Unai Emery increasingly keen on a reunion with Arsenal star

Unai Emery is reportedly interested in reuniting with Kieran Tierney and is prepared to compete with Newcastle United to bring the left-back to his Aston Villa squad, according to The Times.

Tierney has faced challenges in securing regular playing time at Arsenal since the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko during the previous campaign. Zinchenko has received the support of Mikel Arteta to be the first-choice left-back, and given his strong performances, it is difficult to envision Tierney displacing him in the near future.

The Scotsman has been encouraged to consider leaving the club, and Newcastle has expressed their interest in acquiring his services. Eddie Howe, the Newcastle manager, is known to be a fan of Tierney and would bolster his squad by adding the former Celtic player if given the opportunity. However, the report suggests that Emery is ready to compete with Newcastle for Tierney’s signature.

Just Arsenal Opinion

Tierney is one of the finest players in our squad now and knows he deserves to play more often than is the case now.

The full-back will be in a serious dilemma now because Arsenal is back among the big boys and could win trophies soon, but there is no guarantee that he will play many games if Zinchenko is not injured.

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Tags Kieran Tierney Unai Emery


  1. Unai Emery will be a force to reckon in next campaign.

    The Spaniard is intrested in both Smith Rowe and Tierney,, two young but season campaigners..

    Mark my word Villa have a hand as to who lift that big jug

    1. Unai Emery has turned Aston Villa around, from being on the cusp of the relegation places under Gerrard, to a return to Europe in 2023/24. He has done this by markedly improving individual underperforming players with his coaching ability and improving the team overall due to good coaching and tactical acumen. It will be interesting to see how Aston Villa fare if the wealthy ownership supports Emery in the transfer market given he has already repaid their faith in appointing him.
      It should be remembered that Saka, ESR, Odegaard and Tierney all began their Arsenal first team careers under Emery.
      With regard to Tierney he is currently a key player in a recently resurgent and successfull Scotland. He needs to be playing consistent first team football and is too good a player to be constanyly benched for Zinchenko, whose defensive frailties are evident. Arsenal to even maintain their current position, let alone improve need to retain their best players and upgrade deficient positions. Keiran Tierney should br retained and utilized in gsmes where solid defence and wing back overlappimg play is required.

      1. @ozziegunner
        I think Odegaard joined Arsenal on loan in January 2021. Emery was fired in November 2019.
        I think you are confusing Odegaard with a different Madrid loan player we signed under Emery. I think you mean Dani Ceballos who we signed on loan under Emery in the summer of 2019.

  2. Yes Gerrard went in at Villa Park under much fanfare , depending on the pundits you listened to the plan was to hone his skill while getting his feet properly wet for the ultimate job at Anfield one day.

    Having started out well his limitations was soon exposed.
    Unai Emery who showed great promise at Arsenal and had a mercey sack as a result of communication issues had only miss out on the Newcastle job because of his availability at the time.

    The Spaniard has a reputation of developing youth’s, at all the clubs he has been, I would personally like to see a fit Smith Rowe under his tutelage for a year in a loan form.

    But yes Tierney is a solid left back in my opinion, and for some strange reasons Scotland seems to be blessed with several left backs so Tierney needs to play regularly to keep his place at the national level, personally I would prefer Tierney join Villa as opposed to going to Newcastle already water tight defense.

    But Unai Emery is the biggest signing Villa could ever make, you can see already they play without fear and he will get the necessary time to instill his philosophy, I wish him well

    1. Emery was fired because he had a group of indisciplined, weak, lazy, egotistical and underperforming primadonnas in his squad. Some of these underperforming fans favourites got Wenger sacked, did nothing for Ljumberg, got Emery sacked and if not for the club and Arteta finally calling their bluffs he too would have been sacked in 2020 if those players and our fans got their wish.. Some players openly undermined Emery mocking him while our fans encouraged such disgusting behaviour.

