Unai Emery holds Arsenal team meetings to cure away day misery

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Naomi Baker
The Gunners head to Vicarage Road on Monday night to take on Watford in the Premier League

Unai Emery and his Arsenal players have held clear the air meetings this week at London Colney as they try to solve their awful away form.

The Gunners have won just two games on their travels in 2019 in all competitions, beating only Huddersfield and Blackpool outside of the capital.

They slumped to yet another away defeat last weekend, going down 1-0 at Everton, losing their spot in the top four in the process.

And with four of their remaining six Premier League games away from the Emirates, Emery is well aware that his side have to turn their poor form on their travels around quickly if they want to finish in the Champions League places.

Arsenal head to Watford on Monday night - a ground they lost at last season - and ahead of that game Emery has revealed that meetings have taken place since the defeat at Goodison looking at ways to bring an end to his squad’s barren spell on the road.

“We were speaking in the dressing room about how we can fix our problem,” said the Spaniard.

“We spoke a lot about that and what we need to win, to improve, to create. We need sometimes patience, patience to create and improve the spirit.

Unai Emery Arsenal 2018-19

“We can be critical of ourselves for our away performances but also knowing that with consistency in our mentality we can create and build up better performances away and I’m sure we’re going to find it.

“Each match is a big challenge for us to be competitive and be closer to the result for us.”

Emery added: “I think we are consistent this season but if we need to improve something, it’s our away form.

“But away, we have examples of when we can play with a good performance. We are going to try each match to do that.

“On Monday we are going to fight a lot because they [Watford] are going to push a lot. They are in a good moment, they are going to play in the final of the FA Cup against Manchester City and against us they are going to play with a big ambition to beat us.

"In the Premier League, if we win we can continue in fourth in the table and I think we must show everybody we can finish in this position, but knowing it is going to be very difficult and the difficulty is Monday against Watford.”

A last minute goal from Tom Cleverley sunk Arsenal at Watford last season.

Tom Cleverley Watford Premier League

The visitors led at half-time thanks to a Per Mertesacker goal but Troy Deeney, who came on a second half substitute, equalised from the penalty spot before Cleverley settled matters in favour of the home side.

Deeney then famously went on BT Sport and said Arsenal’s surrender at Vicarage Road was due to the north London club lacking cojones.

Emery wouldn’t be drawn on those comments ahead of Monday’s game, but admitted his side would have to stand up and match Watford’s intensity and aggression, before earning their right to play.

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“Watford are in a very good moment and they have very good players,” said Emery. “They are going to play with 100 per cent ambition and motivation against us.

“We will be playing against a team that is playing with 100 per cent motivation and ambition to beat us. It’s up to us to have the same mentality and after that to have the capacity to be organised, to impose our competitiveness and quality.

 “We are going to prepare the match and the first idea is the adaption to their game plan. We know they usually have very important players for the long ball, for the second action, to get the ball wide and cross it. We will need to defend that with a big efficiency.”

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