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Pep or Pepe? The Spanish footsteps Emery could follow

UnaiEmeryCropped Arsenal coach Unai Emery (source: Getty Images)

Unai Emery’s decision to take the reins at Arsenal lined him up as the ninth Spaniard to manage in the Premier League.

The former Paris Saint-Germain coach follows in the footsteps of eight compatriots who endured varying fortunes in England’s top flight.

Ranking Emery’s countrymen from best to worst using Opta data, we take a look at how those who have gone before the new Gunners boss have fared…

 

PEP GUARDIOLA (MANCHESTER CITY)

Games: 76; Win percentage: 72.4; Points per game: 2.34

The ultimate example to follow, Guardiola’s City raised the bar in the 2017-18 Premier League season and Emery takes over an Arsenal side who finished 37 points behind the champions.

RAFAEL BENITEZ (LIVERPOOL, CHELSEA, NEWCASTLE UNITED)

Games: 302; Win percentage: 51.7; Points per game: 1.79

A man himself linked with the Emirates Stadium vacancy, Benitez has demonstrated the kind of longevity that Emery may aspire to.

 

ROBERTO MARTINEZ (WIGAN ATHLETIC, EVERTON)

Games: 265; Win percentage: 30.6; Points per game: 1.21

Now preparing for a World Cup at the Belgium helm, Martinez’s career in the Premier League was marked by inconsistency. 

 

QUIQUE SANCHEZ FLORES (WATFORD)

Games: 38; Win percentage: 31.6; Points per game: 1.18

After a mid-table finish and a run to the last four of the FA Cup, some felt the Hornets were harsh to dismiss Flores after just one season.

 

JUANDE RAMOS (TOTTENHAM)

Games: 35; Win percentage: 28.6; Points per game: 1.17

Much like Emery, Ramos’ reputation had bloomed after success in Europe, having won back-to-back UEFA Cups with Sevilla, but he came up short at Spurs. 

 

JAVIER GRACIA (WATFORD)

Games: 14; Win percentage: 28.6; Points per game: 1.07

Watford again turned to a Spaniard after the unsettled Marco Silva’s departure, but the jury is out on Gracia after an underwhelming run-in.

 

PEPE MEL (WEST BROM)

Games: 17; Win percentage: 17.6; Points per game: 0.88

After flirting heavily with relegation, Mel’s brief Hawthorns tenure ended with the Baggies having finished 17th.

 

AITOR KARANKA (MIDDLESBROUGH)

Games: 27; Win percentage: 14.8; Points per game: 0.81

Promotion to rejoin the elite was the defining moment of Karanka’s Boro career, which floundered somewhat thereafter.

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