Unai Emery sends message to Arsenal board over Mikel Arteta’s future

Unai Emery will go up against his Arsenal successor Mikel Arteta in the Europa League
Unai Emery will go up against his Arsenal successor Mikel Arteta in the Europa League (Picture: Getty)

Unai Emery has urged Arsenal to keep patience with Mikel Arteta and believes his successor at the Emirates is the right man to restore the north London club to its former glories.

Arteta was appointed as Emery’s permanent replacement 18 months ago and gave an indication of his potential by steering Arsenal to a memorable and unlikely FA Cup triumph last August.

Despite significant investment in the summer, Arsenal and Arteta have failed to kick-on and are on course for a hugely disappointing mid-table finish in the Premier League.

Hope’s of qualifying for Europe next season hinge on going all the way in the Europa League and, as fate would have it, Villarreal, now managed by Emery, stand in the way of a potential final against Manchester United or Roma.

Whatever the outcome of the semi-final, Emery believes Arsenal’s board made the correct decision to appoint Arteta and stand by him when the Gunners embarked on a dreadful run of form prior to Christmas which saw them lose four successive home games against Leicester, Aston Villa, Wolves and Burnley.

Unai Emery was sacked by Arsenal in November 2018 following a Europa League defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt
Unai Emery was sacked by Arsenal in November 2018 following a Europa League defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt (Picture: Getty)

‘There are several processes they have to overcome,’ Emery said at his pre-match press conference. ‘I had to work coming in after Arsene Wenger. We lost the Europa League against Chelsea, the next year we didn’t start too well and I think Arteta should build on these improvements.

‘This is a process that needs a bit of time to execute a game plan. I am convinced that we need to let managers work, we need have patience. At Arsenal we needed to be patient and we need to be patient. We need to trust Arteta.

‘It’s a question of patience of confidence, patience takes time and I can see a club and a team that with Arteta with time they will make it.

‘Everybody knows it’s a great club and as for the technical staff with Mikel Arteta I think it’s a perfect marriage. Arteta is a great manager and you can see a clear identity of their game plan in the way they play.

‘I’m sure they will have grown and Arsenal will have been able to grow with Arteta. They have very important footballers that have a lot of experience but it’s a club that always brings up young players.

‘The minute you give those young players opportunity they show tremendous quality.’

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