Arsenal legend explains why Unai Emery has edge over Mikel Arteta

Charlie Nicholas believes Unai Emery is a better choice for Arsenal rather than Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Charlie Nicholas believes Unai Emery’s experience gives the Spanish coach an advantage over Mikel Arteta in the race to become Arsenal manager.

The Gunners are thought to be closing in on the appointment of Emery as their new manager despite Arteta being tipped to take over the reins last week.

The former Arsenal captain was thought to be on the brink of becoming the new Arsenal boss, having worked as Pep Guardiola’s assistant manager at Manchester City.

However, Emery has come from nowhere to lead the betting market to become the new Gunners manager after he left Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.

The 46-year-old led PSG to the title as well as successive triumphs in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue since replacing Carlo Ancelotti at Parc des Princes.

Former Arsenal star Nicholas is pleased to see Emery linked with the role ahead of Arteta.

“Arteta was a risk because of his lack of experience, but what he learned from Pep [Guardiola] in a few seasons is as good as what Emery will have learned at PSG,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“It’s the experience that probably helps. Emery will be more natural in making and accepting the big decisions. Arteta would have come in and been a lot more forceful with what he wanted to do.

“Emery would come in and say ‘where are we? who’s going out? who’s leaving? what’s our situation in terms of buying?’.

“I think he makes a strong case for himself. Style is important to Arsenal, they want to keep the fabric that Wenger did build.

“This is a guy who understands the pressure of the situation too. At PSG he won the domestic trophies, it can be taken for granted, but the pressure to win is huge.

“It gives him an edge, not a dramatic edge, but every manager is a risk. There is no guarantee Arsenal will challenge for the title or the top four, but Emery’s experience does give you a slight advantage.”

Arsenal finished in sixth place in the Premier League table this season and missed out on Champions League spots for the second successive campaign.

The Gunners lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals with a place in the Champions League up for grabs for the competition’s winner.

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