Liverpool have received a stern message about Unai Emery’s strengths as the former Arsenal manager looks to cause another upset in the Champions League this season
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The Reds receive the Spanish high-flyers in the first semi-final game on Wednesday evening afterwards Wins over Inter Milan and Benfica in the previous two rounds. Remarkably, Villarreal overcame juventus in the last 16 and Bayern Munich in the quarter qualified for the competition by batting Manchester United in last season’s Europa League final.
Emery has proven to be a specialist in two-legged continental bindings since his eye-catching spell with Sevillewhere he won three times in a row European League Title between 2014 and 2016. Apart from his Spanish compatriot Enrique, this will mean two “very, very tough” stages for the Reds.
“They have very good, strong players and their coach is the key to their success,” said the former defender, who played for Villarreal and Liverpool metro. “I think Emery knows what he’s doing. He’s always there, but these kinds of competitions, he knows how to play two-legged games, so it’s going to be very, very tough [for Liverpool].”
Emery was appointed manager almost two years ago after a challenging 18 months at Villarreal arsenal. Enrique assumes that the language barrier did not help the Basque native when he arrived in the Basque Country First League however, insists he could have done better had he been given more time.
The former left-back hinted at Arsenal’s patience Mikel Arteta – Emery’s replacement at the Emirates – to illustrate his point. Enrique added: “With Emery, he didn’t speak the language 100 per cent, but he did when he had more than a year or two [with the Gunners]he would have spoken much better English.
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“But he was PSG manager, he was Sevilla manager. He’s won three Europa Leagues in a row with Sevilla. Now look at what he’s doing at Villarreal, so sometimes it’s patience. And they are.” [Arsenal are] do it with Arteta now.
“This year he started the season really badly and everyone criticized him but Arsenal stood by him. They didn’t listen to the fans who said ‘push him’. They signed the players he wanted , and got rid of the players.” he did not want.
“They trusted him and gradually improved and now you see that with a lot of young players they will hopefully finish in the top four. You also have to realize that it’s very difficult, almost impossible, to maintain success.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpool-villarreal-champions-league-arsenal-26812803 Liverpool warned over Champions League excitement as Arsenal draw comparison