      The players downed tools in the squad. The fans took the side of the misbehaving players. Constantly making fun of Emery’s accent, booing him, calling him all sorts of degrading names etc. He showed weakness. The club did not stand behind him. The players had made the dressing room untenable. On the outside our fans had gone pure toxic like during wengers later days. The situation had become so unbearable amd irreparable so the best thing was for him to go so that our fans would relax. And so that our consistently underperforming primadonna players would be free to scrounge and wait for the next manager to blame for their own incompetency.

      1. That’s how I saw it Goonster
        It was a bad fit at the time due to poor English skills but the main problem was the power of the players.
        He had to go.
        All power to him for proving his worth at Villa so far

        1. Unai doesn’t have to “prove ” anything as far as I am concerned, as his career record speaks for itself.
          I need to feel reassured that MA is a better bet for us than the illustrious and experienced UE.
          But who cares what my issues may be.

          1. Yes,
            His record was good. But it wasn’t at Arsenal and with his wealth of experience it came as a surprise that the players held the power and not Emery himself. The club may have supported him more and it was a funny time at the club with Sanhelli in particular but Emery should have been able to deal with Ozil and his acolytes

            1. Oh hello Sue, fancy meeting you here again so soon. You’re right and the world of football is rather full of nonsense. Tierney seemingly about to be shown the door, a new LB to be bought who may or may not be an improvement ?
              Great if MA has big plans for one of our lads in the youth set-up and therefore a promotion from within. Yes that would make me happy. Alas, my confidence in good common sense has waned somewhat recently. Recently ? No years ago, he said ruefully.

            2. SueP, Emery ttied by dropping Ozil, but the Board undermined him and Ozil was reinstated into the startimg 11.
              Plus Emery was appointed ss “head coach” not “manager” of Arsenal snd had to coach players made available to him, with limited input to transfers.

      2. You and I thoroughly agree on this Goonster. Thank goodness the Board saw the errors of their ways and backed Mickel Arteta both with discipline and transfer funds. Unfortunately Unai Emery was throen to the wolves atArsenal,, but has been good enough to rise again. Aston Villa will be a worrying proposition next season.

  3. Emery has proved himself to be a successful Manager whilst Arteta has yet to do that.Emery and many other Managers, rate Tierney, yet Arteta does not.If Zinchenko is used in his inverted LB role next season, we will continue to ship goals, and I very much doubt if we will finish in the top four.We are far too vulnerable at the back,yet Arteta apparently does not recognise why this is the case or is too dogmatic to change a system which is not used by any other team in the EPL.I hope my concerns are allayed,but I doubt if they will be .

    1. “too dogmatic to change a system which is not used by any other team in the EPL”
      Why is that a bad thing? People achieve great things not by thinking like everyone else, but by thinking outside the box – wenger did, not through his tactics, but in many other ways (focusing more on pace, taking chances on players from lesser known clubs or nations etc), and guardiola continuously changes and updates his tactical approach to continuously raise the bar. Even mourinho, who is less exciting in his tactical approach imposes different methods to get the best from his players. All of these men are/were dogmatic in one way or another – that stubbornness is crucial in their success.
      I’m not saying arteta’s like these great managers (I do have my doubts, but it is yet to be determined), and I actually agree that he will probably need to change things up next season as teams will figure out how to counter his methods, if they haven’t already, but i completely disagree with the way of thinking you invoke here – we won’t excel by trying to be like everyone else, and if he drops the inverted left back, some other innovation would likely be needed lift us closer to the top.

      1. Yes systems systems systems. Too much is said about “systems”. Systems can always be cracked and countered by intelligent opposition players and managers.
        “Inverted” this, “inverted” that is for the birds as far as I am concerned.
        “False 9”, nonsense again. “Transition”, just a word TV pundits use to pretend they are intelligent and know what they are talking about, when in truth most of them are not clever though they were once talented enough to make a living out of actually playing.
        So what ?
        Alex Scott uses the word “transition” three or four times in a sentence as often as she can ! What a bore.
        The great Dutch team of Cruyff’s day were “TOTAL”, all-in, and that is the most difficult kind of game for opponents to figure out. True they didn’t win WCs or Euros but what a great type of football they played. Of course Ajax DID win many club honours in Europe.
        Sorry for the rant.

