Villarreal coach Unai Emery spoke to ‘Marca’ prior to the match against Real Madrid. The Basque coach talked in detail about his team’s next opponents.
Villarreal, along with Real Sociedad, are one of the surprise packages in La Liga this season. The Yellow Submarine are second and they host Real Madrid on Saturday. ‘Los Blancos’ lost to Valencia in their last outing.
Emery has faced Real many times in the past and spoke to ‘Marca’ about Real Madrid’s form: “The start has been difficult for all clubs because of the unusual pre-season and the coronavirus. There is another factor which especially affects the clubs in Europe which is that they have to keep rotating players. There has also been the problem of injuries at Real Madrid. There were matches when they made rotations and the team did not perform.
On whether Zidane’s men are going their worst patch, Emery was not so sure: “Nobody is going to be more vulnerable against us. You need to win to climb up the table and they have Inter four days later which is also a very important match for them. I think we’ll see the best possible Real Madrid team both against us and against Inter. When they play at their best for 90 minutes, they’re very difficult to beat.”
On Zizou: “I think there are coaches made for certain teams and Zidane is clearly made to be in charge at Real Madrid. Everyone trusts him, they have respect for him. Regardless of whether they are playing better or worse or his decision making, we cannot forget the added value he represents. People were saying he needs to win La Liga and last year he won it after winning Champions Leagues.”
Kubo will be playing against his parent club and Emery is delighted with him: “We all want Villarreal to benefit from Kubo’s development and for him to benefit from Villarreal. He has made his European debut for us and he always shows commitment for the team.”
Emery also said that the lose at the Camp Nou helped the team bounce back: “That is when we knew we had to change things. But you can’t forget we had an unusual pre-season because of the short turnaround and because two important players in Trigueros and Mario had coronavirus. As well as that 4-0 loss, we had information from the other games we’d played as well.”
Lastly, Emery, who defended the VAR, explained why he chose Villarreal. “I’m coming to a club in 23 years under president Fernando Roig have played in a Champions League semi-final and three Europa League semis. They haven’t won titles, but they’ve been close. I’ve come from Sevilla where I won titles, PSG where I also got titles and Arsenal where I reached finals. Now I’m at a club who are in the Europa League. I was looking for a club where I felt at ease and that was the case at Villarreal,” he concluded.