Unai Emery wants to put his affections for former club Arsenal to one side when his Villarreal side meet the north London team in the Europa League on Thursday.
Emery was named the successor to Arsene Wenger in 2018 and guided the Gunners to the Europa League final in his sole full campaign, only for them to lose 4-1 to Chelsea.
He was subsequently sacked in November following a terrible run of results but insists that he still has fond memories of his time at the Emirates Stadium.
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"Arsenal’s history is renowned throughout the world," Emery, who took up the reins at Villarreal in the summer of 2020, told UEFA's official website.
"I am lucky enough to have coached over there, although it ended in unwanted circumstances. Now I'm happy where I am and appreciate my new coaching job at Villarreal.
"I have great memories from my one year and four or five-month stay at Arsenal. We experienced great moments together on the pitch, such as reaching and preparing for the [Europa League] final against Chelsea, and in the day-to-day stuff as well, at the training ground. Those are great memories but now we are on different teams.
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"There are a lot of players that are still there, players who started their careers with me as their coach. I always tell this little anecdote about Bukayo Saka. He made his [Premier League] debut on 1 January  against Fulham, which I remember we won 4-1. I think it kicked off at 12:30, and he played the last eight to ten minutes and didn’t touch the ball. Now he's establishing himself at a high level.
"Many of the players I coached [are still at Arsenal]. I have fond memories of them: Hector Bellerin, [Calum] Chambers, [Rob] Holding: exceptional guys; [Mohamed] Elneny, who is an extraordinary player and an extraordinary person.
"They have [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Gabriel] Martinelli, who is becoming more important now after a serious injury.
"[Nicolas] Pepe is also an important player, who I think is settling and getting more and more confident. Then you have the younger players such as [Emile] Smith Rowe. Smith Rowe played the pre-season with us at the age of 17, and he has gradually grown after loan spells away.
"You also have [Bernd] Leno, who is a great goalkeeper and good with his feet. He has significant experience.
"I want to win for myself and for Villarreal. [Two years ago] I was defending Arsenal’s red [and white] colours in that final against Chelsea, now I feel that affinity for the yellow of Villarreal. I have that competitive instinct, that responsibility I owe the club and everyone I represent with my decisions. I did that proudly when I was at Arsenal, now I’ll do that at Villarreal.
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"I will have to put aside my feelings for Arsenal, and I will have to put all my energies into making sure that the Yellow Submarine gets the upper hand in the tie."
Emery also had some words of encouragement for his successor Mikel Arteta, who has found himself under pressure after a tricky run of results.
"Arteta is putting his own stamp on things – in the way they play, it’s easy to identify he’s bringing back that Arsenal tradition of playing attractive football.
"His first steps as Pep Guardiola’s assistant have helped him to position himself in this new profession which is being the manager. Now he has been given this opportunity at Arsenal, and I think it’s a good place to develop because he is much loved by Arsenal thanks to the time he spent in the team.
"He had his time [playing] there with Arsene Wenger so I’m sure he can apply everything he learned. I think it’s a good marriage: Arteta-Arsenal, Arsenal-Arteta."
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