Emery wants Arsenal to be on the front foot against Manchester City
Newcastle beat the champions in midweek with a more cautious approach.
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery insists he will not follow the Newcastle blueprint for success against title-chasing Manchester City and believes attack may be the best form of defence at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
A strong rearguard action helped Newcastle spring a shock on reigning Premier League champions City as they inflicted a damaging 2-1 defeat on Pep Guardiola’s side.
Leicester and Crystal Palace utilised similar strategies to negate City’s attacking threat in recent victories over a side now five points adrift of leaders Liverpool.
But Emery, whose first game in charge of Arsenal ended with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City, does not intend to follow suit.
“Usually Manchester City , in every match they impose their style,” he said.
“You want to impose your style, you want to play with your personality, but sometimes you need adaptation – more or less, it depends on the opposition.
“It is very difficult to break their style and impose yours. When a lot of teams play with a very deep block, it’s because they need to play like that and can also have chances to win.
“But usually you can play 10 matches against Manchester City – maybe Newcastle, maybe Crystal Palace, maybe us as well – you can lose 10 times playing the same, or maybe lose seven, draw two and win one. But this style can work for you like Newcastle and Crystal Palace won against them.
The Gunners were thrashed 5-1 at Liverpool last month as they looked to impose their own philosophy on the game – but even that has not deterred Emery this time out.
“They are two different teams,” he said of the title protagonists.
“Different manner of playing, but with very big organisation, very big managers and also very big players.
“For example the progress from Liverpool is very important progress and now they are the favourites because they have the lead.
“Maybe Manchester City is a different example because they bought a very important lot with paying a lot and maybe we can’t do that now like that, but our way is we can also do one way similar to Liverpool, similar to Tottenham.
“Doing more with young players, using well players who can improve with us. And we are doing that. We need time, but also we need to be very demanding of ourselves to do that.”
Arsenal remain in what appears to be a three-team tussle for the final Champions League places with out-of-form Chelsea and a resurgent Manchester United.
But full-back Sead Kolasinac believes the Arsenal players only need to worry about their own performances and not look at the result of their nearest rivals.
“There’s no point looking at other teams and saying where they are better,” he said.
“It’s about improving ourselves and not looking at other teams. We know after games what we’ve done well and what we haven’t, what we need to work on. How we can improve is what is important.”