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Unai Emery and the particular feeling with the Europa League

The former Sevilla coach also this time in an European final: he will now try to win his fourth trophy, this time with Arsenal

Unai Emery and the particular feeling with the Europa League The former Sevilla coach also this time in an European final: he will now try to win his fourth trophy, this time with Arsenal

Che poi quando sto con te

sono più lucido e produco di più

perciò lo vedi anche tu:

è l’Europa che ce lo chiede


Then when I'm with you

I am more polished and I produce more

therefore you also see it:

it is Europe that asks for it

"L’Europa" is the twelfth song from the album "Ce lo chiede l’Europa" by Dutch Nazari, released in 2018. The song is a reflection on love and life through a parallelism with the famous and discussed impositions of EU, which are back in fashion in these days of voting for the election of the European Parliament. With a further leap, the song could also be applied to football and in particular to Unai Emery, who with Europe seems to have a truly special relationship. "Elective", one could say to remain on the subject.


Cup Master

To date, Unai Emery is the only coach to have won the Europa League for three consecutive years. Another technician had managed to bring home three editions of the competition, when at the time it was still called the Uefa Cup: Giovanni Trapattoni won two with Juventus (1977 and 1993) and one with Inter (1991), but otherwise from his Spanish colleague he failed to give continuity to his victories.

Those of Emery, on the other hand, have all come under the leadership of Sevilla and in three editions in a row: from 2014 to 2016, every year the Spanish team has found itself triumphant at the end of the season, in one way or another. And to say that everything started in a totally absurd way: in the Europa League, based on the Liga 2012-2013 classification, the Malaga should have gone, but it was disqualified for not having respected the Financial Fair Play; at that point the Rayo Vallecano should have taken over, but the Madrid team was not granted the UEFA license. Here then comes the Sevilla that, "from the top" of its ninth place, found itself playing the second preliminary round of the competition against Mladost Podgorica.

The rest, as we use to say in these cases, is history: for the next three years, Sevilla will never be eliminated from the competition. The team coached by Emery will win three consecutive editions, beating Benfica (on penalties), Dnipro (3-2) and Liverpool (3-1) in the final. An incredible result, the result of the work of one of the most respected coaches in the world of football.


Emery's story

After a career that was anything but exciting, at the age of 34 Emery retired from football and embarked on a coaching adventure, starting from where he had left off: Lorca gave him the bench, he took the club to Segunda División and even the promotion among the big ones. The excellent results obtained convince the Almeria to put him under contract, and as a thank you he gives the team the promotion in La Liga at the first opportunity available. But that's not enough: in his first season in the top flight, Emery's team plays an extraordinary championship and manages to reach the eighth place in the standings.

The ascent continues: on May 22, 2008, not yet thirty-seven, Emery is hired by Valencia. The Spanish coach will remain on that bench for four years and, the first season apart, he will always hit third place in the standings. This despite some important transfers (Villa, for example, passed in 2010 to Barcelona for 40 million euros), a constant in his career, like the coloured patches on his jacket's elbows.


From there, a not-so-lucky jump in Russia with Spartak Moscow (May 2012), a club from which Emery is exonerated already in November. This divorce, however, allows him to sign what remains the best marriage of his career: on January 14th 2013 the Spanish coach takes over from Michel at the head of the Seville. Thus begins a story that will bring good results to both parties and will end three and a half years later, in 2016, with Emery leaving Spain to fly to France, to PSG.

New ambitions, definitely stronger team but fluctuating results: in the two years in Paris, the Spanish coach won a French championship, two French cups and two League Cups, failing to establish himself in the Champions League. And to say that two years ago the PSG seemed really able to get to the bottom: 4-0 trimmed to Barcelona at the park of the Princes in the last 16, but at the Camp Nou the blaugrana overturn everything with a resounding 6-1. The adventure in France ends after two years, and on 23 May 2018 is announced as the new Arsenal coach, with the Gunners who have decided to believe in his qualities.

Enhanced players and other good things

Having Emery as a coach means getting the most out of the rose players. For information, ask from parts of Seville: the couple with Monchi worked perfectly, with the manager who bought players and sold them again by weight of gold, after Emery had managed to get them to the maximum on the pitch. Some names: Rakitic, Bacca, Fazio, Perotti, Negredo.

Consequently, the skill of the Spanish coach was also that of being able to rebuild a group and reinvent a team despite changing some important pieces of the puzzle every year. Emery, however, has never broken down, rebuilding after the summer an eleven convincing holder. Not only holders, however, because one of the most appreciated aspects of the Arsenal technician is also that of using all (or almost all) the available cards, taking advantage of the depth of the rose. A definitely useful attitude, when you want to face more competitions in the best way, one of which among other things is played on Thursday.

Finally, the technology chapter. «For every game I will have spent 12 hours in front of the videos: they are very important, the players must have the best information and the videos must be done well. In an hour, the boys have to understand everything that I understood in 12»: words from Unai Emery, who delivers usb sticks to his players and tries to use digital tools to get to know his next opponent and beat him, as if you were playing on a large chessboard of bytes and pixels.


Cannon ball

Unai Emery has been sitting on the Arsenal bench for a year. He received a very heavy legacy, that of Arsène Wenger, who led the Gunners from 1996 to 2018. Twenty-two glorious years studded with victories, an immense cycle that ended leaving an enormous void. The new coach has tried to fill it, this void, and the results of his first season are there for all to see: Emery have won 32 of the first 50 games on the Arsenal bench, something that no one had managed to achieve in the long club history.

Beyond the numbers, then, the constancy with which Emery once again won a Europa League final surprises: his Arsenal was one of the favorite teams from the beginning, it's true, but European competition is a trap in which also famous and equipped teams fall (Napoli, just to give an example). Instead, fast and decisive as a cannonball, Emery's team routed one opponent after the other, leaving each match unscathed, and now the former Sevilla coach has the opportunity to raise yet another trophy.

History repeats itself once again: the citizens go to the polls to vote, there are those who want to go out and those who want to stay; so many slogans, so many choirs, today's politics is divided into fans, as if we were all constantly in front of a football match. In this context the challenge between Arsenal and Chelsea is about to be played, with Emery and Sarri competing for their personal elections. The Spanish coach, for his part, will be strengthened by his brief but already glorious past. Because when Europe asks, Emery answers. And usually answers present.