Marco Andreolli, who played under Unai Emery at Sevilla, told the English media what he thinks of the 46-year-old, after his appointment as head coach at Arsenal.
Andreolli gave his thoughts on his former boss in Sunday’s The Observer. He was very complimentary of the coach, and expects great things for the Spaniard in North London.
“Arsenal have appointed a winner,” he said. “[Emery] is an extraordinary motivator. His speciality is preparing for matches, speaking at great length to his players.
“Emery’s backroom staff was of the highest quality. His coaches are brilliantly prepared, studying for every big game. Unai and his staff are on top of every little detail. They don’t leave anything to chance.”
This probably isn’t the first you’ve heard about Emery’s attention to detail, and his pre-match preparation routines, as it’s all been widely reported in recent days. More than that though, Andreolli was keen to emphasise the personal touch the former PSG man brings.
“One of his great strengths is his relationship with the players,” he explained. “Unai talks with you a lot as an individual and he and his staff can really make a team come together on the pitch.
“I had a bad injury that seriously affected my season at Sevilla but Emery was always available to me and listened to me, and there was one particular moment when we played in the Europa League final [against Liverpool] that made me really emotional.
“He arranged to have a motivational video shown in the dressing room before the game, which looked back over the entire season at Sevilla. Among the clips he had chosen was one of my injury, and one of me working on my recuperation. It was a way of making me feel part of the team, and it showed me that Emery knows how to look after everyone.”
How will Emery fare at Arsenal?
It’s one thing to hear former players talk about how the coach did in Spain, or France, but the question on Arsenal fans’ minds is how he’ll do in the Premier League. Andreolli admitted it wouldn’t be an easy task, but insists Emery is the right man for the job.
“English football is unique and Emery will have to quickly understand this new reality,” the Italian acknowledged. “But he has all the skills necessary to succeed in the Premier League. Tactical awareness, motivational ability, extraordinary staff and a winning mentality. Arsenal have made a good choice.”
The fans will hope the 31-year-old is right. We won’t get our first look at Emery’s Arsenal until mid-July, when the pre-season fixtures start. There’s still a lot of work to be done in the transfer market before then though.
The summer window closes on August 9th this year, before the start of the new season. That really doesn’t leave much time after the end of the World Cup, so it’s best to get deals done in advance.
Hopefully the summer goes well for the new boss, and prepares everyone well for next season.