Sunday, 17 June 2018

Who Is Unai Emery?

"Who is Unai Emery" was the question many asked and are still asking. It is not as if some who made such utterance knew nothing at all about this man. It was just a case of having little knowledge of who he actually is.

When people come up with questions like this, it becomes vivid that they have less confidence in someone and it is not any different with Unai Emery. The above question which birthed this post has more to it. When someone asks "Who are you?" it most often implies that he or she sees you as a minor, one who is not up to the task and cannot deliver.

Well, if you are one of those who only know Unai as the new Arsenal boss and assert that he showed up from nowhere to fill a position above his capacity then you have to read on because you will definitely have a change of thought at the end. We will be taking a look at his managerial career so far, paying more attention to his last three appointments.

Unai Emery stopped playing football in the year 2004 when he got sidelined by a career threatening knee injury. At this time, he was at Lorca Deportivo where he was given the coaching job. This was where he began putting his name in the book of legends. What exactly did he do?

Before the Spaniard filled in the empty slot at Lorca, the club had never for once made it to the second division but on his arrival, Unai ensured that that feat was achieved. To show you how great an impact his presence had on Lorca, they got relegated when he made an exit.

Emery moved on to Almeria and continued with the good works. His first season with them saw him push the club into the Primira Divison popularly known as the La Liga and you know what? That was their first time of getting in there. You can see how influential he was in his first two clubs. We haven't even touched the more spectacular ones but I know you're beginning to smile. Also worthy of note is his stint at Valencia where he made them qualify for the Europa League in his first season then recorded successive third place finishes in the next two seasons which also gave them Champions League participation. All these he did at a period when the club had chronic financial challenges.. Heroic, isn't it?

As some Nigerians or let me say Africans will say, "Unai's village people" followed him to his next club, Spartak Moscow in Russia, and as a result, he struggled hard to make a mark before he was shown the exit door.

Emery buckled up, returned to Spain and took over the mantle at Sevilla. It was at this time he achieved the greatest feat of his coaching career till date. This he did by winning the UEFA Europa League title three times in three seasons. Yes, you heard me right. Those who know how difficult it is to win that trophy will appreciate what Emery did. O Shaprapra! Lol!

Having achieved a great deal at Sevilla he decided to ply his trade elsewhere resulting to him securing a job in France where he served prior to his appointment as Arsenal boss. With Paris Saint Germain, he won one Ligue 1 title, two Coupe de France, two Coupe de La Ligue and two Trophees des Champions all in two campaigns.

The old years are gone and it's a new phase for Unai Emery, the man who has come to fill the void left by Arsene Wenger, the one who we all look up to to revive the glory days at Arsenal. If he could do it at other clubs, why not with us? Hopefully, he will put smiles on our faces in no time.

Before I drop my invisible pen, I'll like to let you know that Unai Emery holds a joint record of the highest number of trophies won by a manager since the 2013/14 season. He shares this record with Pep Guardiola, Massimiliano Allegri and Laurent Blanc. Smile, for our time has come.
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