The coach of the Villarreal, Unai Emery, He pointed out at the press conference prior to the first leg of the Europa League semifinals, which this Thursday they play against Arsenal at La Cerámica, that due to his past as a coach in the London team “I know them and they know me.”
“In Europe we have known each other for a long time, both teams have already met. On a personal level the fact of having been there gives me a better knowledge of many things, as they know how I deal with things. But I think that now it is different, so it will be a tie in which we both arrived on merits and there will only be one left, “he said.
Villarreal faces the fifth semifinal in their history “And that triggers the illusion at the club level, at the player level and for me,” he said. Emery, who hopes to finally “be able to break that semifinal barrier, which makes us face it in a special way and something very nice for everyone “.
The Basque coach stressed that he expects from Arsenal, despite their casualties, “the best version of them and with their best players. We work with that idea and for that reason we are thinking of a very powerful rival.”
“At the club level little can be added, it is a great club. Arteta is a great technician and much loved. At the game level, they are a recognizable team and very Arsenal. It has good players, experienced players and young players who are growing. It is a very recognized Arsenal, very worked, with a solid defensive structure that gives them a lot of security, “he explained.
Asked about his past at Arsenal, where he spent a season and a half, the coach assured that it is “a closed stage” and was grateful for having worked there.
“I am left with the things that they gave me and to continue growing. Now with the idea of transferring him to Villarreal, with humility and satisfied to be able to contribute how I did it at Arsenal. In all teams I have my corner in my heart, but now me heart is ‘groguet’ and I’m focused on it“, he stressed.
About the conversation he had with Mikel Arteta When he took charge of the London team, he revealed that “we talked about my experience and I passed on my experience to him. He is from San Sebastian like me, I didn’t know him, because I have admiration for him. I like to know what other coaches do, I usually see Arsenal
and I thought it might be positive for us to talk. We did it in a very soccer and very clear way, in which I wanted to give him my vision. “
On his team and how he faces this semifinal he commented that “We come from a defeat, we have had enough days to prepare the game and for that reason we have everyone. We must focus on these two games, we will see how they are and how they recover, from there to make an eleven as best as possible ”.