Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola has insisted he thinks Aston Villa’s Unai Emery is the best Spanish manager and the reference for the country, ahead of Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola.

The Bournemouth boss has been speaking to DAZN’s Fever Pitch about Spanish coaches in the game at this moment in time and why he regards Emery as the best of them.

He’s been shining since arriving at Aston Villa in November 2022 to replace Steven Gerrard, with the club sliding down the table and towards the relegation zone.

Since then, it’s been nothing but an upward trajectory for the club, with Aston Villa enjoying a superb season under Emery after his arrival, flying up the table and eventually qualifying for Europe.

They followed that up this season with a run to the Europa Conference League semi-finals and qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 1983.

The club are very much on the up with Emery at the centre of the project, with Aston Villa’s squad and the set up designed to suit him and help him achieve their collective goals.

Bournemouth’s Andoni Iraola has certainly been watching with interest and is full of praise for Emery as a result.

“For me, Unai Emery is a reference,” he said.

“In the end, he has shown it in many countries, in different categories. He is a coach who has had an absolutely ascending career, always with clear results and methods.

“Mikel (Arteta), who is a friend of mine, and Pep (Guardiola) are absolute elite, they are very good, but in the end, you have always seen them at the highest level.

“For me, a coach like Unai, who has been through different teams, with different philosophies and has always been very, very successful. You know that it is very difficult to get hold of his teams.”