Arsenal ‘interviewed EIGHT candidates overall before appointing Unai Emery with club legends Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, and Max Allegri, all spoken to’ as they looked for the man to replace Arsene Wenger
- Unai Emery was tasked with replacing legendary boss Arsene Wenger at Arsenal
- Emery fended off seven other candidates for Arsenal job in the summer of 2018
- The Spaniard has come under intense scrutiny in recent times at the Emirates
- The Gunners let a two-goal lead slip at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday
Arsenal reportedly interviewed eight candidates for the monumental task to replace Arsene Wenger as manager, including a couple of club legends.
Wenger stepped down as Arsenal boss at the end of the 2017-18 campaign after 22 years in charge – with the team losing further ground on their Premier League rivals and missing out on Champions League football for the second season running.
Unai Emery was eventually the man chosen for the Emirates job after it had initially appeared that former Arsenal player Mikel Arteta would take over.
Unai Emery was tasked with replacing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in the summer of 2018
Thierry Henry, who attended Sunday’s draw against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium, was in the running for the Arsenal vacancy. Here he is pictured shaking hands with Edu
Another club legend in Patrick Vieira was also interviewed by the Arsenal hierarchy
Mikel Arteta (right) appeared on the brink of taking over before Emery was appointed manager
The names, in alphabetical order, included: Massimiliano Allegri, Arteta, Thierry Henry, Julen Lopetegui, Ralf Rangnick, Jorge Sampaoli and Patrick Vieira.
It has also been reported by The Athletic that Arsenal additionally discussed Antonio Conte, Eddie Howe, Maurizio Sarri and Brendan Rodgers – but for various reasons, they were not pursued.
Ultimately, it was Arteta’s lack of managerial experience and a readily available backroom team that proved to work against him.
The pressure has intensified on Emery after Arsenal let a two-goal lead slip at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon against London rivals Crystal Palace.
Massimiliano Allegri, who stepped down as Juventus boss in summer, was also interviewed
Julen Lopetegui, now at Sevilla, was another manager to spoken to by the Arsenal chiefs
The result has left Arsenal in fifth, four points off Chelsea and Leicester after nine matches and they have yet to produce an emphatic performance this season.
After missing out on Champions League football in his first season in charge following a woeful end to last term’s Premier League and their 4-1 thrashing against Chelsea in the Europa League final, a top-four finish is now a must for Emery.
It is reported that the Gunners will give Emery time, most probably until the end of the season, before deciding whether he will manage the club in the final year of his deal.
Jorge Sampaoli was also in the running for the top job in north London last summer
German coach Ralf Rangnick, formerly of RB Leipzig, was the final candidate for the role