Unai Emery: Who is the former Arsenal and PSG boss set to become Newcastle United's new manager?
Unai Emery looks set to be appointed Newcastle United’s new manager - but what can fans expect?
Emery started his managerial career in Spain with Almeria, before moving to take charge of Valencia, a role he held for four seasons. A spell in Russia followed before a hugely successful stint at Sevilla.
Emery won three Europa League titles in a row between 2014-2016 whilst at Sevilla, an achievement which earned him a role at Paris Saint-Germain.
Despite lasting just two seasons in France, Emery won the Ligue 1 title and a domestic quadruple in 2017/18, however, failure to win the Champions League meant he departed France in summer 2018.
A spell in England saw silverware brought to The Emirates in the form of the FA Cup and a runner-up Europa League medal - something he would better at Villareal in 2021 when they defeated Manchester United to win their first ever major trophy and Emery’s fourth Europa League triumph.
Style of play
Famed for his meticulous attention to detail, Emery can be viewed as a very adaptable manager, one that is willing to adapt his team’s style of play in order to counteract their opponent’s strengths.
Emery likes his teams to be compact in defence and to reduce the time and space opponents have whilst on the ball.
In attack, Emery’s teams are often quite regimented. This doesn’t mean boring however, but in fact means that each player knows their own specific role and that the team as a collective know how to best exploit their opponent’s defence.
He likes to ensure the person in possession always has two or three varied passing options and often uses full-backs to push high up the field and join in attacks, offering them width as wingers tuck in close to the striker.
At Arsenal, Emery’s side managed just-shy of an average of two goals per game and the same is true at his current club Villareal.
In summary, Emery’s attention to detail means his teams are usually well drilled and compact in defence whilst being structured to attack in large numbers.
Is he interested in a move back to England?
Before taking up the role at the Mestalla Stadium last summer, Emery spoke to Sid Lowe at The Guardian and confirmed his interest in returning back to England, if a ‘good project’ became available:
"If there’s a good project in England, if someone wants me and is prepared to get behind me, I’m available…
"In England that identification with your team brings the game alive. It’s deeper there, like a church.
"I was born in San Sebastián and my team is Real Sociedad. That feeling is in my heart and that’s what you find in England.
"It’s marvellous, the loveliest thing there is.”
So how would Emery describe his style of play and what he wants his teams to show? Well, he believes it’s all about emotion:
“Fans want their emotions to come to the surface and the only to way to make that happen is to give them a team that transmits emotion: intensity, attacking, scoring goals, competing, fighting. That awakens them. The fans want emotions.”