Unai Emery has been announced as Arsenal’s new head coach, replacing Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium. Wenger departed at the end of the Premier League season after a 22-year reign at the club, with his ultimate season ending with Arsenal finishing sixth. Emery was unveiled as the Gunners new boss after a period of heavy speculation involving former Arsenal captain and current assistant coach at Manchester City Mikel Arteta.
Chief Executive of Arsenal, Ivan Gazidis, spoke highly of the club’s new appointment after intense speculation at top football bookies as to who would replace Wenger:
“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.”
Emery won three Europa League titles in a row with Sevilla before heading to PSG for what became a two-year spell in 2016 and recently winning the treble of Ligue 1, Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue. Rejuvenating an Arsenal squad that finished sixth last season will certainly be Emery’s main priority, but some Arsenal fans are already unhappy with the appointment with many citing the 46-year-old’s managerial record.
He has faced Pep Guardiola 10 times so far with different teams, but is still to win against the Manchester City boss. Similarly, Emery has a poor record against Jose Mourinho, but he did defeat Jurgen Klopp with Sevilla against Liverpool in the 2016 Europa League final.
Despite some fans remaining skeptical of his appointment, the man in question is extremely happy about his new position, saying:
"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."
Emery has pledged to bring ‘special moments and memories’ to Arsenal, a promise that fans who campaigned for Wenger’s departure remain truly hopeful will come true.
The Guardian asserts that Emery’s title of head coach as opposed to manager is significant. He has been asked to concentrate his efforts on man-managing the first team after Gazidis has overhauled the club, with Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat now responsible for transfers.
Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker famed for their antics, have welcome Emery to the Emirates with open arms - by immediately offering odds on his exit from the club. The bookie’s ‘Unai Emery Specials’ market includes the following offers for punters:
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