Unai Emery has explained why he decided to take his Arsenal players paintballing after the club’s vital win over Premier League rivals Chelsea, claiming that Monday’s team-building trip was to help his players “come closer together”.
Earlier this week Emery shared a picture of over 50 Arsenal players and staff members enjoying a paintball trip, along with the caption: “Yesterday we started the week in a different way… Great team building, we are the Arsenal!”
And at his press conference ahead of Friday night’s FA Cup fourth round match against Manchester United, Emery elaborated further, revealing that he has been waiting for the opportunity to make such a trip since the beginning of the season.
“I like to do something different sometimes, with all my teams in my career,” he said.
“Here, for one reason or another, we haven’t been able to do that so far. But on Monday we prepared for this day.
“I think it was a good moment to do an activity like this together, away from the training ground. And paintball is good for all being together and doing something different, and we all enjoyed it. It helped us to all come together and it was good for us to make a change from our everyday work.
“And I was shot three times!”
The Monday afternoon trip was made possible by a let up in Arsenal’s schedule, with the club enjoying a rare fortnight without a midweek game.
“Over the past two weeks we have played only one match per week, so this is the moment when you can take a day to do this,” Emery added.
“It is very difficult to find time in the season because we are playing a lot of matches, and when we have three matches per week it is impossible to do that.
“For me, this was the best moment to get everyone together to do this activity.”
Unfortunately, Emery – who was flanked by Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey in the team photograph – declined to provide any information on which group of players had won, or the identity of those who had dared to take a shot at him.
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