Arsenal job a 'dream come true' for Emery

Arsenal interviewed eight candidates to become Arsene Wenger's successor but were impressed by Unai Emery's footballing vision.

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery   -  AFP

Unai Emery says the challenge of restoring Arsenal's status as a major force in English and European football is a dream come true.

Emery was confirmed as head coach at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday to start a new era following Arsene Wenger's 22 years in charge.

The Gunners limped to sixth place in the Premier League last season to miss out on Champions League football for the second consecutive year but former Sevilla boss Emery, who arrives having won the domestic treble in France with Paris Saint-Germain, is relishing the task at hand.

"It's a big challenge but in my career, every year I grow up with new challenges," he told a news conference.

"For me, the challenge is a dream come true.

"It’s a big challenge for me but I worked also with other big projects and, for me, I am proud to be here and work after Arsene Wenger."

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis detailed how Emery came through an interview process featuring eight candidates that ran from April 25 to May 15.

Emery's interview on May 10 won the unanimous approval of a three-man appointment panel featuring Gazidis, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi.

"We had some clear criteria," Gazidis said, speaking alongside his new appointment. "The first was progressive, entertaining football, a personality that fits with Arsenal's values and also a record of developing players – in particular young players – through detailed tactical instruction.

"Also, through cultural demands – pushing players and demanding more from them.

"All of the eight people we approached were interested in the position and took part in extensive, first-person interviews and none of them withdrew at any point. We were in the fortunate position of being able to make our first choice."

A common purpose with his new employers was a theme Emery returned to throughout his maiden media briefing as Arsenal boss.

"All the meetings with the people, with Ivan, Raul and Sven, for me the connection in this moment was important," he added, before expanding on the footballing vision that helped him to three consecutive Europa League wins at Sevilla.

"In my career I am very demanding of myself for all. I want here people who are demanding also – players who are demanding also.

"My idea is to be the protagonist all the match. We play against all the teams with this personality.

"When you don’t have possession of the ball I want a squad very, very intensive for the pressing.

"These two things are, for me, very important – protagonists with possession of the ball and pressing when you don't have the ball."

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