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Unai Emery says Arsenal lacked control against Man City and Chelsea

3:32 pm, 23rd August 2018

Emery’s side have suffered consecutive defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea to leave the club fourth bottom of the Premier League.

The former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss has challenged his players to dominate the Hammers on Saturday as they go in search for their first points of the campaign.

“My idea is control,” said the Spaniard. “Control in the game – but the opposition want the same thing.

“I know we need intensity in every moment in the games. This control is to not let the opposition do their work, their play.

“For me, we didn’t have the control in our first two matches. Saturday is another match, tactically it is different. I want to have more control to find the win in this match.”

Emery has faced criticism for his perceived style of play but the Spaniard insists he is happy for his team to adopt a variety of tactics.

“We want to go forward and score. Maybe we can do it with one long pass directly or progress with the passes, control with possession to win games,” he said.

“We can find [well-worked] goals like we did against Chelsea and we can find them with less passes on the pitch.

“For me the important thing is all the players know in each match the best way to attack.”

Jack Wilshere is set to return to the Emirates for the first since joining the Hammers and Emery expects the England international to receive a warm welcome from the home support.

“I spoke with him for 15 minutes here in Colney before he left,” said Emery. “The first thing for me is I have respect for his career here.

“And then, he chooses what the best was for him in his future. It’s for that, on Saturday, I know that here, the supporters like him and have this respect also.

“I think there is a good reception for him here. Then we are going to play and we are going to think after that, for us to win. But I hope the best for his career.”

Emery also confirmed club captain Laurent Koscielny is back training with the first team as he continues his rehabilitation from a ruptured Achilles.

“He is working very, very hard,” said Emery. “Every day two sessions. He came with us last Sunday.

“We are happy to have him here with us because he is our captain and he is showing his spirit to stay with us.

“We need patience with him. It is clear he is very important. It is difficult to know (when he will play) but he is running, walking on the pitch. It is very good progress.”

More to follow…