“My message is that I’m grateful for my experience and above all my first year in Arsenal.”
Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery has spoken about his time with the Gunners and thanked the fans for the support he received in North London.
During Emery’s time at Arsenal, there were some standout moments. Wins against Napoli and Valencia meant the Gunners reached the Europa League final and also finished fifth in the Premier League.
However, that promise of success in the Spaniard’s first season quickly evaporated in the second and he was sacked in November 2019, after a seven-game winless run.
Nevertheless, Emery speaks fondly of that first season in the post-Wenger era in an interview with football.london.
“I was in Arsenal for a year and a half and first year I think was a very good season,” Emery explained.
“We achieved the Europa League final, we were at the last moment with the possibility to be in the top four.
“I think last year when I was there we recovered a lot of confidence for the club and the fans and for the players and I think we finished well that season.”
“The supporters supported me in that moment and the second year was more difficult but I understand totally. My message is thank you.”
“I understand how football is, with the emotions and good results are needed.”
Emery’s communication, at times, left a lot of Arsenal fans frustrated. This is something that Emery refutes.
He continued: “I could speak English and communicate in my press conferences, with the players.
“The message was not perfect but it was good and little by little I was progressing. If I continued at Arsenal I would have got better, of course.”
Emery was eventually replaced by Mikel Arteta who guided Arsenal to FA Cup success later on that season.
However, Arteta’s side has struggled for large parts of this season, only recently winning their last three league games to climb up the table, away from the relegation zone.
Emery continued: “The results towards the end were the main problem but for me, it was a positive experience and I’m grateful to Arsenal for the opportunity.”
“This is football. Now I want the best for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, the supporters and everyone at the club.”
The former Sevilla manager is now using all that experience at his new club Villarreal.
The Spanish side currently sit fourth in the table and are hoping for a return to the Champions League.
“Now I’m using all my experiences in Villarreal and want to create my way here.”