Unai Emery: Meet the New Boss, Not the Same as the Old Boss

Unai Emery met the press yesterday and if he appeared frazzled, everyone knew it was because he and Ivan had caught “the red-eye” back from a meeting with Enos and Junior. We know because Ivan told us so, and Ivan was in charge.

The criticism of recent weeks clearly irked Gazidis. No-one, he emphasised during a run of dates and no names, turned the job down. And no-one leaked anything to the press; the ITK became YKFA.

His spiel came at an opportune moment. Emery is his appointment, he made clear after telling us he’d been watching the Spaniard’s career since he coached Valencia, and everyone bought into it. And the answer to the crossword clue was “ego”. That genuinely did happen; the universe spoke. And Ivan told it to STFU.

The king ascended to his throne in a very public coronation.

Gazidis bided his time and rammed home his advantage over the now-departed Arsène Wenger. Emphasizing the situation, a bizarre moment occurred. The video montage omitted the last boss; “Arsène who?” indeed.

And then came the main event. Arsenal manager Unai Emery spoke to the press. He came complete with Dan, Dan, the translator man, via an earpiece to ensure he understood the questions.

That he did was evident in his replies. Accustomed to seeing new – and not so new – managers using translators for media work, it was refreshing that Emery was willing to put himself ‘out there’ and not afraid to be mocked. He was for a similarly halted first press conference with PSG, but Emery didn’t care.

His vision is clear: good football and success, underpinned by hard work. Some of the squad may not recover from the shock of the final two words of that sentence. Emery, at the very least, talks a good game.

Taking it to 11

Over the next six to eight weeks before the pre-season training begins, his English will improve; the meticulousness of his preparation for the interview underlines that. The players won’t hold any surprise for him if his ‘dossier’ on the was as good as Ivan made out.

The remainder of this week sees him setting out his staffing and playing requirements. Then he sets about the business of preparing for next season. There will be a lot of hard work ahead for everyone. No more laissez-faire – or as the Arsenal interpreted it, lazy fare – this is going to be an energetic side from day one:

“I like to win the ball back as quickly as possible. It’s about two things: possession and pressing.”

Music to Sven’s ears; his air guitar is ready and the conductor’s baton somersaulting toward the bin.

Emery isn’t aiming low and the players now know they must pull their weight:

“Football is a demanding and difficult sport. What we want to do is not fear any team, either here in the Premier League or in Europe, and our objective is to be among the best and to beat the best. I’m the type of coach who has always worked really hard – not because I do it better than anyone else but because that is what I believe the most important thing is.”

Underlining that he added:

“I’ve never seen anything handed out for free in football.”

Turning it up to 11; one louder.

For the rest of this week, he’s apparently meeting with everyone and anyone to discuss staffing; presumably, we’ll know in the next day or two whether Bould and Lehmann are staying. I’d say there’s less doubt about the latter than the former but that’s just my interpretation of events.

Hard Work = Reward

The interesting part of the pre-pre-season is whether he talks to the players before they return to Colney. While mention of Özil yesterday was PR-spiel, the real conversation between the pair may not happen for some time, although I am sure he will phone each of them. We’ll see in the coming months whether Mesut really is sickly or if he was just sick and tired of last season.

Emery has a lot of work to do to get us back to a point of challenging for the title. Before that, he’s got to get us challenging for the top four and if that happens next season, I’ll be impressed. Football without money is not a game of instant results.

A new way of thinking is about to engulf the squad and new methods take some time to get used to. Emery won’t have some of the players back until early August, just after the bulk of the squad returns from the Far East. During that time, the positional and general tactical discipline will begin to bed in. Marrying the best aspects of Arsène’s philosophy – the emphasis on technique, etc. – to his own, will take time.

As will restoring confidence. The away form was down in part to a lack of that and as the season wore on, the weight on their shoulders became heavier. A new start, where the past is firmly put behind them, awaits.

Whatever else, exciting times lay ahead.

’til Tomorrow.

56 thoughts on “Unai Emery: Meet the New Boss, Not the Same as the Old Boss

  1. Limestonegunner says:

    Thanks Yogi! What a concept: hard work. He said work every other word. Some of the coasters in the team are in for a rude awakening. Bring it on. I’m enjoying the Emery era already.

  2. consolsbob says:

    Hard work?

    It’ll never catch on.

