Unai Emery Admits He ‘Provokes Friction’ With Players & Explains His Relentless Attitude

​Arsenal manager Unai Emery has explained that he often tries to ‘provoke friction’ with his players in order to bring the best out of them.

Emery has been criticised for leaving Arsenal’s best-paid and most creative player, Mesut Ozil, out of his squad for tactical reasons at times this season, including in last weekend’s defeat to West Ham.

Mesut Ozil,Unai Emery

Emery, a keen student of psychology, hinted at a long-term reason for these selection decisions as he explained that it was necessary to keep players on their toes with tough love.

“At certain times, you have to provoke friction with footballers,” he said in an extensive interview with ​Sky Sports News.

“From that friction, you can get something more out of them, something from inside, a greater sense of ambition or maybe even a complaint – a complaint regarding the team can be positive.

“As a manager, you have to be careful because that friction can break a relationship. But I believe in always looking for more, both individually and collectively, with conversations which are comfortable but also with conversations which are less comfortable.”

Since starting his managerial career at Lorca in 2005, Emery has never had more than a couple of months off between jobs. He is driven by a relentless search for improvement and believes that this intensity is key to his success.

“You have to keep going,” he said. “You cannot ever stop. The most important thing for me, I believe, is that I have never stopped coaching. 

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“I also have people around me who push me and I still have the capacity to bring great energy to the job. But my secret is nothing more than to work hard.”

​Arsenal face a must-win game on Sunday against ​Chelsea, who have opened up a lead of six points between themselves and the Gunners in the race for Champions League qualification.

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Sporting Director Suggests Bayern Could Sign James Rodriguez Permanently Amid Links to Arsenal

​Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has dismissed reports linking on-loan midfielder James Rodriguez with a move to Arsenal.

Rodriguez is in the final six months of a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid, but has fallen out of favour under new manager Niko Kovac. Reports emerged recently suggesting that Bayern were keen to terminate Rodriguez’s deal and allow Arsenal to secure a six-month loan deal.

James Rodriguez

However, in an interview with Bild (via ​Metro), Salihamidzic insisted that ​Bayern will use the last six months of the season to decide whether they want to sign ​Rodriguez permanently or not.

He said: “We will look at the second half of the season and we will draw the right conclusions.”

Salihamidzic then rejected claims that Bayern could look to sign Rodriguez and instantly sell him on for a profit, saying: “This is not Bayern’s style. 

“If we decide to sign a player, then he also remains a part of Bayern.”

​Arsenal are thought to only be able to pursue loan deals this winter, as a lack of transfer funds has left them struggling to add to their squad. With midfielder ​Aaron Ramsey set to join ​Juventus on a free transfer at the end of the season, Arsenal would need to sell another player before reinvesting those funds.

Mesut Ozil

​Mesut Ozil is one of the players who has been heavily linked with an exit from the club. The 30-year-old has reportedly fallen out of favour under Unai Emery, and has been linked with a move to the likes of ​Inter and Juventus, and it is thought that Arsenal are keen to arrange a permanent deal for the German.

He has missed several games this season due to injury, although there has been much speculation that clashes between Ozil and Emery are to blame for the former’s absence from the matchday squad.

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Manchester United Join Arsenal & Tottenham in Race to Sign Roma Winger Cengiz Under

​Manchester United have added their name to the list of clubs who are interested in signing Cengiz Under from Roma at the end of the season.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Bayern Munich have all been linked with a move for the Turkish international, who was in fine form for Roma prior to the winter break.

Cengiz Under

According to ​ESPN, Under will not be allowed to leave this month, but his representatives are preparing for an end-of-season departure amid a breakdown in contract talks.

​Manchester United’s transfer movements are difficult to predict, with uncertainty over who will be manager come the start of the 2019/20 season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the interim incumbent but Mauricio Pochettino is the favourite to take over next summer.

