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2021-2022-Season

#PLStories- Claudio Ranieri on Ken Sema, Emmanuel Dennis, Mikel Arteta and Arsenal #WATFORDFC

Claudio Ranieri

What’s the latest on the injuries to Ken Sema who – who withdrew from the Sweden squad with an MCL injury to his knee – and Kwadwo Baah who fractured his ankle?

I don’t know now how long it will take to get him back with the team. We are looking day by day.

This will be Mikel Arteta’s 100th game as a manager, do you remember where you were for yours?

It’s very difficult for me because I think I am at around 1200. And now you want to ask me. I don’t remember, maybe Fiorentina?

You were at Cagliari, how do you look back at that?

Yeah, of course, Cagliari for me was my fairytale because I started from the amateurs. And when I had the chance to coach, Cagliari was in Serie C and after two years we were in Serie A. And from then I made my career, and then for me Cagliari is my stone. 

How will it be playing against Mikel Arteta after his praise for you?

Of course, I’m very happy and I want to thank Arteta of course. I look with a lot of intensity at all the young managers, because they bring new ideas. And for me it’s very important because football is always changing. And if I am again at the top of my career, it’s because I always change my mind, open my mind. I look at what happened in Europe and the rest of the world.

What was it about the Watford project that made you join?

I know the Pozzo family, a long time ago they wanted me for Udinese. Of course, I follow often Udinese and Watford. For this reason, I was compelled to sign for Watford because I watched some matches, there are good players. But of course now we have to link much better and only some games can do this. But there is a very good ambience here in Watford.

How do you help the Watford players settle under a new manager?

It is not easy, it changes. The managers change the mentality, change the training session, change the philosophy. And then the players must understand the philosophy of the movement, of everything about the new manager. And for this reason, I speak about the feeling, because I want to speak at the brain and the heart. Not just because I am the manager you have to do this, this, this, this. No I don’t like this.

How do you hope to make Watford more consistent?

Yes of course we have to be very very consistent. And of course, we have to continue to play, so I can understand where we make mistakes, and then I can help my players.

How do you make Watford good for the full 90 minutes, not just one half?

I don’t know, but you’re speaking only for the second half about the Everton match, but I think also the first half was good. Because we played how I wanted to play in every situation. We started to do something good. Okay, we conceded a goal after a few minutes, but we reacted immediately. And also when they scored the second goal, we scored again, but the match was very good for all 90 minutes. Against Southampton, it wasn’t good, the first half. It was much better the second half. I know now, Sunday we play against a very good team, a very good manager. And now we have to do our best to do something good.

How big a boost is it to have Emmanuel Dennis returning?

He is a very good talented player. He is fast, good skills. He always goes straightaway to the goal. I love these kinds of players. Of course, I miss him in the Southampton match, and I think he can have a very good match against Arsenal.

What do you make of Arsenal turning their form around?

At the beginning, maybe they needed to understand much better Arteta. But now he is a clock. They go very, very well in every situation. They press, they go straight away to find the solution to score the goals. In front, they have very good fantastic players. But we are ready, we are ready to fight.

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