EPL

Emery wants Arsenal to play on the front foot

By Sports Desk August 10, 2018

New Arsenal head coach Unai Emery says organisation will be key as the Gunners look to control matches in the Premier League this season.

Emery is attempting to impose his own style on a club that has been under the stewardship of Arsene Wenger for two decades and faces his first test when Manchester City visit Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

And the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla coach has stressed the importance of Arsenal being on the front foot.

"Our style with the ball is to be protagonists, to do things with combinations, to control the match with the positioning of the ball," he told Sky Sports. "And then when we have the space, to be aggressive going forward.

"Defensively: first it is to be organised, recover the ball quickly. But in these two moments in the match we need to work.

"To say it here is easier than doing it on the pitch. We also need time, but now I am happy because I think the players are improving.

"We need two things: quality players, which we have, and then organisation. Together I think we can improve, to win in our way. I repeat: organised, then play.

"When we are thinking in an attacking moment, I want the goalkeeper thinking for that, he is the first.

"The same when we are thinking defensively, I want our strikers to be thinking: 'We need to protect the goalkeepers.' I want those two moments to feel the same for all players.

"Each player has this quality, this characteristic to help the team as a collective. For me, that is very important."

Emery's ultimate goal is to win the Premier League, but he wants to see his players do it in style.

"The aim for the club is to arrive as champions, play for titles," he added. "But for me, I want to enjoy the way [we do it].

"I want the players and supporters to feel that together, and also enjoy each match, each moment in our stadium, and in this way the team transmits to the supporters the passion."

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    England ran out impressive 5-1 winners in the Euro 2020 qualifier, but the match was overshadowed by apparent racist abuse, with Sterling appearing to react while celebrating the fifth goal.

    Manager Gareth Southgate claimed Rose was targeted after picking up a yellow card in second-half stoppage time, while Callum Hudson-Odoi said he heard "monkey stuff".

    UEFA has often been accused of not punishing incidents of racist abuse harshly enough, and Sterling was mindful of that when demanding European football's governing body comes down hard on Montenegro.

    When asked by Sky Sports if a stadium ban should be issued, Sterling said: "Yeah, it's got to be something that serious for them and make them think twice about ever doing something like that again.

    "I can only, we can only, the FA can only do so much. We've got to leave this to the people in charge to make a proper stance on it.

    "Just banning one or two people is not going to change anything, you've got to make [an example] – even if it was our fans, I'd be saying the same thing.

    "The people in charge need to actually do it [punish] as a whole, the whole [of the] Montenegro fans. I don't know, I'm not the one who makes the rules, but they've got to do something that makes a real stance.

    "It's 2019 now, I keep saying it. It's a shame to see this still going on. We can only bring awareness to the situation.

    "It's now time for the people in charge to put a real stamp on it. You can fine someone, but what's that going to do?

    "You've got to make it harder, you've got to punish the whole [group of] fans, [so] that [they] can't come to the ground.

    "You've got to do something to really make them think twice, because if their team can't play with fans, it means it's going to be difficult for them, so it's got to be something to make them think twice about."

  • We are equal – Hudson-Odoi slams 'monkey' chants We are equal – Hudson-Odoi slams 'monkey' chants

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    Gareth Southgate's side ran out 5-1 winners, but alleged racist abuse directed at England players towards the end of the Group A contest threatens to overshadow Monday's match, with Raheem Sterling appearing to react to the chants while celebrating the fifth goal.

    Proceedings got feisty late on in Podgorica as Danny Rose was booked for a heavy challenge, and it was then that reporters in the stadium claimed abuse was aimed at the Tottenham full-back.

    Chelsea forward Hudson-Odoi – making his first start for the Three Lions – confirmed he heard "monkey stuff" from the stands and the 18-year-old hopes robust action will be taken.

    "I don't think discrimination should be anywhere, we are equal," Hudson-Odoi told beIN Sports.

    "We have to play a fair game and enjoy the moment, but when you're hearing stuff like that from the fans, it's not right, it's unacceptable. Hopefully UEFA deal with it properly.

    "When I went over there, me and Rose heard it, they were saying: 'oohh ah ah', monkey stuff. We have to keep our heads, have a strong mentality.

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    "Sometimes you've got to block it out of your heads, but it should not happen in football. It's unacceptable."

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    Two-goal Ross Barkley praised England's character after they came from behind to thrash Montenegro 5-1 in Podgorica on Monday.

    Marko Vesovic's well-taken opener had put the hosts ahead early on, but Barkley set up Michael Keane for the equaliser before scoring twice to put the game beyond their opponents.

    Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling added gloss to the scoreline late on and Barkley was impressed with how the Three Lions responded to the early setback to make it two wins from two in Euro 2020 qualifying Group A.

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    Callum Hudson-Odoi, making his first start for Gareth Southgate's side, echoed Barkley's sentiments.

    "Hopefully I did well, it is not about me, it is a team performance," he said.

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