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Under-pressure Gunners boss ‘will need time’

Unai Emery admits he is facing a big challenge to help Arsenal get back into the top four of the Premier League

17 January, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Unai Emery: ‘In terms of getting into the Champions League and finishing in the top four, which is our main objective, it is true that we are not there right now’

UNAI Emery says his number one goal is “to get Arsenal back to where the club deserves to be” – but he has admitted that it is a long process that “needs time”.

The pressure is gradually starting to pile up on the Spaniard, who replaced Arsene Wenger at the helm just eight months ago. The Gunners have won just one of their last seven Premier League games on the road, slipping six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for a place in next season’s Champions League.

Emery has warned his players that they are currently too inconsistent to get back amongst Europe’s elite, but given enough time the Arsenal head coach insists he will turn things around.

“When a club changes manager, it is because they want something new,” Emery told Sky Sports. “The challenge is to identify the good things – the things you have to maintain – but also the things that you have to change and improve. Here, obviously, there were lots of things to change and improve.

“The adaptation of the club and team is progressing in a positive way. In terms of getting into the Champions League and finishing in the top four, which is our main objective, it is true that we are not there right now.

“But firstly, I believe we have time to achieve that this season. And secondly, we knew there were going to be difficulties in this process. The most important thing is to be aware that the difficulties will come, and at that moment still be able to make progress.

“I believe that, here, people see football in a very distinct way,” Emery added. “I believe the fans feel football from the heart. The question of whether you win, lose or draw is very important, but there is always a respect towards football beyond just the result.

“That means you can do a more progressive job, a job based on building from the bottom without only thinking about results, because sometimes, a result can hide solid foundations.

“As a manager, I have always put myself under the pressure of the necessity to win. You know that winning will allow you to either continue what you’re doing or to find another project. And you know that if you lose, they will take the project you already have away from you.

“But at Arsenal, it’s maybe the first time I feel that I have the support to build up from the bottom in order to get where we want to be. It allows us to work more for the long-term – or at least ‘long-term’ in football terms. It supports the kind of work we want to do at this club.”

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