Neymar Says Former PSG Coach Unai Emery 'Will Bring Good Things' for Arsenal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 16, 2018

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 12: Coach of PSG Unai Emery, Neymar Jr celebrate during the French Ligue 1 Championship Trophy Ceremony following the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Stade Rennais (Rennes) at Parc des Princes stadium on May 12, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Neymar has backed former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery to "bring good things" to Arsenal, six months on from the coach's departure from the Parc des Princes. 

Emery won the Ligue 1 title in his second season in Paris but failed to lead PSG past the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Neymar spoke to the media on Thursday ahead of Brazil's friendly against Uruguay at the Emirates Stadium on Friday and said his former coach can thrive in north London, as Goal shared:

Goal @goal

Neymar 😍 Unai Emery https://t.co/Tgxre5mAAT

"Now it's easy to say because Arsenal are playing really great football. They are coming from a great run in recent matches and everybody knows he's a really great coach.

"We know about their quality, and I was really happy to work with him because he's a really hard working guy. He really wanted to coach us and really wanted to study about football.

"I think he will bring good things for Arsenal, which is a really huge and important club here in England. I wish him luck."

The Gunners are unbeaten in their past 16 matches across all competitions, sit fifth in the Premier League and have already secured their spot in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Emery's tenure in the French capital was viewed as a disappointment. Managers in Paris are expected to deliver domestic silverware such as Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France, but the club's priority is advancing in Europe.

They couldn't do that under Emery and regressed in the competition, having made the Champions League quarter-finals in each of the four campaigns prior to his arrival in 2016.

But despite that disappointment, Emery's past shouldn't dictate the outlook for his future, said ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti in May: 

Gabriele Marcotti @Marcotti

Plenty dissing Emery seem to do it based on two years at PSG (a job unlike any other) rather than what he did in previous decade. Is it possible that he wasn’t right for PSG but *might* be for Arsenal?

Emery left the Parc des Princes having clinched an average of 2.46 points per Ligue 1 outing, the best ratio of anyone to have coached the club, per Yahoo Sport. However, he failed to build on his three back-to-back UEFA Europa League titles with Sevilla in the Champions League.

The 47-year-old had the double-edged honour of being the first manager tasked with handling Neymar's stay at the club following his £200 million arrival from Barcelona in 2017.

Soon after announcing his departure from PSG in April this year, Emery spoke to Tactical Room (h/t the Mirror's Neil McLeman) and prefaced his praise for Neymar by underlining the amount of control the Brazil international has at the club:

"I know when I am the main man at the heart of the group and when I am not. In every club you have to know the role you take and the role the rest of the group gives you.

"In my opinion is that at PSG the leader is called Neymar. Or more exactly, the leader will be called Neymar because he is in the process of becoming it.

"Neymar came to PSG to be the leader, to live the necessary process to become No. 1 in the world. It is a process which still needs a bit of time to be achieved. At Manchester City, the boss is Pep (Guardiola). At PSG, the boss has to be Neymar."

French football journalist Jonathan Johnson highlighted that power struggle in January after Neymar fought with team-mate Edinson Cavani over who to take a penalty, per Metro'sCoral Barry:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

@FrankySharp @AStLouv Look. The issue of penalties, the issue of Neymar & Cavani's relationship & the issue of Emery's weak leadership are 3 entirely different things. Yes, the penalties & Neymar-Cavani are separate, despite many overlapping factors.

Handling the personalities in north London appears to be a task more suited to Emery, although his side have drawn each of their past three games, home matches against Liverpool, Sporting CP and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The tensions between Emery and Neymar appeared evident right at the end of the manager's reign in Paris, when he was awkward in answering a question regarding the forward's future in France, as Goal shared:

Goal @goal

“I can't answer that question.” PSG boss Unai Emery apologised to a Spanish journalist after refusing to comment on reports linking Neymar with a move away from the club. ❌ https://t.co/Rg9B1nHInj

Now that time has passed and both player and manager are doing well in their respective settings, Neymar expects Emery to enjoy a successful spell at Arsenal.

The Gunners will face Bournemouth after the international break before looking to seal top spot in Europa League Group E when they travel to Ukrainian outfit Vorskla on November 29.