        1. Haha – it was a good rant! Totally get where you’re coming from – I would agree with you (I do agree the language is annoying) but I’ve been convinced by arteta’s methods of late, which i see as innovative (even though he was clearly influenced by guardiola – who was clearly influenced by cruyff!)

          1. Davi you know your history. I don’t mind what they call these “methods”, I just get bored with the constant over-analyzing which in my view doesn’t really achieve anything.
            Sorry, I’ve been around a while and I’ve seen better football than some of the over-analyzed stuff we sometimes see today.
            When I was a kid the talk of systems wasn’t so overblown, we just revelled in the pure beauty and joy of the game and how wonderful it was that football existed at all. Maybe I’m over-simplifying things or I’m just tired of the Gunners not winning titles.

    2. Have you noticed Man united is trying to adopt the style with both fullbacks, even Brighton,
      I believe Arteta is only trying to cover Xhaka’s lack of pace and Odegaard’s lack of stamina,
      Our midfield is the main reason we ship in goals, only Partey seems to be a complete midfielder and that’s not enough, he’s the only one that can carry the ball from the defense, Odegaard is always close to Saka,
      I believe with more additions, We’ll see more of Tierney,
      In the case of Smith-rowe, I believe Arteta is helping him heal better, same method used for Martineli, once Smith-rowe and Odegaard can add stamina,even as low as Benardo Silva’s, they’ll do wonders.

  4. Unai Emery in my opinion is a top class manager, and I’m not saying that in hindsight either.
    He was badly treated when he was with us. Apparently players took the mickey out of his accent (and I can imagine who the ringleaders were in that enterprise).
    He may well come back to haunt all those silly “fans” who didn’t rate him. Not only that, ex-players and the media in England mocked him too, for some of his decisions.
    The man is highly intelligent (speaks at least 5 languages apparently), won numerous Europa League titles, and something I value enormously is one of the most polite people you could ever wish to see managing a club in England.
    Compare him with Jose Mourinho !
    There is one manager who I never heard speak ONE SINGLE WORD OF ENGLISH in all the time he earned his money here – BIELSA. He never even bothered to try. I never even heard him say “hello” or “Thankyou”.
    Unai is tops in my book and will be a success here in some way or the other.
    By the way I am totally behind Mikel Arteta but I’m not sure he is as good a manager as Unai Emery.

    1. You can’t knock him. He’s proven himself several times over. He was the wrong appointment at the time because the club was a shambles and he didn’t have the right support

      1. Indeed. The current situation is sitting uncomfortably in my mind. On the one hand I am for MA at present, but on the other hand I see in Emery an excellent manager who we had and then lost.
        After Arsene’s enormous success and influence, the next manager was always going to suffer for one reason or the other. We were in the doldrums and fans were generally not happy.
        I say I’m for MA big time right now, but if he lets Tierney go and the lad cleans up at Newcastle or Villa or anywhere else for that matter, I’ll be really annoyed. Also if MA/Edu give large pay deals to players they have little or no intention of really using properly, I’ll be equally dismayed and disappointed.

        1. I won’t be annoyed if Tierney does well elsewhere unless we decide to bring in another orthodox left back and play him regularly. Or if we change our system in such a way that KT would have fit in well (eg a back 3). If we continue playing our unusual setup, and replace KT with someone who better fits that system (and it continues to work well), I’ll be fine with it.

          1. Yes Davi all that is true. However, there are alot of ifs there to consider. I think its a case of MA gradually disposing of players he didn’t bring to the club. Sometimes I think ego plays a big part in the way managers treat perfectly decent players.
            Guardiola was always intent on getting rid of decent players who were not actually his and who were succesful at Man City before he came.
            One could argue that managers like a clean slate on which to operate, but sometimes I think it’s just EGO.
            I have to add, though, I’m sure MA just wants success (with Tierney or without).

            1. Arteta didn’t sign holding nor Martineli nor Saka,not even Xhaka or nelson or Smith-rowe, so if you say you think he’s trying to flush them out, I disagree,

              Smith-rowe and Nelson has been injury
              Holding hasn’t improved
              Xhaka trying and has been used well.

