LONDON - Arsenal manager Unai Emery believes it is vital for his players to start taking control of matches as they seek their first Premier League victory of the season against West Ham United on Saturday.
Emery's reign as Arsenal boss has started with consecutive defeats by Manchester City and Chelsea, leaving the club 17th in the table. Arsenal have faced criticism for surrendering possession while playing out from the back but Emery insists his players must work hard to dominate games.
"My idea is control," the Spaniard told reporters on Thursday. "Control in the game - but the opposition want the same thing. I know we need intensity in every moment in the games. This control is to not let the opposition do their work, their play. For me, we didn't have the control in our first two matches. Saturday is another match, tactically it is different. I want to have more control to find the win in this match."
Jack Wilshere is set to return to his boyhood club for the first time since joining West Ham last month. Emery said the midfielder chose what was best for his career, and urged the supporters to give him a warm welcome at the Emirates Stadium.
"I spoke with him for 15 minutes here in Colney before he left," he added. "And then, he chooses what the best was for him in his future. It's for that, on Saturday, I know that here, the supporters like him and have this respect also."
Arsenal confirmed Laurent Koscielny has returned to training three months after undergoing surgery on an Achilles tendon injury. But Emery said he is not sure when the French defender would be available for first-team action.
Danny Welbeck 😱— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 23, 2018
(wait for the celebration) 😂 pic.twitter.com/LCcfmdhlXg