Unai Emery officially unveiled at Arsenal

Unai Emery has been officially unveiled as the new Head Coach of Arsenal Football Club.  The Spaniard has spent the last two seasons at Paris Saint Germain in France where he recently achieved the domestic treble.

During his time in Spain with Sevilla, Emery guided the club to three consecutive Europa League titles putting the club on the map.

When announcing the appointment Ivan Gazidis said the following:

“Unai has an outstanding track record of success throughout his career, has developed some of the best young talent in Europe and plays an exciting, progressive style of football that fits Arsenal perfectly. His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us forward.

“We conducted a confidential, wide-ranging and rigorous search involving extensive background references, data and video analysis, and personal meetings with all the candidates we shortlisted. All were interested in the position and we were unanimous in our choice of Unai to drive the next chapter of our history.”

 

Majority owner Stan Kroenke said: “We’re delighted to welcome Unai to Arsenal. He’s a proven winner. We’re confident that he is the right person for the job and that he will work to deliver the triumphs our fans, staff and everyone who cares about Arsenal want.

“Several things stood out during his interview and the entire process; his football knowledge, energy, determination and love of the game. His familiarity with our club and our players, the Premier League and the game in Europe were all very impressive. He shares our vision to move forward, to build on the platform created by Arsène Wenger and help this club enjoy greater success.”

Unai said: “I am thrilled to be joining one of the great clubs in the game. Arsenal is known and loved throughout the world for its style of play, its commitment to young players, the fantastic stadium, the way the club is run. I’m very excited to be given the responsibility to start this important new chapter in Arsenal’s history. I have met Stan and Josh Kroenke and it’s clear they have great ambitions for the club and are committed to bringing future success. I’m excited about what we can do together and I look forward to giving everyone who loves Arsenal some special moments and memories.”

Twitter: @chronicles_afc

What do we know about Unai Emery?

Age: 46

Born: Hondarribia, Gipuzkoa, Basque County – Spain.

  • Emery hails from a football family, his father and grandfather were also footballers, both goalkeepers and his uncle Roman was a midfield player.
  • Emery was a graduate of Real Sociedad’s academy but never managed to break through into their first team and hold down a place so he spent most of his playing career in the Segunda Division, making over 215 appearances before retiring at the age of 32.

Managerial Career:

  • Emery was appointed manager of Lorca back in the 2004/05 season having retired due to a serious knee injury. He immediately guided them to promotion and the club went into the second division for the first time in their history.
  • He almost achieved the impossible the following season when his Lorca side missed out on promotion to the top flight by just 5 points.
  • Emery had begun to make a name for himself in his native country and joined Almeria, guiding them into the top flight for the first time ever where they finished 8th – a remarkable achievement.
  • In 2008/09 Valencia came calling and in spite of the clubs well documented financial issues he was able to qualify for the UEFA Europa League finishing 6th in his first season.
  • 2009/10 – Emery guided Valencia to 3rd place and so ‘Los Che’ returned to the UEFA Champions League.
  • 2010/11 – started the season without David Villa and David Silva who had both been sold in a desperate attempt to keep the club afloat, but even still Emery managed to achieve a 3rd place finish.
  • Emery left Valencia in June 2012 and joined Spartak Moscow where things didn’t quite go to plan and he was sacked that November following a bad run of results.
  • He then returned to his native Spain and took the reins at Sevilla where he won 3 consecutive Europa League titles, Finishing 5th , 5th and 7th in La Liga.
  • In June 2016 Emery expressed his desire to leave Sevilla and the club announced that they would be parting ways.
  • Emery joined PSG, and led his side to the last 16 of the Champions League having finished 2nd to Arsenal in the group stages.
  • His side famously defeated Barcelona 4-0 at the Parc De Princes only to historically lose 6-1 in the second leg at the Camp Nou and crash out.

During his spell with the Parisian club he won 1x French title, 2x Coupe de France, 2x Coupe de la Ligue and 2x Trophee des Champions

Episode 14: Au Revoir Arsene

Host @HarrySymeou welcomes Claude back to the show – we reflect on the news that Arsene Wenger will be stepping down from his position as manager at the end of the current season. We look at some of his potential replacements and discuss whether we’d prefer to go for experience or a club legend. We look back at the victory over West Ham, look ahead to Thursday’s semi final 1st leg and answer some of YOUR questions.

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AW told JW he could leave during the summer, but was he correct to?

With Jack Wilshere’s contract hovering dangerously close to its expiration date I’m sitting here wondering how on earth the Arsenal find themselves in this type of situation again.  The uncertainty around Jack’s future has been a talking point for quite some time but I’m almost certain most of us expected this latest contract issue to have been resolved by now one way or another.  Jack Wilshere has been quoted as saying Arsene Wenger told him he could leave over the summer as the club were unwilling to offer him a new deal – I for one am not surprised by that and neither should you be, so why the seismic reaction to Wenger’s alleged comments?

Granted, Jack Wilshere has been able to stay clear of injury during this past few months and has performed relatively well at times but let’s not forget the managers comments were made at a time the England midfielder was sidelined and yet to prove his fitness.  From the clubs point of view, Jack had failed to make any significant impact during his loan spell at Bournemouth, his body looked fragile and as has been the case throughout his career it was impossible to predict how many games you’d get out of him.

You’ll struggle to find an Arsenal fan out there who is against the idea of Jack signing an extension, after all his return to the team has been one of the few positives in what’s been a rather depressing season.  It’s widely reported that Wilshere has been offered a new deal but in order for both parties to be satisfied he’d need to accept a pay cut.  The club clearly still has doubts over his physical condition, that’s the only explanation because there is certainly no question over his ability.  The likes of Jack and Ramsey (both in the spotlight regarding their contract situations) have just witnessed Mesut Ozil delay committing his own future in order to obtain the deal he wanted so it’d be naïve to think these lads and their representatives won’t be trying the same thing.

In my view, the club should do whatever it takes to keep one of the few players who understands what it means to play for this great club.  Care will have to be taken in the way he is utilized and you’d hope the medical staff can find a way to limit his injuries.  Of course there is a financial risk involved, but me personally, I believe it is a chance worth taking and I’d be deeply upset if he was to be allowed to leave.

Criticize the club, the manager, the board all you like because this situation must be resolved sooner rather than later but just remember Wenger’s comments were made back in the summer when most of us would have been feeling the exact same way.

Words: @HarrySymeou 

Twitter: @chronicles_afc

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