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Unai Emery talks after Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1 “Today we struggled but we deserved it”

2 weeks ago
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Unai Emery will be a happy man after leaving St James Park with all three points.

The visitors were missing a load of players, due to injury, late signings and ‘security’ issues for Ozil and Kolasinac.

Unai Emery forced to play two teenagers as well as squad players coming in.

The Gunners were particularly weak at the back, with numerous players unavailable.

Last season, Arsenal managed only one clean sheet away from home all season and to equal that on the first day in these circumstances, must be satisfying for Unai Emery.

However, Newcastle offered next to no threat and Leno didn’t have a serious save to make.

At the other end, Arsenal didn’t trouble Martin Dubravka much either but had Lacazette and Pepe  waiting on the bench, amongst others.

They weren’t needed though as Newcastle gifted the winning goal which last season’s joint top PL goalscorer expertly tucked away.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery talking to the media after beating  Newcastle 1-0 – Quotes via official Arsenal site:

Unai Emery asked about the clean sheet – Arsenal only got one away from home  last season in the Premier League:

“But before that, I want to win. I want to win, I want to score and I want to do a clean sheet. Today we won and we did that.

“The balance offensively and defensively is only taken with the victory.

“Today, I think, in our 90 minutes we could do that with taking the match very seriously, being very compact and controlling the game with the ball. Also, I think we created chances and we need also to create chances for our strikers and today with Auba we won.”

So many defenders unavailable and the performance of Calum Chambers:

“Really, last year for Calum Chambers was a very good year because he played all the matches with Fulham. They played him as centre-back in a three, in a two and they played him as a midfielder.

“From pre-season, he deserved to play today in the first XI and he was very focused and with Sokratis was also very serious. I want to have very competitive players in each position.

“With David Luiz, with Holding when he is coming back to help us, with training regularly and playing with the under-23s because he will play again tomorrow. And with Hector Bellerin, one month more.

“Today we also had Sead out and the injury to Kieran Tierney. I think we can and will want to become stronger defensively, but above all being one offensive team.”

On Mesut Ozil  and Sead Kolasinac situation:

“The club is managing that circumstance.

“We want to be with them as soon as possible and with normality in training and normality to be ready to play. I don’t know now [if they will play next week].”

Aubameyang scoring already:

“But we want to start defending with Aubameyang and we want to start attacking with Bernd Leno. We need to create good combinations, good situations, to create chances and after each player has his quality to score, to do the pass, the assist and to do the job defensively.

“Aubameyang is our scorer, with Lacazette, with Pepe, with Reiss Nelson, with Micki and other players. And really, today I think every player worked very well.

“He scored, Aubameyang, but I think it was because every player worked together.”

Can Aubameyang can improve his goal tally of 22 PL goals last season?:

“Yes. Our idea is to continue being one team, mostly offensive. But we need to also take the balance defensively.

“Today we started well and the next week is going to be another challenge for us. A clean sheet, but first to win and to create a big spirit as a team, a big spirit in the Emirates. To win away we know is difficult in each match.

“Today we struggled but we deserved it. I am happy but we calm down to train tomorrow and prepare for the match on Saturday.”

Bringing new signings off the bench rather than starting them:

“I explained yesterday that the circumstances are different.

“David Luiz did pre-season with another team and he is okay to play physically but he only trained completely with us yesterday. On Friday he did 30 minutes with us. I was thinking to give them confidence to work together because they were working well together, Sokratis and Chambers.

“Nicolas Pepe came one week ago and physically he needs to get his best fitness to be ready to play 100 per cent for 90 minutes. I think that today 20 minutes is good for him. And Ceballos is in the middle because he came before Pepe but he got an injury and he stopped training. But he needs to know the Premier League, so today was important for him and for us.

“I also used Reiss Nelson and Willock because they deserved to be with us and to give them confidence can help us. It’s the same with Martinelli, he played the last 10 minutes because he deserved it.”

Asked about the teenagers Nelson and Willock and their performances:

“Good. They are young, they need to get confidence, to get experience. But we need to be winning.

“We are helping them but pushing them and our demand is a very big demand. They need to do one process and sometimes it’s playing like today and sometimes it’s maybe starting in the bench. But above all, they are going to be with us.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0  Arsenal 1 – Sunday 11 August 2pm

Goals:

Arsenal:

Aubameyang 58

Possession was Arsenal 62% Newcastle 38%

Total shots were Arsenal 8 Newcastle 9

Shots on target were Arsenal 2 Newcastle 2

Corners were Arsenal 3 Newcastle 5

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle team v Arsenal:

Dubravka, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Manquillo, Hayden, Shelvey (Willems 54), Longstaff (Saint-Maximin 67), Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton

Unused Subs

Darlow, Clark, Fernandez, Krafth, Muto

Crowd: 47, 635 (3,200 Arsenal) – There looked to be approximately 43,000/44,000 actually inside St James Park as some season ticket holders joined today’s boycott.

(Clueless Steve Bruce tactics cost NUFC – Read HERE)

(Read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match HERE)

(Watch the official match highlights HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

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