Unai Emery has played down his time at Arsenal and wants to focus on eliminating the Gunners from the Europa League when both teams meet in the semifinal.
Arsenal saw off Slavia Prague to set up a reunion with the first manager they named as a replacement for Arsene Wenger.
The former PSG boss took the Gunners to the final of the Europa League in 2019 and was fired last season after a poor start to the campaign.
He has been very successful in Europe’s second club competition and wants to win it with Villarreal in this campaign.
Arsenal stands in the way between his team and the final and both legs of the semifinal will bring about more comparison between his time at Arsenal and that of Mikel Arteta.
The manager was speaking after his team set up a date with the Gunners and says they are focused on going beyond the semifinal and he has no interest in his Arsenal history.
“Breaking the barrier of the semi-finals is the great challenge,” the manager told reporters as quoted by Football London. “The idea of reaching the Champions League through the Europa League is very important.
“When I signed here this was one more process. My past at Arsenal is less important.”
He added: “We want to continue to play our way, always respecting our rival and not speculating anything. We need to play to win and go into the match with the same sincerity that we’re currently showing.”