Guillem Balague, who was the first journalist to reveal that Unai Emery was under serious consideration for the Arsenal job, has now given details of the appointment process to fans.
Balague used to be way off the mark when it came to Arsenal transfer news, but this year he’s called the Aubameyang transfer and the Emery appointment perfectly. It seems Raul Sanllehi’s presence in the club is helping the Sky Sports journalist to get some real inside information, at last.
The Spaniard explained to his YouTube channel how the whole thing went down this week.
“Arsenal spoke to 10 managers,” Balague explained. “Not everybody [was similar] to each other. So Arteta doesn’t have a lot to do with Unai Emery.
“They wanted to check all of them to see their reaction to the structure of Arsenal, their personality, their chemistry, if they actually represented the values of Arsenal and if they could continue the progressive football of Arsenal as well. Can they continue with Arsene Wenger’s philosophy, idea, etc.?”
Balague then revealed some of the managers Arsenal spoke to, including Luis Enrique and Mikel Arteta. He also set the timeframe for the announcement of Unai Emery, saying the 46-year-old will be presented “during the week”.
After that he got onto what to expect from the new boss, compared to the only one fans have known for the last 22 years.
“Unai Emery is less charming than Arsene Wenger,” he began. “He adds more detail to what teams and players do, both in training and in games. Not everybody will accept that, there are some players that are in a comfort zone. Players that don’t want to be changed, just want to go to training and go to the games.
“Then there’s the winners. The winners at Arsenal will want what Emery’s bringing. That intensity in training, in the message, he will sharpen everybody up, he will demand more of everybody.”
Hopefully the players already know they need to put in some hard work to improve on this season. Sixth place is bad, but the scale of the distance to the top sides is even worse.
We’ll have to wait and see when the new manager takes charge of his first matches in pre-season.