Unai Emery takes over Arsenal from Arsene Wenger

After a two-year spell at Paris Saint-Germain, Unai Emery has been appointed coach of Arsenal.

The Spanish football manager enjoyed a trophy-laden career at PSG, winning Ligue 1, Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue with world class stars at his disposal. Their greatest disappointment, however, was an inability to prove themselves against opponents in continental competitions.

Arsenal announced Emery’s arrival on Wednesday through the club’s Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis.

“Emery has an outstanding track record of success throughout his career,” Gazidis said.

“He (Emery) 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 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 Emery to drive the next chapter of our history.”

Unai and Wenger

Image: Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery

Emery, 46, won an unprecedented three consecutive Europa League titles during his three seasons with Sevilla, an achievement which transformed them as one of Spanish league’s outstanding contenders.

In a blossoming football career which started at Lorca Deportiva in 2005, Emery spent time playing mostly in the Spanish second division until he was appointed coach of Almeria, Valencia, Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and PSG.

Speaking on Arsenal’s decision to appoint Emery after Wenger’s 22-year spell as head coach at the Emirates stadium, Majority owner Stan Kroenke said: “We’re delighted to welcome Unai to Arsenal. He’s a proven winner.”

Kroenke continued, “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.”

In his response to the positive notes, Emery said he is excited to be joining one of the great clubs in the game. He described Arsenal as a popular club, loved by many throughout the world, and is unique for its style of play, commitment to young players, and ownership of a fantastic stadium.

His words, “I love the club’s management and it is an honor for me 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.”