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Arsenal boss Unai Emery on Jose Mourinho’s sacking and the North London derby

PUBLISHED: 15:40 18 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:40 18 December 2018

Arsenal manager Unai Emery (pic John Walton/PA)

Arsenal manager Unai Emery (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Unai Emery spoke to the press ahead of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup game on Wednesday night against Tottenham Hotspur. Read on for the full transcript of what he said at London Colney on Wednesday afternoon.

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London.Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London.

On Jose Mourinho leaving United…

When one coach is taken off, it’s not good news for us.

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (obscured) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot with team-mates, as a banana skin is thrown onto the pitch by a fan, during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London.PAArsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (obscured) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot with team-mates, as a banana skin is thrown onto the pitch by a fan, during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London.PA

On squad selection for Carabao Cup quarter-final…

Our first idea is that we play with the best players that we can use tomorrow in this derby. The opposition is very big and it’s demanding a big performance from us tomorrow. We can use some young players because we think with a big performance, they can help us win tomorrow.

On responding to Sunday’s game…

Sunday for us is a big reality check in our way. We need to improve and also we need to continue doing our way in our process. It’s not a good result but this reality gives us more motivation to continue to work hard, finding a new thing to work on each day, and also it makes us demand a lot from ourselves in the way we work on this way.

On whether he was surprised by Mourinho’s departure…

The only thing I can say to you is that it’s a surprise for me and not good news, because when one coach finishes his work like that, it’s not good for coaches.

On what he made of United under Mourinho…

My focus is only on our way, our work. We have a lot of work to do to improve and also find a solution in every match with our players. My focus is on the big derby tomorrow, the north London derby, and that’s the focus of the players as well. Only that.

On the best way to manage players in the modern game…

In each match we want the same thing, to find the good performance with our players individually and collectively. I think it’s the same there [at Manchester United].

On the demands of being a top-six manager…

Each coach has their own way of management. They always think how they can be better with the work they do every day, their management team, and the players collectively and individually. They’re pushing with one way or another way. Mourinho’s experience in the Premier League and of coaching in general is very, very big. It’s not good news, but I don’t know why this decision’s been made.

On whether it’s a good thing for Arsenal…

They cannot do our way. We need to do our focus with our work and our analysis to find the best solution in our defensive, attacking and motivational moments. We’re working every day and this work is only for us, not for anyone else. My focus is about thinking every day about our work, our players, our matches. Tomorrow, that’s against Tottenham.

On whether Spurs will be more motivated after the 4-2…

I say to them that in every match, we need to respect the opposition. Against Southampton, against Tottenham, against Manchester United, against Huddersfield, it’s the same. This respect is by playing with a big motivation and a lot of excitement to win against them. We must respect this emotion in every moment. The emotion is not bad. I think showing our emotion, the players, the fans and me, is good. But every time we must respect them.

On how players and supporters find balance between passion and crossing the line…

I said to you that I think showing emotion is very important. I think football is emotion. In a derby, maybe this emotion is greater. When you win it’s amazing, when you lose it’s horrible. Respect is very important. We can show this emotion with respect when we are playing but also when they scored against us, they can show their emotion with their supporters. But with respect. We need to show this emotion when we are playing, when we are winning, because I think football needs this passion.

On the banana skin thrown towards Aubameyang…

This is not respect. I think it’s a good decision [to ban the fan].

On what he’s said to Auba ahead of Wednesday’s game…

I don’t speak about that. I was speaking about the match, the focus in our game, in our tactical things and individually things to improve. Not this.

On what he’s said to players after run ends…

We can win, we can lose. We’ve won matches playing worse than we did on Sunday. Football is like that. We need to continue improving. Our analysis shows us it’s the first time we’ve conceded three goals in this process. There’s no excuses because we don’t have a lot of centre backs. I think it’s a little bit for all the players, all the positions on the pitch. It’s also because they did their actions against us well. We need to improve by not conceding as many chances to the opposition. A clean sheet is very important in each match. Tomorrow is the next. A scoring moment is very important and we are second for that in the Premier League. But we need to do better in our balance defensively, and our hard work now is this.

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