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Pellegrini issues Arsenal warning

Filed: Thursday, 10th January 2019
By: Staff Writer

Manuel Pellegrini has warned Arsenal that his West Ham team are a far tougher proposition than when the two sides last met.

West Ham were beaten 3-1 at The Emirates Stadium back in August despite hvaing taken an early lead through Marko Arnautovic.

However Pellegrini told the assembled (accredited) media at Thursday's press conference that the current West Ham will prove a harder nut to crack when the two teams meet in Stratford on Saturday lunchtime.

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"We've changed a lot," he said. "We have had four months more working. "It wasn't a bad game last time against Arsenal, we had lots of chances to score, but we lost the game with an own goal. But since then, the team has improved in every sense."

The manager also felt that his team have looked comfortable this season against most of the Premier League's top teams - giving him renewed confidence ahead of this weekend's meeting.

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

"We are 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."

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And he also praised new Arsenal Unai Emery for having a positive impact at The Emirates since replacing Arsene Wenger - despite the associated stress of managing such a demanding club.

"It is not easy to replace Arsene Wenger after so many years," mused Pellegrini. "It is difficult to balance their season. We know the demands at Arsenal; normally he [Wenger] was fighting for the title and the Champions League so the demands are high.

"I think that, for the moment, Unai is doing very well. He had a lot of games unbeaten and that is good for a manager that has just arrived to the Premier League. The more he gets to know the league, he will keep improving Arsenal."

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