Arsenal FC very recently appointed a new manager to fill in the vacuum that was left open by the resignation of Arsene Wenger who was the club manager since 1996, and his period at the Gunners was summed as one of the greatest eras in Arsenal football. Replacing ‘The Professor’ or ‘Le Professeur’, as Wenger was popularly known among his fans, is going to be a tough act to follow for the new Arsenal manager Unai Emery.
In this article, we look at 10 facts about the former Spanish footballer and current Arsenal Manager, Unai Emery.
1. Second non-British manager at Arsenal
After taking up his post as Arsenal manager, Unai Emery has created history as soon as he stepped at the Emirates. Emery is only the second non-British manager to boss Arsenal, and the first one was none other than the Frenchman Arsene Wenger. Other Arsenal managers to have left their mark at the club are the greats such as Herbert Chapman and Billy Wright, among others.
2. Arsenal will be Unai Emery’s 6th top-flight club as a manager
Coming at Arsenal as manager, Unai Emery will be taking charge of his seventh club, and his sixth club in the top-flight, since the 46-year-old moved in to management back in January 2005 with third-tier side Lorca Deportiva, after having played in the Spanish second division since 1990.
3. Won the French Ligue 1 title in 2017-18 with PSG
Unai Emery won the French Ligue 1 title in 2017-18 with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), which was just his second season at the club, after finishing second to Monaco in his first spell in 2016-17. On 15 April, 2017, Emery’s coaching at PSG saw the French club win their seventh Ligue 1 title with five games to spare after a 7–1 win over defending champions Monaco.
4. First-ever Spanish manager to win French Ligue 1 title
He became the first-ever Spanish manager to win the French Ligue 1 title, with his 2017-18 success with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The season had seen Neymar score 19 goals and 13 assists for the club under the guidance of Unai Emery.
5. Never finished higher than third before joining PSG
In a managerial career which began in 2005 for Unai Emery, the Spanish could not finish higher than third in a top-flight season with a top-flight club. He had coached at Valencia in La Liga for two seasons, i.e. 2010/11 and 2011/12, where he had finished third both times, 21 and 25 points behind Real Madrid and Barcelona in 2010, and 30 and 40 points behind the leaders in 2011.
6. Registered best win percentage at PSG in comparison to all previous PSG coaches
His spell at PSG was his most successful in terms of league performance – it was his first ever top-flight league title and saw Unai Emery Arsenal manager achieve his best points per game (2.37) and win ratio (74%). Unai Emery’s 73.7% win ratio and points per game ratio of 2.37 is the best ever seen in Ligue 1 by a Paris Saint-Germain boss.
7. Emery the only one to win three Europa League titles in a row
Unai Emery Arsenal manager, while coaching Sevilla, had led the club to winning the UEFA Europa League in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16, i.e. three times in a row. Winning three titles, Emery also shares the rare record for most UEFA Europa League titles with Italian manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
However, Unai Emery Arsenal manager is the only manager across all leagues to have won the coveted title three seasons in a row.
8. Won 7 out of 8 domestic competitions with Paris
Unai Emery has won seven of the eight domestic competitions that he managed with Paris, i.e., Trophée Des Champions x2, Coupe de la Ligue x2, Ligue 1, Coupe de France x2. Only Laurent Blanc (11) won more trophies at the club.
9. Poor record against Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho
Although Unai Emery Arsenal manager has been impressing overall Europe, he would need to improve his record against the two Premier League top-flight managers, if he plans to revamp the ‘Gunners’ in the upcoming Premier League seasons. The Spanish has never won a competitive game against the current Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola (10 games), and Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho (5 games).
10. Unai Emery is very demanding of his players
On being appointed as Arsenal manager in May, 2018, Unai Emery spoke about his vision for the club as the new manager on 25 May and said, as reported by the Mirror UK,
“In my career I am very demanding of myself as well as the people at the club and the players. The history here is one thing, they love to play with possession of the ball.”
“I like this personality and when we don’t have the ball I want a squad to play with intensive pressure. Two important things are position of the ball and pressing when you haven’t got it.”