Arsenal to name Unai Emery as new manager this week - press reactions

The former PSG and Sevilla boss will replace Arsene Wenger at the Emirates

Unai Emery Arsenal new manager
Spanish football manager Unai Emery, who left PSG earlier this month, is poised to take over at Arsenal
(Image credit: Charly Tribballeu/AFP/Getty Images )

It looked almost certain that Mikel Arteta would be named as the new Arsenal manager but then Unai Emery came along.

The 46-year-old Spaniard, who left Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month, has emerged as the “unanimous choice” to replace Arsene Wenger, the BBC reports.

Manchester City assistant coach Arteta was the other main candidate to take over from Wenger. But the Daily Mail reports that after a day of positive talks in London, Emery agreed to take over. He will be confirmed in the role this week.

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Despite winning one Ligue 1 title and four domestic cups in France as manager of PSG, Emery’s failure in the Champions League led to his departure. However, before becoming PSG boss he had great success in Spain with Sevilla. He led them to three consecutive Europa League triumphs from 2014 to 2016.

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Press reactions to Emery

The BBC’s chief football writer Phil McNulty says Arsenal’s decision to choose Emery over Arteta “makes sense” but still “carries risk”. McNulty said: “Emery’s name drifted into the public domain late on but he will have been on Arsenal’s radar from the moment he left PSG. His failure to satisfy the desire of PSG’s Qatari-owners for European success saw him displaced by German Thomas Tuchel. And yet he has the track record that, on the surface, makes him a far more logical choice than Arteta.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright added: “What’s going on at Arsenal? Where’s Unai Emery come from? I can’t get it out of my head. His coaching ability will have to get going instantly and he will have to find some gems instantly.

“I wouldn’t be disgruntled as an Arsenal fan about Emery. I think the fact he’s come out of left-field when everyone’s thinking ‘it’s going to be Arteta’, that’s the only problem. If we do see a difference in intensity, drive and consistency, everybody will get onside and that’s all Arsenal fans want to see.”

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Henry Winter, chief football correspondent at The Times, believes the new manager’s task will be to make the Gunners “more ruthless” but feels Arsenal “could surely have done better than Emery”. “Let’s not forget, this is The Arsenal,” said Winter. “This is one of the most historic names in football. It is impossible to escape the feeling that Arsenal have been snubbed by better coaches, by the likes of Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus and Luis Enrique, the former Barcelona coach.

“They should have gone all out for Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid. If Emery inspires the players, and recruits shrewdly, then the fans will support him. At the moment, it appears the jury is out, with fans simply pleased it is not Arteta.”

The Guardian’s Adam White adds that despite his problems at PSG, Emery’s “grasp of detail can succeed at Arsenal”. White said: “Whether Emery is the antidote to the furore that has surrounded Arsenal during Wenger’s final years in charge or the correct choice at such a crossroads is debatable, but Emery will certainly improve Arsenal’s players and mould the side into being far more tactically streetwise.”

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