Unai Emery says his players and staff are working hard in pre-season knowing they can kick-start the new season with a ‘big performance’ against reigning champions Manchester City.
Arsenal lost against Pep Guardiola’s side three times last season, including defeat in the Carabao Cup final, as they finished a disappointing campaign 37 points behind the runaway leaders.
Failure to secure a Champions League position for a second consecutive season ultimately led to Arsene Wenger’s exit, however, with a new coach, players and staff in place, the mood in the camp is one of optimism.
Speaking from Singapore where he attended an Emirates-sponsored business lunch, the Spaniard played up the importance of high-intensity performances.
“Everybody who is working at this club is working towards that game and we want to play a good game for everybody.
“It’s a great rivalry and to start at Emirates Stadium against Manchester City is the first important focus for us.
“With all the energy of the players and the supporters, we know we can start the season with a big performance against a big team.
He added: “Each match, you are looking for every player to transmit intensity, aggression, to show that they want to win and are prepared to work hard to win.
“We want to do that with style, with a personality, with protagonists on the pitch.
“We want every player to create things and find things when they’re on the ball.
“When we are without the ball, we also want to show ambition to recover the ball quickly.
“We want to demonstrate that not only in every match, but also in every training session.
“We want our players to be energetic, full of action with or without the ball and as protagonists on the pitch doing things.”
Arsenal will step up their preparations for City’s visit on 12 August with their first International Champions Cup friendly with Atletico Madrid on Thursday. The squad will then face Paris Saint Germain on Saturday before returning to Europe for games against Chelsea and Lazio.