Unai Emery: ‘Arsenal are conceding more goals than we want’

• Spanish manager remains focused solely on next match
• Emery is working tactically to improve team’s balance

This time last year Unai Emery came to the end of a 25-match unbeaten run with Paris Saint-Germain but the manager says he cannot remember a thing about it as he seeks to extend Arsenal’s 20-game streak against Huddersfield.

After a thrilling triumph against Tottenham and a solid point at Old Trafford, Arsenal came down to earth with news the defender Rob Holding will be out for the season through injury and a tabloid exposé that showed several players apparently taking nitrous oxide. Emery’s focus, however, remains solely on the next match and the small details that will keep his team on the up.

“The only thing I remember in football is the present”, he said, when asked about his PSG experience. “I don’t remember losing [the run] against Strasbourg. For me, yesterday is a long time ago. I’m thinking of today, preparing the match for Saturday. OK, I learn with my experience. I lived very exciting moments with a lot of teams. But I don’t remember.

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“Football happens very quickly, with positive things, negative things, but you need to learn. And you need to create a new victory, a new way every day. We want to create a stronger idea with good positioning on the pitch with the ball, good combinations between us so we can dominate the match.

“But we know the opposition want to do the same. And we want to be further away from our box when the opposition has the ball. Our challenge is improving this. We are conceding more goals than we want. Our balance is positive but we can improve that and every day we are working tactically. We want to confirm in every match our improvement.”

Arsenal made it clear they do not want to see a repeat of the apparent nitrous oxide incident in a London nightclub which involved players including Mesut Özil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mattéo Guendouzi. Footage of the incident, which took place in August before the season, was published by the Sun. A club representative said: “The players will be spoken to about this and reminded of their responsibilities as representatives of the club.”


Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

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