Welcome Unai

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'I prefer to win 5-4 than win 1-0'

We sat down with Unai Emery on Wednesday for his first one-on-one interview as our head coach.

The Spaniard discussed a "grand opportunity", what he wants from the team and working with Jose Antonio Reyes.

This is what he told us:

Unai, it’s a new chapter for Arsenal and a new chapter for you. What does it mean to you to be our head coach?

I am proud of this opportunity. I’m very excited to start the new way together with this Arsenal project and my personal project also. I love the passion, I like the intensity, I like to find the way for next season. I am very, very happy to be here.

When you hear the words ‘Arsenal Football Club’ what comes to your mind?

A great club, a great city, a great set of supporters and a big stadium. For me it’s a dream to come true to work here. It’s a grand opportunity and a challenge.

What message would you like to give to our fans on your first day here?

I want to say to all the supporters that we are going to work hard. I don’t promise I will win, but I promise we will work hard.

You’ve said before that “fans want their emotions to come to the surface”. How do you make that happen?

For me, during my career, two things have been important: hard work with heart and thinking with the head. The combinations are very important. Think positively with emotion and intelligence.

In terms of the current team, how much potential does it have?

I love the talent and I think this team are a talented squad. I think, when you are talented, you need to work with that talent and find a great performance with the talent and with the work.

You’re following a man who was with us for 22 years - how much do you admire Arsene Wenger?

He is a big reference for all the coaches in the world, and for me also. I want to say to him: thank you very much.

One former Arsenal player you know well is Jose Antonio Reyes. What was he like to work with?

A talent. He’s a great, talented player and I worked with him for three years. We won the Europa League together. The supporters at Sevilla love Reyes and a player like Reyes is different because of his talent. My experience with him is the same as he was here. There’s talent and hard work and his workrate in those training sessions every day are what make big players.

Unai, you’ve said that you “live football as passion and emotion.” Can you describe what you mean by that?

I think we play for the supporters. I think that football is a game but want to transmit intensity on the pitch to the supporters, to score goals. This emotion, you can give the supporters. Then the supporters know that they are with this team.

What are the characteristics of an Unai Emery team? How do you like your teams to play?

With personality. This personality for all the minutes of a match: protagonists. I like the possession with the ball, I like good pressing against the other team. I prefer to win 5-4 than win 1-0.

Your preparation for games is famously meticulous. What can you tell us about that?

I love the analysis, and going through the whole match like a movie. Then, I work through all the situations, all the things in the match, every day in training sessions. I love to work with all the players and individually with the players to improve their technique, tactics, mentality. I also like to speak with the players directly, to speak with their heart and one connection to find that connection with individual players and the whole team.


'Our fans are going to feel electrified by Unai'

He may be known around the world as our chief executive, but Ivan Gazidis is first and foremost a football fan - and he is hugely excited about the "passion and energy" Unai Emery will deliver.

The Spaniard was appointed as our new head coach on Wednesday, and will work closely with Ivan over the coming weeks and months to get us ready for the season ahead.
"The hard work starts right now," Gazidis told Arsenal Player. "We are right into the transfer window of course, but we’re also into many other things such as how we’re going to integrate his team, how we think about pre-season planning, how the teams are going to work together.
"There’s a lot of work to be done now to integrate this new team into our existing team. I know that we can do that successfully but it’s going to take hard work through the summer.
"There’s been obviously a lot of question marks as we’ve gone through this period of transition over recent weeks but now it’s really time to look forward as a football club.

"I am really excited about Unai’s appointment. I feel he’s a great fit for our football club. His value set, the way he conducts himself is really Arsenal class.
"Underneath that, you’ve got all of the technical side that he brings to the table and then on top of it all, which our fans will connect with, is this passion for the game and this energy. Once he brings that into the Emirates and into the Premier League, our fans are going to feel electrified by it.
"We don’t know what the journey will hold exactly, and there will certainly be ups and downs, but I think our fans will appreciate the commitment and the passion that we’re bringing to this effort and I think they’ll be behind us on this journey.
"I’m convinced that if we as a club are together and remember our motto, Victoria Concordia Crescit - Victory Through Harmony - I’m convinced that the sky is the limit for us."


'You scratch the surface, and he just goes deeper'

It's been widely reported that Unai Emery's forensic attention to detail during the interview process was one of the key qualities that played a part in his appointment as our new head coach.

But what exactly did that look like? Our chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, reveals the depth that the Spaniard went into when discussing our squad.
"What was really impressive was when you scratched the surface to go deeper and deeper and deeper," he told Arsenal Player. "If we were speaking about one of our young players, if we targeted Ainsley Maitland-Niles for example, Unai knows Ainsley.

"He’s watched him, he’s familiar with his patterns of play, his capabilities, he’s very excited about his potential and was able to talk about how excited he was to work with Ainsley, to develop him as a player.
"Very specifically, when you asked the follow-up question and the follow-up question and the follow-up question, you’d get more and more depth about how exactly he would do that, exactly how him and his team would work with an individual player to develop them into the best player they can possibly be and also within the team dynamic.
"There are a lot of platitudes in the game of football, a lot, and people can speak at a surface level very easily to sound confident and impressive. What’s impressive to me is when you scratch through that and you get deeply involved in what exactly they mean."


