Spaniard did not fail at Arsenal because of his poor English, but for a modern Premier League manager language is a weapon to be used with precision and nuance

The first question of the press conference was about Petr Cech. The veteran Arsenal goalkeeper had just announced his retirement from football at the end of the season, and as Unai Emery was asked to offer some words of tribute you could see the cogs whirring in his head as he composed his response. A short pause. “Good afternoon,” he began with his customary courtesy. “First, I think he’s a very big person.”

Certainly there could be no qualms about the factual content of the statement, given Cech’s height of 6ft 5in. Yet the suspicion remained that this was not quite the glowing tribute to his outgoing stalwart that Arsenal’s manager had quite intended. And as Emery departs north London, the suspicion remains that it is little comic vignettes like this – as much as anything he achieved on the pitch – that will be the true legacy of his time at Arsenal.

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