              1. longbenark – to a degree you are right but Saka, ESR and Nelson are from the youth system so in my opinion they are a different case to the seasoned pros most of whom were rightly jetisoned by MA. Of course he couldn’t get rid of everyone.
                Martinelli is just excellent and MA could probably see the potential in him. Yes he kept Xhaka for whatever good he could see in him, so you are right about Granit who is the main exception. MA couldn’t get rid of all the CBs so he kept Holding who was just lucky I think. Mari, Sokratis, Mustafi, Mavropoulous, (not sure of that spelling), were all gotten rid of and all had to go. I don’t know what the deal is with Elneny, nobody does. Maybe MA just likes his company.

            2. “Sometimes I think ego plays a big part in the way managers treat perfectly decent players”
              I’m sure that has happened, but I’d bet if you spoke to the top managers about it to understand their true reasoning, you’d change your view in many cases.
              If, for example, Tierney simply doesn’t fit with the way arteta wants to play, which does appear to be the case, is it the fault of arteta’s ego because he won’t change his system (sorry) to fit Tierney, or should it be on the player to adapt or move on?

              1. Again Davi a very good point that makes alot of sense. Like you said earlier, if Arteta gets someone else and uses him the same way he used KT that would be a bad look – only then will I go on a wild elephant-like rampage. Thanks for calming me down.
                One other thing though – why is it so difficult for the coaching staff to coach KT to do exactly what they want him to do ? Again that might seem a simplistic thought, but if Zinchenko can play that role why can’t KT ? Don’t get me wrong, obviously not all players have the same abilities, granted, but is Zinchenko really any more of a talent than KT ? Has he a better football brain than KT. Sorry I still believe that MA just wants his own signing in and he feels KT will be better out of the scene, because Zinchenko was promised regular football and KT is too high profile to be warming the bench every week. Wasn’t THAT a ramble ?

                1. I really think zinchenko has a lot more talent *with the ball* than Tierney – I understand he was considered the most “technically gifted” player at City by his teammates (which I find hard to believe, but i do see he has a lot of ability). This is why is more adept at stepping into midfielder and negotiating tight spaces. He’s also a better passer of the ball, I think.
                  Tierney is not bad ‘technically’, and I do believe we could do more to get more from him in that role (I wish we would, tbh, but it might be Tierney that prefers to move on), but i think KT is far weaker in that area than zinchenko. His game leans more on his athleticism – not necessarily a bad thing, he can still be a great player imo, but i see him as being far better suited to a more standard back 4.

                  1. Davi, I find it hard to believe Zinchenko was “the most technically gifted player at City”. That seems an impossibility to me, and of course Guardiola wouldn’t have let him go if that were true imo (and he would have played regularly).
                    I am torn with regard to KT and Zinc because clearly Zinc can’t defend and that is a very unappealing trait for a full back to have. If he continues there without improving his defensive skills there will be more sorrow for us next season.
                    You know I don’t feel that KT is a brilliant player but he is at least a steady and reliable defender who will be perfect for Newcastle, but I want him to stay.
                    It’s a complex one from my point of view. By the way, you probably know that Zinchenko doesn’t play FB for Ukraine, he plays MF most of the time.

    2. Your last paragraph may well be true. Emery has had roughly 14 more years to hone his craft, however.

  5. Wow, didn’t realize Emery had so much love.

    Woke up to a very lively thread, read all the comments.

    If one can remember Emery did his best to speed up learning the language and he was improving at a rapid rate in my opinion.

    We seems to overlook one thing mostly, the media played a massive part in the whole thing, I can never forget Tony Adams asking what is this and he was there rolling over his hands , jeering the then gaffer with all the pundits laughing.

    Was so sad by his sacking though it was necessary,

    Somthing tells me he’s back and this time he means business, it may not be with Aston Villa , but this time the experience Spaniard is going to make his presence felt.

    1. Gunsmoke – I don’t think I remember Tony doing that, but I definitely take your word for it. That of course was a terrible thing for him to do and disappointing from my point of view because I admire both men.
      You are right, it looks like Unai will be showing us that we possibly made a mistake.

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