"Usually you can play 10 matches against Manchester City - maybe Newcastle, maybe Crystal Palace, maybe us as well - you can lose 10 times playing the same, or maybe lose seven, draw two and win one".
Some in his position would have opted for pragmatism but Emery stood firm - and watched as City picked them off before a calamitous match at Stamford Bridge saw the best and worst of his approach as the Gunners ended up on the wrong side of a five-goal thriller.
"I am not a nervous person and so I was never nervous before we won the first title at Dortmund".
But that is not a thing to worry about for manager Unai Emery who says he is very pleased with the business dealing soft eh club in the just-concluded winter window.
"I remember three years ago, Liverpool were playing in the Europa League final, they were in the top four in the Premier League, and their progress is very good progress and now they are the favourites", Emery was reported as saying.
New signing Denis Suarez is expected to be named in the squad but a place on the bench is likely.
The ex-French worldwide utility player featured for Arsenal for four years between 2006 and 2010 and also went on to captain the team.
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"Suarez is coming here because we have a lot of problems on the wing, we haven't got players to play right or left - that is the reason, " Emery explained according to Tribal.
Unai Emery's Arsenal will look to outsmart Manchester City as they visit Etihad on Sunday in a crucial English Premier League fixture.
It took considerably longer for most observers to comprehend the Manchester City team sheet than it did for Arsenal to suffer their first defensive implosion at the Etihad.
Emery added that new signing Denis Suarez could be in line for his Arsenal debut against Manchester City on Sunday. We really, the people really, desperately want it, that is how it is, they really want it with all they have.
"He's a player with quality and I think he can help us with his quality, and also his ambition to do something important here".
So now he is here, could we see a completely different formation to surprise Man City, with Suarez creating even more chances for our strikers. "It's very hard but I trust in my players".
"Doing more with young players, using well players who can improve with us". But we want to show everybody we can play.