Trevor Steven: Emery has the winning mentality Arsenal lack


By the last few years of Arsene Wengers reign the notion of Arsenal winning the Premier League had become little more than a dream, so long had they gone without lifting the trophy.

The winning mentality required has been missing for some time, which is why I think the club appear to have made a great decision in hiring Unai Emery to succeed Wenger.

Make no mistake, Emery is a winner. He has just led Paris Saint-Germain to a domestic treble, while at Sevilla he won three Europa League titles in a row. These are great achievements.

Read more: Arsenal set to pick Emery over Arteta to replace Wenger

His record over two seasons at PSG has been belittled, partly because they enjoy such financial superiority in France and boast superstars such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, but it is never easy to win in football, no matter what league you are in.

Whats more, he had to do that in an environment where success is absolutely demanded. It can only be good for Arsenal to have someone bringing that mindset to a dressing room where it appears to be lacking.

Then there is his time at Sevilla. In two and a half seasons there Emery achieved unprecedented Europa League success, and that says something about him. Each time he won the tournament, he put it behind him and managed to win it again. That shows enormous focus and it is a hallmark of the very greatest managers.

He was on a hiding to nothing in some ways at PSG. Anything less than winning the Champions League can be deemed to be failure, and he didnt deliver that. But then neither did his predecessors Carlo Ancelotti and Laurent Blanc.

I also like Emerys demeanour. He seems to be a calm character, not liable to react to difficult situations. When Neymar was unsettled last term, he didnt inflame it with comments to the media. He has a dignified manner that chimes with how Arsenal have always seen themselves, so it makes sense that they would see him as a good fit.

His experience at PSG should also stand him in good stead for moving to Arsenal. When you have had to manage Neymar, Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Angel di Maria you arent going to be overawed or intimidated by the Gunners squad. I dont know how good his English is yet, but he learned French quickly.

Former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta had been favourite to get the job, but Im not surprised if the club have ultimately opted against him.

With no management track record he has no experience on the frontline, while Arsenal badly need someone who has been there and done it.

This summers recruitment will be crucial. It would be a big step to give Arteta a major say in that, and he might expect to have greater control than Arsenal were willing to offer him. His current mentor Pep Guardiola certainly calls the shots on recruitment at Manchester City.

Im not saying Arteta wouldnt have done well – and he did fit the mould of head coach rather than all-powerful manager that Arsenal seem to be looking for – but it looked like too much of a gamble.

Emery also fits into that model well, having come from a similar set-up at PSG. They have a structure that Arsenal are moving to, in which the owners and board mostly decide recruitment and the coach is tasked mainly with preparing the team to win.

It made sense that Arsenal would speak to various candidates – former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique was another linked with the position – you have to see who is out there. But if were out of Emery, Arteta and Luis Enrique, Id go for Emery and I think hes a great appointment.

Quiet man Pellegrini can calm West Ham waters

Pellegrini won the Premier League at Man City (Source: Getty)

At West Ham, there always seems to be a crisis around the corner. The relationship between owners and supporters is difficult, and the move to the London Stadium has been deeply unpopular.

Any manager is therefore on a bit of a sticky wicket before they have even taken charge of their first game, so they need someone who is both experienced and a winner.

They have ticked the first box with some of their previous managers, but the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini promises to fulfil both criteria.

Pellegrini won the Premier League with Manchester City just three years ago, taking over from Robert Mancini – no small task – and doing just as well as the Italian had.

His quiet, low-key manner may not have excited everyone, but maybe thats exactly the kind of character West Ham need.

He knows whats required in the Premier League and, if it goes well, theres no reason why West Ham shouldnt be doing what Burnley have done and putting some pressure on the top six. Beyond that, you never know, as Leicester have shown, but you have to be there first.

The reality is that managers probably werent queuing up for this booby-trapped job. But this is a good time for Pellegrini to return to England and I think the Chilean can restore some hope to Hammers fans.



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