Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has revealed he attempts to get his players worked up, but only in an effort to bring the best out of them. This comes at a time the Arsenal boss continues to overlook German playmaker, Mesut Ozil, who has not played in any of the Gunners’ last four games in all competitions despite the club’s highest paid player regaining full fitness from his latest injury lay-off.
Ozil’s omission has seen the 30-year-old linked with leaving Arsenal during the January transfer window, with the club needing to free-up funds to sign new players. Reports in the summer suggested the pair had engaged in the training ground falling out, but Emery has revealed he often challenges his players in an effort to galvanise them. “At certain times, you have to provoke friction with footballers.”
Emery added: “From that friction, you can get something more out of them, something from inside, a greater sense of ambition or maybe even a complaint – a complaint regarding the team can be positive. As a manager, you have to be careful because that friction can break a relationship. But I believe in always looking for more, both individually and collectively, with conversations which are comfortable but also with conversations which are less comfortable.
He went on to say it is important to get the most out of his players and ensure each one fits into the team. “In the end, the main thing with any footballer is that their qualities are used to benefit the team. As a manager, you have to get the maximum out of that player and at the same time make sure that he fits with the rest of the team so that everyone is better.”
Despite Emery admitting that getting under the skin of his players is a tactic he has deployed, it was the manner in which he lost control at Paris Saint-Germain that led to his exit from the Parc des Princes. At the centre of that dressing room dispute was Neymar, who Emery later admitted was the real leader in the French capital.