Unai Emery has warned Pep Guardiola he is finally ready to beat him.
The Spanish coach begins the post-Arsene Wenger era at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow against Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Emery has failed to beat a Guardiola side in 10 attempts as a manager, drawing four and losing six in Spain, but insists his side can overcome the champions on his Premier League debut.
‘It is easier to speak here than to do it on the pitch,’ Emery said. ‘After two years with Guardiola, they have more stability. When you watch their matches, they play with great confidence and Guardiola’s coaching is clear in this team. It is for that we are working this week, preparing for this game and preparing for the opposition.
‘I am 46, he is 47. He started his career as a bigger player than me. His career as a coach is bigger than me. His statistics are better than me. I like playing him because the preparation is demanding. When we were in Spain, every match against Barcelona for Valencia and Sevilla was very exciting. Sunday is the same. I want to show and give our players ambition.’
Arsenal will train at their stadium today, in one change from the Wenger era, while he will also not tell his squad the starting XI until matchday.
The manager also insisted that Stan Kroenke’s buy-out should be deemed a positive. The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust insist they are ‘wholly against the takeover’. Emery added: ‘I (met) the Kroenke family in Atlanta. He gave us his commitment to this project. For me this news is positive. His commitment to Arsenal is most important.’
Emery, who says Danny Welbeck will remain at the club, also hopes to see an improvement in his team’s mentality but warned it may take time.
‘The best (thing) in football is to look and to think, “It’s coming”,’ said Emery. ‘I believe in myself, in these players and in the club.
‘The next station is Sunday to show our capacity and our mentality. You need building all the time.’