Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has given his backing to new Arsenal head coach Unai Emery, as the club announced his appointment on Wednesday morning.
Speaking to Sky Sports at Wentworth golf club, Guardiola showed he clearly has a lot of respect for his new Premier League rival.
“His career speaks for itself, did it perfect in Spain with many teams – Valencia, Sevilla – and did it really well in France,” he said. “Welcome to England, another good manager is coming here.”
For those that don’t know, Guardiola and Emery were both managing in La Liga at the same time at one point.
Emery was in charge of Valencia, and Guardiola was managing Barcelona. Despite his club’s small stature, Emery led Valencia to three successive third place finishes. Only Real Madrid and Barcelona finished above them.
After that they both left the league, but Emery returned later to win three Europa League trophies in three years with Sevilla. That got him a move to Paris Saint-Germain, but when his contract expired, five trophies and two Super Cups later, he was free to join Arsenal.
Clearly the two bosses have a lot of respect for each other, but hopefully Emery can live up Guardiola’s expectations and create a rivalry on the pitch between the two sides. Unlike in Spain, with Valencia and Barcelona, Arsenal are expected to challenge Manchester City for trophies.
We’ll see if the new head coach can make that happen.