  3. Limestonegunner says:

    Apparently Emery wants an assistant coach who was a former player, preferably a Spanish speaker. Any candidates? I can really only think of one.

  4. Limestonegunner says:

    CBob, does Jonny drop by these days? Haven’t seen him in the comments.

  5. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    Good to hear that, an i believe his first coupe of months will be tricky as we’ve a team that have been tactically loose, it will be interesting to see how the players we’ve complained about all season in Iwobi, Ozil, Xhaka, Bellerin and Mustafi cope with actually coaching and demands.

    I’m happy Jack, Ramsey, Mustafi, Bellerin, Laca and Auba aren’t at world cup, the first two need rest then a good pre season for fitness. Welbeck, El Neny, Ozil and Monreal will be slowly introduced into the team when they come back, i can see Ozil being benched for first 2/3 weeks of season as i imagine Germany will get quite far into competition.

    I hope Sven is working hard on sealing some good players to strengthen, getting deals done during a world cup will be impossible and after it any player who’s had a good few games will be snapped up by someone above us in packing order.

  6. Michael says:

    Morning All

    Really looking forward to next season for the first time in years. I think its an appointment that most fans can get behind, once the disappointment of not getting their personal choice of coach recedes.
    He certainly said the right things for me in his speech, credit also for speaking in English. The other thing is, he was so well prepared, he knows what he wants and needs already which is a great start.
    Feck the world cup, bring on the league.

  7. MesutsLeftFoot says:


    Not that i can think of….

    The ex liverpool assistant would be interesting. But i imagine he’ll use same back staff as from PSG?

    We better be getting paid a LOT by that sleeve sponsor, as it’s disgusting. Puma’s last attempt has obviously been given to the intern

  8. wandega says:

    The aspect of fearing no one at home and Europe is the catch word. Arsenal shouldnt visit Old Trafford with all betting houses expecting an obvious win for United.Thats the level of mediocrity the late professor had dragged arsenal into.

  9. YW says:

    He’s off breaking something somewhere, I’m sure LSG 🙂

  10. skywalker says:

    Wenger took us, the fans, for a ride last 10 years , and those players who he brought who were doing well in their clubs, did not do well here. He did the same thing,which even the weakest PL team knew, and hence the away goals dried up.

    Now, we have a new era,Emery, a tactician, who will study the opposition and prepare our players., wjpo have give 100%. I am excited about this change. Emery needs support from ALL of us.

  11. Jonnygunner says:

    Thanks for the write up YW
    I always look forward to a new season even if we’ve had a shitty previous one…..which we have….for an age.
    The new boss has definitely made me look forward to next season in an altogether different way.He’s got a bit about him and I think more than a few members of the squad will have to up their game…..I can’t see him cutting too much slack with underperforming players-certainly like Wenger did with his favourites.
    As one of the posters on here yesterday said,I don’t so much mind losing a game,as long as we put in a shift and have some fire in our bellies….not like how we rolled over for City.

  12. Jonnygunner says:

    Wenger took us, the fans, for a ride last 10 years , and those players who he brought who were doing well in their clubs, did not do well here.He did the same thing,which even the weakest PL team knew, and hence the away goals dried up.

    Now, we have a new era,Emery, a tactician, who will study the opposition and prepare our players., wjpo have give 100%.I am excited about this change.Emery needs support from ALL of us.

    Fully agree.
    Some of those players must have wondered what they came to.

  13. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:


    “I don’t so much mind losing a game,as long as we put in a shift and have some fire in our bellies”

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s the manner of the defeat. If we come second best to a team who wanted it more but we pushed them all the way until the final whistle, then you couldn’t ask for more from our lads. If the manager tried changing formation to combat an opponent’s tactic’s to get something out of the game or he makes tactical substitutions then you can’t ask for anything more from the manager. If the manager and the team are well drilled and prepare for each opponent then that is a marked improvement on letting the player’s go out an just express themselves. If he can develop young player’s into first team player’s then I will be over the moon. I’d like to see Campbell, Pérez and Maitland-Niles develop under Emery.

  14. Michael says:


    I read somewhere that Perez might well be wanted by Emery, how true that is, I have no idea..I thought he was decent enough given the lack of consistent playing time, certainly not 1 of the worst players of recent times…Bill wouldn’t approve lol

  15. Limestonegunner says:


    I had heard the sleeve sponsorship was going to be Netflix. My first reaction was negative as well but apparently the president is a Gooner and the country is really developing its eco-tourism parks and hosts more conferences and such than any other African country besides South Africa and Morocco. So I think they want to be known now for more than an awful genocide a couple of decades ago and partnering with Arsenal helps them do that, I think it is better than taking money from UAE with our Emirates shirt and stadium sponsorship. Not ideal but there it is.

