Villarreal coach Unai Emery has urged former club Arsenal to show patience with current manager Mikel Arteta as he prepares to meet the Gunners in Thursday’s Europa League semifinal first leg for the first time since being sacked in November 2019.

Emery was fired less than one and a half seasons after taking the reins following 21 years under Arsene Wenger and he believes the club should show faith in Arteta despite poor domestic results.

Arteta guided Arsenal to the FA Cup last season but they sit 10th in the Premier League standings and winning the Europa League looks like being their only chance to qualify for continental competition next season.

“This is a process that needs a bit of time to execute a game plan. I am convinced we need to let managers work, we need to have patience. At Arsenal we needed to be patient and they need to trust Arteta,” Emery told a news conference.

“It’s a question of patience, of confidence. I think it’s a perfect marriage. Arteta is a great manager and you can see a clear identity of their game plan in the way they play.”

Emery also confirmed he had advised Arteta on what life would be like at Arsenal, adding he offered his vacant house to him.

He also insisted he had moved on from his disappointing spell with Arsenal and was motivated to help Villarreal reach a first European final after reaching four semifinals.

He said: “We had a lot of hope for this season and that hope is still intact in Europe. Now we have an opportunity that makes us really excited, the challenge of clearing that final hurdle with Villarreal, against a huge team in Arsenal.”

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