Having had great success with Sevilla and a reasonable amount with Paris Saint-Germain as well, Unai Emery was chosen ahead of a number of other candidates (including Mikel Arteta) to succeed the legendary Arsene Wenger as the Arsenal boss in 2018. The Spaniard arrived with fresh ideas and moved to reconstruct the team he had inherited, bringing in the likes of Bernd Leno, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner straight away.
Emery’s time at the club came to an end in November 2019, after 78 matches, 43 wins, 15 draws and 20 defeats, and the Arteta era began soon after. Villarreal appointed Emery in the summer of 2020 on a three-year contract, and now, in charge of the La Liga side, he is about to face Arsenal in the Europa League semifinals.
However, Emery insists his past at Arsenal is not very important at the moment, it is all about the task at hand. Emery, of course, won this particular competition three times with Sevilla and reached the final with Arsenal, and he claims that securing a place in the Champions League through it is what’s important to him and his team.
“We want to continue to play our way, always respecting our rival and not speculate on anything,” he said.
“We need to play to win and go into the match with the same sincerity that we’re currently showing. Play the same way and don’t give them chances.”
Meanwhile, Arteta praised Emery a lot and highlighted the success the man he replaced in the Emirates dugout has had in the Europa League, labelling him as ‘probably the most successful manager in this competition’ in his interview with BT Sport.
“There is still a lot to do and things we can improve on, but we have a real desire to improve and be better every day,” Arteta said.