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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

Unai Emery expects Jack Wilshere to receive 'good reception' on return to Arsenal

West Ham midfielder left Arsenal in the summer after 17 years at the club

Unai Emery is seeking his first Premier League points as Arsenal manager. AFP
Unai Emery is seeking his first Premier League points as Arsenal manager. AFP

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said Jack Wilshere should expect a "good reception" as the England midfielder returns to the Emirates Stadium with West Ham United on Saturday.

Wilshere, 26, spent 17 years with Arsenal, 10 with the first team, but despite prolonged negotiations, the England international couldn't come to an agreement on a new deal before leaving as a free agent.

Wilshere, who spent the 2016/17 season on loan at Bournemouth, signed a three-year contract at West Ham this summer.

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"I spoke with him for 15 minutes here in Colney before he left," Emery told a news conference on Thursday.

"The first thing for me is I have respect for his career here. And then, he chooses what the best was for him in his future. It's for that, on Saturday, I know that here, the supporters like him and have this respect also.

"I think there is a good reception for him here."

Both sides will be searching for their first points of the season at the Emirates after difficult starts for Emery and new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Emery has been criticised for a lack of pragmatism in trying to implement a patient, passing approach from the back straight away in defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea.

But the Spaniard insists he will continue with the style and is desperate to get off the mark this weekend.

"In our process, we are going 38 matches against all the teams. Whether you are playing against Manchester City, it's the same as if you're playing against West Ham," Emery said.

"It's clear that every game demands different things tactically. After the first two matches, we have two defeats and we need to win this match against West Ham."

A loss at home to Bournemouth last weekend punctured the optimism around West Ham's summer overhaul when the club spent nearly £100 million (Dh470.8m) on nine players following Pellegrini's appointment.

However, the Argentine believes West Ham also need a change of mentality to improve results this season.

"When we conceded, we had a lot of fear about losing the game," said Pellegrini after his side surrendered a 1-0 half-time lead to lose 2-1 to Bournemouth.

"I have said before that we have to change that and I think that will improve."

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