Thursday 10 Jan
Updated Thursday 10 Jan 15:30
First Team

Pellegrini: We have improved in every sense since we last faced Arsenal

 

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini discussed all things Hammers with the media on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Premier League derby with Arsenal.

The Chilean offered his thoughts on this weekends’ opponents, Gunners manager Unai Emery and the Irons' Emirates FA Cup fourth-round draw…

 

A lot has changed since August

A lot has changed since we played at Arsenal in August as we have had four months more working.

It was not a bad game last time against Arsenal, we had lots of chances to score but we lost the game with an own-goal but after that we have worked hard and the team has improved in every sense.

At least we have demonstrated that we can play against every team as a big team ourselves, we want to get three points from the first minute of every game and will try to do the same against Arsenal.

Of course, I insist on playing as a big team because we are in a big club. When you play with 60,000 people behind you, you are a big club.

As a team we need to work better than we did in the first half of the season and the way to see that is against these big teams.

 

Unai Emery is doing very well at Arsenal

It was not easy for Unai Emery to replace Arsene Wenger after so many years in charge.

It is now difficult to balance their season at this stage, halfway through. We know the Arsenal demands as normally he was fighting or playing for the title and in the Champions League so the demands are high.

I think that, for the moment, Unai is doing very well.

He went a lot of games unbeaten and that is good for a manager that has just arrived to the Premier League and the more he gets to know the league, the more he will keep improving Arsenal.

I repeat, though, the demands at Arsenal are very high. They normally compete for the Champions League places, so we will see what happens.

 

AFC Wimbledon away is a good draw for us

I think our Emirates FA Cup fourth round draw away to AFC Wimbledon is a good draw for us.

It was a good game against Birmingham City I the third round that allowed us to continue in the cup but I think it is a good draw, of course.

I am not saying it will be an easy game, but it is a good draw as Wimbledon are near the bottom of League One.

In this moment, maybe they are not at their best, we played them already in the Carabao Cup.