Unai Emery Q&A: New Arsenal manager on Arsene Wenger, transfers, Jack Wilshere and more

Arsenal unveiled Unai Emery as their newest manager on Wednesday afternoon.

The 46-year-old Spaniard has signed a long-term deal to succeed Arsene Wenger, who left at the end of the Premier League season after 22 years at the club.

Emery brings with him a wealth of European experience having enjoyed success at Valencia and Sevilla in Spain and, most recently, in France with Paris Saint-Germain where he secured back-to-back Ligue 1 titles.

Here’s what the new manager had to say when meeting the English media for the first time:

“Good afternoon everybody. Thank you Kroenke family, we travelled to Atlanta for a meeting with Kroenke family and for me it is a very good meeting, very good conversation with him, with his son. All the connections together for this project.

“Thank you too to the chairman, the board. We had meeting Monday morning and also I feel they feel with the heart Arsenal and the conversation with the chairman, the board is very important for me. For no better Arsenal club.

“Thank you Ivan, thank you Raul and thank you Sven. The first meeting with Arsenal persons are with the three persons who, after three hours, I think very good feeling for will work together for will grow up, create new present and future Arsenal.

“Thank you Arsene Wenger for your legacy. For all coach in the world is a reference and learn with him. I learn with him all the things in football.

“My English is not very best now. I want make an effort for speak with you to the supporters for explain my idea, explain my ambition, explain know I am very excited by this opportunity, a big club, a great city, a grand stadium and also a great player for this world.”

Q: How big a challenge is this?

A: “Is a big challenge but in my career every year is a challenge. For me is a dream come true.

Q: What are your targets?

A: “Now know you. All the conversations with Ivan, with the people that work here is important to know all the information in the club as I want to know how we will grow up this team. I know all the players, I think all the players is very important. All the players is, I think, I want, will be with them this way. But I want to speak, will speak individually with all the players and speak with them face-to-face.”

Q: In terms of your squad, can you tell us whether Jack Wilshere is part of your thinking?

A: “I want today to speak the team globally. I don’t want to speak individually of players because all the meetings with Ivan, Raul, Sven, this team is big. We think we need change, a little things. A little players. Today I want to work and want to speak globally for the squad.

Q: How hard an act is Wenger to follow?

A: “It’s a big challenge for me but I work also with other projects, big projects and with me, for me, I am proud to be here and to work after Arsene Wenger.

Q: How passionately did you fight for this job?

A: “All the meetings with Ivan, Raul, Sven. It was important for me the connection. We speak in this moment about how I hope and want to work. This responsibility at this club together. To know my ambition, to know my passion, to know how I want to grow up my project individually at Arsenal is a big project, big responsibility but this is very important. For me, all the conversations are very good conversations with the same idea, the same way to make good for the present and the future.

Q: What do you expect to achieve? Do you need to spend lots of money?

A: “I believe in the players who are here. I think the objective is together for work hard, for with this talent the players, work and all the titles who will be in the next season, in the future, to be a candidate for challenging in all the titles. That is very important for the club after two years outside the Champions League, work for this way, for a life and to be the best club, the best team in the Premier League and also the world.”

Q: How would you describe your style of football?

A: “I am very demanding myself for all, and I want here people and players who are demanding also.

“My idea is to be protagonists all match. We play against all the teams with this personality, with, I think, the history is one thing. They love the possession of the ball. I like this personality, I like this protagonism with the ball and when you don’t have possession of the ball I want a squad that is very, very intensive for the pressing. It’s two things that, for me, are very important.”

Q: What was it that most attracted you to this project? Did you have other offers?

A: “I had three fantastic meetings in terms of who was at those meetings. They analysed me as a person and a coach and they felt I could be an option for this team. I have to say that after a three-hour meeting there was fantastic chemistry between us and much of that chemistry came because this was Arsenal, a great club.

“The second meeting was with the chairman and they transmitted what the fans wanted. I really transmitted what I wanted. The third meeting was in Atlanta and we really had a fantastic feeling in terms of what we wanted from the project. It’s good in terms of what I want after Spain and France. The challenge, in terms of Arsenal and it’s a great opportunity to grow.

Q: What would be success this season?

A: “Development, and that is challenging for every title. It’s something that is in Arsenal’s history and it want it to be in the future too.

Q: What is your plan to bring the Premier League and Champions League to Arsenal?

A: “We want to bring to improve individually and the collective all we can. All the titles are important for us. I think we can and we want to be candidates for them. I don’t promise today we will win, but I can promise you that we will work hard and we will work together, we will transmit emotion, we will find all the objectives.

“I want the team to make the fans proud. I know they are already but I want them to be even more so.

Q: Is there more to come from Mesut Ozil?

A: “He is one of the biggest talents at Arsenal and I want to talk to him. I want to talk to all of the players about how excited and inspired I am to be here. Overall this is a wonderful project and I think we all need to give 100%, that’s what I’m looking for from players and myself.

Q: Have you spoken to any Premier League managers about the challenge?

A: “In terms of my past experience, it makes me feel stronger and it also allows me to have a guide in terms of my future trajectory. I’m very excited to be here, playing against top coaches and top teams. I have to say the Premier League right now is at the top and everyone wants to be in the best league.

“I speak to lots of coaches but those are private conversations.”