Unai Emery wants Aaron Ramsey to focus on Arsenal and not contract
Gunners face Palace live on Sky Sports Premier League from 12.30pm on Sunday
By Aidan Magee & Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 26/10/18 5:56pm
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has called on Aaron Ramsey to focus on his performances rather than a possible new deal at the Emirates.
The midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and had expected to extend his 10-year Arsenal stay after his camp felt a new contract had been agreed with the club's hierarchy.
However, those talks were shelved after Arsenal withdrew their offer and the midfielder -who captained the side in Thursday's 1-0 win in Sporting Lisbon - is now set to become a free agent next summer.
Emery, though, just wants the player to concentrate on Arsenal's next game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Super Sunday.
Focus on the team and focus on being together in this situation and then we'll see
"My focus and his focus I want on the team," said Emery in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports. "It's true that each player has individual contractual situations to speak with the club, but we need, separately, two things.
"For me it's, and with Aaron it's, very clear - our conversations. And also yesterday (Thursday) he played with this commitment, with this behaviour, with the focus to help the team. I am very happy with how he played against Sporting, individually and collectively.
"I want the same from Sunday and for these matches. Focus on the team and focus on being together in this situation and then we'll see.
"Aaron and the club can speak and he can think for his individual contract with the club and with his thinking maybe of the possibility that he won't continue here. But, for me, for us and for the team, it's about being together and getting better and in each training for us."
Arsenal make the short trip across the capital to face Palace on Sunday afternoon in red-hot form having won their last 11 matches in all competitions - three short of equalling the club record - a run that has propelled Emery's side into fourth in the Premier League.
However, despite sitting just two points behind leaders Manchester City and Liverpool, the Spaniard has played down Arsenal's title chances this season.
"Each match is our focus," said Emery. "Our focus is Sunday. If you win or lose on Sunday, it's a very different moment after.
"When we started with the losses in the first two matches, maybe a lot of people were thinking it could be a difficult way for the club this season. Now, when we are winning, maybe the same people are thinking we are on the way to arrive in the top four.
"Also, for me, it's the balance when we are winning or losing, when we are doing our process with the balance in the middle. We aren't the best team now and when we lost, we weren't the worst team.
"We're a good team who need to improve a lot of things and take more confidence, responsibility and ambition to improve. We have a very big spirit to work together with a very big demand."
As for his struggling opponents this weekend, Palace maybe just two points above the drop zone, but Emery has warned his players to expect a tough examination in south-east London.
"When I was in France and in Spain, I would sometimes watch the Premier League and Crystal Palace is a team that doesn't have a lot of big names in it, like the best teams in the Premier League," he said.
"But they have very good players and produce very good performances. You watch it and say, 'These players are very good and they have a very big level to play against the best teams'.
"Now I am here and I am watching, and I know that Crystal Palace is a very good team with very good players, with a very good coach and a lot of experience in the Premier League.
"For us, the respect is very big. I think they deserve more points in the Premier League and they deserve to be higher in the table, and for us it's about having the respect and then preparing well for this match if we are to beat them."
One man Palace will need to keep a close eye on is Mesut Ozil after the playmaker's virtuoso display helped his team come from behind to beat Leicester City on MNF.
And Emery thinks Arsenal have benefitted from the German's decision to retire from international football after last summer's World Cup.
"For us, he's a very important player because of his quality," said Emery. "He's showing us that we need his quality.
"It's the consistency every day in training and in matches, also his mentality to improve more in his work every day. He stopped with his national team and his focus is on us in each moment in each match.
"I want him to continue to continue with his commitment, his behaviour, playing and thinking he can improve more. Each match is a good opportunity for him and the team to continue doing the things better."
Watch Palace vs Arsenal on Sky Sports Premier League from 12.30pm on Sunday