Arsenal boss, Unai Emery, has revealed that he was not shocked by Manchester United’s decision to sack under-fire manager, Jose Mourinho.
The Old Trafford outfit relieved Jose Mourinho of his responsibilities, last month, amid disappointing results and claims of multiple dressing room fallouts. Former Manchester United forward, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come in as his temporary replacement and has overseen a massive overhaul of mentality and performance.
Since taking over from the Portuguese manager, the Norwegian has led the Red Devils to six consecutive Premier League wins and success in the third round of the FA Cup. Thanks to Solskjaer’s tireless work, United find themselves level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal and only three points behind fourth-placed, Chelsea.
Unai Emery has hailed the commendable work Solskjaer has done at United and backed the United board’s decision to sack Mourinho.
When asked about the decision to axe Mourinho, head coach Unai Emery, as quoted by , told reporters:
“I was not surprised because I think they can win with normality.”
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) January 24, 2019
“This team is with big players, who want to win the Premier League. This is normal. They can be in the position to win the league, but the reality is they have lost a lot of points this season.”
“But now, they are very dangerous and in a good moment. Now, this team is different. I don’t know why. But this team is different and they are playing with more confidence,” he concluded.
The Spaniard then talked about former Arsenal star, Alexis Sanchez, revealing how close he was to signing the player during his time as Paris Saint-Germain boss.
The Chile international has struggled to make the desired impact since moving to Old Trafford from Arsenal as part of an exchange deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, last January.
Hindered by niggling injuries, he has only managed to score 4 goals for the Red Devils over the course of the last 12 months. He may not look like a world beater anymore, but Emery still has plenty of respect for the Chilean.
Asked if he tried to sign the former Barcelona forward, the Spaniard, as quoted by Sky Sports, replied:
“Yes. He is a very good player and, when I was at PSG, we thought he could help him.”
“We spoke about a lot of players, about a lot of important players, and one was the possibility of Alexis. But it was not possible.”
“I respect him,” Emery added.
“In my preparations, every player is (prepared in) playing against the best players from Manchester United and one is Alexis Sanchez.”
'He is a very good player'
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) January 24, 2019
“I don’t know why his performances or quality is better or worse in these circumstances. Now, in the last matches, they are playing very, very well with very big performances.“
“He’s been starting on the bench after an injury, but, if he plays Friday, we need to work to stop him because he is a very good player,” he concluded.
Arsenal’s next outing sees them welcome Manchester United to the Emirates Stadium in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday night.