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UEFA Europa League

Europa League: An interesting battle on the cards between Unai Emery and Carlo Ancelotti

05:29 GMT+4 09/04/2019
Unai Emery Arsenal
While Arsene Wenger wanted Carlo Ancelotti to become his successor at Arsenal, the club gave the job to Unai Emery…

As Arsenal gear up to take on Napoli in the quarterfinal of the Europa League on Thursday, a very interesting faceoff is on the cards between the two managers - Unai Emery and Carlo Ancelotti.

While there is absolutely no rivalry or bitterness between the two managers, their duel will add a nice subplot to this quarterfinal clash.

Let us travel back to April 2018 when Arsenal’s legendary manager Arsene Wenger had decided to leave the club after 22 years.

While the decision of Wenger leaving came as a huge jolt to the Gooners around the world, their biggest worry was who would replace the Frenchman at the hot seat.

Several names started popping up as soon as Wenger decided to call it a day. The legendary manager himself had suggested quite a few.

Reportedly, one of the names suggested by Wenger was that of his old foe Carlo Ancelotti, who has managed and enjoyed success in several big clubs across different leagues.

The three times Champions League winning former AC Milan and Chelsea coach was reportedly preferred by Wenger as his successor.

Carlo Ancelotti had lost his job at Bayern Munich after the team had struggled at the initial stages of the 2017-18 season. The Italian, who was without a job at that time, was considered to be a favourite to join Arsenal.

Ancelotti would have been a great replacement of Wenger because he had the prior experience of managing an English Premier League. The 59-year-old had even won the Premier League title in his first season at Chelsea, something which Arsenal had not won since the 2003-04 season.

But the board decided to not to pursue regarding Ancelotti and instead opted to rope in Spaniard Unai Emery who was coming off a stint with French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Emery might not have achieved as much as Ancelotti but has had his fair share of success in his managerial career. He has won the Europa League three times in a row with Sevilla.

After a rough start, Arsenal have had a decent season under Emery and they have a good chance of finishing among the top four teams in the league this time.

It will be interesting to see if Arsenal had made the right decision by giving the job to Unai Emery.

Here's how to watch the UEFA Europa League LIVE from SouthEast Asia