Roma have slapped a price tag of 50m on Under and they are unlikely to compromise, as 25% of the fee will go to Istanbul Basaksehir, the club from which Roma signed him in 2017.

Under is happy at Roma and committed to the club for the immediate future, but his yearly salary of €1m is among the lowest in Eusebio Di Francesco’s squad.

Negotiations on a new contract are at an impasse, with Roma surprisingly reluctant to increase Under’s earnings. Cashing in for a significant profit now appears the most likely outcome.

Cengiz Under

Roma fans will not be happy to see another of their star players leave, following the sales of ​Mohamed Salah, Radja Nainggolan, Kevin Strootman and Alisson in the last two summers.

Under scored eight goals for Roma in his debut season and already has six at the midway stage of this campaign: three in Serie A and three in the Champions League.

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Mesut Ozil ‘Offered’ to Juventus & Inter as Unai Emery Looks to Offload Unwanted Arsenal Star

​Unai Emery has reportedly made Mesut Ozil available this window, offering the out-of-favour German to Serie A giants Inter and Juventus.

The former Real Madrid playmaker has had a season to forget so far and has missed nine Premier League games in all this term, registering just one assist in his 13 appearances.

Mesut Ozil

According to Italian news outlet TuttoMercatoWeb, Emery is keen to offload the 30-year-old as the Spaniard attempts to build a transfer war chest to restructure his newly acquired squad.

Ozil currently earns £350,000 per week, making him the club’s most expensive asset of all time. Even though the midfielder signed a new lucrative contract last year, he appears to have fallen out of favour under the new management and could be expendable to Emery’s future plans.

The ​Arsenal manager announced last week that the club would be unable to make any permanent signings during this transfer window, due to a lack of money, meaning any business they do would be of the loan variety.

The report also notes that the ulterior motive behind the sale of Ozil could be the Spaniard’s desire to bring in Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco this month, who is ​reportedly keen on a move to the Emirates. 

Yannick Carrasco

But any deal for the winger is unlikely to be put in place before Emery trims his current squad to the desired fit, which is proving a difficult task.

The reports also claims that ​Juventus and ​Inter are reluctant to chase Ozil’s signature, deterred predominantly by the hefty wages he demands. Juve do already look set to bring in one of Arsenal’s midfielders though, after Aaron Ramsey reportedly agreed a deal to join this summer.


After ​Man Utd drew level on points with the Gunners last weekend, Emery will be desperate to keep pace with the top four next Saturday as his side travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.

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Sven Mislintat Could Leave Arsenal for Bayern Munich Amid Behind the Scenes Chaos

​Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat could be set to leave the London club after only a year, following a breakdown in relationships behind the scenes.

Sources close to the club suggest that Mislintat has quickly grown frustrated with the new regime at Arsenal – headed by director of football Raul Sanllehi – as he feels that his opinion is not always respected.

The ​Independent reports that ​Bayern Munich are hoping to capitalise on Mislintat’s uncertainty by making him a tempting offer to return to Germany and help them overhaul his former side ​Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.

Mislintat was credited with creating one of the most sophisticated talent-spotting networks in world football during his time at Dortmund, helping to bring through talents such as ​Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Shinji Kagawa and ​Ousmane Dembele.

It was therefore seen as a major coup in November 2017 when Mislintat was appointed at Arsenal, and he delivered on his reputation by raiding his former club for Aubameyang two months later.

Mislintat also helped to negotiate deals for the likes of Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos last summer following the appointment of Unai Emery.

However, Emery has apparently started to take a more active role in transfers than Mislintat had anticipated. ​Arsenal’s new structure was intended to limit a head coach’s control in that respect, to prevent the all-encompassing power which Arsene Wenger possessed.

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Arsenal had hoped that Mislintat would be the man to give their squad a shake-up and restore them to the pinnacle of English football, but it looks like that plan may be cut short with Bayern waiting in the wings.

Bayern’s squad is also in need of renovation and they will provide significantly more funds for Mislintat to work with if he agrees to join them.

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