Our old friend Unai Emery is back in the news again. No, he’s not getting sacked at another club, but he is offering his opinion about Neymar Jr. and in the process, taking a shot at Paris Saint-Germain.
Speaking to Cadena SER (via Goal), Emery stated that Neymar needed to return to Spain in order to become the best player in the world.
“He is 27-years-old and has all the conditions to be the best player in the world,” the former PSG boss said. “In Spain, I would like him to come back because the best players have to be in the best teams.”
“You hear a lot that he will return to Barcelona. I also left to go to PSG, but now that I’m in Spain, I think Neymar has to come back.”
Emery was the manager of PSG in 2017 when Neymar signed a contract with Les Parisiens and the relationship wasn’t always a smooth one.
PSG experienced some domestic success with Emery in charge but he is most famous for finishing second in the Ligue 1 table to AS Monaco during the 2016-17 season and for throwing away a 4-0 lead over FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League by losing 6-1 at the Camp Nou.
Following his lukewarm performance as PSG manager, Emery left the club in at the end of the 2017-18 season and later signed with Arsenal FC in May of 2018 where he went on to lead the club to one of their worst starts in club history this season. He was sacked last November and is currently unemployed and apparently telling Neymar what he should do.
Emery did call Neymar “without any doubt” the best player he has coached during the interview but that’s not really groundbreaking considering the players he had to work with at Sevilla FC (the club he managed before PSG) and Arsenal.
The comments to me are completely unnecessary. Everyone knows about Neymar’s transfer saga last summer and it will likely get started again towards the end of the season. PSG supporters don’t need Emery kicking off the nonsense any earlier than need be especially when it looks like there’s a good chance that Neymar could sign a contract extension with PSG.
Emery had very little praise for PSG or Ligue 1 in his interview. He said that “the best football teams are in Spain with Madrid and Barcelona, but the best league is the English one.” Combine that with him saying Neymar has to leave Paris and you get a very bitter manager who is unlikely to get a job at a big club ever again.
If Emery truly believed what he said in this interview, why didn’t he say it when PSG signed Neymar? Why didn’t he ever make these comments at any one of his many press conferences?
He could have praised La Liga and said his team lost 6-1 to Barcelona because of inferior Ligue 1 opponents but he didn’t. That’s not his move. Remember when left PSG and then decided to talk about how Neymar really runs the club? Just wait Arsenal fans, I’m sure he has some comments about your team lined up and ready to go and the longer he remains unemployed the more likely it is someone will give him a platform to speak.
Unai Emery is not a very good manager. That much is clear. I could at least respect him for trying his best though. But now, meddling with Thomas Tuchel’s player is extremely unprofessional and tells you everything you need to know about him.
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