Mikel Arteta welcomes Unai Emery back as Arsenal boss reflects on life after Arsene Wenger

Wenger left Arsenal in 2018 after 22 years at the club and was replaced by Unai Emery. The Spaniard, however, struggled at the Emirates Stadium and he was sacked just 18 months into his spell at Arsenal.

Arteta was then appointed in December 2019 and he believes not being the man to succeed Wenger directly could have helped.

“I think there are certain eras that you know are going to go on forever and we’re always going to be the coach or the person that was trying to be successful and trying to take a lot of the things that he left behind and the legacy he left for this football club,” he said.

“In hindsight, probably yes, it was helpful [not being the man directly after Wenger]. I do not know. I hope so, I hope it was the right call.

After being sacked by Arsenal, Emery was eventually appointed by Villarreal and he won the Europa League with them.

The Spaniard is now back in England with Aston Villa and Arteta believes Emery deserves respect for his coaching career.

“Talking about Unai’s return to this league, what I feel for Unai is admiration,” Arteta said.

“If you look at his program, what he’s done in the different countries he’s been to, how he’s adapted, what he’s earned, I think he deserves a lot of admiration and respect for what he did.”

Sports standard

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