Arsenal’s Arteta Extols Unai Emery’s Brilliance Ahead of Villa Showdown

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Aston Villa’s development under Unai Emery, the former Arsenal manager, has been remarkable,” remarked Mikel Arteta, the current Arsenal manager, during Friday’s press conference before their Premier League encounter.

This Sunday marks Emery’s first appearance in front of Arsenal’s home crowd since departing the club. His last visit in 2021, as Villarreal’s manager, occurred amidst closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What they have done since Unai came in, he has made a huge impact at the club in terms of performance… they are still in European competition and played last night. Really impressed by what they have done,” Arteta told reporters.

Since Unai Emery joined in October 2022, Aston Villa achieved a seventh-place finish last season, marking their first top-10 placement since 2010/11. Currently, they sit fifth with 60 points, trailing league leaders Arsenal by 11 points.

Additionally, Emery reached a significant milestone, managing his 1,000th match when Aston Villa defeated Lille 2-1 in the first leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final on Thursday.

“Unbelievable. And he’s done it in so many different countries and contexts,” Arteta said.

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“He’s from very close to my hometown. I have huge admiration and respect for him. Wish him the best after Sunday.”

Arsenal suffered a defeat at Villa earlier in October. With Liverpool on level points and defending champions Manchester City trailing by just one point, Mikel Arteta emphasized the importance of maintaining focus on each match without allowing the title race to become a distraction.

“Every game is going to define what our future looks like,” he added.

“It’s the only thing possible to look at one game, and one day. Because it’s the only thing that maintains your focus and determining the task that you have to do on the day.”

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