Mikel Arteta will be taking on Unai Emery for the first time as a manager, in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final on Thursday. There are a lot differences between the current and former Arsenal managers and to get an idea of their personalities, The Athletic spoke to people who have worked with them.
The North London club will be in Spain to take on Emery’s Villarreal who are having a great European campaign of their own. With the Spanish side being managed by someone with an incredible record in Europa League knockout games, it will be a tough game for the Gunners.
According to The Athletic, one of the biggest hurdles that Emery had to overcome was that of language. To get his point across, he had to make use of translators. The former PSG manager to his credit, made an effort to articulate in English, but never seemed to get the clarity and fluency that he was looking for.
This is in stark contrast to Arteta who is able to be clear and concise in expressing his ideas. Having spent almost two decades in UK has certainly helped with his understanding of the English language.
Another difference felt by the players was the intensity and duration of the training sessions. Emery focused more on tactics which resulted in trainings going on for much longer. This eventually confused the squad as to what they were supposed to do in-game.
The difference with Arteta is that the sessions are much shorter and clear. One particular aspect that stood out was the former Arsenal captain was conducting training to replicate real match scenarios. This would make it easier for any player to know what has to be done during a match.
The Athletic also note that Arteta has become a popular figure throughout the club due to his management style. He wants to engage with everyone who is part of the club. Emery on the other hand was focused more on just being the head coach and focus on matches alone. Over time, this led people to feel alienated, as the former boss thought it was his duty to only focus on training and match days.
And finally, the reason the current boss has retained his popularity within the club is due to his hands-on approach. This is seen especially in Arteta’s management of players during their struggles, which is the exact opposite of what Emery would do.
After the players and club officials had become tired of the distance between them and the manager, the new arrival was a breath of fresh air. This is what is keeping the former Premier League player in favour despite poor results in the league. He will be hoping to get one over Emery today and prove that the club made the right choice.
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