  16. Limestonegunner says:


    But what this time?! The internet and a piano is tough to improve upon!

  17. Stu says:

    Glad to see that I am not the only one who is excited about the new season. Been a while since I felt that way.

    I didn’t expect Emery to be appointed and didn’t know much about him to be honest – I had spoke about Allegri and Nagelsmann, but I am inspired by his appointment. Fair play to Ivan, Raul and Sven; the former certainly knows the appointment of AW’s successor lays at his door. Get this right and the world is good again; get it wrong and chances are he himself will be looking for a new job. So far, so good.

    A few tough conversations lay ahead (Ozil, Wilshere etc), lots of coaching (youngsters, defence, lazy arses) and maybe one or two new faces (an experienced CB for starters), and this team could surprise a few next year…..

    Ladbrokes are offering 25-1 for the PL next season. Might be worth an each way bet, as second place was open to whoever got their house (or parked bus) in order last season.

  18. Limestonegunner says:

    More reasons to appreciate and be excited we have Aubameyang:
    “Since over the last few seasons – you have to tell the truth – the club has stagnated a little bit, I think everyone is actually a little bit excited to see what happens next season,” he said.

    “It is strange that the coach has left after 22 years. But that’s life – we have to look forward. It’s going to be a new start so we’ll have so we’ll have to see how it goes… everyone will have to get it into their heads that we have to work hard to rival the best.

    “I think everybody knows that I like playing through the centre. I hope that we can play with two attackers – that would be ideal. But if the new coach needs me on the wing, there’s no problem.”

    Brilliant. How was this guy characterized as a bad attitude, unprofessional character? To me BvB hierarchy and Dortmund journos have questions around them not Aubameyang. He might love the Emery era—knows how to press.

  19. Freddo says:

    Players like Welbeck and Iwobi, who have tremendous athleticism that Wenger never exploited, might really prosper under Dick Emery. There is something very clarifying and motivating about being told: you don’t press, you don’t play. Not much room for confusion.

  20. C says:


    Its interesting that both Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang talked roughly about the same thing, the players and club needed new tactics and fresh ideas.

    People characterized him aa a bad apple but I think it was down to the club not letting him leave even though they said he would and then being punished for being outspoken.

  21. C says:

    Top stuff Yogi!

    Wonder iF Emery spoke English just to stick one to the English media, if so well done.

    The most exciting thing is that Emery isn’t an ex-player but, based on his presser and what I know abouy his stylr, he is exactly what we need and the sort of manager that could re-unite Gooners (well most of them).

  22. C says:

    On the Women’s side, welcome Viktoria Schnaderbeck who we have signed from Bayern to help boss the midfield.

  23. Bill says:

    Great post yogi

    So far, Emery feels as close to an anti-Arsene as we could have found. I hope the obscession with ball possession for its own sake will be jettisoned on day 1. I love his meticulous preparation and emphasis on effort and energy. I know all football people love to talk microtactics and formations but in the end it’s quite simple and no matter which style of play you use there are 2 major things that must happen in order to be successful. First and foremost you stay organized and play solid defense and second when you get the ball you attack with high tempo and pace and move the ball quickly into dangerous areas before the opposition defense can set up and organize. If you do that then making that final pass becomes much easier and anyone can do it when there is open space around the goal. Finishing also become exponentially easier when you have more time and space and you don’t have to finish around a bunch of defenders organized in the penalty area.

  24. skywalker says:

    Ray Parlour and Ian Wright, the Yesterday players and eking out lives as pundits should shut up. They are the worst kind of naysayers, publicity seekers. and negative nabobs. Big-nose Parlour will prattle for a fistful of money in Talksport radio which is known to be ant-Arsenal. No club can match the millions that Sheik- oil money in the City can bring to the table. Yes, players are needed , not indulging in the level of the City, as Parlour prattles. These ex-players sho8uld jog on.
    Wenger is prattling about loss of patience of fans and the Club, for his exit. He should know that there was too much patience for over a dozen years when he failed to deliver. As for his recent observations about job offers from Real Madrid etc.. a few years back, he should know, that these clubs would not have put up with him even one season for such under-achievement.

