Friday 18 January 2019

Emery pledges to turn Gunners into contenders again

New Arsenal boss Unai Emery admitted there is unlikely to be a major overhaul to the current squad.
New Arsenal boss Unai Emery admitted there is unlikely to be a major overhaul to the current squad.

Matt Law

Unai Emery has promised that his Arsenal team will be fearless in their pursuit of restoring the club to the top of English football, despite chief executive Ivan Gazidis warning fans to be patient.

Arsenal have handed Emery a three-year contract to succeed Arsene Wenger and the Spaniard will have to work with a strict £50 million transfer budget.

Emery has admitted there is unlikely to be an overhaul of the squad which finished 37 points and five places behind Premier League champions Manchester City, but he is confident he can turn them into trophy hunters again.

Asked whether Arsenal could catch City next season, Emery said: "That is our objective. Arsenal is a club with fantastic personality and identity, and I believe and the club has shown me that they believe. It is about showing that personality and the stature of this football club.

"What we want to do is not fear any team, neither here in the Premier League nor in Europe, and our objective is to be among the best and to beat the best.

"The target is to be a candidate and to challenge for the title. It is important for the club after two years outside of the Champions League to work this way."

Gazidis is confident he has the right man to reunite the club and bring success but is aware progress may be slow.

"I think we need to understand that success isn't instant," said Gazidis.

"So, this is going to be a process. As Unai said, day after day you try to improve a little bit, you try to move forward. That's what we have to do.

"We have to work hard, we have to work well together and take this step by step. There are so many stories in sport of people who achieve things that were not believed possible, because they focused on that process of just getting a little better every day.

"It's not going to be instant. So, this kind of significant change in a club doesn't deliver instant success, nobody is naive enough to think that.

"But I do think the new way of working, the new energy, stimulates the environment and I think it's going to be very positive. I could not possibly feel better about this appointment."

Handed the title of head coach, rather than manager, Emery will have to work closely with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat over transfers, but he is not expecting to make big changes to the squad.

"We think we need change, very little, a little bit with the players," said Emery. "I know all the players, I think they are very important and I want to be with them. But I want to speak to them individually and face to face.

"We do need to go into more detail but we have got that strong nucleus, if you like.

"I'm the type of coach who has always worked really hard, not because I do it better than anyone else but because that is what I believe the most important thing is.

"I'm very demanding of myself, I'm passionate and I really want to transmit that to the people around me - that we can and must improve."

Message Emery wasted no time in conveying his message within the club, as he addressed his new staff for the first time over a conference call.

Ahead of his first press conference, Emery, together with Gazidis, told members of staff that he wanted to create a new history and a great future for Arsenal.

Expanding on that point in front of the media, Emery said: "I think the most important thing is to connect with people and have those personal relationships. Heart to heart, head to head. The heart transmits emotion, the head transmits the intelligence.

"So, it's really important to have that connection both on a personal and collective level. What you are looking for is a shared experience." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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