EMERY’S BEEN BITTEN BEFORE BY UNDERDOGS
UNAI EMERY claims to have blanked the memory from his mind, but the Arsenal boss has good reason to fear Huddersfield this afternoon.
This time last year his all-conquering Paris Saint-germain side saw their 25-match unbeaten run ended by Ligue 1 strugglers Strasbourg (below).
With fewer margins for error in the Premier League – and with Arsenal’s 20-match unbeaten run at stake – Emery (above) is insistent that relegation-threatened Huddersfield must not be taken for granted. “I’ve learnt in the Premier League that every team has good players, good organisation and has a chance,” said the Spaniard.
“Against Huddersfield we need to show a great deal of respect, more than Manchester United, more than Tottenham, because we need a high level in our performance to beat them. They are going to push a lot and will want to cause a surprise.
“I don’t remember Strasbourg. I said before, I only think about football in the present.
“For me, yesterday is a long time ago. Saturday is also long ago. I’m thinking of today, preparing for Saturday’s match.
“Football happens very quickly, with positive things, negative things, but you need to learn.
“Learning, and also improving. You always need to think about how to create a new victory.”
Firm in the memory of Arsenal fans is that this is the kind of match in which they would drop vital points in the last days of Arsenal Wenger. Last season the Gunners were beaten at relegated Stoke and Swansea, held at relegated West Brom, defeated at Watford, Bournemouth and Brighton and held at struggling Southampton.
They scraped a final-day 1-0 win at Huddersfield thanks to a goal by Pierre-emerick Aubameyang.
Emery wants to ensure his side gain another victory over the Terriers today at the Emirates.
He is also determined to maintain the feel-good factor which has returned to the red and white half of north London.
“We have worked for that,” he added. “The fans can be happy with us, can be proud with our work, with our victories, with our draws.
“Every day we need to create this spirit and this feeling.
“On Saturday I want to give the supporters the same energy, to connect with them.
“If we do that, they will respond and bring their spirit and energy to lift us.”