Aston Villa manageri Emery – ‘Pep Guardiola is the best manager I’ve known

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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has stressed that without a succession of Spanish managers blazing a trail in the Premier League, it would be more difficult for others to follow.

Emery spoke to Diario AS in an interview where he explained why he left Villarreal for Aston Villa, his second job in England.

He was also asked about what he thought of the fact that Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola are both doing well with an aesthetic style of football with Arsenal and Manchester City respectively, and if there was anything in that style.

“(Thinks) Winning makes you respected. It happens that Pep and Arteta are winning, yes. But if you don’t win, they won’t respect you. We have had examples and I appreciate that. First it was [Rafael] Benitez, then it was Guardiola.”

“Some still say that Pep has done bad things, I think that everything he has done is very good. He has opened many doors for the rest of us with everything he has done. He is the best coach I have ever met.”

Emery also explained that he was able to learn from both of them.

“Taking their things and being able to implement them in your style helps. Arteta has the advantage of having been a footballer in England, of knowing the culture, and in addition to having been with Guardiola doing a job where he was reporting to him. And there are also prestigious coaches like Lopetegui, like Javi Gracia who played in an FA Cup final, like Roberto Martínez in his day… All of that helps.”

Despite some questioning the level of La Liga, especially in terms of European competition, some are interpreting this as a golden age for Spanish management. There are very few non-Spaniards coaching in La Liga, while the Premier League currently has six imports from the Iberian Peninsula.

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