Friday, June 9, 2023

Gazidis explains recruitment process that led to Unai Emery appointment

Ivan Gazidis has explained the process through which Arsenal went to appoint Unai Emery as the club’s new head coach – definitely not manager.

The 46 year old Spaniard was confirmed this morning, and this afternoon he met the press alongside the chief executive who, before the former Sevilla and PSG boss addressed the media in English, wanted to go into some detail about how the decision was made.

Here’s what he had to say.

“I would like to give you a little bit of background into the process that led us to this point today,” he said.

“After the announcement of Arsene moving on, we formed a three-person committee, led by me and supported by Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi.

“We had some clear criteria that we were looking for in our selection. The first was progressive, entertaining football, a personality that fits with Arsenal’s values and also a record of developing players, particularly young players through detailed tactical instruction and also through cultural demands, pushing players, demanding more from them.

“All good football clubs have an ongoing review process, but we looked through and analysed on the basis that every coach in the world would be interested in this position. We don’t believe there is a position in world football that is more attractive than Arsenal Football Club and having gone through that process and series of references, and a good deal of analysis, we created a long-list, an eight-person list.

“All of those eight people that we approached, that we targeted, were interested in the position and all of those eight people took part in extensive, in-persons interviews with us and none of them, at any stage, withdrew their interest – they were interested right until the moment we informed them of our decision.

“We were in a fortunate position in this process to make our first choice and that is what we did. Our first interview was conducted on April 25 and our last interview was conducted on May 15, and we interviewed Unai on May 10 as part of that process.

“We made our recommendation to the board on May 18, and that was a unanimous recommendation by the three of us, and the formal recommendation to the board was supported by a 100-page dossier with references, analysis, videos showing their coaching in action and a great degree of background information.

“We then met with the London members of our board on Monday of this week. Unai and I, and Raul, flew to Atlanta on Monday evening. We met in Atlanta with Stan and Josh Kroenke, we flew back on the red-eye last night, so we are the little bit worse for wear, but all of the board members were energised and enthusiastic about the recommendation and enthusiastically endorsed the recommendation.


“So why Unai Emery? I have followed Unai’s career very closely since his days at Valencia and he has always been on my radar screen. He has a fantastic record of success wherever he has gone and interestingly one of the noteworthy things about Unai’s teams in that they improve over time.

“We also felt, and I felt for some time, that he is a superb fit with the criteria that I laid out. But I think it is very important to move this beyond a paper exercise and that is why, having taken third-person references from some of the most respected people in the game and people that we trust, it was very important to move to personal meetings and it was in the personal meeting that Unai was incredibly impressive.

“He came in extraordinarily well-prepared, with a detailed knowledge of Arsenal Football Club. He had an analysis to share with us, not just of his ways of working and of his ways of coaching, and the team of people he works with, but he had an analysis of all of our individual players, their qualities and how he feels he can help them develop individually and collectively, in detail.

“Also an in-depth knowledge of our off-the-field team, and how they can contribute and how Unai’s team would mesh with them productively.

“But this was not a purely technical exercise, I think the thing that distinguishes Unai above all of that, above all the process and above all the things you can read about him, was the chemistry between us and the feeling for football in the room.

“Unai has an energy, a passion, a competitive energy and it is this combination of detail, of hard work, passion and a love for football and a will to win that made us feel that this fit was exactly right for Arsenal and exactly right for the people we have working at the club.

“It is for all of those reasons and following all of that extensive process that I am proud and delighted to introduce you today to Unai Emery.”

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Faisal Narrage

Seems like a reasonable process and chimes in with some of the other reports. Dunno why people still think it was a done deal for Arteta and the Board simply got scared.


Yes, that did sound suspiciously like the truth. You’d almost think that the Arteta “done deal” hype was ITK bullshit.

Arsenala Vista Baby

And Ian Wright said that it was like a Sushi shop. I think Ian Wright only read blogs and take it as a fact.


Gazidis clearly wants us to believe that Emery was first choice throughout, but I’m not sure I trust him. It is interesting what he didn’t say. He says that no-one withdrew from the process. But that doesn’t rule out some candidates making wage/transfer demands that they knew put them out the running. Allegri publicly ruled himself out after all – why would he do that if he was genuinely still in the process? He also says the decision on Emery on 15 May was unanimous among Ivan/Sven/Raul. Maybe so, but it’s still possible that some of them preferred Arteta before… Read more »


So who were the other 7? Arteta, obviously, but the others? Any ideas?

Ted E.

With Unai Emery you’re down to six. Here’s a guess, although Tuchel took a job before announcement. Maybe he didn’t officially withdraw…

Thomas Tuchel
Luis Enrique
Max Allegri
Julian Nagelsmann
Leonardo Jardim
Diego Simeone


I doubt Simeone was interviewed. More like Mikel Arteta

Arsenala Vista Baby




Maybe he's born with it, maybe it's Bellerin

Wash your mouth out young man. We don’t speak of Brendan R*dgers here!




