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Unai Emery reveals talks with Watford boss Javi Gracia convinced him to take Arsenal job

first_imgAdvertisement Javi Gracia has done an exceptional job at Watford (Getty Images)‘When the possibility opened to sign here, the first coach, the first person in the football world I called was him [Gracia],’ Emery said.‘I asked some questions about the football here, the clubs, Arsenal, and he recommended to me that I come here.’Emery added: ‘For example, we had dinner, their coaches and our coaches, one day in St Albans in September.‘We spoke about football here, English football and their experience because they were here six months before us. It was a good conversation about football because Javi Gracia is also a football man.‘They are my friends, not only Javi Gracia but also his assistants Zigor Aranalde and Inigo Arteaga.’Arsenal beat Watford 2-0 at the Emirates earlier in the season, although it took an own goal from Craig Cathcart and a strike from Mesut Ozil in the final ten minutes to seal the victory.Emery will be hoping for a similar outcome when Arsenal head to Vicarage Road on Monday night but he accepted it will be a difficult game given the good form Watford have been in.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘I know Javi Gracia and above all his teams are very organised with a big commitment to helping each other,’ Emery said.‘They are very difficult teams to battle because defensively they are very strong and this is now at Watford.‘They are a very organised team, with a big capacity offensively because they create a good movement and a good idea, a good style to take that.‘They are going to demand a lot from us on Monday, but it is a good match and I appreciate it a lot, and I want to play matches against Javi Gracia and Watford because I think they are doing a big season.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterSunday 14 Apr 2019 11:29 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link262Shares Advertisement Unai Emery spoke with Javi Gracia before accepting the Arsenal job (Getty Images)Unai Emery has revealed that a conversation with his Spanish compatriot and Watford manager Javi Gracia convinced him to become Arsenal’s manager last summer.Despite leading PSG to a domestic treble in 2017-18, Emery left the Ligue 1 club at the end of the season before accepting Arsenal’s offer to replace the outgoing Arsene Wenger.Emery has earned plaudits for the job he has done at the Emirates, steering Arsenal into top-four contention as well as the Europa League quarter-finals.Another Spanish manager to impress this season is Gracia having led Watford to the FA Cup final as well consolidating their position in the top half of the Premier League.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAnd Emery has admitted that Gracia, who joined Watford last January following Marco Silva’s dismissal, played a key role in his move to England. Unai Emery reveals talks with Watford boss Javi Gracia convinced him to take Arsenal job Commentlast_img read more

Ferocious competitors join forces for QLD

first_imgAAT Kings Tammy Marshall & JTG Warwick Blacker In what has been described as an ‘epic’ forum, the afta-led post-flood relief effort to assist Queensland’s tourism industry brought together competitive heavyweights from every retail travel group and key wholesalers from across the nation yesterday to discuss how to ensure local industry prospers in coming months.“These are ferocious competitors, and the fact that they are sitting here showing their support, shows it is about an industry that drives the economy in this State and largely in the country,” Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Chief Executive, Daniel Gschwind said.The impressive lineup of speakers included Flight Centre CEO, Graham Turner, Chairman of afta, and Travelscene American Express CEO, Mike Thompson, Harvey World Travel CEO, David Rivers and Deputy afta Chairman and General Manager retail network Jetset Travelworld, Warwick Blacker.“More than 200,000 people that depend on these people driving this business. That they are working together is a strong message.  Put down your competitive batons and we are all on the same team, and it’s very important,” Mr Gschwind said.  Each member of the panel discussed the importance of showing support for Queensland, and in particular ensuring correct information was provided to the public in areas that were largely unaffected yet are suffering cancellations due to misconceptions.“We’ve got so many very senior people here and getting behind the key message.  The message to the travel consultants in Australia – how can I help?” afta CEO, Jayson Westbury said.Mr Westbury said the biggest support from the travel agency community would be to influence or suggest travellers book domestic holidays to Queensland, and for corporate clients, that Brisbane is open for business.  “It is important to tell the (Queensland) travel industry they are not alone.  Some of the operators see the end of the road and nobody is coming and it’s a very depressing state of affairs.  Getting sadder as you go on it can undermine the recovery,” Mr Gschwind said. “We want to maintain the response momentum on all fronts, including from Government and marketing bodies to get the appropriate funds.” TSAX CEO & afta Chairman, Mike Thompson Graham Turner – Flight Centre, Simon Bernardi –Jetset Ltd, Hugh Houston – AOT Holidays, Mike Thompson –Travelscene American Express, Chairman AFTA, Warwick Blacker – Jetset Travelworld, David Rivers – Harvey World Travel, Tammy Marshall – AAT Kings,  Juliana Payne –National Tourism Alliance, John Lee –Tourism Transport Forum, Steve Limbrick – Qantas, Liz Savage –  Virgin Blue, Felicia Mariani – ATEC, Jayson Westbury – afta Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.Mlast_img read more