You know how when you move to a new city, one of the first things you do is look around for something familiar? Some restaurant that reminds you of home, a shop that sells stuff you’re used to seeing, whatever it is, you just like to be reminded of the place you were as you transition into being in the place you are.
This even happens in sports. Arsene Wenger, early in his tenure with Arsenal, was famous for raiding the closet labeled “French Talent” because that’s what he knew well. Every manager does it - they lean on the contacts they know and source players they’re familiar with as they get set up in their new gigs.
It also happens, as it seems, in the managerial ranks. Ivan Gazidis, who left Arsenal at the end of September to ply his trade at AC Milan, is reportedly interested in bringing in a new manager to the Italian club to replace Gennaro Gattuso. The manager Gazidis wants to bring in is a name you might recognize from somewhere - Unai Emery.
Yep. If this report is to be believed - and there are huge grains of salt in both that report and its source - Gazidis is looking at Emery to replace Gattuso next season. I’m not sure I believe that it’s a thing, for a few reasons. First, I mean, Emery just started at Arsenal. While he hasn’t set the world on fire, he also hasn’t done terribly - Europa League quarterfinals, fifth in the Premier League, with a shot at Champions League qualification from either of those avenues. Which is pretty much what he was brought in to do.
I’m not saying he’s done everything right; he hasn’t, particularly away from the Emirates. It just doesn’t feel like he’s had the kind of success at Arsenal that would warrant some other, more ambitious team stealing him away after a single season, so for me this probably falls under the “smoke without fire” category.