The manager of Villarreal, Unai Emery has noted that he was tempted to join Newcastle United earlier in the season but the fact that Villarreal are playing in the Champions League was a factor that prevented him from joining the Premier League club.
Recall that after a Saudi-Arabian-backed consortium bought Newcastle United earlier in the season, the club’s fans agitated against the reign of coach Steve Bruce who was struggling with the team in the relegation zone then.
Then, Unai Emery was seen as the frontrunner for the job and Villarreal reportedly permitted him to speak with the Premier League club. Afterward, the deal collapsed and Newcastle United were left without a permanent coach for weeks.
After a series of negotiations, Newcastle United settled for former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe who has been able to lift the club out of the relegation zone.
In an interview with The Athletic, Unai Emery said the job he could have done at Newcastle United was very attractive, noting that all he had to do was to build the team from the ground.
Emery noted that the job he had to do at Arsenal was tougher than the job he would have done at Newcastle United because at Arsenal, he was expected to knock down walls before he could start rebuilding.
“The Newcastle project is attractive – something to build, different to Arsenal”, Unai Emery said.
“With Arsenal, you first had to knock down the walls, which is hard work, then start to build again. Newcastle, no; it was just about building from the ground up.
“So it is different, and I liked the idea. But I was also grateful to Villarreal for the opportunity they gave me, and we were in the Champions League.”
Unai Emery says Mikel Arteta is continuing with what he started at Arsenal… Arsenal’s fans are impatient
After Arsenal’s legendary coach, Arsène Wenger decided to end his reign at the Premier League club in 2018, the club appointed Unai Emery as the successor of the French coach.
In his first season in charge of the Premier League side, Unai Emery led Arsenal to the final of the Europa League but lost it to Chelsea.
Unfortunately, Arsenal fans called for his sack in the first quarter of the 2019-2020 season. Arsenal agreed to sack him in November 2019.
Afterward, Mikel Arteta was made the permanent coach of the team and has been sailing the unsteady boat since then.
In his first season at the club, Arteta led the Gunners to win the FA Cup which won him more supporters not just as a former captain of the club but as a coach that has won a major title at the club.
In the 2021-2022 season, Arteta has brought a bit of stability to the north London club as the club are a step away from finishing in the Premier League top four.
In his reaction, Unai Emery admitted that Arteta has been doing a great job at Arsenal but added that the fans have been very patient with the Spanish coach unlike during his era.
“He has had that patience from the fans, the patience they did not have with me”, Emery noted. “But I understand that.
According to Emery, when he was in charge of Arsenal, he had to carry out a series of changes which was not an easy process. Despite that, the fans were not patient with him.
“Five captains left in the first year, there were many changes, and patience was needed”, the coach said.
“It was not an easy process. The fans did not have patience. Xhaka had problems with the fans and in the dressing room where other experienced players did not understand his role as captain.
“Xhaka was an important player for me — he was a good person, very committed to his coach.
“The club was happy with me, but the fans were calling for a change, and it had to happen.”
Unai Emery is expected to lead Villarreal to play against Bayern Munich in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final game in Spain on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. The match will kick off at 20:00.