Arsenal published a letter ostensibly written by Unai Emery on Friday, in which he thanked the club for his chance to manage in the Premier League and urged Arsenal fans to back the players.
It’s a rare moment of class and gratitude from an outgoing manager, who usually has nothing nice to say about the club that’s called time on his or her job earlier than expected. In this case, Emery succinctly summed up his last 18 months at Arsenal, from taking over with high expectations to the club’s recent struggles both in the Premier League and in the Europa League.
With a previous track record of success at Sevilla, and at least winning league titles at PSG, it was expected that Emery could help take Arsenal back into being one of England’s top teams, one challenging for the title. And yet, replacing Arsene Wenger proved more difficult that expected.
It has been an honor to be the Arsenal head coach.
To all the fans, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me to understand and feel the greatness of Arsenal. To all of you who have supported us from every corner of the globe, all of you who have come to the Emirates, all of you who have waited in the rain and cold just to greet me after a game. I want to tell all of you that I have worked with passion, with commitment and with effort.
I would have liked nothing more than to have achieved better results for you.
I also want to send a message of gratitude to all Arsenal employees for the way they have treated me. The greatness of Arsenal is in every director, executive, employee, assistant and volunteer.
In particular, I want to highlight Ivan Gazidis, who welcomed me to the club, and Raul Sanllehi, Edu and Vinai Venkatesham for their respect, companionship and help. Until the very last minute I have been treated with honor and honesty. And of course, I send my sincere gratitude to the Kroenke family, for their trust.
It has been a year and a half full of emotions, of great moments and some other more bitter ones, but not a single day has gone by without me stopping to think about how lucky I have been to work for this club with these players and their professional and personal qualities.
They have always honored the shirt they wear. They deserve your support.
I had already experienced a lot in football, but I have enjoyed and learned a lot in England, in the Premier League, about respect for professionals and about the purity of football.
My best wishes always.