Football writer Romain Molina, author of ‘Unai Emery – El Maestro’ has revealed a nickname Emery’s former players used to have for him back in his time with Almeria.
A few months into his time with Arsenal, Emery is starting to make a name for himself in English football. However, due to his footballing obsession, the head coach already has a nickname back in Spain, according to Romain Molina.
“He is mad for football, he loves it,” Molina said. “His nickname when he was younger was ‘infermo de futbol’, which means ‘sick for football’. That’s what one of his former players Laurent de Palmas used to say.
“He told me that the players thought he breathed football, he sleeps football, maybe he even f***s football. And he wasn’t laughing, he was serious while he was telling me.”
Emery took charge of Laurent de Palmas and the rest of the Almeria team back in 2006, early on in his managerial career. The coach managed to lead the second division Spanish side to promotion in 2007, and a top 8 finish in La Liga the next year. It was that achievement that earned Emery notoriety and a move to Valencia.
Reports suggest Emery’s love for the game hasn’t dulled at all since then. At Valencia, Joaquin said that the coach was ‘obsessed by football’ and that it’s ‘practically an illness’. Shkodran Mustafi talked in November about how Emery ‘really knows what he wants’ from each and every player in the squad, and tells them all exactly what to do.
Hopefully, that will translate to the pitch, with Arsenal sorting out the missing details in the team and pushing for success. We’ll have to wait and see.