Arsenal has appointed Unai Emery as their new head coach. The highly-rated Spaniard will replace veteran French boss Arsene Wenger, who is moving on after 22 years at the north London club.
A big U-turn
The decision was a not a shock one by any stretch of the imagination, as Emery took over as the favourite for the job on Monday. However, compatriot Mikel Arteta had been expected to take the role.
In fact, the Manchester City coach had been the favourite to take over for the last few weeks after the likes of Massimiliano Allegri and Luis Enrique dropped out of the race for the job.
Arteta had reportedly told Arsenal about who he wanted on his backroom staff. However, several media outlets reported on Monday that the former Arsenal captain turned down the job because he did not receive reassurances about the control of transfers in and out of the club.
Emery is a winning boss
At 46-years-old, he is still a relatively young boss. However, despite his age, Unai Emery is a highly experienced boss who has won trophies with Spanish clubs Sevilla and big-spending French outfit PSG.
Having managed successfully at Lorca and Almeria, Emery resurrected Valencia’s fortunes in La Liga. He guided Los Ches back into La Liga’s top-three, but could not quite overthrow Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. The fans grew inpatient and he eventually left in 2012 after guiding Los Ches to third once again.
An ill-fated move to Russian football with Spartak Moscow lasted less than a year before he returned to Spain with Sevilla. He led to the Andalucian side to three straight Europa League trophies. His success in Seville led to his high-profile appointment at French club PSG in 2016.
After failing to win Ligue One in his first season, Emery won the French title this season. However, the team’s failure to win the Champions League led to PSG not renewing his two-year deal with the club. PSG’s loss could very well be Arsenal’s gain, though, as the Spaniard has signed a two-year deal in north London.
Could be a good fit at Arsenal
Unai Emery is undoubtedly a talented young boss. Some question marks have been raised over his tactical acumen due to some high-profile defeats with PSG. However, no football boss is perfect. His management career has had far more highs than lows so far.
The appointment is not without risks, but no appointment is risk-free. Very few bosses guarantee success at a football club. For Arsenal, though, Emery could be a good fit. He will head to north London with a point to prove and a hunger for success in a new league.
Emery has previously stated that he would one day like to manage in the Premier League and here he is. Arsenal needs a good young boss to come in and instil some fresh ideas into a highly complacent dressing room. Emery could be just the man.
Only time will tell if the Spaniard will be a success in north London. However, from his managerial record, it seems more likely that he will be successful than not at the Emirates. Emery’s appointment will certainly make life this summer and next season highly interesting for Arsenal fans.
Will Unai Emery be a good appointment for Arsenal?