PSG appoint Emery
French champions Paris Saint-Germain have appointed former Sevilla manager Unai Emery on a two-year deal. The Spaniard replaces Laurent Blanc who left the club on Monday after three years in charge. The deal also has the option of an additional year.
The 44-year-old has taken many plaudits over recent years, with many focusing on his ability to succeed on the European stage. Under his leadership Sevilla won three consecutive Europa League titles with the most recent coming against Liverpool in May. It is perhaps this quality that has attracted the Parisians to him. He has also taken Sevilla to eight cup finals in his time.
After a playing career that was mainly in the Spanish second division. Emery began at Lorca Deportivo in the third tier of Spanish football. In his first coaching job, and his first season, Lorca was promoted to the second division. He again achieved promotion in his first season in his second managerial job in charge of Almeria. The 44-year-old guided the Andalusian club to their first promotion to La Liga. His success at Lorca and Almeria, lead to Valencia’s interest. In his first season at the Mestalla, Emery lead the club to sixth place in La Liga. He improved on this by finishing third the next season. He began to achieve consistency as Valencia finished third the next two seasons, ending only behind giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. Emery’s achievements at Valencia are more impressive when put into context of the severe financial constraints on the club.
Emery moved further afield by becoming Spartak Moscow manager in 2012. However, his time in the Russian capital was short lived. After a poor run of results, which culminated in 5-1 home defeat in the Moscow derby to Dynamo, he was sacked after just 22 games.
After this he returned to Spain to manage Sevilla. In his first full season in charge of Sevilla, he led them to their third Europa League title beating Benfica on penalties. He then repeated the feat as the Spanish club beat Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 3-2 in a thrilling final. He then masterminded his third consecutive Europa League success by beating Liverpool 3-1 in Basel, after being 1-0 down at half time.
What will Emery bring to PSG
Emery has an extremely dynamic and meticulous style of coaching. As well as having great success in cup competitions, he has also showcased his ability against the stronger teams in Spain. These strengths make him the perfect candidate for PSG, whose next stage of development is success in Europe.
Emery has a great ability to take over club’s in difficult positions or that have been stagnating and transforming them into successful teams. This was shown at Lorca and Almeria, as well as Valencia, who all faced financial difficulty. This is no such problem at PSG, a club with seemingly endless financial resources. Although, this seems a benefit and will most likely be. Emery has often based tactics around the financial strictness of his clubs as well as transfers. The financial strictness of Sevilla was shown as target Gaston Ramirez, moved to Hull City instead of the Champions League side due to a more lucrative deal with the Tigers.
Emery’s teams play a high-pressure, structured style. His preferred formation is a 4-2-3-1. Emery is often very intense and animated on the touchline and his teams often reflect this. His meticulous planning is shown by his obsession with studying opposition’s tactics and making his teams watch DVDs of their opponents. Joaquin, who played under Emery at Valenica once said that “there were so many videos I ran out of popcorn.”
Recently, Paris Saint-Germain have conquered and dominated France domestically but have missed on their ultimate goal of European success. The Parisians were disappointingly knocked out by Manchester City in this last year’s quarter-finals and are yet to get past this stage. Failure on the European stage seems to be the main factor in Blanc’s departure. The French club will be hoping that Emery can be the manager to take them to the next level. As a result of his past European pedigree, he is a very credible appointment.
In light of his recent move to Paris, Emery has written a letter to Sevilla fans to thank them for their support. He wrote, “Today, we hear the anthem of the Champions League at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for two consecutive seasons. And, in three and a half years we have reached eight finals and won three titles.
“I have only words of gratitude for the years of shared joys. Seasons in which our performance in an increasingly disputed La Liga has allowed us to live unforgettable moments in Europe.”
‘Three consecutive Europa Leagues that put the Sevilla FC and their fans as the kings of this competition. On top of that my greatest satisfaction was seeing players grow for the benefit of the club and themselves.”
“‘It is difficult to close such a beautiful relationship, but I wanted to do it in the most respectful and clear manner with all the Sevillismo, while only asking respect for me. Thanks to the club, all employees, fans and especially the players for their great job involvement.”
PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaïfi has welcomed Emery, “I am very happy to welcome Unai Emery as the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain, Unai will bring to the Club all his experience, his passion and his strong management skills and human qualities. He has a proven talent to get the most out of a team. I am convinced that our fans will love the spectacular style of football our team will play with Unai.”