Belfast Telegraph

Making Euro history is Gunners' top motivation: Emery

Valencia v Arsenal, Europa League Semi-Final, Second Leg (Agg 1-3): Mestalla Stadium, Tonight, 8pm

Fully prepared: Unai Emery oversees training last night
Fully prepared: Unai Emery oversees training last night

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Unai Emery wants to win the Europa League to add something to the Arsenal trophy cabinet - not just to secure a return to the Champions League.

After being held to a 1-1 home draw by Brighton on Sunday, the Gunners' hopes of finishing in the Premier League's top four are all but over. That means Emery must guide his team to Europa League glory if he is to end his first season at the helm by taking Arsenal back to the continent's elite club competition.

He returns to former club Valencia tonight for the second leg of their semi-final tie having won the first leg 3-1 last week.

The 47-year-old won three successive Europa League crowns during his time at Sevilla and is keen for further success.

"I first competed for this title here at Valencia when it was still the Uefa Cup and was a lesser title than I think it is now," he said. "It has grown. It's an important title for all those teams that are not in the Champions League - and for some who drop into it as a second chance, like Valencia this season.

"It's a title they all want to win. Giving teams a Champions League place through the Europa League is a fair reward. I have seen that shift.

"The first time I won it with Sevilla, we didn't get Champions League access; the second time, we did. It's an attractive title and it's getting more attractive: we've seen Manchester United, Atletico, Sevilla against Liverpool.

"The demands are high and everyone wants it, as a title, not just a way in (to the Champions League).

"At any club like Arsenal or Valencia, titles have to be the objectives. Arsenal only have two European titles in their history - the old Fairs Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup, neither of which (still) exist, so I have a lot of ambition to win a title.

"We want to play for the possibility to take the title, and secondly for the Champions League."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph