Great news that Emery has officially joined us and what a passion, professionalism and persona did he bring to his first press conference! He said all the right things for which he will have been briefed by the club, no doubt; but you cannot help thinking that this is a man in the middle of his football management career who is overjoyed to have arrived at our club.
After the departure of our long-serving leader we have lived in a management vacuum, so it is great that the search for a new maestro is over. I reckon with Emery we got the right man in all aspects. He comes with a fine CV with experience at the right level, offers youthfulness and passion for the game and the club, AND will be able to build further on Arsene’s legacy.
Some may believe that he does not represent enough change from the Weng-Era. But why totally change what has been good for us and has become our identity, our reputation and our values? Emery will build on this but with his own approach which will be quite different from how Arsene went about. All approaches have plusses and minuses but Unai has the advantage of starting anew and exactly at the same age as when Wenger joined the club in 1996. On another blog, ArsenalArsenal, the excellent blogger Shard put it best: ” Emery not different enough, I totally get that! And yet, I think he might be different in just the right ways!”
Unai has been through two interesting years at PSG, where one or two players were force-fed into team by the owners for many, many millions of Euros, thus making them more important than the manager by default. It is reported that Emery struggled to get his players to play his system of football as he was being undermined by those self-adoring ‘purchases’. I guess if you go to the PSG BoD and say the players are not listening and I want to side-line one or two obnoxious individuals for a while to re-stamp my authority on the team, you will be told to look after their assets – meaning they should play every week. No doubt this was a nightmare scenario for a driven and visionary manager who relies on togetherness, hard work, discipline and tactics as his guiding principles. Welcome to Arsenal is all I can say.
It is clear that Unai’s command of English needs working on and it was the same for Guardiola when he joined MC. He made a clever move for his fellow countryman, Arteta, who is pretty fluent in English. I reckon Emery will need to do the something similar as language is key, both for press conferences and team management.
So who could be Emery’s Arteta? It could be Arteta himself of course, but I guess he will stay put at MC now. Cazorla has left and his English was not great either, so that is a pass as well. Of course Nacho and Bellerin, and Ospina if he stays on, can help in the dressing room and during training, but ideally he will get himself an assistant-manager who speaks both languages well.
Xabi Alonso was mentioned in conjunction with Arteta, and maybe he is the answer. I am not sure how good his English is, and he probably has a Scouse accent which is to be avoided at all cost. 🙂
The one player-manager who would fit the bill perfectly is the prodigal son, Cesc Fabregas. I know he is still under contract at the Chavs but surely they would let him go for a small price? Would he do it?! In a heart beat.