Unai Emery insists Arsenal players must speak English in dressing room – even though he’s struggling with language
New Gunners boss Emery is refusing to use an interpreter to help him communicate after setting himself an ambitious target of being fluent by Christmas.
The Spaniard does have an interpreter at press conferences in case he gets stuck and a full-time English teacher with him at the training ground, but wants to speak English to the British media out of respect and his own determination to learn quickly.
Emery will talk to players in their own languages during one-on-one conversations but believes it is important to speak in the tongue of the country where he’s working and fears using an interpreter will slow down his progress, even if it does make some press conferences and team-talks difficult.
Regular observers say Emery has his own favourite English word — “protagonist”, which is close to “protagonista”, a term used in Spanish football in reference to something being important or a player being the key man.
The former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain coach is also determined that Arsenal will take the Europa League — which he won three times with the La Liga club — seriously this season as they strive to regain Champions League status.
Predecessor Arsene Wenger rotated players between games during a gruelling campaign last season that got to the competition’s semis before defeat to eventual winners Atletico Madrid.