Arsenal fans must unite and support Unai Emery by Konstantin Mitov
Is the dust finally settled? When all the medias including Sky and BBC come out with the bold statements that Unai Emery will take over the vacant job of the Arsenal manager you can make a strong assumption it will happen. Not that we weren’t 90% sure it was Arteta.
Anyway I hear a lot of mixed opinions about Señor Emery and I’m baffled by them. First a lot of people didn’t want Arteta and then when we opted for an experienced manager, it’s suddenly not good enough. A lot of people agreed Allegri would’ve been the best choice, but in reality we cannot get him right now.
Arsenal fans need to realise a few things. First, we cannot give 200 millions like United are preparing AGAIN. They’ve probably spent more than half a billion pounds since Fergie left and they’re yet to win a title and despite being second they are not even close to City. We need a new owner if we’re to hire the likes of Enrique and Allegri and it is not happening right now.
We need to be smart if we’re to challenge again. It’s a process that won’t happen in one season, because the premier league is full of big clubs trying to achieve the same thing. We’ve set up a new structure where the manager isn’t Bruce Almighty and that’s a start that needs to be improved by hiring a coach who can make the best of what we have and try to get us back to the top 4.
Our recruitment process is well known and Emery matches the requirements. He is a relatively young coach, he will fit our structure and he has the experience Arteta doesn’t. People will be quick to point to his failures to deliver the ultimate goal at PSG, which is a valid concern, but the situation with us is much different.
Unai Emery made his name in Spain where he helped Lorca Deportiva to a promotion to the second division in his first year. In his next club Almeria he secured the teams first ever promotion to the elite and finished in 8th place in La Liga.
Then he went to Valencia where despite serious financial troubles he finished sixth in his first season before ensuring 3 consecutive third place finishes. The last one perhaps most impressive considering how David Villa and David Silva were both sold in the summer before the season started. This is a remarkable achievement people of course neglect, but when it came to Wenger his 4th spot finish was as good as a trophy.
And speaking of trophies during his time at Sevilla Emery won 3 consecutive Europa League titles, despite having to adapt to squad changes. This is a monster achievement regardless of what you think of the Europa League. The downside to his tenure there was the season where he didn’t manage a single away win in the league, something not too encouraging, considering our own away form.
That said, everyone knows what happened with Emery during his time at PSG, where he was beaten to the league title by Monaco in his first season, where he also flopped a 4:0 lead to Barcelona, although I have to say some of the decisions in that game were shocking. He failed to topple Real Madrid in Europe’s prime competition this season which ensured his departure despite a domestic treble.
The Spaniard is renowned for his video analysis and his ability to bring more than people thought possible from players, especially during his time at Valencia. During his interview, reports suggest Emery discussed detailed analysis of Arsenal players and how he tends to work with them and improve them.
But a lot of people were quick to claim that anybody can do this and make it look impressive and that doesn’t make them a good manager, but if Emery put the work in and came prepared for this interview it’s a plus in my opinion. As I said we’re looking at someone who will come in a system that is put in place and will work hard with what he has, rather than moan about what he doesn’t, like Conte does at Chelsea and Mourinho does all the time.
Some are unhappy with the U-turn we made on Arteta, but look, we interviewed a number of managers and if a better candidate came late on, I’d rather take him than go with sentiment as we’ve seen with Wenger where this leads. There is a very fine line between being brave and stupid when making a decision. Arteta was a massive gamble, while Emery is a logical choice one you break it down to the ingredients we’re looking for.
Here’s a quote from Mr. Emery “Fans want their emotions to come to the surface and the only way to make that happen is to give them a team that transmits emotion: intensity, attacking, scoring goals, competing, fighting. That awakens them. The fans want emotions”.
This resonates with me very well as in recent times I often ask myself the question of why I am watching football and particularly Arsenal when a lot of the things mentioned in the quote have been missing for a while at the Emirates. Emery is a hot blooded coach. I will never forget his celebration when PSG scored at the Nou Camp and his devastation when they eventually lost. It showed the passion of a man that won’t be just rooted to the Emirates chair.
Time is ticking very fast this summer with the World Cup and the short transfer window. This appointment looks a little panicky, but there isn’t much time to dwell on things. Unai Emery looks like a dedicated and intelligent guy. His English isn’t great, but he vastly improved his French during his time at PSG and I’m confident he will improve again and I’m looking to a more positive future with him in charge.
At the end of the day whoever we appoint, there is no guaranteed success. We need to unite behind the new boss, give him a good environment to work in and start building a player-coach-fan relationship that’s been vastly missing for a while now. I can’t wait for the announcement to be done, so we can focus on building the foundations for a new era at Arsenal.
Onwards and upwards!