“progressive, entertaining football”? That means certainly not Simeone.

Rectum Spectrum

Allegri? He pretty early stated he was staying at juve which contradicts Ivans statement that all were keen to the death
Ancellotti? Again must have been in advanced stages of napoli negotiations…same for tuchel and PSG

So yeah…Vieira stated too very early on he was dissapoibted with the cobtact made, so was he one if the 8?

Bound to be a few suprisies, we’ll never know. I’ll bet unai was probably the top pick anyway.


Vieira only got a phone call I gather.


Any idea what’s the length of the Emery’s contract? Usual two years?


3 years


Loves the sound of his own voice, doesn’t he?

Faisal Narrage

Gosh, it’s a press conference by the person who hired him, and was asked questions by the media. What was he meant to do?

Sheesh, he keeps quiet and fans say he’s hiding and asking where he is. He’s front and centre and justifying his decisions and it’s “loves the sound of his voice doesn’t he?”

It’s clear no matter what he does, Gazidis is permanently painted as a villain no matter what.


I think its the slight resemblance to Dr Evil that does it…


True. I dislike being pessimistic just for the sake of it. I guess some people are who they are…

Dennis’ first touch

There is a big diffence between the way Gazidis talks and say Wenger, which I could see rubbing people the wrong way because it sounds like he is desperate to show everyone that he is the man. For example, the way he described that he led the the 3 person selection committee and that Sven and Raul only had supporting roles…probably not how most people would have described it, implicitly giving himself more credit and diminishing his coworkers. On the other hand, if this decision backfires, you can bet that Ivan will be the first to point out the fact… Read more »


That’s because when Wenger was there and we needed/wanted to hear from the Chief Exec he was nowhere to be seen. Only seems to appear when he things people are in a good mood


Bring on the new season f*#@ the world cup!


Not the panic last minute decision that some commentators (who have no knowledge of these matters but pretend to) have filled internet column inches with. Lets get behind our new man. COYGs


My guess too. The media enjoys inciting Arsenal fans against the club and most of us seems to be more than willing to play along..

Kwame Ampadu Down

The media are against any club when it suits them & will spin around and be pro that club immediately it suits them too. Let’s show some class & stop acting like there’s an anti arsenal bias when there simply isn’t. The media are the media. Just read what you like & ignore what times you. Simple really.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Riles you


Maybe the result of the process can give us a clue as to the process. Which feels more like “winging it”?

A) Relatively young manager with a diversity of experience and a decent track record of success, or

B) Captain. Assistant. Hero.


This is what I think too


I must say a job well done..Now it’s time to get behind the head coach..


Love him or hate him, I really appreciated the transparency ( or at least, perceived transparency) of the hiring process. Very insightful of Gazidis!



David Hillier's luggage

It’s Gazidis world, we’re all just living in it…


For anyone who bother enough to read a personal story on Gazidis

Disclaimer: I could not finish the article because I could not be arsed.

Lord Bendnter

What was the font size on the 100 page document, if you don’t mind me asking

Also, how many pages read: “This page has been intentionally left blank.”

Scott P

Ivan was very embarrassed when he accidentally pasted in the first 50 pages of the romance novel he’s been writing and presented it to the board. Sir Chips was not present at the board vote regarding the new manager, as he never returned after excusing himself to examine the dossier more closely, in private.



Merlin's Panini

the answer to both your questions is 99.

Mayor McCheese

I love you, Ivan!


The three-way deal bringing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal was an impressive piece of work from the management. Likewise the recruiting process, where they have identified and interviewed eight candidates in a few days, collecting information, traveling around Europe and the world, without any leaks, is highly professional.

Gazidis might not come around as terribly radical, but he has this thing firmly in hand. I guess he is also professional enough as to give Emery the space, authority and budget the new coach needs.

In fact, this is very promising. I really look forward to next season.

Joe Bloggs

Now who where the 8 interviewed. I would guess, Allegri, Vieira, Arteta, Nagelsmann, Emery, Ancelotti, Jardim and perhaps Low. Not Rodgers or Howe.


Oh, I dunno. I see the bit where the three of them ranked the top three candidates and can’t help feeling that Rogers should be Number Two on anybody’s list.

Jean Ralphio

Credit to Ivan for leading this process. Even if it is bad at least it is a well thought-out process.

