Arsenal manager Unai Emery is giving no assurances to anyone over their future or game time, as he ponders his best 11.
Unai Emery addressed questions about his player’s contribution to the team and ultimately their future in his pre-match press conference.
His side are set to take on Standard Liege at the Emirates Stadium in the Europa League Group F match.
There has been a lot of talk about Mesut Ozil’s future at Arsenal. The player is a mere shadow of the player he was when he arrived from Real Madrid.
Talk of him being unhappy and likewise the club is disappointed in his contribution.
A January move may be the best option for everyone. But the German’s excessive wages are a huge stumbling block.
When Emery was asked about Ozil, he would give no assurances on the player’s future.
“He’s our player now.”
Emery’s team is somewhat of an enigma.
While they appear to be grinding out results, there is little sense of a plan or cohesion about what’s going on at Arsenal.
After a busy summer transfer window, many expected the Gunners to a force to be reckoned with.
Instead, there is the talk of steps backward, towards the later years of Arsene Wenger’s reign.
The manager discussed his team selection but wasn’t giving anything away. In fact, it sounded more like he had yet to decide on his best eleven.
“We are going to train and after we are going to decide. I am going to decide the best first XI and in the squad also the best who can help us.”
Emery is the undisputed king of the Europa League, he was a beaten finalist last year with Arsenal, but he has also won it three times with Sevilla.
He apparently though is not convinced others are as enthusiastic about it as he is.
“I want to feel that not just me loves this competition, that everybody loves it.”
“We want to do something important. It’s one title, one way to the Champions League.”
“We are going to play very good matches, we started against a great team, playing a very good match away.’
“The response of the young players was amazing, one example is Bukayo [Saka].”
He appears to feel that some of these problems, are due to the settling in process for his new signings. a matter which is not easy and can take some time.
While non of his signings has really been a revelation. The obvious target for criticism is 80 million Euro man Nicolas Pepe.
“He needs to play, get confidence, know progressively better the other players.”
“Every player needs time when they arrive here. Young players or players as important as Pepe.”
“I was speaking with him and [Dani] Ceballos. The Premier League is a very strong competition.”
“It is the best competition and the strongest competition in the world. Liverpool with Man City are the two best teams of the moment, they are very physical.”
“We need quality and the adaptation to play at that intensity.”
“Because you need to think quickly, to move the ball quickly or keep the ball with strong intensity around you.”
“We are in that process and Pepe is the same.”
On paper, the Arsenal squad is packed with talent, but on the pitch, they appear a liitle lost right now.
If Unai Emery can get his team up to par and working well together, they cold contenders rather than pretenders.