Unai Emery: ‘I want Arsenal to be back among Europe’s elite’


Unai Emery said he wants Arsenal to be among Europe’s elite once more when he appeared at his first news conference since being appointed as Arsene Wenger’s successor.

The 46-year-old was officially appointed on Wednesday before he, along with chief executive Ivan Gazidis, addressed a packed media room.

He said: «Success next season would be developing, but how? By battling for every title.

«That’s in Arsenal’s and my history.»

Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League in 2017 and won’t feature in the 2018-19 competition having previously been in every year since 1998.

Gazidis revealed that the Spaniard was on an eight-man shortlist for the job, but was the club’s main target.

«All eight took part in extensive interviews and none of them withdrew from the process,» said the chief executive, who added that the job was the most attractive in world football.

«We were in a fortunate position to name our first choice.

«Our first interview was on 25 April and our last was on the 15 May. A formal recommendation to the board was supported by a 100-page dossier with a great degree of background information.

«All of the board members were energised and enthused by our decision.»

Gazidis said the former Valencia, Sevilla and Paris St-Germain boss impressed the interview panel with his «meticulous preparation».

«He was extraordinarily well prepared with a knowledge of Arsenal and an analysis of all of our players, their qualities and how he can help them develop.

«The thing that distinguished him above all that was the chemistry between us and the feeling for football in the room.

«He has a feeling and competitive energy and it is this passion, love for football and will to win that made us feel it as exactly right for Arsenal.»

Emery told the gathered media he flew to Atlanta with Gazidis, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi in order to meet the club’s major shareholder Stan Kroenke and his family.

«We want to work on this club together,» he added. «I know my ambition and my passion and to know how I want to grow up with Arsenal.


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