  25. Limestonegunner says:


    He did say possession was a key principle in his philosophy however. Hopefully he can deploy the merits of controlling the ball to more incisive and orchestrated attacking than we have always seen. I did think of you when so watched his first one on one interview video for Arsenal where he talked about exciting play and his preference for winning 5-4 than 1-0!

  26. MikeSA says:


    On the button!

    I see that despite trying hard to conceal it the fun bus are revealing themselves to be Arsene fans instead of being Arsenal fans.

  27. skywalker says:

    Possession +intense move forward are the reasons Man City , Liverpool and Spurs are in the top4.
    Wenger’s game say 20 years ago was suited to possession and there were players then, who would take the ball forward.
    Emery will get the best out of the current squad with a few additions.
    As for those who are complaining about Emery’s lack of spoken English, as a resident of Highbury then for 7 years ( now too) when Wenger arrived, I noticed that he had much less fluency in English than what I heard from Emery yesterday.
    There is very hopeful feeling here in Highbury about next seasons. Arsenal fans attending in large numbers in Emirates stadium in home games is critical to the business community in Highbury. Talking to a few of them, they too are very hopeful of next seasons .

  28. Birdkamp says:

    Where does Cech fit in I wonder. From what little I know about Emery his teams play out from the back. I’m kind of undecided on whether he’s been a huge problem for us, but it doesn’t seem like he’s suited to lots of touches, or raking passes.

    The World Cup suddenly seems like something to get out of the way, doesn’t it?

  29. Birdkamp says:


    Is that firm? I suppose they’d have been talking about targets, but it seems quite soon. Whatever, Leno could potentially be around for a decade. And Bundesliga wouldn’t be a bad destination for Cech. Is Leno good with his feet? I genuinely wouldn’t know.

  30. Limestonegunner says:


    So true. A few weeks ago, maybe even less, I was looking forward to the WC as an exciting football diversion from a trying season and the stasis of Arsenal. An enjoyable opportunity to watch some good players rather than feel depressed about our club in its evident decline. Now, I am so interested for preseason and the start of Arsenal’s competitive season.

  31. Bill says:


    I don’t care how we win but I think we know with certainty that we can’t win consistently in the PL if we concede a lot of goals. Man City had the leagues best defense this season so even Pep understands that you don’t get to the top by attacking at all costs. Hopefully that was mostly talk for the media. Defense is the great equalizer and we are starting at 6th place so we desperately need some equalization.

  32. Limestonegunner says:


    Since Emery isn’t going to be decisive on transfers necessarily, I think some preparation for future transfers must have been going on since Sven arrived. And since one of the principles for the head coach search was good attacking football, perhaps that was understood as sufficient guidelines for the qualities of potential goal keeping targets.

  33. Limestonegunner says:


    I agree. His first priority should be organizing and improving our defense and, I hope, protecting it with a proper defensively minded, physically dynamic and robust ball winning midfielder who can pass it short accurately. How many years have I asked for that in these comments? I think since 2008! Finally there might be a chance that such a figure could perhaps be in the club’s sights—I hope!

  34. Birdkamp says:


    Yes, that seems fair on transfer activity. With this new structure you have to completely change your concept of how anything gets done at Arsenal. Of course it’s logical that the wheel would have been in motion as long ago as January. It’s hard to shake those old modes of thinking.

    As for the World Cup, I’m sure I’ll settle into it. And I suppose there will be interesting news during the competition. Better than no football at all, but it’s all a prelude now.

  35. Bill says:


    We all want an exciting attacking team and none of us want to watch us park the bus and win 1-0 every week. At the same time getting results has to be the first priority and you can’t win consistently without starting with a solid defense. I don’t know anything about Emery’s tactics or formations or his tendencies but I assume he understands the importance of team defense as well as any of us.

  36. Bill says:

    The CL final should be a good game. I hope Liverpool wins 5-4.

  37. C says:


    Not sure how firm but their seems to have been discussions and Leverkusen just bought Frankfurt’s #1 who is only 27 yrs old so that must mean something. Leno could be around for the next decade and he is good not only with his feet but his overall distribution.

