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Unai Emery reveals he intentionally didn’t shake hands with Arsenal coaching staff after win

Published: Updated: 15:10, 11 Dec 2023
The Spanish coach clarified that he didn’t shake hands as Arteta wasn’t there

Unai Emery, the former Arsenal manager, recently revealed that he did not shake hands with any members of the Arsenal coaching team after Aston Villa's significant 1-0 victory. This decision was due to the absence of Mikel Arteta, the current Arsenal manager.

Arteta was banned from the touchline for Saturday night's match at Villa Park following a recent FA charge and could only watch on from the executive boxes above as his side succumbed to an early first-half strike from midfielder John McGinn.

Emery spent 18 months in charge at Arsenal before being sacked in November 2019. He was eventually replaced by Arteta. Despite not shaking hands with Arsenal's coaching staff post-match due to Arteta’s absence - who swiftly left the stands just before the final whistle - Emery insisted there was no ill-feeling between him and his successor or their respective benches.

Unai Emery, manager of Aston Villa, said:

"No, because Arteta wasn't on the bench. I gave my hand to the workers inside because they were there when I was there, but only with the people I coached with and who worked with me."

"There was nothing personal. It was because it wasn't Arteta. I respect a lot Arsenal and Arteta. I respect a lot the workers there. I have nothing negative against them."

As of yet, Emery has refuted all talk of Aston Villa winning the Premier League this season

Aston Villa has been making waves recently, especially after their big win against Premier League champions Manchester City just days before their victory over Arsenal. 

These wins have placed them just two points off the summit themselves, sparking suggestions they could challenge for this season’s title. However, both Emery and match-winner John McGinn were reluctant to entertain such talk while speaking to Sky Sports post-match show:

Unai Emery, manager of Aston Villa, said:

"I will speak again when we are in game 30 to 32 and if we are in the same position as now then maybe I can speak about it. At the start we are not a contender, it is only game 16. We are in [the top four] and must try to keep it."

While the absence of Arteta may have led to an unconventional post-match scenario, it did not overshadow Aston Villa’s impressive performance. Despite the growing speculation about their title prospects, both Emery and McGinn are keeping their feet firmly on the ground, focusing on one match at a time. This approach could serve them well in maintaining their current momentum and possibly securing more victories in future matches.

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