In a recent interview with the Spanish media, Unai Emery revealed the story behind his obsession with video analysis of his team’s opponents.
It’s no secret that Emery loves to prepare videos and presentations on his opponents ahead of a game. Occasionally some have suggested he even takes it too far, to the point of boring his players. The Arsenal head coach isn’t worried about that though.
“If not everyone listens, I couldn’t give a damn because if there’s just one player listening to me 100 per cent that’s reason enough to give the talk,” he said in Wednesday’s edition of Spanish newspaper Sport.
Emery then explained the incident that kick-started his desire to prepare for every eventuality when it comes to his opponents.
“It was a game in Segunda, Leganes against Albacete, when I was still a player,” he began. “They had an incredible number of routines for throw-ins, corners and free-kicks.
“Our manager spent the whole time shouting at us, and I thought: ‘S***, our coach doesn’t realise they have all these moves prepared in advance, and we don’t know any of them!’
“I said to him: ‘You shouldn’t be shouting, but working hard like they do, studying videos of them to see what plan we should have. What are you shouting at me for? I don’t know what to do because you haven’t told me!’
“That’s the reason why I look at the other teams so much. So, if players say I use a lot of videos and talk all the time, that’s the reason! Because I lost that game against Albacete.”
The upside of all this preparation is that Arsenal are never likely to miss a key aspect of their opponent’s play just because they haven’t played against them before.
Knowing that a team has an effective long-throw taker, or that they tend to take short corners, or that they score most of their goals from counter attacks, can really make the difference on the pitch.
If it does end up boring players to the point they no longer pay attention though, then it obviously becomes a negative. Hopefully, that won’t be a problem at Arsenal. Emery might want to think about employing someone to help with the way he presents his analysis if it is.