Former Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has brutally hit back at fans savagely trolling him by giving them the middle-finger.
The Villarreal boss is back in England for pre-season as his side face Fulham on Sunday. It comes after the Spaniard saw his team secure a positive 2-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.
But his return to the UK did not go all according to plan. Viral footage has shown the 50-year-old manager being targeted by a group of young fans at Southampton who mercilessly trolled him as he signed their autographs by the side of the team bus.
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In the clip, Emery can be seen approaching and signing a fan’s autograph. But as the Spaniard goes to sign, a young troll holding the camera can be heard saying: “Unai Emery, say ‘Good ebening.’ Say it.”
Emery looks up at the camera unimpressed, before continuing to sign the autograph as another fan behind the camera yells: “Unai Emery, I think you did very well at Arsenal,” sarcastically poking fun at the fact he was sacked by the club in November 2019 after little over a year in charge.
Emery, triggered at this point, offers a smile before waving his middle finger at the group of trolls, before the crowd erupts into cheers and jeers.
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The incident would have brought back bad memories of the manager’s short-and-not-sweet tenure in charge of the Gunners, where he was unfairly trolled on social media for his accent and pronunciation.
He took over in the summer of 2018 after Arsene Wenger’s retirement with a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders. After a solid spell initially, Arsenal’s 2018/19 season crumbled with a heavy Europa League final defeat to Chelsea in Baku to miss out on Champions League football.
After that, the writing was on the wall as the Gunners looked a shadow of their former selves under Emery, leading to a hostile atmosphere in the stadium and dressing room which eventually saw the Spaniard sacked the following November.
Emery reportedly even faced mockery from Arsenal players, who also got in on the social media jokes and made “far more cynical” ones at his expense.
He later explained to The Guardian his thoughts on the trolling, saying: “I had a decent level [speaking the English language], although I needed to improve.
“When results are bad it’s not the same. You lack the linguistic depth to explain. And take ‘good ebening’: OK, it’s ‘good evening’, but when I said ‘good ebening’ and won it was fun; when we were losing it was a disgrace.”
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