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Mikel Arteta is still grappling with many of the same issues his predecessor encountered at the Emirates Stadium but Arsenal have moved on and the same is true of Emery. After difficult spells in France and England, all is positive for him at Villarreal.
Thursday’s reunion is an intriguing prospect. Arsenal desperately need Europa League success in order to rescue their season but their former manager is a specialist in the competition.
Indeed, while Baku does not hold fond memories for Emery – the 4-1 loss to Chelsea was a low point in his Arsenal tenure – Turin, Warsaw and Basel certainly do. The 49-year-old is eyeing a fourth Europa League triumph having won it three times with Sevilla
When asked about the potential takeover, he said: “A lot of talks and a lot speculation has been surrounding the situation in the last week or so. Our fans raised their voices during the match against Everton but now we have a very clear statement from the owners.
“So, I think that is gone when they say what they said last night and show the commitment and desire to take the team where we all want. I think it’s very clear where we are moving forward.
Villarreal reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2006, but they were defeated 1-0 on aggregate to Arsenal after Juan Roman Riquelme failed to beat Jens Lehmann from the penalty spot in the second leg.
After losing two games in a row against Alaves and Barcelona in LaLiga Santander, Emery will want his side to bounce back against the Gunners.