Arsenal news: Unai Emery reveals training change fans will love after injury woes

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Having been plagued with fitness issues under Arsene Wenger, there were concerns Emery could burn out his squad when he took over due to his demanding methods.

Arsenal have once again suffered from a spate of injuries – particularly in defence – with six players having returned to training going into their clash with West Ham today (12.30pm).

Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil, Nacho Monreal and Shkodran Mustafi are all back after absences.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck remain out for the long term but with Arsenal in three competitions and facing a tense top-four fight in the Premier League, they need their full squad to enjoy a strong season.

The north London outfit are three points off the Champions League places as it stands but are up against Chelsea and an improving Manchester United for fourth.

And Arsenal will have Europa League commitments to contend with when the competition resumes next month on top of their FA Cup involvement.

Spanish boss Emery – who has implemented a more taxing style of play than predecessor Wenger – admits he will manage his players in training to ensure he does not ask too much of them physically. 

He revealed when asked if he may adapt his training sessions: “We are doing that. 

“We are working and also thinking and speaking with our performance [analyst] Darren [Burgess] and Julen Masach [strength and conditioning coach], for this week and this month.

“You have to balance the players because they play a lot of matches in the next month, with the Europa League and the FA Cup.

“So we are doing that.”

Arsenal legend Alan Smith exclusively told Express Sport over Christmas that his former club are benefitting from Emery’s rigorous approach, however.

He said: “I think more than anything it’s the change in attitude amongst the players.

“They celebrate together the goals, they’re backing each other up when it can get a little bit feisty, as in the [4-2] north London derby [win in early December].

“They don’t look such pushovers now, there’s a bit more steel to the ranks I would say.

“And that all comes from the manager, he’s clearly a tough cookie, that’s what he demands from his players.

“And they seem to all have bought into the new philosophy.

“Obviously they could be rolled over at times [under Wenger] when things got physical.

“Ask opponents and they saw that was the best way of attacking Arsene Wenger’s teams.”

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