Emery Hails Arsenal’s New Players After Perfect Start

Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Unai Emery gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates Stadium in London on August 17, 2019. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

Unai Emery saluted his Arsenal new boys as David Luiz, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe all contributed to a 2-1 win over Burnley on Saturday.

Emery’s side made it successive victories to start the Premier League season thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang either side of an Ashley Barnes equaliser.

While Lacazette and Aubameyang are two of Arsenal’s key men, they were both present during the club’s dismal end to last season.

So, it was encouraging for Gunners boss Emery that his close-season recruits gave glimpses of their quality to help seal the points.

Former Chelsea defender David Luiz made his first appearance and, despite Burnley threatening from set-pieces, he eased in comfortably next to Sokratis.

On-loan Real Madrid midfielder Ceballos put in a man of the match performance featuring two assists on his home debut, while club-record signing Pepe came off the bench at half-time to add verve to the Arsenal attack.

Arsenal’s Brazilian defender David Luiz (2nd R) and Dani Ceballos (L) congratulates striker Alexandre Lacazette on scoring the opening goal of the game.   Photo: Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

Asked about how his recent acquisitions had fared, Emery said, “What we wanted to create was a big atmosphere with our supporters together today and this season.

“Today, with some new players, they made an impact in the first match here. We created this atmosphere.

“We can also say that the young players have the chance to play. I think you can speak about all the team because we worked together with an individual quality and capacity, but above all thinking like a team.”

‘Cheat once a game’
Meanwhile, Burnley boss Sean Dyche used his post-match press conference to once again call for the football authorities to stamp out diving in the game.

While Dyche refused to single out any Arsenal players for simulation, he was clear in his call for greater punishments to be doled out.

“The game is in a really poor state for players diving, feigning injuries, all sorts,” he said.

“I found it peculiar. I was at a Premier League meeting a couple of weeks ago and they told us the worst that can happen is a yellow card. So basically every player in the Premier League can cheat at least once a game.

“Have you ever thought about that? I don’t know any sport where they tell you that you can cheat once a game. I’ve never seen that in sport before.

“It’s not about Arsenal. It’s about the greater good of the game. The game is in a really poor state, with players literally falling on the floor. I’m the only one who ever talks about it.”

Asked for how he would solve the issue, Dyche replied: “Simple. Ban them. It would be out of football within a month.”


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