Picture special: Unai Emery at London Colney

Unai Emery at London Colney

Unai Emery visited our training ground on Thursday.

Our club photographer was there too, and sent over these pictures.


Pictures: Unai Emery's career so far

Unai Emery was appointed as our new head coach on Wednesday.

The Spaniard has previously managed in his native Spain, Russia and France - and you can see a gallery of images from his career below.


Behind the scenes: Unai at Emirates Stadium

Unai Emery inside the dressing room

Unai Emery paid his first visit to the Emirates as our new head coach on Wednesday afternoon. 

The Spaniard was given a behind-the-scenes tour of our stadium by chief executive Ivan Gazidis and then posed for photographs in our first-team dressing room.

Check out the best pictures below:


In pictures: Emery at Emirates Stadium

Unai Emery on the pitch at Emirates Stadium

Unai Emery is our new head coach - and he was shown around Emirates Stadium after Wednesday's announcement was made.

Our club photographers were there every step of the way, and sent us these pictures.


#WelcomeUnai: 10 of the best quotes

Unai Emery was named as our new head coach on Wednesday - and here are 10 of the best quotes from him and about him.

The Spaniard is highly-experienced, having taken charge of clubs in his homeland, Russia and France.

These are some of the key quotes from his career so far:

"I always say: when I was 16, 18, I would go to school and I would have an hour of Latin, maths, history, philosophy, English, an hour of I don’t-know-what ... six hours. Here you come in and you have an hour of football ... an hour! Football! An hour of football, and you like football. So a video [is not too much to ask]."
Emery on his love for football

“For every game I might have spent 12 hours just on the video. Videos are very important. We work hard so that they have the best information and it has to be a good video: in an hour the players have to understand everything you’ve seen in 12.”

Emery on his use of analysis

“When I came here the supporters said to me: “please don’t play Reyes.” I said to him: “Jose, do you know what they’re saying about you?” We worked on it. And now every time he goes out at the Sanchez Pizjuan, the crowd are chanting: ‘Reyes! Reyes!'”

Emery on former Gunner Joe Antonio Reyes

“He does a very great job. When he arrived, it was a bit difficult for everyone because great players were gone. It is not easy for him to come into this context, but I think we have improved a lot. He is a great coach and we trust him. If you want to create something important, you have to keep at it.”

PSG midfielder Marco Verrati on Emery's influence

“I’m not the kind of coach who says: “Let’s do a few piggy in the middle exercises and get home for lunch.”

Emery on how he coaches his players

“The coach has understood our idiosyncrasies perfectly. He is crazy about football, the hours he puts in, how he manages the squad. I say that now after being successful, but also at the start of the season.”

Sevilla president Jose Castro on Emery's impact

“Emery put on so many videos I ran out of popcorn! He’s obsessed with football – it’s practically an illness. He’s one of the best managers I’ve had.”

Former Spain international Joaquin on Emery's approach

“We are prepared to work with different systems. The 4-3-3 is the main system we use, it is a great for keeping possession and applying pressure. But after that we need to have another system for different matches. Most importantly, it’s getting the balance and positioning on the pitch with and without the ball.”

Emery on tactical flexibility

“When I arrived at Sevilla, the first thing they said to me was, ‘Unai, playing in the Champions League, like Valencia did with you, is lovely but you haven’t experienced what it is to win things.’ Now I have; I have felt it. And it is the greatest feeling there is, something really shared. We can’t be a super-top team because of budget. But if you can grow, it’s very gratifying. And joy comes from the illusion, the hope, the dream, of winning a title.”

Emery on his time at Sevilla

“We have a great coach and he is getting the very best out of us – we don’t relax whether we are on the pitch or on the bench. We have really healthy competition for places here. [Emery] supported me, pushed me and helped me develop. Winning this final and going straight into the Champions League – what more can you ask for?”

Ever Banega on Emery's impact in winning the Europa League in 2015


Welcome Unai

Unai Emery is to become our new head coach. He joins the club after completing a two-year spell at Paris Saint-Germain, where he recently landed the treble of Ligue 1, Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue.

Unai, 46, previously spent three seasons with Sevilla, leading them to an unprecedented three consecutive Europa League titles, establishing the club as a major force in the Spanish league.
Announcing the appointment, chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “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. His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us forward.
“We conducted a confidential, wide-ranging and rigorous search involving extensive background references, data and video analysis, and personal meetings with all the candidates we shortlisted. All were interested in the position and we were unanimous in our choice of Unai to drive the next chapter of our history.”

Unai Emery

Majority owner Stan Kroenke said: “We’re delighted to welcome Unai to Arsenal. He’s a proven winner. We’re confident that he is the right person for the job and that he will work to deliver the triumphs our fans, staff and everyone who cares about Arsenal want.

“Several things stood out during his interview and the entire process; his football knowledge, energy, determination and love of the game. 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 Arsène Wenger and help this club enjoy greater success.”
Unai said: “I am thrilled to be joining one of the great clubs in the game. 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. I have met Stan and Josh Kroenke and it’s clear they have great ambitions for the club and are committed to bringing future success. I’m excited about what we can do together and I look forward to giving everyone who loves Arsenal some special moments and memories.”
Unai started his coaching career at Lorca Deportiva in 2005 after playing mostly in the Spanish second division. He went on to coach Almeria, Valencia and Spartak Moscow before joining Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain.

The appointment is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.