Emery on Hard Work, Working Hard & Tells Mesut Özil Hard Work is the Answer

Someone’s put Grandmaster Flash in charge of Arsenal’s PR; the message is most definitely out there. Ahead of the match against Atletico Madrid, everything football-related from Unai Emery is power:

“Each match, you are looking for every player to transmit intensity, aggression, to show that they want to win and are prepared to work hard to win.”

That was backed up by the photos circulating, from Rob Holding’s chin-ups to Sead Kolasinac jumping holding weights; Arsenal are not going to standby and cower this season.

These sessions may be nothing new to the players. Under Arsène, the same exercises and routines – or some similar – might have taken place. The difference is that this ‘regime’ wants photos circulated which show hard work. Whereas under Arsène, it was smiling faces and the ball at their feet, the Emery era is about working hard.

Not that he wants to forget the ball. “We want to do that with style,” he declared, “with a personality, with protagonists on the pitch.”

This is PR, a new era. While the coaches get down to the business of preparing the team, behind the scenes minds are ensuring everyone knows how hard the squad is working. No talk of slacking off, of gently breaking the players in. Work hard, rest, and then you will play, but lay off the Mars bars.

It’s Emery’s way. His view is that players should be “energetic, full of action — with or without the ball — and as protagonists on the pitch doing things.”

Which is where the brain comes into it. He needs to delve into the prized footballing intelligence – the attribute Arsène ranked above all else – for this to work properly. You can be the fittest team in the division but if your decision-making is poor, then everything goes to pot.

Work Hard

That is Emery’s biggest challenge. Everything is to be done at pace, including thinking. My concern is not in attack but defensively. That’s the biggest improvement we need this season, especially away from home. Last season’s form on the road was abysmal, with points lost due to muddled thinking under pressure.

For once, the old adage of ‘Arsenal don’t like it up ’em’ proved correct. It mrophed into ‘Give Arsenal the ball and they will shoot themselves in the foot’. That didn’t escape Emery’s attention:

“We want every player to create things and find things when they’re on the ball. When we are without the ball, we also want to show ambition to recover the ball quickly.

“We want to demonstrate that not only in every match, but also in every training session.”

Refocussing minds is a big task. It’s easy to do that in training or against a non-league side, but real tests are coming.

Emery knows this and how important the games against Atletico, PSG, Lazio, and Chelsea are in being ready for Manchester City. “With all the energy of the players and the supporters,” he said. “We know we can start the season with a big performance against a big team.”

And we have to. Chelsea follows that opening game of the season and four points or more, would be a pretty big statement for the team to make for the rest of the campaign.

Emery benefits as well. His arrival – or rather the change in manager after more than two decades – brings an enthusiasm with it but I wonder how deep-rooted that is? How much of a ‘bad run’ before criticism begins or is there a genuine understanding that change has happened but there is still some way to go yet?

Hitting a Hornet’s Nest With a Stick

Mesut Özil’s situation inevitably drew comment.

“All of us want to help Mesut feel like it is his home here with us, like a family and it is a family for every player. He feels here with us that he can work every day, and it is good for us that he decided to come here and work with us before our two matches.”

Distraction in shape of hard work is Unai’s answer to everything and he’s probably right in Özil’s case. Getting back to football is where he will answer his critics.

German politics – like that in the rest of the world – can eat itself. The vulgarity is left to the uncouth Hoeness and others whose own agendas suit blaming Özil for a squad failure. Hoeness would serve his club better if he asked whether the players who failed so dismally in Russia need moving on. Not one Bayern player enhanced their reputation at the World Cup. Maybe Tolisso, but that’s it.

That’s his problem. All we want to see is a focussed Özil with a focussed squad. The Premier League season begins in 18 days for Arsenal and that can’t come soon enough.

’til Tomorrow.

 

 

 

29 thoughts on “Emery on Hard Work, Working Hard & Tells Mesut Özil Hard Work is the Answer

  1. I couldn’t give a Bratwurst for the German National team. If Arsenal benefit from their problems then great.

  2. The Gazidis stories aren’t going away. Seems an odd move after winning the war with Wenger, but he hasn’t done a great deal in the past 10 years apart from enhance his bank balance.

    Maybe we are about to get the Son of Stan as new CEO?

