Gooner News

The original unofficial Arsenal News aggregation site.

Is Unai Emery a younger version of Arséne Wenger or a completely different character?

Granted, he is a much younger version and, in truth, there are many similarities between the two, particularly as Arséne Wenger reached his more senior years.

Emery’s first top level managerial job was with Valencia. His first season, 2008-09 saw the team finish sixth and qualify for the Europa League. They managed to get to the round of 32 in that season’s UEFA Cup before losing to Dynamo Kyiv.

At the end of that season they finished third in La Liga which, given the two who finished above them, was quite an achievement. That got them into the Champion’s League. In the Europa League they lost to Atlético Madrid in the quarter-finals.

The following season saw them start the campaign without David Villa who had left for Barcelona and David Silva who was sold to Manchester City. Despite this they still reached the last 16 of the Champion’s League before losing to Schalke and they finished third again in La Liga.

Then Emery left the club.

There followed a disastrous six months at Spartak Moscow resulting in him being fired and returning to Spain to take charge at Sevilla following the sacking of Michel.

He took the team to a fifth placed finish and won the Europa League at his first attempt with the club, beating Benfica on penalties.

The following season he again won the Europa League, beating Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, and finished fifth in La Liga. Winning the Europa League now carried Champion’s League qualification and so Emery was back in the big time.

Again, failure in the Champion’s League was cushioned by the team again winning the Europa League. That season though, they dropped to seventh in La Liga because Emery had played several games with reserve and youth team players once Sevilla’s place in the Europa League final was confirmed.

He then left Sevilla to join PSG. There he was reasonably successful but defeat to Barcelona in the Champion’s League appeared to seal his fate. Although having won the first leg 4-0 at the Parc des Princes, PSG contrived to lose the second leg 6-1 and were eliminated. Because the club only have any real interest in winning the Champion’s League, Emery left and signed a two years deal with Arsenal.

The differences between Emery and Wenger are also numerous. Age and nationality are the obvious ones but there is also the fact that Wenger was, for all practical purposes, a one-club man whilst Emery has already managed four top class teams prior to Arsenal.

Emery has proven adept at winning the Europa League, a trophy Arsenal rarely competed in but never looked like winning when they did!

Wenger won a few Premier League titles and a couple of doubles whereas Emery is nowhere near as successful on that front.

So yes, there are differences but there are also similarities, as we said earlier. Wenger, in his later years became famous for failing in the Champion’s League, (more so than Emery), and being satisfied with a top four finish in the Premier League.

Initially, Emery will probably also be happy to get the club back into the top four but afterwards he will be hoping to challenge for the top spot.

It will be difficult because he couldn’t break the duopoly held by Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. He now has four clubs, possibly five, who he will have to finish above to have any chance of winning the title.

So, in conclusion, Unai Emery may prove to be an admirable replacement for Arséne Wenger but be wary because his record suggests that he will deliver virtually the same as the Frenchman did in his latter years, maybe with a Europa League or two being the difference.

Comments are closed on this article.