Unai Emery believes Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have a ‘good marriage’ ahead of Europa League reunion

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Simon Collings
·2-min read
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 (AFP/Getty Images)
(AFP/Getty Images)

Unai Emery believes his old club Arsenal have found themselves “a good marriage” by working with Mikel Arteta.

Emery was sacked by Arsenal in November 2019 and he was replaced by Arteta, who was previously Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.

The two are now set to go head to head on Thursday as Arsenal and Villarreal, who Emery is currently in charge of, meet in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

The first leg is in Spain this week and, speaking to Uefa ahead of it, Emery praised the work of his successor Arteta at Arsenal.

“Arteta is putting his own stamp on things – in the way they play, it’s easy to identify he’s bringing back that Arsenal tradition of playing attractive football,” he said.

“His first steps as Pep Guardiola’s assistant have helped him to position himself in this new profession which is being the manager. Now he has been given this opportunity at Arsenal, and I think it’s a good place to develop because he is much loved by Arsenal thanks to the time he spent in the team.

“He had his time [playing] there with Arsene Wenger so I’m sure he can apply everything he learned. I think it’s a good marriage: Arteta-Arsenal, Arsenal-Arteta.

“When Arsenal are in form, they are a top team. We’ve seen that this season. But so are we when we find our form.

“So in terms of confidence, the demands, the respect we have for the opponent, this semi-final will be full of tension and both teams will do their utmost to get through, which is what makes this competition such a great one.

“I will have to put aside my feelings for Arsenal, and I will have to put all my energies into making sure that the Yellow Submarine gets the upper hand in the tie.”

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