Unai Emery’s time at Arsenal didn’t quite go to plan during his short-lived spell in charge of the north London giants.
Having been chosen to replace Arsene Wenger in 2018, within 18 months he was sacked not even midway through his second season.
After a fifth place finish and a crushing Europa League final defeat at the end of his first campaign, poor results at the start of the next season sealed his fate.
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Despite perhaps a feeling of disappointment over a premature end to his time at the club, Spanish football expert Felix Martin says the current Villarreal boss has nothing to prove when he goes up against the Gunners in the Europa League semi-final.
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With his eye firmly on trying to reach the final, thoughts of 'revenge' will be pushed to the back of his mind.
Emery, who previously managed Sevilla and Valenica as well as Paris Saint-Germain, faces Arsenal for the first time since his exit from the club but Martin believes there are no hard feelings.
If I were him I'd obviously like to win against my former team.
“But he played against Sevilla a lot of times and hasn't said anything special about it.”
The Europa League is his competition
Emery is looking to lift the Europa League for the fourth time in his career having previously won it three times as Sevilla manager.
Having reached a fourth final with Arsenal, his side were second best in a humiliating 4-1 defeat to London rivals Chelsea in Baku.
Image credit: Eurosport
Martin believes Emery will want to make up for that loss and the fact that Arsenal potentially stand in his way is not an issue.
The Europa League is his competition, he has won it three times and lost another final when he was training Arsenal, so I guess that he will transmit his motivation to his team.
“Emery is respected in Spain for his tactical knowledge and for his international career.”
Arteta is well respected in Spain
Emery’s replacement at Arsenal was compatriot Mikel Arteta who has endured a difficult campaign at the Emirates and knows the Europa League is his last shot at glory this campaign.
The current Gunners boss has come under fire for the team’s poor domestic showing that sees them sitting in 10th place in the Premier League as the season approaches its climax.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
Image credit: Getty Images
However, according to Martin, Arteta’s stock actually remains high in his homeland.
“He is very respected. We don't know much about the way that his teams play but, knowing that he was part of [Pep] Guardiola's team for a few years, we expect his team to try to control the possession of the ball.
“Besides that, we've read some news here explaining how he has proved to be firm when managing certain difficulties with his players such as Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.”
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