Not only is Villarreal being coached by the ex-Arsenal manager Unai Emery, but it is also the home club of our very own little Spanish Wizard Santi Cazorla. He spent 8 years there (except for one season at Recreativo Huelva where he won Spain’s Player Of The Year).
He then spent one season at Malaga, where he helped to qualify for the Champions League for the only time in their history, but was immediately snapped up by Arsene Wenger.
Six season’s later he returned to Villarreal on a two year contract and was back to his very best after the horrific injuries he went through at the Emirates. It’s fair to say that he loves both clubs as much as each other, so what does he have to say about the upcoming Europa League semi-final?
“Arsenal have a squad that could fight for the top five in England but this year, because of injuries, it has not been functioning in the Premier League,” Cazorla said in the Express.
“I have watched some matches and I really don’t understand this situation.
“Maybe pressure affects the players, this is the only explanation for me.
“I don’t have any doubts about either bench — Unai Emery is a big coach who has demonstrated his level at other clubs and Mikel Arteta, although he is new in the past year or so, has much experience as player.”
“This match is emotional and special because Villarreal and Arsenal are the two clubs of my life,” he added.
“Now, it is impossible for me to choose a winner but I am happy that one of them will get to the final and if they were to beat Manchester United there it would be sensational.
“The round is 50/50.
“Neither club is enjoying a ‘regular’ season but this semi-final is key to both team’s campaigns for several reasons, and being in the final and back in the Champions League is a huge motivation for any player.
“That’s normal and maybe that will give them a boost.
“Playing the second leg in London is not as decisive as it would have been before the coronavirus situation and I expect two matches with lots of emotion and fight, and for the team with the best defensive line to win.”
Although he says that the “team with the best defensive line” will win it, but I think it will be the team that scores the most goals!