Unai Emery, the former head coach of Paris Saint-Germain, has been appointed as the head coach of Arsenal. He left his job at the Parisian club earlier this month and was spotted in London on Monday, while he talked with the Gunners.
The 46-year-old Spanish coach led his team to an excellent French Ligue 1 season, but his 2-year contract wasn’t renewed. He was replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who took over the responsibility in early May. Emery had a great record with Sevilla as well and was named ‘Manager of the Year’ as well.
Sources close to the matter report that was the only candidate offered the position by Arsenal. There were reports about Mikel Arteta, formal midfielder for the team to join the club. However, he withdrew his bid for the role on Monday. It is being suggested that he wanted assurances that he will play a significant role in the club’s transfer policy.
The 36-year-old is a coach at Manchester City wanted an upper hand in deciding who gets sold to gain funds for investments at the club, but Arsenal didn’t seem ready for it. They have a summer budget of 50 million pounds, and they may not want the coach to take a veto on management decisions. Arteta is presumably happy being one of the coaching staff for Pep Guardiola at City and didn’t want to enter the club without his say on the transfer policy.
Discussions were also on with Luis Enrique, the former Barcelona coach who asked for a similar guarantee if offered the role. Sky Sports football expert Guillem Balague revealed, “I am hearing that Unai Emery is in London to hold talks with Arsenal. That has to do with the fact he is free, a top candidate and wants the job. We are talking about someone who has done such a great job in his career with the likes of Sevilla and only last week he was named manager of the year in France for the job that he did at PSG.”
Football pundit Charlie Nicholas also said that Emery is a better choice than Arteta. Though the former midfielder has spent more time at Arsenal, his only coaching experience comes by working under Pep Guardiola. Emery, on the other hand, is less of a risk. He is older (but not inconveniently so), has an excellent track record, did wonder with the PSG, and his experience is more valuable.
He said, “Emery will be more natural in making and accepting the big decisions. Arteta would have come in and been a lot more forceful with what he wanted to do.” He also suggested that Arsenal is all about the style and they would not want to break apart the fabric that Wenger built tirelessly for all these years.
With Emery’s entry to the club, Arsenal doesn’t dramatically up its chances of a title shot. However, given enough time, he could use its experience to rebuild the team, better their record and lead them to a good position in the next couple of seasons.