Between The Lines: Unai Emery calls on Arsenal squad to focus on the here and now

In his press conference ahead of this Sunday’s trip to Southampton, Arsenal manager Unai Emery spoke about his side’s ongoing 22-game unbeaten run in all competitions, as reported by the club’s official website.

What did he say?

“There is no secret. The only thing is the next match. We’ve used the last matches to help us improve through our analysis. We can improve things individually and collectively, and also tactically and some things with the mentality…

We think only about the next match and prepare with our focus being very clear that we can progress and we can improve in the next matches. This development with us is clear with the players. We don’t want to think about the past, the most important thing is the present and the near future.”

Playmaker FC believes Arsenal fans won’t have to wait long to see Unai Emery’s long-term ambitions for the club come to fruition. Watch the video above to find out why…

What did he really mean?

This was a comment directed at his own squad of players, as much as the fans and the media. The Gunners boss must be desperate to ensure that no complacency sets in amongst his ranks amidst their wonderful run.

Despite the fact that this weekend’s opponents, Southampton, are struggling, Emery will know that his side stand no chance to returning to the Emirates Stadium with an all-important three points in tow if they do not go to St Mary’s Stadium fully prepared for, and focused on, the task at hand.

Even though they’ve been on such a glorious run, the Gunners are still very much mired in the battle for a top four finish, so they cannot afford to let up now.

Here and now

Emery is famed for his attention to detail and level of preparatory work he performs prior to every fixture. He implied in this press conference that this is an ethos he is instilling in north London.

His concentration on focus and progress makes it abundantly clear that the Spaniard is not convinced that his side are yet the finished article. His talk of the present being the most important thing is a reminder to his squad to not get hung up on what they’ve achieved so far – there’s still a long way to go.