential of each and every player on the squad. According to the interview on arsenal.com, he quoted,
“We needed to suppress the idea of training for training’s sake, boost the focus on training to compete and – most of all – train to win.
Training to win is the final competitive step, and that was what was most required in terms of individual development and the development of the team.”
– Emery on training
The former PSG boss has been known to push the players off their comfort zone and explore new avenues. This could’ve had led to friction between the boss and some star players like Meet Ozil. Soon enough, the players began to enjoy the hard grind under Emery as it began to produce results.
Keown: "As a player, I would have been concerned reading Emery’s comments after the Bournemouth game. Emery will have been talking about the same things with Ozil day in, day out on the training pitch & will have felt that he had given the player enough chances" #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/cPUfxYkZDA
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) November 30, 2018
His approach to coaching players is very intimate and personal. The Spaniard gives personal attention to each and every player on a higher level than his predecessor. He believes that this individual attention is the key to produce wins and mould into world class players. He stated,
“That said, you need to get the best out of the individual players in training and then implement that in the matches.
It’s more noticeable with some players because the players more and have the capacity to do so, and perhaps because they’ve also found new impetus.”
– Emery on individual training
He believes that, more the time the player spends on the field, more is his capability and scope to develop. He continued on that,
“The players that play the most are the ones that seem to have the most scope for development, but I’m convinced that they all have the ability to develop – not just because I’m saying it, it’s what any coach would say.
That’s our idea.”
Emery has turned the tides of the Swiss superstar, Granit Xhaka. Xhaka has been the scapegoat for Arsenal’s failures last season and probably ever since. This season is a stark contrast to his dismissal run last year. He has been in a red hot form, scored 3 goals so far. His defensive attributes have got fans raving about him, especially after the sliding tackle on Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. Notably, the Swiss has received 4 yellow cards for his antics.
Emery has been impressed by his leading curve this season. He stood by the player at all times, even after the initial losses. He said,
“In the case of Xhaka, I knew him before.
The first thing was to find his best position and characteristics, but he also wants to improve and that’s the first step – that the players want it.
It’s not about training for training’s sake.
It’s about training to win or to improve.
Today, tomorrow and the next day.”
– Emery on Xhaka
“It’s definitely my best season so far, without doubt, I think I’ve taken another step forward.
It’s the best I’ve felt at Arsenal since I came to the club and the coach has had an enormous influence.
He prepares us all and we have a plan. We know how to do it with the ball and without the ball. We know how and when to stand where.”
– Xhaka on his improvement
The Gunners are placed at 5th spot in Premier League table, just a point behind 4th placed Chelsea, and are very much in contention for top-four battle this season. Later this week, the London giants would be pitting against their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur at The Emirates, who are currently 2 spots above the Gunners.