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Emery says Arsenal ‘need to improve defensively’

Unai Emery says Arsenal ‘need to improve defensively’ this season and looks to ruled out challenging for the Premier League title.

The Spaniard’s debut season at the Emirates saw Arsenal finish fifth and miss out on Champions League qualification, with the North London side suffering defeat to Chelsea in the Europa League final.

Emery is current overseeing his second pre-season since replacing Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager, with the 47-year-old revealing he wants his side to play with increased ‘energy’ and ‘intensity’ this season.

“My idea is the same,” said Emery. “I want a team with good positioning, good combinations between the players and also good experience in all situations, being able to attack and play with a big intensity. I like the energy, I like to be the protagonists.

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“I think we can take some matches last year where we can see this is our philosophy, our match, the intensity we want to create 100 per cent. At other times we could not do that.”

The Gunners finished 28 points behind champions Manchester City last season, with all-too-familiar defensive flaws costing Emery’s side a top-four finish.

“We need to be realistic and now the distance between Liverpool and Manchester City to us is [a lot of] points,” Emery admitted.

“We need to improve defensively but with no loss offensively, because the first idea we developed with this team is to be offensive. Sometimes it is true that we struggled defensively and to take the balance. Sometimes we took this balance last year and our challenge is to keep producing that.”

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