Gary Neville praises Arsenal’s choice of Unai Emery but questions process

Manchester United legend-turned-pundit Gary Neville is pleased that Arsenal have chosen Unai Emery for the managerial role but remains surprised with the urgency with which the decision was made. Until Sunday, Mikel Arteta had been touted as the favourite for the Gunners job after allegedly agreeing on a three-year deal but the club have since made a surprise U-turn to discuss terms with Emery instead.

Reacting to the news, Neville replied to The Mirror’s John Cross saying: “He’s a brilliant coach John. Late change in the process?They’ve bounced all over the place on it! However,he’s a good appointment for Arsenal…the process a mess. You must have been hearing what was going on. Like a pinball…anyway the end result is a very good coach.”

The Gunners were initially keen on pursuing someone close to the club and this saw them approach former player Arteta, who is presently an assistant with Manchester City. However, the approach did not seem to go well with the supporters, especially on social media and the hierarchy appear to have now finalised an agreement with Emery.

Emery won four trophies during the recently concluded campaign with Paris Saint-Germain but he was still relieved of his duties after failing to make progress in the Champions League. Like in previous seasons, Les Parisiens bowed out of the competition in the round of 16 stage and this urged the board to make a change with Thomas Tuchel succeeding the Spaniard.

Arsenal endured their worst league campaign in over two decades as they finished 12 points off the top four last season. As such, Emery’s first job would be to make the club capable of fighting for a Champions League spot although he won’t have control over the transfer business. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has been handling the transfer proceedings over the past six months and the German is expected to call the shots over possible signings.