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Author Topic: Unai Emery - our manager  (Read 781484 times)

Online AV82EC

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7140 on: November 29, 2023, 10:15:41 AM »
Yep, the more vocal Arsenal social media gimps were definitely smelling blood with only a few “trust the process” voices evident. I feel I should  have liberally sprinkled “fam” and “blud” into that sentence to make it more authentically Arsenal.

Offline SaddVillan

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7141 on: November 29, 2023, 11:40:48 AM »
From The Athletic

Aston Villa have given Unai Emery the power he did not have at Arsenal -  it's paying off.

Upstairs at Aston Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground, overlooking the newly refurbished gymnasium, sits Unai Emery’s office.

His room is divided into three, with a door-sized hole between each. It is where Villa’s footballing decision-makers for the head coach, Monchi and Damian Vidagany, work.

“Obsessive” is a frequently used description from those who have worked with Emery. It is his overarching coaching trait and a blessing or a curse, depending on the club he works at.

It is four years to the day since Emery was sacked at Arsenal. It hurt him deeply given it was a decision he did not see coming. Such was his insular, all-consuming manner, he felt blindsided and unaware of the growing scepticism in his project. He believed there remained total belief in him having integrated young players, such as Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah into the first team, which, in his mind, displayed the early buds of a new, youthful Arsenal.

Since his sacking, however, the 52-year-old has spoken to close friends, accepting he was too focused on just the football aspect within a club where politics are rife and diplomacy is key.

Increasingly at Arsenal, he was regarded as too introspective and not tending to the broader picture. The difference at Villa is that they indulge his footballing obsessions, building a network of his own choosing around him, all of whom he trusts implicitly and, as explained by Vidagany, a close friend and the director of football, takes care of most off-the-field matters.

He shares a trusting relationship with owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris, demonstrated in their holding company, V Sports, announcing a partnership with Real Union earlier this week. In June, Emery and his brother, Igor, acquired a controlling stake in the Spanish club, for whom their father and grandfather both played and who now sit in the regional third tier.

Arsenal are a huge club interweaving several large departments. Politics is naturally at stake and, as his predecessor Arsene Wenger was deft in doing, needs an all-encompassing remit that involves managing areas outside of just football. Yet Emery is fanatic about improving his side from a tactical perspective. He pays little attention outside of his close circle and footballing bubble which, invariably, means the structure around him needs to be managed from elsewhere.

As he does at Villa working from 7am to 7pm, he would be at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground until late, brimming with ideas and designing training sessions that were often long. They could irk players, especially on the days before games when Emery was known to spend two to three hours on the grass, practising shape work.

The network Emery inherited at Arsenal was unstable and the boardroom in a state of flux. For a coach replacing a figurehead such as Wenger, whose fingerprints were all over the club, stability from above was paramount.

It was quickly found wanting. Then chief executive Ivan Gazidis immediately left for AC Milan, while recently appointed head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi did not last long. Other figures involved in the inner mechanisms, including head of scouting Francis Cagigao and contract broker Huss Fahmy, departed.

Emery wanted to be solely the head coach. This was his strength and why he held three Europa League winners medals — he would add another at his next job Villarreal — and seven trophies in two years at Paris Saint-Germain. Emery did not want to be directly involved in transfer negotiations, only interested in the outcome of deals, nor did he want governance over the day-to-day running of the club.

One of the first calls Emery made before joining Villa was to Vidagany, who initially came in as his personal assistant, so he could manage those aspects off the field. Augmented by the arrival of the president of football operations, Monchi, in the summer, he and Vidagany take care of transfer negotiations, act as sounding boards for players’ and agents’ queries and connect the different departments together. It is widely accepted Emery did not have those figures of personal connection at Arsenal, with Villa intending from the outset to build the club around him.

Within an executive structure that was unsettled, the schism between Arsenal’s departments continued to grow.

“If Mikel (Arteta) had come in straight after Arsene and tried to apply these kinds of hard and fast rules, it would never have worked,” one source told The Athletic in April 2021.

Crucially, it meant the backing for Emery was never firm. The general sense of Emery was that he was so consumed by football that he occasionally failed to see the bigger picture or relate to others.

Even though he was not overly personable, he still retained a warmth. Almost everyone at Arsenal still speaks highly of Emery, even if his sacking hurt him. They are pleased to see his progress since his sacking in November 2019 and his remarkable first year at Villa.

