Robert Pires has described Unai Emery as ‘a little bit crazy’ and admits he has been very impressed with the new Arsenal boss.
Emery replaced Arsene Wenger in the summer after the 69-year-old’s 22-year reign as manager of the club came to an end, and he has adapted quickly to life in the Premier League.
Under the Spaniard, Arsenal have won 10 of their opening 16 Premier League matches this season and they are enjoying a remarkable 21-game unbeaten run.
But, for former midfielder Pires, Emery’s early success has not come as a surprise given his impressive managerial CV.
“He is a winner, he has won a lot of titles: the Europa League with Sevilla, Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain. I think he’s put a good spirit inside the dressing room. I think Arsenal have found a new face, maybe with a new philosophy, because this guy is like a warrior.
“You can see him when he’s on the bench: he’s a little bit crazy, but good crazy.”
In Wenger’s last few years at the Gunners standards began to slip, and his final two seasons Arsenal finished fifth and sixth respectively – the only times they ever finished outside of the top four under his stewardship.
The Frenchman was criticised in many quarters for his lack of tactical awareness and for failing to communicate with his players, but Pires believes Emery has helped resolve this issue.
“Maybe this is one of the differences between Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery,” the 45-year-old conceded.
“But management is very difficult, you need to find a good communication with the players. Sometimes Arsene is more quiet, Unai Emery is more – how do you say? – expressive.
“He wants to help, every minute, the players. You need to talk, you need to have good communication with the players. I think this is a new thing for them, but a good thing.”
Pires spent six years at Arsenal and won the Premier League twice, including the fabled ‘Invincibles’ season.