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Unai Emery rates his English as 6/10 – but insists there is no communication problem at Arsenal

Unai Emery

Unai Emery insists there are no communication problems at Arsenal despite admitting that his English is far from perfect.

The Spaniard arrived at the Emirates Stadium as Arsene Wenger’s successor in summer 2018, having previously spent two years in charge of Ligue 1 giants PSG (opens in new tab).

Emery has spent most of his managerial career in his home country with Sevilla, Valencia, Almeria and Lorca Deportiva, although he did have a brief spell at the helm of Russian outfit CSKA Moscow in 2012.

The Arsenal (opens in new tab) dressing room features players of 13 different nationalities, while Emery has conceded that his English is only a “six out of 10”.

But the 47-year-old believes there is no language barrier between him and his squad, thanks in part to the help of assistant manager Freddie Ljungberg.

“I think no,” he replied when asked whether communication was an issue. “I have conversations with players, particularly individually with Bukayo Saka. Sometimes I use Freddie to do that conversation with individual players.

“But I also spoke to Saka alone in my office and prepared sometimes some videos – I have done videos with English players, Spanish players, French players, German players.

“Now my English is, from one to 10, maybe a six. But at six, I think the players can understand me. If not, some help is good.

“Last year, on my first day, I spoke to them very bad, more bad than today. But I have spoken English and now it's the same, but I think better.”

Arsenal will move level on points with third-placed Leicester (opens in new tab) if they beat Manchester United (opens in new tab) on Monday, although the Gunners have not won a league match at Old Trafford in over 13 years.

Defeat by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could see the Gunners drop down to ninth in the table after seven games.


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Greg Lea
Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).