Who is Unai Emery?


Now Unai Emery has been confirmed as the new Arsenal manager, the Gunners squad might want to stock up on their popcorn supplies.

 

The 46-year-old Spaniard is, like the man he is succeeding at the Emirates Stadium, Arsene Wenger, a football nut.

 

Former Spain winger Joaquin, who played under Emery at Valencia told reporters: "Emery put on 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. I worked with him for three years. I couldn't handle a fourth!"

A near 22-year stint like Wenger's may be out of the question then, but Arsenal fans would no doubt settle for a short reign were he to replicate some of the success he has had in his managerial career.

 

Emery guided his first two clubs Lorca, where he played, and Almeria to promotions to the second and first divisions respectively prior to landing a job at Valencia in 2008.

There were three successive top-three finishes with Los Che before a short-lived, unsuccessful spell at Spartak Moscow that lasted 5 months.

Back in Spain, Emery restored his reputation by leading Sevilla, whom he joined in 2013, to a trio of Europa League titles, the most recent of which came in a final against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in 2016 before taking the PSG job.

 

In France he won the Ligue 1 title and four domestic trophies across a two-year span, but there were also a pair of last-16 Champions League exits.


Football runs in the family

 

Emery followed his family blood line into the game - both his father and grandfather, named Juan and Antonio respectively, were goalkeepers. The former appeared for several clubs in the Spanish second tier, whilst the latter competed with Real Union in the top division and his uncle Roman played as a midfielder.

Injury calls for managerial role

 

Emery's first managerial post was at former Spanish third-tier side Lorca Deportiva, with whom he made more than 30 appearances as a midfielder for before succumbing to a knee injury aged 32 in the 2004/05 season and being offered the coaching job. 

Personal achievements

 

During his successful spell in charge of Sevilla, Emery received a nomination for the FIFA Best Coach Award in 2015 - after a 5th placed finish in La Liga - but eventually lost out to then Barcelona boss Luis Enrique. He collected gongs for European Coach of the Season in the 2013/14 season and multiple La Liga Manager of the Month awards at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, while more recently he was awarded the the Trophees UNFP du football, a top manager prize at PSG.

 

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