05/23 07:07 CDT Arsenal hires Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger's successor
Arsenal hires Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger's successor
By ROB HARRIS
AP Global Soccer Writer
LONDON (AP) --- Arsenal hired Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger's successor on
Wednesday in the Premier League club's first managerial appointment in 22 years.
The 46-year-old Spaniard will not enjoy the same authority as Wenger built up
at Arsenal, being handed the title of head coach rather than manager.
Arsenal backed off from a gamble on former player Mikel Arteta, who is part of
Pep Guardiola's coaching staff at Premier League champion Manchester City.
Instead, Arsenal opted for an established coach --- and one who has constantly
delivered trophies at Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain.
"Several things stood out during his interview and the entire process; his
football knowledge, energy, determination and love of the game," Arsenal owner
Stan Kroenke said. "His familiarity with our club and our players, the Premier
League and the game in Europe were all very impressive. He shares our vision to
move forward, to build on the platform created by Arsene Wenger and help this
club enjoy greater success."
Emery has the task of restoring Arsenal to the Champions League --- and to
ultimately deliver the club's first Premier League title since 2004. But he
picks up at London team at a low after finishing sixth in the league --- the
lowest in Wenger's reign.
"I am thrilled to be joining one of the great clubs in the game," Emery said.
"Arsenal is known and loved throughout the world for its style of play, its
commitment to young players, the fantastic stadium, the way the club is run.
I'm very excited to be given the responsibility to start this important new
chapter in Arsenal's history."
Emery left PSG earlier this month after two years, a consequence of the failure
to carry the dominance on the domestic stage into the Champions League. He has
struggled to impose his authority on a talent-packed squad featuring Neymar.
A former midfielder with Real Sociedad, Emery coached Valencia from 2008-12
before taking charge of Sevilla in 2013, following a brief spell at Spartak
Emery's reputation was elevated after guiding Sevilla to three straight Europa
League titles, but he couldn't make an impact in the continent's more
PSG became the first team in the Champions League to be eliminated from the
knockout stage after winning the first match 4-0, losing 6-1 at Barcelona in
the return leg of the last 16 in 2017.
PSG failed to reach the quarterfinals again in Emery's final season, beaten
home and away by Real Madrid.
Arsenal, though, is sure it has a "serial winner."
"Unai has an outstanding track record of success throughout his career, has
developed some of the best young talent in Europe and plays an exciting,
progressive style of football that fits Arsenal perfectly," Arsenal chief
executive Ivan Gazidis said. "His hard-working and passionate approach and his
sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us