Unai Emery: The Most Underappreciated Manager in the Premier League

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Unai Emery
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: Unai Emery, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Arsenal and Stade Rennais at Emirates Stadium on March 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

This Premier League season has been tougher than ever. Four teams are fighting for the last two spots in the top four separated by a point gap of just four points. Earlier finishing in the top four was just a formality, now it is way more than that.

With every season, the league is becoming more and more competitive. Millions of pounds are spent on recruiting world-class players from all over Europe. Amidst all this money game, there is Unai Emery who has not spent as much as the other managers in the top six, yet his Arsenal side sit fourth, a point below Tottenham Hotspur.

The Most Underappreciated Manager in the Premier League

Emery Revolution At Arsenal

At the start of the season, there were two new faces in the potential top six that were starting their journey as a Premier League manager. One of them was Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri.

The high-profile Italian manager was known for his footballing style – ‘Sarriball’ which was quite a hit in Naples. The Italian had a busy transfer market where he spent millions on recruiting world-class players. Chelsea were still in good shape when the 65-year-old took over.

On the other hand, the second new face was Spanish manager Unai Emery. The former Sevilla boss was chosen to be the heir of Arsene Wenger at the Emirates. Arsenal were in a complete mess when Emery took over. He did not even get enough investment from the owners to buy the players he wanted.

Emery lost his first two games in the Premier League to Manchester City and Chelsea while the other managers had a great start to their Premier League campaign.

Today, Sarri even after spending millions is struggling with Chelsea whereas the underrated Unai Emery sits fourth, just a point below Spurs. The job Unai Emery has done at Arsenal is simply tremendous. Unbeaten in last five games, Emery has already beaten the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United in his first season in charge at Arsenal.

Last season, Arsenal were quite miserable while playing against the fellow members of the top six. This season, the team looks more solid and confident under the Spanish manager. With eight games to go, Arsenal are quite likely to finish in third as they have considerably easier fixtures as compared to the other three fighting for the top four.

Doing His Job

Coming into Arsenal, Emery spent just €79 million, €1 million less than Chelsea spent on its keeper alone. The quality of football Arsenal are playing today is quite outstanding. The team looks a bit more consistent than it was under Arsene Wenger in the last few years of his reign.

The former Paris Saint-Germain manager has still a lot of work to do with Arsenal. But, it seems like the team is moving in the right path. At the start of the season, not a lot people expected Arsenal to finish in the top four. Today, the scenario is quite different. Taking over Arsenal when the team was such a mess and managing to finish in the top-four is quite remarkable.

There are still a lot of problems going on inside the Arsenal team. But Unai Emery is a very intelligent manager. He has handled the Mesut Ozil scenario quite well when he was under constant pressure from the media. Even after having constant defensive injuries in the team, the Spanish manager has done a great job with his other veteran defenders.

Arsenal might not have the best of defences in the league but its improving day-by-day. In the Premier League where the fans appreciate the work done by Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Unai Emery is still quite underappreciated for his works.

He might not be famous for his world-class tactics like the other managers out there. But, he has got world-class managerial skills which make him one of the best managers in the world. Not to forget, he has won the Europa League three times in a row with Sevilla. Emery is perfect for Arsenal in order to take the team back to its glory days.

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