It’s fair to say Unai Emery’s time at Arsenal was somewhat mixed. Runners-up in the Europa League to Chelsea, things may had gone differently if that final had been won.
Many supporters weren’t happy with the Spaniard’s management style and Emery failed to excel as Arsene Wenger’s successor, a role which was always going to be a difficult one.
Leaving the Gunners in November 2019, the manager had a good period of time to rest and recuperate before taking over Villarreal in July 2020. The club have started La Liga reasonably well, and find themselves fourth after playing five matches, although multiple teams below them have one or two games in hand to change that.
Emery has been speaking to El Periodico Mediterraneo, a newspaper local to his current club, and was asked if Villarreal ‘on the inside’ surpasses ‘such powerful entities’ as his former clubs, Arsenal and PSG.
What this means isn’t entirely clear, presumably it’s related to how the club is run, and Emery gave a positive answer: “Yes, I totally agree, but I have the advantage that I was at Valencia and I already knew what Villarreal was doing and felt admiration for their ability to have these facilities and great players. They have played important matches and competitions, all with the merit of doing so in a very small town like Vila Real and with great national and world recognition.
“The media dimension can be favourable or not, it depends on whether things are going well or badly, but I think the club has that advantage because it has internal demands and execution capacity without the need to have that external dimension. Matters are arranged inside. Villarreal has nothing to envy PSG or Arsenal for.”
PSG, especially, can be full of drama with the recent public spat between sports director Leonardo and manager Thomas Tuchel a good example of that. Villarreal, on the other hand is a much calmer environment and perhaps the perfect club for Emery after his high profile pressures in France and England.