Unai Emery named Arsenal boss: Obsessive, intense and studious, here's what Gunners can expect from new manager

Fuelled by video-watching marathons and sleepless nights, Unai Emery is ready for the challenge of succeeding Arsene Wenger after being appointed as Arsenal's first new boss for 22 years.

Emery, a 46-year-old Spaniard, arrives with grand credentials following his two-year stay with Paris Saint Germain and a Europa League-winning spell at Sevilla.

The Spaniard left Paris at the end of this season having won the domestic treble.

Now he is tasked with raising standards at the Emirates Stadium and restoring Arsenal to the kind of glory they enjoyed in the early years of Wenger's reign.

 Unai Emery named Arsenal boss: Obsessive, intense and studious, heres what Gunners can expect from new manager

File image of new Arsenal manager Unai Emery. AP


Emery had a modest playing career. He started out as a midfielder with Real Sociedad B in the second-tier of Spanish football before making five appearances for the club's first team in La Liga. The rest of his career was largely spent in Spain's lower leagues with sides Toledo, Racing Ferrol, Leganes and Lorca Deportivo. Emery's playing career ended in the 2004-05 season due to a knee injury.

However, he was an instant hit in his managerial debut with third-tier Lorca.

He achieved promotion and then moved to Almeria, who he took up to La Liga for the first time before taking over at Valencia, where he guided the team into the Champions League with three consecutive top-three finishes.

Valencia's vibrant style earned him the admiration and friendship of Pep Guardiola.

Emery moved to Sevilla where he won three consecutive Europa League trophies in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

However, 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.

PSG failed to reach the quarterfinals again in Emery's final season, beaten home and away by Real Madrid.

Arsenal, though, are sure they have a "serial winner."

"Unai has an outstanding track record of success throughout his career, has developed some of the best young talents in Europe and plays an exciting, progressive style of football that fits Arsenal perfectly," Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said. "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 though already has one thing in common with Wenger after making clear his disdain for the Frenchman's old rival Jose Mourinho.

When Manchester United boss Mourinho, then in charge of Real Madrid, devoted a press conference to criticising referee Carlos Clos Gomez in 2010, Emery gave an acerbic retort, snarling: "Mourinho's stance is that of a crybaby".

It was a jibe typical of the intense Emery, who was steeped in football from birth, with his father and grandfather both former players.


Emery has earned a reputation as one of Europe's most studious coaches, working until the early hours of the morning crafting his game-plans.

He spends up to 12 hours preparing video analysis for his players and former Valencia winger Joaquin once quipped: "There were so many videos I ran out of popcorn.

"He's obsessed with football, it's practically an illness. He's one of the best managers I've had."

Emery is a perfectionist who demands relentless effort on the training ground.

"Either we all work or let's just burst the ball," he said, giving voice to an approach that might shake Arsenal out of the complacency that marred the end of the Wenger era.

Significantly, Emery has flourished within a structure similar to the one now in place at Arsenal, who lean heavily on head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and head of football operations Raul Sanllehi, both recruited last November.

At Sevilla, Emery worked well with recruitment director Monchi and Arsenal are gambling the same structure pays dividends for them.

The main worry for Arsenal fans might be Emery's ill-fated spell with Spartak Moscow in 2012 and his failure to fulfil his mandate at Paris Saint-Germain, where he was asked to win the Champions League after moving to the big-spending French giants in 2016.

Emery was let go by PSG with one year left on his contract and the roots of demise lay in two painful Champions League exits and a troubled relationship with star striker Neymar.

Wenger's travails in recent years mean Emery will not have to worry about the Champions League in the coming season but Arsenal can rest assured their ultra-driven boss will be working all hours to get them back there.

List of Managerial Honours

Sevilla (Spain)

UEFA Europa League: 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16.

PSG (France)

Ligue 1: 2017-18.

Coupe de France: 2016-17, 2017-18.

Coupe de la Ligue: 2016-17, 2017-18.

Major Individual Honours

European Coach of the Season: 2013–14.

UNFP Manager of the Year: 2017-18.

With inputs from Agencies

Updated Date: May 23, 2018 18:21:11 IST