Unai Emery has outlined his “aggressive” plans for Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger’s successor looking for his side to chase down the Premier League title in style.
The Gunners were, throughout Wenger’s reign, famed for a ball-playing approach which made them one of the most attractive sides in Europe.
They did, however, face accusations of being a soft touch towards the end of the French coach’s iconic tenure, with a tumble out of the Premier League’s top four considered to be the costly result of obvious flaws.
Emery has every intention of addressing those issues, but the Spaniard will still be sticking to the philosophies which his predecessor worked so hard to instil.
Describing his Arsenal blueprint to Sky Sports, the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss said: “Our style with the ball is to be protagonists, to do things with combinations, to control the match with the positioning of the ball. And then, when we have the space, to be aggressive going forward.
“Defensively: first it is to be organised, recover the ball quickly. But in these two moments in the match we need to work. To say it here is easier than doing it on the pitch. We also need time, but now I am happy because I think the players are improving.
“We need two things: quality players, which we have, and then organisation. Together I think we can improve, to win in our way. I repeat: organised, then play.”
Emery added: “When we are thinking in an attacking moment, I want the goalkeeper thinking for that, he is the first. The same when we are thinking defensively, I want our strikers to be thinking: ‘We need to protect the goalkeepers’. I want those two moments to feel the same for all players.
“Each player has this quality, this characteristic to help the team as a collective. For me, that is very important.”
Emery has added a mix of youth and experience to the squad he inherited this summer, with deals done for the likes of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira.