Arsenal manager Unai Emery will be looking to end his first year in charge of the club with silverware, and winning the Europa League on Wednesday, and subsequently qualifying for next season’s Champions League will be a massive start to his reign in North London.
The Spaniard has made the side better since his arrival, and fans will be eagerly looking forward to next season regardless of whatever happens against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Emery has revealed that he didn’t promise the Arsenal board titles during his job interview last summer, but he promised to compete – a feature the club’s chiefs told him erstwhile manager Arsene Wenger had lost during his last years in charge.
“I did not promise titles, I promised to compete. What Wenger did in this club was very big,” Emery told Spanish paper El Mundo (as reported by The Sun)
“He managed to give a touch of quality to make the game more fluid and colourful, but little by little he lost the competitive gene.
“That is what was transmitted to me and what I was hired for when I interviewed Raul Sanllehi and the owners.”
Wenger helped Arsenal to three League titles and seven F.A Cup triumphs during his 22-year reign, but the last of the top-flight titles came in 2004, while there was a nine-season silverware drought before the last three Cup victories.
The Gunners failed to qualify for the Champions League in the Frenchman’s last two seasons in charge, and it was evident at a point that change was needed.
While Emery will need to time to build the team to his taste, there were glimpses of what to come during the campaign, and sealing his debut season with Europa League victory will be huge statement.