Football

Unai Emery took over at Arsenal from Arsene Wenger in the summer..

Juan Mata explains how 'special' Unai Emery did things he hasn't seen again at Valencia

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Unai Emery has seemingly transformed the atmosphere at Arsenal since taking over from Arsene Wenger in the summer.

The Spaniard had a shaky start with back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea but the Gunners have only just seen a brilliant winning streak ended.

A 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace was the first time in twelve matches that Emery had failed to win - Arsenal's best run of wins since 2007.

After two decades of Wenger, it would be understandable if Emery needed a transitional period to get his methods set in.

Instead, Arsenal sit in the top four, one point above Tottenham Hotspur and five points off top spot.

Things are looking very promising already and once Emery has a team he can call his own, who knows how far he can take them?

Given the positive turnaround at Arsenal, it's easy to wonder how Emery has done it - and a little insight into his methods has now come from a surprising source: Manchester United's Juan Mata.

The United midfielder made some comments in a biography about the Arsenal boss, 'Unai Emery: El Maestro'.

Unai Emery has started very well at Arsenal.

Mata played under Emery at Valencia before he moved to Chelsea and he admits that some of the things Emery did he's yet to see anywhere else.

"I think what’s special about Unai is the way he communicates," said Mata. "In his talks, he used to write three, four or five things on the board: those were the points he was going to bring up.

"Sometimes it was five phrases or metaphors he was going to explain - I’ve never seen that with my other managers.

"They usually revolved around phrases about positivity, camaraderie, the values he wanted to create in his team.

Juan Mata played under Unai Emery at Valencia.

"He communicated by means of the points he had written down.

"His talks could go on and on because he didn’t notice the time, but what he said was always intense, and he would ask you questions. It became a kind of seminar."

If that's the level of communication that Emery offers, it's no real surprise that the atmosphere around Arsenal is so positive right now.

It certainly sounds like the Gunners have exactly the coach they need. 

Topics:
Football
Unai Emery
Arsene Wenger
Valencia
Premier League
Juan Mata
Manchester United

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