Arsenal head trainer Unai Emery has revealed that he had been Javi Gracia within his hometown, discussing Sunday match against Watford, if they heard he had been sacked.
Watford took the decision to part company last Saturday, just five games – all which ended in defeat – to the campaign, and five months later he led them out at the FA Cup final.
Quique Sanchez Flores quickly replaced gracia, making his return to Watford three years after his death.
Unfortunately the news of his own sacking coincided with the possibility assembly of his close friend in Spain.
“It’s amazing," said Emery. “I met with himwe found each other last week in my city, in Hondarribia, if I was there with my family.
“I was walking and facing us had been Javi Gracia. And in the minute we began speaking about our match, and we finished it knowing he was sacked. It’s a story that is fantastic, yes?
“He is a very good trainer, as he showed last year in Watford.
“The team decided, and I must honor that. He is going to work and he is going to continue his profession like he is, such as a wonderful coach."
Emery may have to rethink his strategy for Sunday’s trip to Watford using a guy in charge of the Hornets, however he’s acquainted with Sanchez Flores.
Emery’s Valencia were knocked out of the Europa League in the point in 2010 by Sanchez Flores’ Atletico Madrid – the winners of the tournament.
“I remember it," he said. “Every single coach every player, every person in soccer remembers some matters. I recall we drew 2-2 in the home and we drew 0-0 away.
“In the last moment the referee didn’t give us an amazing punishment for the chance to win. In my manner, everything that occurred for me is something to learn from, to get expertise.
“Sometimes it’s positive, in the moment more positive, but also unfavorable. I learned from it all."
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