Mesut Ozil On Bench - Arsenal Team vs Watford Confirmed

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But Emery himself had already sounded out Gracia about life as a Premier League boss as his former Real Sociedad team-mate had been appointed at Watford six months earlier.

Initially, ex-gunner Mikel Arteta was rumoured to be a front-runner for the job but Emery's interest in taking over the North London side was enough to sway the board in his favour.

As quoted by the Daily Express, Emery explained: "So when the possibility opened up to sign here, the first coach, the first person in the football world I called was him (Gracia)".

"I asked some questions about the football here, the clubs, Arsenal, and he recommended to me that I come here".

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"For example we had dinner, their coaches and with our coaches, one day in St Albans in September".

"They are my friends, not only Javi Gracia but also his assistant Zigor Aranalde and Inigo Arteaga".

Emery worked with Di Maria at PSG for two seasons before being and axed and leaving for the Gunners. Yes, it's much better, the coach is relaxed, we know that when we have to train, we train, but when the training ends, we relax, we laugh. Yet he insists that it is not a case of prioritising one over the other.

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