The underlying theme behind Emery’s second crack in England — from a figure of ridicule to being viewed as one of Europe’s elite coaches again — is learning the lessons from Arsenal. He knew a support network that worked in his best interests was essential in building Villa in his image.

Villa staff do not underestimate Vidagany’s importance. There is a feeling that, if Emery had Vidagany at Arsenal, Emery would still be the manager in north London. Similarly at Paris Saint-Germain, Vidagany might have helped manage internal politics and manage broader departments.

When Emery was appointed head coach in October 2022, Villa brought in six staff members to form his backroom team, all known to Emery or who previously worked with him. More Spanish-speaking figures have joined since. Previous sporting director Johan Lange moved away from the day-to-day running of the club to assist the owners in their multi-club model plans before leaving for Tottenham Hotspur, along with former head of recruitment Rob Mackenzie in October.

Both decided to pursue new endeavours after Villa’s existing model was altered to suit Emery. This included the hiring of Alfredo Benito — a former team-mate of Emery’s at Toledo — in a global technical role and another scout in Pablo Rodriguez, who was a former team-mate at Racing Ferrol. Vidagany’s official title changed from personal assistant to director of football in the summer.

Monchi, a close aide from their time at Sevilla, drives the recruitment process under Emery’s demands. Emery, Vidagany and Monchi have formed a “power triangle” in charge of the critical decisions.

Emery views Pep Guardiola’s structure at Manchester City as the most conducive to empowering managerial success. Those close to Emery believe he is on the same level as Guardiola when assessing the best coaches in the world and point out that City’s manager, similarly to Villa’s head coach, has good friends in the boardroom, such as managing director Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain.

“What we need to do here is to let Unai take the sporting decisions, let Monchi choose the players with Unai and all of us provide a strong structure — like a fortress — to give them time to develop the project,” Vidagany told The Athletic in October. “Because in the end, the difference between success and failure is time.”

Sources close to Villa’s players say Emery does not tend to have conversations with members of the team unless they are in matchday squads. Some who have spent prolonged periods out with injury, such as defender Kortney Hause, have only briefly spoken to Emery.

The Spaniard has, however, shown an adept balance in choosing times to learn about his players. During Villa’s pre-season tour of the U.S. this summer, Emery spoke at length with younger players, asking about their ambitions and backgrounds, right down to what their parents do.

Pre-season was exhausting. Lots of travel with lots of games afforded little opportunity for downtime and pushed players to physical exertion, far more than what is accustomed. Yet, among Villa’s players and staff, there is total buy-in, which was not always the case at Arsenal, where certain staples of his management — including lengthy video analysis sessions — were met with consternation.

“With (Steven) Gerrard, training was just training,” says a source close to a Villa player, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “But Emery is so detailed, as he was at Arsenal. He coached them and continues to coach them in every facet of football every single day.”

“The mentality, the desire to win — just everything about him has been absolutely brilliant,” said captain John McGinn following Villa’s 2-1 victory away to Tottenham Hotspur. “He is obsessed about winning today, absolutely obsessed. That mindset and mentality is put into our heads. When we go behind, before we would have crumbled, but today we had our chests out.”

Villa players see purpose in his lengthy video sessions because the benefits are tangible on a matchday. At Arsenal, though, a different view was shared. “When he was doing a tactical presentation, there was a lot of chat,” said one observer.

Emery is highly regarded and accomplished among coaching circles. One young manager at an upwardly mobile side in England’s higher leagues described Emery to The Athletic as “interesting and excellent” in his approach, expressing his joy at watching Villa from a tactical perspective.

“If anyone is trying to get hold of me and I’m not answering, I’m in the meeting room,” said McGinn. “He does a lot of hard work. He wants to win, he’s won throughout his career and there’s no reason why he can’t do that here. He’s drilling that into us. There are a lot of details, a lot of thinking and a lot of concentration required from us. He’s making people concentrate that I didn’t think were capable… I’m not naming any names.”

Emery’s reputation has recovered in England and, four years to the day since his departure from Arsenal, his stock has never been higher. A coach who learned the right lessons but refused to change his principles.

Online Brazilian Villain

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7142 on: November 29, 2023, 11:48:04 AM »
Good stuff SV, thanks for posting.

This is telling, though it may become more difficult if results ever drop off.

