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Arsenal news: Unai Emery reveals some Gunners players preferred to play in Premier League than Europa League

1.76K   //    27 May 2019, 13:36 IST

Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

What's the story?

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that some players in his squad prefer to play in the Premier League than the Europa League.

The Spaniard has issued a strict message to such players saying that he will be the one to decide who gets to take a rest and who gets to play.

In case you didn't know

The Gunners finished their season in fifth place on the Premier League table, having squandered a bunch of opportunities that would have comfortably put them in the top four.

After Arsene Wenger's departure, Emery was tasked with bringing the North London giants back into the top tier of European football, either with a favourable domestic finish or the Europa League.

Emery has an impressive record in the Europa League, having led former club Sevilla to three consecutive victories from 2014 to 2016. This season, the Spanish manager has guided Arsenal to the finals of the competition and it remains to be seen whether he will add yet another Europa League title to his name.

The heart of the matter

Despite the importance of the finals, Emery has revealed that some of his players were not too keen on playing in the Europa League and preferred to start in the English top flight instead.

According to Express UK, the manager said, "My titles in this competition are no guarantee. Each match, each year is different. The first idea was to transmit to the players this season is that we go for every competition. Now we are in the Europa League. We needed to feel this competition was an important competition."

"When we started playing in the first matches, some players preferred to play Premier League. Okay. I explained then to every player that we needed the focus on every competition."

Emery then issued a strong warning to his players saying, "I am going to decide when you are going to rest or not. I don't want you to think you might not play in the early rounds and yet when we arrive at the semi-final or the final you say to me: I am here to play."


"No. I want you here, I want you ready to play, and you will be ready to play throughout. Of course, some injuries can stop you playing. But the focus all the season is in this competition with a big focus and a big ambition to do something important. And to feel this competition like we want it."

What's next?

Arsenal will face London rivals Chelsea in the Europa League final on May 29.