Unai Emery is already Villarreal history. The Castellón club announced on Monday that the Basque coach ended his yellow stage after two and a half seasons to go back to the Premier League towards Aston Villa. “Unai Emery has informed Villarreal of the unilateral decision to terminate his relationship with the entity. Villarreal wants to thank him for his work and wishes him luck in his sports career, ”said the club’s statement, which indicates that the coach will say goodbye to the fans with an act at the Villarreal Sports City, this Tuesday at 12.00. For his part, the coach has published an open letter in which he thanks the fans for their support and stresses that he has no reproaches for the club that has been his home for the last two and a half years.
In addition to making it clear that Emery’s departure is due to the express wish of the coach, Villarreal highlights the historical importance of the coach’s time in Castellón. “Unai Emery has gone down in Villarreal history for becoming the first coach to win a title with the club”. In 2021, Villarreal won the Europa League after defeating Manchester United in a thrilling penalty shootout. All the pitchers were right and it was the turn of the goalkeepers. Rulli nailed his shot into the top corner, and after 21 shots, De Gea sent the ball wide and the town of just over 50,000 inhabitants became the champions of the silver division of European football.
This feat, in his first season at Vila-Real, allowed the team to reach the Champions League last year. And again, Emery’s team made history against the greatest. He left Juventus in the gutter in the round of 16 with an exhibition in the second leg in Turin (0-3), and broke all odds by taking out Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals. Liverpool put an end to the yellow dream in the semi-finals, but Emery’s team kept their chances throughout the tie. This was the second time in Villarreal’s history that the club reached the prelude to the Champions League final, after losing to Arsenal in 2006.
Last year, the nouveau riche of the Premier, Newcastle, knocked loudly on Emery’s door. At that moment, Fernando Roig, president of Villarreal, spoke with the coach to convince him to stay to fulfill his contract. That call was essential for the coach to reject the millions from the club owned by the Saudi Arabian government and stick to his commitment. On this occasion, there has been no such conversation between technician and president, convinced that the project showed signs of wear.
Not qualifying last season for the Champions League or the Europa League was a serious blow for Villarreal. For a large part of the First Division sports directors, the yellow team has the fourth squad with the most potential in the championship. However, Emery’s Villarreal have not been able to transfer their good performance in Europe to the league competition. This year, in which the team disputes the Conference League, they have not managed to start it either and leave Villarreal 7th, four points behind the Champions positions.
One of the points that have most disturbed the directors have been the alignments chosen by Emery. Sources close to the club point out the discomfort due to the coach’s confidence in players with very little experience in the elite such as Jackson, an unexpected starting center forward to the detriment of José Luis Morales. Last week’s defeat at the Camp Nou, with a very young team from midfield forward, cast doubt on the advisability of their continuity.
Aston Villa’s proposal has come at the most fragile moment for Emery and he has not hesitated to accept again the adventure of the demanding Premier. Before arriving at Villarreal, the Basque was in charge of Arsenal for a year and a half, leading the team gunner to the 2019 Europa League final. He will now take charge of Aston Villa, who sit in 15th place in the standings, three points from relegation. The Birmingham club, one of the teams with the largest social mass in the English championship, has confirmed that the coach signs until 2024 and will take charge of the team from November 1, once they complete their work permit procedures in the United Kingdom.
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