- Match Analysis
- Betting online
Having been plagued by injuries under Arsene Wenger, there were real concerns when Emery took charge this season regarding the fact that the players might struggle to cope with the Spaniard’s rigorous and demanding training methods.
Arsenal currently face an injury crisis at the back but the Gunners will be boosted by the return of Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi to training ahead of their trip to West Ham on Saturday.
The Gunners currently sit 5th in the standings, three points adrift of Chelsea for the final Champions League spot but they are likely to face stiff competition from a resurgent Manchester United in the second half of the season.
And Emery, who has used a more taxing philosophy than his predecessor Wenger, has admitted that he won’t ask too much from his players in training to avoid the risk of injuries.
He revealed when asked if he may adapt his training sessions: “We are doing that.
“We are working and also thinking and speaking with our performance [analyst] Darren [Burgess] and Julen Masach [strength and conditioning coach], for this week and this month.
“You have to balance the players because they play a lot of matches in the next month, with the Europa League and the FA Cup.
“So we are doing that.”
Arsenal legend Alan Smith exclusively told Express Sport over Christmas that his former club are benefitting from Emery’s rigorous approach, however.
He said: “I think more than anything it’s the change in attitude amongst the players.
“They celebrate together the goals, they’re backing each other up when it can get a little bit feisty, as in the [4-2] north London derby [win in early December].
They don’t look such pushovers now, there’s a bit more steel to the ranks I would say.
“And that all comes from the manager, he’s clearly a tough cookie, that’s what he demands from his players.
“And they seem to all have bought into the new philosophy.