  3. TBH Pete, I don’t give a rat’s arse if Gazidis stays or goes. It’s beginning to become as much of a cult as Wenger was.

  4. It could be argued that IG has done his job, in bringing the club into the 21 century and now time to move on. Maybe it is a pay rise thing, He has youngish kids at school I think, would be a big decision to move them, although Milan is only a couple of hours away. If I was guessing he would be making way for Jr, should he leave.

  5. Quick note from yesterday, I saw my friend Bill said that Barca bought Malcom(what a superb player he is and anybody that follows futbol knows how highly respected Monchi is and he is ROYALLY PISSED because he rated him very highly) after buying Dembele hoping that they will help Barca compete with Madrid…..I wonder if my friend Bill realizes that since the 09/10 season Barca has won La Liga 6 times in those 9 years and I think its something like 4-5 doubles domestically in that same time.

  6. Good stuff Yogi!

    Think its not just hard work but all the reports of Emery wanting the players to be closer off the pitch to influence togetherness on the pitch seems to be about both the team and thr club as a whole. Really excited for the season but also just to see the progress from match to match.

    The club has released a statment basically saying Ivan receives loads of offers and isn’t leaving.

  7. Ramsey on his contract:

    “Talks are still ongoing, but I’ve got nothing more to say about that,”

    “Well we’ll see what happens but my agent and the club are talking. I’m just leaving that to them to discuss and sort out.

    “But we’re yet to come to an agreement so that’s something that my agent and the club are discussing to try and get something done.

    “I’m not sure exactly [when talks will be complete], it’s taken a bit of time so far so we’ll have to wait and see.”

  8. Speaking of PR, interesting but bright reports from training by a reporter:

    Emery’s assistant, Juan Carlos Carcedo, played a big part – “it’s Carcedo who is leading the session and constantly demanding the players work as hard as possible,” Watts noted.

    “It was very interesting to note just how quick Bernd Leno is around the box,”

    There may be some question marks over Leno’s ability to deal with crosses that come in, but there is no doubt that Arsenal have signed a keeper who will play the sweeper role very well.

    The speed in which he gets out the striker’s feet was eye-catching. If Arsenal are to play a intense pressing game this season, then it will start from Leno.”

    According to Watts, Aubameyang lined up on the left side of the attack during a game, despite Alexandre Lacazette playing on the opposite team.

    A sign of Aubameyang’s position in the starting line-up? Perhaps.

    Watts watched Arsenal’s players “going through the motions” during training sessions at London Colney last season. The mood now is vastly improved.

    “Everyone wants to get involved in what is going on, everyone seems determined to impress,” he added.

  9. Protagonist comes from Greek protos = first and agonistis = fighter. This what Emery asks from the players. To behave like top fighters. And I love it!

  10. Great post yogi

    I like the idea that Emery is emphasizing hard work. I think he understands that Arsene allowed a culture of complacency to creep into everything that he controlled about the club. Job 1 for is to reverse that trend. Emery can not make our players into something they are not. He is not a miracle worker sent from heaven and he can’t turn Ozil back to the player he was 6 years ago or turn Ramsey into the next Frank Lampard or teach Iwobe or Reiss Nelson how to produce end product in the final 1/3. However if he can turn around the culture and hope and build a team that is more then the sum players of its parts. If that happens then all the players will perform better and that is what we have to hope for and expect. A rising tide raises all ships.

  11. Newcastle with an ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT piece of business in activating and then signing Fabian Schar for £3m.

  12. C

    The point of the comment about Malcom and Dembele is the way Barca has gone about replacing Neymar is to buy high profile heavily hyped wide forwards and hope that one of them works out. For a team with the reputation of being the world’s best at player development they are using a shot gun approach to building their team because I think they recognize that developing top players from raw talent has a huge random aspect that they can’t control and they cant make important squad decisions based on something they can’t control. In this decade it seems like they have basically given up on the idea of building the team with players from La Masia because they know that developing a player who can help them is a random and unpredictable event and probability of that happening is low

  13. Bil,

    The thing is, buying is just as unpredictable as developing your own. For instance, we have seen players bought that didn’t pan out even though they were high profile, and we have seen players like Kante become a top player. Dembele and Malcom are top talents and its not really shot gunning because they also recognize they need depth (which they have lacked and actually need to allow Messi and Suarez to rest a bit more).

