Unai Emery: Time for Arsenal to raise their game

Unai Emery: Time for Arsenal to raise their game

Emery looking for first win at the helm when his side entertain West Ham on Saturday

David Comerford

Unai Emery admits Arsenal 'need to win' against West Ham on Saturday after starting the campaign with two consecutive defeats.

The Gunners were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City on the opening weekend before falling to a 3-2 defeat against Chelsea last time out.

West Ham too are without a point after their first two matches, but Emery remains wary of the quality in their ranks.

"Whether you are playing against Manchester City, it’s the same as if you’re playing against West Ham on Saturday," he said. "There are three points on this game.

"It’s clear that every game demands different things tactically. After the first two matches, we have two defeats and we need to win this match against West Ham.

"The difficulty is in this game because West Ham are a good team with good players and a good coach. They know the Premier League very well and they have a lot of new players."

Nonetheless, he admits the Gunners will be under pressure to deliver in front of their expectant home crowd.

"We are thinking in our way and about our work to create our ideas and our system on Saturday with our supporters at the Emirates. I think it’s very important to show them a better performance than in the two first matches.

Meanwhile, Emery is happy with the work being done in training. 

"We are preparing well, I am feeling well when I look at the players in training every day," he revealed. 

'Control' the key as Emery alters tactics

After kicking off with clashes against 'big six' opposition, Emery is anticipating a different kind of game against Manuel Pellegrini's Hammers.

He says controlling the game will always be his priority, but admits this fixture will demand a fresh approach. 

"My idea is first control, but the opposition want the same. With this control, you can be near to winning and then know when you need to change the rhythm," he explained.

"I know we need intensity in every moment in the games. This control is to not let the opposition play. For example in the two first matches, we didn’t have the control enough - only in some moments, but not like what we need to find to win.

"Saturday is another match, tactically it will be different. It will be demanding and I want to have more control to find the win in this match."



Spaniard sticks with one up top

Emery may be tempted to tweak his team selection, but he will not be reverting to two up front. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang led the line against City and Chelsea, with Alexandre Lacazette on the bench.

Lacazette's cameos have been lively, but it seems the Frenchman may be forced to watch much of the game from the sidelines once again.

"At the moment, no," he replied when asked if he could play two up front on Saturday.

"I think we need to have the control with the possession, with the positioning on the pitch, with more players inside. And after this possession, to do the attacking moments and defending moments with this balance." 

He was keen to stress, however, that he will explore the idea further in future. 

"But, it is one possibility to continue in our progress and in one moment to try also to play with two scorers. In the last match of the pre-season, against Lazio, I did it with Lacazette and [Eddie] Nketiah.

"But also, for the players, they know that in one moment we can do that. But at the moment, no."