From hard work to pressing, this is where the methods employed by Unai Emery are coming under the microscope.
After the 5-1 win over PSG in Singapore today, the Spaniard gave some real insight into what he wants from his team, and how he set things up to try and get the best out of Mesut Ozil.
The German opened the scoring in the first half, and the new boss expanded in some detail as to what he was thinking.
“We want to give him and our players the position they feel most comfortable in on the pitch,” he said of the German.
“He started today at No 10 with Matteo and Mohamed behind him. The first one would go up and then find him between the lines, or sometimes Mkhitaryan.
“When we do have the ball, we can press with the striker and a No 10 almost like a 4-4-2 in a press. It depends because Mesut can play on the right and go inside, driving in to open up space for the right back.
“We want to find a space for him and the other players where they can use their qualities through good positioning. I think in the first half today we played good with quality players, but I want to improve this pressing.
“In the second half they were tired, but the young players gave us the pressing back and allowed us to change our positions and play with three in midfield.
“Tactically, we’ve been working all week in training and watching movies. The first idea we are working on is without the ball and the right place to be pressing.
“I am happy with how the players played for the first time for these three players [Iwboi, Elneny, Ozil].”
It’s certainly interesting to hear the head coach lift the lid on his tactics in that way. It’s unusual for managers in England to do that in any great detail, so let’s hope he continues this throughout the season.