Unai Emery tells Aaron Ramsey to put football first and forget contract talk

• Arsenal midfielder must focus ‘only on training and the match’
• Ramsey’s absence against Chelsea said to be ‘tactical’

Aaron Ramsey must concentrate “only on training and only on the match” if he is to regain his place in the Arsenal side, according to Unai Emery.

The midfielder is Arsenal’s longest-serving player but did not start against Chelsea last weekend amid reports he is unable to agree terms on a contract. Ramsey is in the last year of his deal but Emery called on him to put such matters to one side in order to help the team.

“I spoke with him last week,” the manager said. “I said: ‘I want you focused only on training and only on the match, you show us the capacity to help the team.’ The contract is another thing for his agent and the club but we want and I need his focus only on training, only on the match and on his performance each day.”

Emery suggested Ramsey’s absence against Chelsea was tactical but the 27-year-old could play against West Ham on Saturday. “Chelsea are different to other teams,” he said. “We have to work very specifically to prepare for them.

“Saturday is also a difficult match but we are thinking more we can control the match with our personality. Against Chelsea and Manchester City we wanted to but there were more times in the 90 minutes that the opposition didn’t let us.”

Emery, who joined Arsenal after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, has endured a bumpy start, losing both Premier League matches. The Spaniard’s plan to implement a possession-based game that builds from the back has met with criticism and he believes a positive result on Saturday is important for the team’s development.

“We need to win this match against West Ham. I think it’s very important to show [the supporters] a better performance than in the two first matches. We are preparing well. I am feeling well when I look at the players in training.”


Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

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