Unai Emery has admitted that he once gave a team talk so long that one of his players fell asleep (via The Telegraph).
Arsenal’s head coach Unai Emery arrived with a reputation for an unrivalled level of preparation, something which not all of his former players has enjoyed.
The stories about memory sticks were common, as were the accounts of his passionate and often lengthy team talks.
Now, Emery has gone into detail about his attitude towards team talks in an upcoming biography written about the Spaniard.
‘My brother used to tell me that some players were weary of my talks at Valencia. I always told them the same thing: “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”.’ Emery told author Romain Molina.
‘At the end of the season at Almeria in Segunda, we were travelling to Jerez for the 35th game, with promotion very close, and so I told the squad: “My talks are very repetitive, so today I’m not going to give you one.” We were beaten 0-3. The captain, José Ortiz, asked me: “Boss, why didn’t you give us a talk?”. I said: “I’ve already given you so many I thought it might tire you today.” He said: “To be honest, I missed that talk, boss.”
‘At Almería, my talks lasted from 30 to 45 minutes or even an hour, because the squad participated as well. I remember that once a player fell asleep. It was Kalu Uche, and I didn’t notice because I was so caught up in my talk.’
It’s a funny anecdote which provides an interesting insight on Unai Emery’s methods.