Red Arrow

It does seem that some people like to be negative no matter what. Firstly Ivan has done nothing wrong as here – just explained the recruitment process and why they chose Unai. Secondly I’m not sure why people think this is a bad decision. I’d take a manager with a record as good as his over someone with no experience at all. Also his strengths – meticulous attention to detail in training and game preparation, improving young talent, and a focus on possession and pressing when not in possession seems ideal! Really wish him the best! Looking forward to the… Read more »

Kwame Ampadu Down

Absolutely Red Arrow. I’ve been no fan of Gazidis but struggling to understand why this decision hasn’t gone down well. The suggestion that Emery is a boring option while Arteta was an exciting one is laughable nonsense.
Really looking forward to next season now, MUCH more than I was a few days ago.


Heck if we didn’t watch video with Wenger we will three or four more games from doing that alone.


I’d like to say I don’t believe a word Gazidis says. But that could never be completely true even of someone (Gazidis) who has a track record of being both mediocre at his job and a shirker of difficult questions.

What I do think likely here is that he’s started at the appointment and created a plausible narrative working backwards.

Anyone who thinks this fairytale of forensic logic, method, and precision is an accurate description of events isn’t doing themselves any favours at all.


To me everything he stated sounds plausible, i mean he had help from Raul and Sven, and those guys know what they’re doing.


Off course it all sounds plausible.

To some Brexit will still be plausible 10 years into ruining the country.
To a huge number of people Trump still sounds plausible even though almost nothing of what he says turns out to be true.
This is how stuff now works.
It’s our personal responsibility to work at information now. And trusting a dick like Gazidis just because he sounds plausible doesn’t get filed under ‘wisdom’.

As for him having help from Raul and Sven … not exactly part of the process, was it?


Your use of the Brexit and Trump examples and your opinions thereof make you sound like another sheep in a world that increasingly views everything as either black or white. So while your call to “work at information” is totally valid and all, it also comes off hypocritical.


I was going to go with Hitler and Stalin, but thought better of it.

So what (contemporary, universal) examples would you use to illustrate the point you cite as valid?


Fair play Ivan, well done. Also, well done on forcing the change and hiring the others. Finally we should have transfer direction and proper coaching.

Arsenala Vista Baby

Gazidis explanation indicates that the recruitment process is well structured & executed. Great to know that Ivan, Raul & Sven worked together and unanimously feel the chemistry with Unai. It was not a one man show decision only by Ivan. Welcome to Arsenal Unai The Throbbing Red Cannon Emery!


Welcome Unai Emery. I only hope Gazidis, Sven Mislintat and Sanllehi can show the same amount of urgency when it comes to player recruitment unlike before.

U N Ai T Y – hopefully he will bring it to our club. All this negativity around AFC is really pissing me off!

Kwame Ampadu Down

Probably shouldn’t have added to the negativity by ranting ‘What’s the fucking identity of the club?’ When it first came out he was getting the job then eh ????


Still think the Arteta stuff has been leaked in order to get a reaction from the fanbase and the negative reaction was the reason we switched to Unai. That’s what I was complaining about in this comment and I still stand by that. But I have never said that I won’t back Emery or that I think it’s a bad decision. Just that I don’t like the influence that things like AFTV have on club matters. Very different from the guys who acted as if Arteta would have been the downfall of the club or as if Wenger has ruined… Read more »


Robbie made a poll and said over 70% of the Arsenal fans are against Arteta. He really thinks (or pretends to think) that his viewers are representive of Arsenal fans. If you have no problem with that, it’s up to you. I definitely do have a big problem with it.

Kwame Ampadu Down

No idea who Robbie is. I assume he’s something to do with arsenal tv. I think you’re greatly over estimating their influence. All this talk of Arsenal tv reminds me of the Father Ted ‘down with this sort of thing’ episode. Just ignore them. I do…and so does everyone I know.

Kwame Ampadu Down

I can’t talk for the wider world but in my world (non internet based) 100% of Arsenal fans were against appointing Arteta. Admittedly, That’s probably 25-30 people but still….


I rather think you’re under estimating their influence. If your Arsenal world is not internet based, it’s not a big surprise.
And I don’t complain about them because I don’t like them but because I think they’re harmful to the club I love. So I won’t ignore them but say in blogs like this what I think about them. That’s what I did in the comment that you’ve mentioned.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Doesn’t matter why you don’t like them…you’re playing into their hands by talking about them…….


Well done for calling him out. The hypocrisy was too much


Guys who have been slagging off our most successful manager are trying to accuse me of negativity because I said I don’t like the influence of a certain fan channel and the fact that they are representing themselves as the voice of the fans. You guys are comedy gold. Really!


And ten they use the word hypocrisy. Oh lord!


Yeah, right. And people who fight against repression and apartheid play in the hands of dictators and racists. You should ignore everything in this world. As soon as you raise your voice against something, you’re playing into the hands of that somebody. What a load of nonsense.


Especially from guys who were very vocal in their desire to get rid of Arsène.


If all of what he said is true, well done Ivan. You really tried to find the best man for the club we love and its time to start preparing for next season!


