Arsenal won’t be caught cold during run-in
Boss’s message to players after UAE trip
29 March, 2019 — By Steve Barnett
Unai Emery: ‘In the next eight matches, we need to play with a lot of personality, like we did in our last game against Manchester United’
UNAI Emery has called on his side to show their “personality” in the race for Champions League football, and “enjoy” each match as it comes along.
Arsenal warmed up, quite literally, for their Premier League meeting against Newcastle on Monday night by taking part in a special training camp in the UAE.
In a friendly to mark the official opening of the 15,000-capacity Al-Maktoum Stadium on Tuesday, Emery’s side took on Al Nasr. They had to come from behind to claim a win, with goals from Carl Jenkinson, Alexandre Lacazette and teenage striker Tyreece John-Jules eventually earning the north Londoners a 3-2 victory in Dubai.
Afterwards Emery spoke of the “responsibility” that his players must now show as they prepare for the season run-in.
“Every player is an important player,” he said.
“Some players have been away with their national teams. Others, however, are here, and have been training hard.
“We have had two weeks without a match, so it’s important to keep moving forward in our training and in our matches. Every player is different but they all have lots of responsibility and they have all worked very well.”
Reflecting on Arsenal’s remaining Premier League programme, Emery added: “In the next eight matches, we need to play with a lot of personality, like we did in our last game against Manchester United. We know it’s going to be difficult because we are surrounded by other big teams, but I think we are working very well and we are taking confidence from our performances.
“Our next game is at home with our supporters against Newcastle, so it’s up to us to enjoy each match with the possibility of finding the three points. Afterwards, the second way of qualifying for the Champions League is through the Europa League.
“Every game is very important for us and every player is an important player.”
Far from being a holiday and a chance for some players to put their feet up, Emery (below) said the warm-weather training camp had delivered “the positives” he was hoping for.
“The players are showing that they wish to do something important this year. This break is key. We wanted to be here with different weather, a different temperature. We also trained with good facilities.
“We discovered all the things that we wanted to here, and we also played a good match against a good team with our supporters here. We have a lot of supporters in Dubai and we also brought a lot over. It’s all very, very positive.”