  38. C says:

    Emery said he would rather win 5-4 then1-0, uh oh means Bill might be turning against him already…..😂

  39. Bill says:

    I think it would be nice to see an English team with spending power similar to ours win the CL. I also don’t want Real to win again. I admit that I have enjoyed watching the way Liverpool has played anti-wengerball and built its attack around its forwards and played at such a high pace this season.

  40. Bill says:

    Emery said he would rather win 5-4 then1-0, uh oh means Bill might be turning against him already…..

    I assume that was just talk for the media. In truth i don’t care how he wins as long as gets results. However you and I both know that if he really tries to win every game 5-4 he is not going to get results on any sort of consistent basis and he will judged based on those results and not on style of play.

  41. C says:


    I wouldn’t mind them honestly, means we are playing attacking futbol. Would br brilliant to see, though I think you might have a problem with it.

    You know I just like poking the bear that is Bill with things like that.

  42. Limestonegunner says:


    I would like to see a thriller like that and adore Salah. However, from an Arsenal perspective, it would be better for a domestic rival like Liverpool to lose, I think.

  43. Bill says:


    We all have our biases about how we want the team to play. Your biases about which style you like are stronger then most. I also have biases and I like a counter attacking style. However, the only thing I really have a problem with is results that fall below reasonable expectations.

  44. Bill says:

    I would be disappointed if we play a system with 4 #10’s that resembles Wengerball but if we get back into the top 4 and look to be progressing and may be even win the Europa league with that style then I would look rather silly if I complained about style of play.

  45. theskywalker says:

    Martin Keown suggests that Emery should buy Marco Verratti of PSG, without even thinking straight as we are not in the CL and hence this player will not be interested, and we may not afford this player. Real Madrid is reported to have lined up a swap of Benzema and Verratti with additional millions of Euros thrown in.
    I suggest that that these legends had their shelf lives and should simply shut up. Emery knows which players he wants, Sven and him will decide and buy them. Keown earns his DM money throw his scribble, and in that case simply assess which players are there through forensic analyses and leave it that.
    Ex -players of any club are simply that, and they are ignorant of the dynamics involved in managing squads and working for club owners.

  46. YW says:


    Suarez joined Liverpool and they weren’t in the Champions League
    Mkhitaryan joined United and Arsenal when they weren’t in the CL
    Aubameyang joined Arsenal when…

    There’s a pattern.

    Just because someone plays for a CL club, doesn’t mean they are not a target. Certainly at the Verratti level.

    Why should an ex-legend keep quiet? He’s offered a solution to a major problem in our squad.

    Funny you mention Benzema because I read he’s off to Napoli with Ancelotti.

    Just because a tale is in the media doesn’t mean its true and to be honest, claiming a legend knows nothing puts a great big target on your back. If someone like Keown doesn’t know what’s going on, why would a fan?

    Unless you’ve got a contact at the club? In which case, let’s talk… 😉

  47. lari03 says:

    Well the media frenzy continues. The mirror says Emery is giving the whole squad, a new slate. So its basically, come and train and let’s see if you fit into the new system.

    Did anyone else see the video of Emery, while he was given a tour of the club’s training facility ? I think he met with Koscielny, who is unlucky to have a long term injury.

  48. theskywalker says:

    I do not want to talk about my contact.

    Suarez joined Liverpool for example, because, he was in trouble in his Dutch Club, with accusations of biting and when Dalgleish came calling, he took the opportunity.
    Dortmund from where Auba and Mikhi joined has not been always in the CL. Auba had problems in Dortmund. As for Laca, when his move to Atletico fell through, he took the opportunity to move to Arsenal. Lyon again has not been firm CL club.
    If you listen to Parlour in the radio, even Wenger was not prepared to share issues and details with his ex-players. Legends? Yes, but those who know Wenger well, I know a few of them- meet them often,the understanding is he was very reluctant to share any information about the Club with these Legends.
    No CL means not big players, that simple.

  49. Birdkamp says:


    OK, we’ll see where that goes! It’s great that for better or worse all the business will be done before we play a competitive game.

  50. theskywalker says:

    Just to add: As for Verratti, unless the Club pays PSG ridiculous transfer money, inflated wageto the player + not in CL, which is not going to happen, the talk of getting him is just futile. This even a fan knows , and the Legend should know better. That was my argument.
    Talking about Legends, Merson is considered a Legend, talks nonsense most of the time!

  51. Arsetralian says:


    Not to be a pedant but…

    I asked yesterday for the 8 interviewed please


    Skywalker our new inside man?

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