'Cold' Emery won't play to Arsenal crowd

LONDON • Unai Emery insisted that he would continue to make "cold" decisions after he was booed by Arsenal fans at the Emirates on Tuesday, when he took off Alexandre Lacazette and brought on Aaron Ramsey during the 4-1 Premier League win over Fulham.

The Gunners manager said he would not listen to supporters because it was his job to make the tactical move to stop Jean Michael Seri advancing from midfield.

Seri came on when Fulham trailed 2-0 and won possession at the start of the move that reduced the deficit. He looked as though he might create an equaliser.

The home supporters initially booed Emery but striker Lacazette, who scored his side's second goal, turned their reaction into cheers by applauding the Emirates crowd.

Midfielder Ramsey then scored within four minutes of coming on.

"We need to make decisions with a very cold mind that is for the best," said Emery, whose side have won only two of their last six games in all competitions.

"I understand the supporters, but I need to do my work. Our challenge is to improve defensively.

"Tactically, we thought we needed to change for more balance. We knew Seri was coming and needed a player close to him."

 
 

The Gunners were shaken by a 5-1 thrashing from leaders Liverpool last Saturday exposing their defensive frailty, and that weakness was evident again against the Cottagers. Their nerves were eased in the 25th minute when Granit Xhaka struck after collecting a chip into the box from Alex Iwobi on his chest and slotting home.

Following Lacazette's goal to make it 2-0, Aboubakar Kamara pulled one back for Fulham in the 69th minute before Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rounded off the win for Arsenal.

Shkodran Mustafi came off at the interval after he felt a recurrence of the hamstring injury suffered last month. Arsenal are short of centre-backs but Emery said he had not spoken to Gary Cahill, available on loan from Chelsea.

"We can sign one or two players if the transfer market gives us an opportunity," he said. "But it is not easy."

THE TIMES, LONDON, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2019, with the headline ''Cold' Emery won't play to Arsenal crowd'. Print Edition | Subscribe