Quote from: SJM
There are a lot of details, a lot of thinking and a lot of concentration required from us. He’s making people concentrate that I didn’t think were capable… I’m not naming any names


Offline Risso

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7143 on: November 29, 2023, 11:50:24 AM »
Please, please, please let us batter the Tarquins.

Offline Simon Page

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7144 on: November 29, 2023, 12:02:40 PM »
So Arsenal were badly run and had a few arrogant, under-performing players who couldn't be arsed to learn. I can see why they wanted rid of him.

I liked this line: "Arsenal are a huge club interweaving several large departments." I bet the corporate comms and despot diplomacy departments put the PE section to shame. If only Emery had concentrated on the Interpretive Dance Outreach (Asian Market) Virtual Interaction Inspectorate. Fakkin Mappet!

Online LeeB

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7145 on: November 29, 2023, 12:11:09 PM »
His failure to reach out to their Official Air Fryer Partners was his downfall ultimately.

Offline Brend'Watkins

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7146 on: November 29, 2023, 12:25:34 PM »
It's often said, we are the best fit for Emery and it's so true. I'm sure he's ambitious and might one day like a crack at Real Madrid or Barcelona but the reality is he wouldn't get the run of the place in the same way as he does with us. He's in a very strong position here and getting stronger.

Offline pablo_picasso

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7147 on: November 29, 2023, 12:54:59 PM »
Now been in charge for a whole seasons worth of matches, that hypothetical 38 game season gives a table of:

1. Man City – 86 points, +54 GD
2. Arsenal – 80 points, +42 GD
3. Aston Villa – 77 points, +27 GD
4. Liverpool – 76 points, +36 GD
5. Man Utd – 76 points, +16 GD
6. Newcastle – 70 points, + 38 GD
7. Brighton – 63 points, +19 GD

Not bad.

Cracking stuff. 👌👍


Emery 38 leagues games 77 pts
Gerrard 38 league games 44 pts

I still remember a Liverpool fan (so Gerrard apologist) questioning my criticism of him. Something along the lines of what better could one expect from Villa.

I get that from a lot of Liverpool fans.

Only ever pipe up when we lose though...

Fuckwits.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2023, 12:59:35 PM by pablo_picasso »

Offline Drummond

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7148 on: November 29, 2023, 12:56:29 PM »
It's often said, we are the best fit for Emery and it's so true. I'm sure he's ambitious and might one day like a crack at Real Madrid or Barcelona but the reality is he wouldn't get the run of the place in the same way as he does with us. He's in a very strong position here and getting stronger.

Absolutely. I think what makes us even more attractive for him is that we are of a size and stature that he can achieve anything he wants in his career with us (unless he wants to win La Liga of course!).

Offline Footy-Vill

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7149 on: November 29, 2023, 02:16:46 PM »
The man's creating us to be a force both domestically and European scene . He's creating a legacy!
I very much like this idea contract for life.
He or Deano would be either manager that I keep here for ever!

Offline Risso

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7150 on: November 29, 2023, 02:40:21 PM »
Emery or Deano....tough choice.

Offline nigel

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7151 on: November 29, 2023, 03:33:49 PM »
It's often said, we are the best fit for Emery and it's so true. I'm sure he's ambitious and might one day like a crack at Real Madrid or Barcelona but the reality is he wouldn't get the run of the place in the same way as he does with us. He's in a very strong position here and getting stronger.

With him being Basque, would that mean he would be a traitor to the region if he went to one of those?


Online Stu82

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7152 on: November 29, 2023, 04:38:44 PM »
It's often said, we are the best fit for Emery and it's so true. I'm sure he's ambitious and might one day like a crack at Real Madrid or Barcelona but the reality is he wouldn't get the run of the place in the same way as he does with us. He's in a very strong position here and getting stronger.

And so are Villa, match made in heaven

Online Toronto Villa

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7153 on: November 29, 2023, 05:39:33 PM »
Emery or Deano....tough choice.

It’s only a debate in the darkest corners of the mind where lights flicker but don’t stay on.

Offline frankmosswasmyuncle

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7154 on: November 29, 2023, 06:35:18 PM »
It's often said, we are the best fit for Emery and it's so true. I'm sure he's ambitious and might one day like a crack at Real Madrid or Barcelona but the reality is he wouldn't get the run of the place in the same way as he does with us. He's in a very strong position here and getting stronger.

With him being Basque, would that mean he would be a traitor to the region if he went to one of those?


Barcelona is Catalan, not Basque.
Soz.

 


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