Former PSG head coach Unai Emery has been unveiled as the new manager of Villarreal, and in his opening press conference in Castellon he shared his dream of winning a title with the Yellow Submarine.
That will be music to the ears of Villarreal fans who have just enjoyed a successful La Liga season watching their team win a Europa League place, and now they will hope their new man can take them on to the next level.
To win a title in a league containing Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid would take some doing, but Emery might just be the man to bring a first major trophy to the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Success in Seville
After cutting his coaching teeth down the road at Valencia and with Spartak Moscow, Emery came to prominence as head coach at Sevilla where he had fantastic success in three seasons.
A third consecutive Europa League triumph came in a 3-1 win over Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in Basel in 2016, and Emery’s style of football and clever use of the transfer market came to the notice of some of Europe’s biggest clubs and in 2016 he headed to Paris.
His ability to win trophies was already apparent and if he can repeat his Europa League success at Villarreal this season he will have quickly realised his dream at his new club.
Paris and London
As boss of the dominant club in Ligue 1, Emery struggled to make a big impact at Paris Saint-Germain, failing to win the domestic league in his first season – something he rectified in 2018 when won all the available domestic titles to achieve a quadruple.
But in both 2017 and 2018, PSG were eliminated from the Champions League in the Round of 16 and Emery announced his departure.
From one of Europe’s famous capital cities, the Spanish coach made his way to another, rocking up at Arsenal in North London.
He made a great start at the Emirates taking the Gunners on a 22-match unbeaten run, but the season finished in disappointment as Arsenal missed out on a Champions League place and lost 4-1 to Chelsea in the Europa League final.
After a poor start to the 2019/20 season, Emery was sacked in November and was replaced by former Manchester City coach Mike Arteta.
Emery’s old club has shown signs of improving under Arteta, an Arsenal playing legend, and this week the current Gunners boss has taken the time to send a message of encouragement to his predecessor.
“He’s going back to Spain. He’s a manager that has a lot of experience there and has been very successful there. I wish him all the best from our side. There are a lot of people here who liked him and a lot who have huge respect from him,” said Arteta.
What will Emery find in Valencia
After a disappointing 2018/19 season for Villarreal, the La Liga 2020 betting odds didn’t feature the club for a European place.
But the Yellow Submarine had a great end to the season under Javier Calleja and finished in fifth place – winning the first five of six games following the return of football after the lockdown.
That they came so close to a Champions League place was some achievement for a club which spent much of the previous campaign hovering dangerously close to the relegation battle and eventually finishing 14th.
Former Arsenal attacking midfielder Santi Cazorla has been a big influence but he’s on the way to Qatar to finish his career, although Emery will find players of the quality of Paco Alcacer and Colombian forward Carlos Bacca in his squad.
Striker Gerard Moreno has had an exceptional campaign and been a regular feature in the La Liga 2020 news, finishing as the third top scorer in La Liga, behind Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema.
Can Emery bring a title to Villarreal? Keep an eye out for the SBOBET odds for the coming season and see where the land lies.
The Yellow Submarine boss has a big challenge ahead to beat their best ever season — a second place in 2008 — and that might be a step too far.
But he’s daring to dream and the board at Villarreal might want to look for the keys to their trophy cabinet!
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