What Can Arsenal Fans Expect From Unai Emery?
Unai Emery is a generally respected coach for being an obsessive and careful football instructor while working his way up from the bottom to be a Europa League champion and the new Arsenal manager.
The Spanish coach is lauded for his work with Sevilla where he won three Europa League titles in a row and created a static team spirit while sustaining success despite difficulties. While his two-year stint at Paris Saint-Germain yielded five trophies, criticism overshadowed his successes after lacklustre performances against big teams in the Champions League.
However, there is a new hope among the Arsenal fans where the Spaniard is expected to bring about many of the changes Arsenal have been crying out for over the last decade.
Arsene Wenger’s departs Arsenal at last
The departure of Arsene Wenger as the Arsenal manager at the end of the 2017/18 season ultimately confirmed the club's search for a new manager for the first time in 22 years.
While Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his reign as the manager, his relatively poor results in both the Premier League and the Champions League over the last decade of his tenure ultimately resulted in him stepping down as Arsenal manager.
Although he had made Arsenal play some of the best football in the league and nurtured some good homegrown players, his attributes like giving players too much freedom and lack of focus on detail could not garner his side the results they craved.
Now, a new era dawns at Arsenal as Emery prepares to lead for his first time in the Premier League.
Emery as a coach
Emery is known as one of Europe’s most studious coaches. He is a workaholic on and off the field and doesn’t waste a moment when it comes to analysing the opposition.
Emery’s videos and analysing of both the opponent and his own team are so detailed that he leaves no stone unturned to outdo his opposing coach. He is obsessed with football, just like Wenger, which is actually what impressed Arsenal’s decision to appoint him as their manager.
It goes on to say in a report that he wowed them with a presentation about every Gunners player and how he could improve them. His team of video analysts will possibly shadow the squad for most of the pre-season training sessions, running down every detail of their weaknesses and strengths.
That will ensure every member of the team to know their precise instructions for improving themselves on the pitch.
His focus on youth development should also be recognized despite having money to build teams during his previous tenure with PSG and Sevilla. His development of the likes of Giovani Lo Celso and Presnel Kimpembe with PSG deserves credit.
So Emery will probably want to assess his youth squad in the pre-season with the likes of Eddie Nketiah and Ainsley Maitland-Niles showing their potential last season under Arsene Wenger.
Emery’s methods and tactics
Emery is a defensively organised coach who also likes to attack using a 4-3-3 as his preferred formation throughout most of his coaching career. He is highly demanding of his players and staff on the training ground and firmly believes in detailing every small aspect of the match.
His players will have a more specific idea of their roles and responsibilities, unlike Wenger who trusted his players to work things out on their own. His hallmarks include urgency in pressing the goalkeeper and pinning back the defenders where the opposition will hopefully force a mistake.
The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Mesut Ozil will definitely benefit from playing under the attacking methods of Emery. The formation will possibly unlock the attacking prowess of the Arsenal team with many good attackers at his disposal.
Emery’s men will majorly look to play the ball out from the back in an effort to monopolise and dictate possession. A fluid system with modern full-back requirements, the likes of Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal will look to use the flanks to progress forward for creating goal scoring opportunities.
Emery is the right man for a club like Arsenal. He was handed his first major job when he was appointed as Valencia coach in 2008 and he did an admirable job at Mestalla, even though his team continued to be stripped off their top talents.
His work in Sevilla was called a success because he improved players who had their careers going the wrong way. This bodes well for the Arsenal fans who will desperately want to see their team win the Europa League next season.
Winning the second tier trophy of European competition will be a priority for Emery with Champions League football and the financial benefits that will come with it.
It will be an intense ride for the Arsenal fans for the next ten months as the hopes of seeing a title-winning team begin to flourish.