Unai Emery ready for baptism of fire against Man City


The new manager, the Telegraph said, confirmed that Laurent Koscielny, now out injured, would be his main captain, but that he would be backed up by Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka.

The Spanish coach takes charge of the Gunners in the English top flight for the first time and assignments don't come a lot tougher than against a City side that won the league by 19 points last season. Emery became Arsenal's first new manager since 1996 after Wenger stepped down in May following a 22-year reign.

The other four captains are goalkeeper Petr Cech and midfield trio Aaron Ramsey, Ozil and Granit Xhaka, Emery revealed on Friday.

With Arsenal to host reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in the season opener on Sunday, Emery could be in for a baptism of fire.

"I want the players and supporters to feel that together, and also enjoy each match, each moment in our stadium, and in this way the team transmits to the supporters the passion".

The coach said he expected midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles to start in that position against City, although there was a small chance that Monreal would be ready.

And the former PSG boss has already rung the changes as he attempts to get the club back on track after last season's disappointing sixth-placed finish. He spoke of the need for Arsenal to show fresh energy and a keen understanding of his tactics, and for supporters to rally around the new approach. "These five players are in this possibility to be the captain".

"Success is to improve, grow up, build one team with personality, and then I want to win", he said.

"But then we are going to watch how the team responds against Manchester City". "I am looking every day and the players are smiling in training with a big collective spirit".

"We are working. I believe in myself, in these players and in the club", he added. "But we want to play with the idea to create a winning mentality".