Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Emery the new head coach at Arsenal

Published:Thursday | May 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Unai Emery is the biggest change to come to Arsenal in 22 years, but the club's new head coach wants things to look very much the same when the Gunners are playing.

The 46-year-old Spaniard became the Premier League club's first managerial hire since 1996, when the club ended weeks of speculation by announcing that Emery was the replacement for Arsene Wenger.


The Charge


Following two seasons with French champion Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Emery has been charged with arresting the club's slide without altering its famed style of play, as Arsenal prepare to enter a second consecutive season without Champions League football.

The fluid, possession-dominant style of football that Arsenal became known for under Wenger is something both the club and Emery want to maintain.

"The history here is a team who loves playing with the possession of the ball. I like this personality, I like (being) this protagonist with the ball," he said. "When you don't have possession of the ball, I want a squad that is very intensive with pressing."

A former midfielder with Real Sociedad, Emery coached Valencia from 2008-12 before taking charge of Sevilla in 2013, following a brief spell at Spartak Moscow.

Emery's reputation was elevated after guiding Sevilla to three straight Europa League titles, but he couldn't make an impact in the continent's more illustrious competition.

PSG became the first team in the Champions League to be eliminated from the knockout stage after winning the first match 4-0, losing 6-1 at Barcelona in the return leg of the last 16 in 2017 and then failed to reach the quarter-finals again in Emery's final season, beaten home and away by Real Madrid.

Now he's taken over a team that hasn't been past the Champions League round of 16 since 2010, while trying to replace the longest-serving manager in European football.

"It's a big challenge for me," Emery said. "But I worked with other big projects and I'm proud to be here and to work after Arsene Wenger."