What’s happened to the up and down thumbs?


Ffs, if talk scored goals this guy would be golden boot winner


I’m gonna miss Wenger. I started following Arsenal around ’98, and he’s been the one constant voice of class. Following Arsenal post Wenger just won’t be the same.

Merlin's Panini

God it feels weird. Even though I’m happy we got Emery in (he was my preferred candidate from the off) I still can’t fathom Arsene not being there next season.
Arsene’s next move is the side story that will keep me intrigued all summer, until it happens of course.

All the unknowns are so exciting, nerve wracking and just the weirdest feeling. To all other supporters of every other club (other than United a few years ago) this is a normal situation. It’s going to take some getting used to.


Totally. For me, just the thought of supporting another manager feels like I’m cheating on Arsene. Lol


It’s hard to believe anything in the press these days, the manager news was just like so much transfer news BS (such as the fact that someone tied to a club likes a twitter or instagram post about a player on another squad supposedly means it’s a done deal he’s coming to Arsenal). Unfortunately that is what much of journalism today is with anyone being able to post whatever they want online (of course it overshadows so much of the good work of respected journalists and bloggers like those on Arseblog). I think Emery is a solid choice, certainly not… Read more »

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

I for one was impressed by the whole process. I’m very optimistic with the selection…


Gazidis slaps down all the fake ITK’s
Absolutely hilarious, After 2 ITK’s got Aubameyang right I was convinced Allegri was coming, then convinced it was Arteta
Got taken for a complete ride, has anyone seen or heard from Chris Muler? Hahaha


Well done Gazidis.

Daft Aider

“We made our choice, then all the usual suspects moaned about Arteta,
so we went for the safe option of a manager West Ham turned down”


As suspected, nothing quite as close to the wild imaginations of the media. Frankly many of the journalist tabloid, pundits and respected ones even, have an inkling into what is exactly going on. BUT fans are prey to their invention and feed on their suppositions. Case in point the Ozil transfer ‘saga’ which was made out to be a “panic buy” at 42.3m when it was fairly obvious we had to have started the process for him VERY early on (to agree personal terms) and that the whole procedure would have to await Madrid and Spurs clearing their Bale hurdle.… Read more »

Kwame Ampadu Down

I’m confused santori. You’re having a go at people who were naive to believe Arteta was ahead in the running – presumably that includes you who wrote angry essays on what a terrible idea it was ?
Your hypocrisy (yet again) is mind blowing.


Well said


Geez just reading at sky and arsenal didn’t have video sessions before games? That can’t be can it?
If that is true then there are a lot of changes coming and I am excited.


You would have thought that ‘Fergie’ the died in the wool, hard nosed owd Glaswegian would be the one stuck in the past. Whilst Wenger the cultured articulate Frenchman would be the one for change. How things could end up so wrong. Fergie embraced change, got into the 21st century. While Wenger ended up like a tin pot dictator, not wanting new ideas or changes to staff, training etc.


Never been a huge fan of Gazidis but, with the new hire, and the administrative restructuring as a whole, I have to say he’s done about as well as can be expected in laying the groundwork for a post-Arsène Arsenal.


I’m happy about the appointment. Thought the Arteta thing was ridiculous. But I never have been and never will be a Gazidis fan. I might be wrong but he strikes me as a dictator. People may say “so was Wenger” and I wouldn’t disagree, but for all his faults we all know that he had the clubs best interests at heart. I think Gazidis has his own best interests at heart. Reminds me of what Kenyon was like when he went to Chelsea. If this works out and he get back to being a top club, please God, he’ll be… Read more »

Maybe he's born with it, maybe it's Bellerin

His hair is thick & luxurious. End of


Right at the start, Gazidis put everyone in media on notice when he said those who knew what was happening would keep quiet, those who had no diea wouldnt.
That is classic Arsenal still, prefering to remain behind clsoed doors until the deal is done.


“The first was progressive, entertaining football, a personality that fits with Arsenal’s values and also a record of developing players, particularly young players through detailed tactical instruction and also through cultural demands, pushing players, demanding more from them.”

Surprising that winning leagues and Champions Leagues isn’t on that…


Because the board realistically knows they would be firing managers every 12 months if they stipulate CL and EPL success. Its not the Arsenal way.
Top 4 minimum, thats the goal every year.


The explanation by Gazidis is reassuring, there was no knee jerk reaction, they waited til Wenger was definitely leaving which is respectful and then acted swiftly. They knew what they wanted and they have shown a professional and classy approach. Having been initially sceptical I am now enthused. Emery came across well for a first view with his limited English much better than expected. I love Wrighty but he is upset for no reason, there has been no comment or mention from Arsenal about Arteta or anyone else, they have completed a diligent process and the press now look idiots-… Read more »

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