  14. It seems like winning their league for teams like Barca, Madrid, Bayern, Juve, PSG has become analogous to winning the FA cup in England. Its nice to do but the real measuring stick has become success in the Champions league.

  15. Bil,

    Tend ti disagree about that. Maybe fOr Juve and Bayern but in La Liga and the PL, winning the league is just aa big as it alwaya has been. In La Liga its not just a runaway one club league(though Serie A had a very good race last season), they have Atletico, Barca and Madrid who are all capable and generally do challenge until the end of the season. For Madrid last season they got off to such a shitty start that they refocused to the CL but make no mistake, La Liga and the PL title are the crown jewels still with the CL making you king.

  16. C:
    Bil,

    The thing is, buying is just as unpredictable as developing your own.For instance, we have seen players bought that didn’t pan out even though they were high profile, and we have seen players like Kante become a top player. Dembele and Malcom are top talents and its not really shot gunning because they also recognize they need depth (which they have lacked and actually need to allow Messi and Suarez to rest a bit more).

    Buying a player like Griezmann was Barca’s first choice. There is uncertainty and chance of a swing and miss to that also but even you would agree the chance of success with Griezmann or Luis Suarez or Neymar are exponentially more predictable.

  17. C

    The PL is different. I think winning the league is still different. Ours is by far the most competitive league in the world and I think it will stay that way. Pep can only dominate for a short time before he moves on.

    The competition between Madrid and Barca makes Spain more interesting but last season Madrid clearly did not care much about the league. I think Madrid was the best team in the world before they sold Ronaldo. This year will be very interesting. Hopefully Madrid will refocus on the league this season but I think winning their 4th CL in a row is going to be a much higher priority for them.

  18. Bil,

    Sure but then again look at what Monaco did and thise young players. Its all a gamble whether you buy or develop and just because you buy a big name doesn’t guarantee success especially moving to a club like Barca or Madrid because the pressure is different and there is a massive difference between playing for a club that might win the league and might get to the Final in Europe as opposed to those clubs that are SUPPOSED to be there.

  19. MikeSA from yesterday.

    I suspect the legend of the greatness of the Ajax has grown over the years but I think but even if it was as successful as their reputation, the idea of doing something like the Ajax academy of the 1970’s is not realistic in todays world. That was Arsene’s plan when he started the Emirates project and project youth. I am sure that a team like Barca would try to replicate that system but I don’t think it works in 2018. Ajax was around long before there was world wide scouting and its hard to imagine any academy can compete successfully against with the entire world. The money that has flooded the game has completely how teams are built.

  20. I know we complain sometimes about the agricultural typical English football but there is no doubt we play in the most competitive and I think the most exciting football league in the world.

  21. Bil,

    Given the resources available at the Oilers/ slaveowners, he could dominate for years if he wishes like their noisy neighbours, ala Ferguson

  22. Bil:
    MikeSA from yesterday.

    I suspect the legend of the greatness of the Ajaxhas grown over the years but I think but even if it was as successful as their reputation, the idea of doing something like the Ajax academy of the 1970’s is not realistic in todays world. That was Arsene’s plan when he started the Emirates project and project youth. I am sure that a team like Barca would try to replicate that system but I don’t think it works in 2018. Ajax was around long before there was world wide scouting and its hard to imagine any academy can compete successfully against with the entire world.The money that has flooded the game has completely how teams are built.

    Actually they’re still pretty successful.

  23. Bil,

    Its not as though Madrid wasn’t focused on winning La Liga, they got off to a poor start and Barca didn’t and before you knew it, Barca was walking La Liga just likr Citeh walked the PL so Madrid HAD to focus on the CL to save their campaign because at clubs like that you are ALWAYS expected to either win the PL and/or the CL.

  24. C:
    Bil,

    Its not as though Madrid wasn’t focused on winning La Liga, they got off to a poor start and Barca didn’t and before you knew it, Barca was walking La Liga just likr Citeh walked the PL so Madrid HAD to focus on the CL to save their campaign because at clubs like that you are ALWAYS expected to either win the PL and/or the CL.

    I agree with that. Madrid won the league and the CL the year before and they were in major hangover mode at the start of the season and got so far behind that the league was out of reach very early.

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