Unai Emery plays down jeers from some Arsenal fans after decision to replace Alexandre Lacazette
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 02/01/19 7:07am
Unai Emery played down a negative reaction from some Arsenal supporters after his decision to replace Alexandre Lacazette in the win over Fulham was met with jeers.
The Arsenal head coach has enjoyed a good relationship with the club's fanbase since replacing Arsene Wenger in the summer but, following a 5-1 defeat at Liverpool and his decision to once again replace Lacazette in a 4-1 success against Fulham, he has endured his first pessimistic response.
Lacazette had put Arsenal two goals in front following Granit Xhaka's opener but was substituted for Aaron Ramsey after Aboubakar Kamara had halved the deficit.
The decision was booed by a large number of fans, although Ramsey - who has been linked with Juventus with his Arsenal career set to end when his contract expires in the summer - put the game beyond doubt with the third.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a deflected fourth to put the gloss on a largely-unconvincing display from the hosts, with Emery asked about the supporters' reaction afterwards.
"I understand the supporters," he said. "Tactically we thought in that moment we needed to change for more balance. Above all we know (Jean Michael) Seri is coming on and need a player close to him, not to let him play easily with the ball.
"Aaron Ramsey can do that and also help us in attack and scored. The reason is this. I need to do my work. And not maybe because every supporter can have a different opinion, tactically.
"But I need to do my work, Lacazette his work and he scored also. He helped us and it was a very positive reaction."
Ramsey's future at the Emirates Stadium has appeared certain for some time after Arsenal retracted a contract offer that was on the table for the Wales international.
With six months left on his contract he can now speak to foreign clubs about a deal, with Emery expecting the 28-year-old to remain at the club rather than move away for a fee during the January window.
Asked if Ramsey would stay until the summer, Emery replied: "At the moment he is working with us and I think, yes.
"He worked very well in Liverpool. Today he played 15 minutes and he scored. He helped us for confidence and to earn a good result. I want this focus from him when he is playing."