Unai Emery landed Arsenal job after silent ballot - Ivan Gazidis
Arsenal's three-man committee used a silent ballot to pick Unai Emery as their top choice for the head coach job, chief executive Ivan Gazidis has revealed.
Gazidis said the meeting between himself, recruitment head Sven Mislintat and director of football relations Raul Sanllehi ended with them ranking their preferred candidates on a piece of of paper -- and all three picked Emery as No. 1.
That was after they had narrowed a list of eight candidates down to three finalists.
"All the way going through the process, Raul and I and Sven spoke to each other as little as possible, because we didn't want to pollute each other's viewpoints from the discussions we had," Gazidis said.
"We wanted to come to the discussion fresh when we had been through all eight of the finalist candidates. We narrowed it down to three. We spent an entire day discussing among those three. At the end of the day, three of us all wrote on a piece of paper, one, two, three, and put them into the middle of the table. And the choices were all the same. And Unai was at the top of all of our lists."
Gazidis didn't name the other two finalists, although Mikel Arteta is believed to have been runner-up -- with reports claiming he was set to get the job.
Gazidis poked fun at those reports at Wednesday's news conference with Emery at the Emirates, and insisted all eight candidates interviewed wanted the job.
"I know that [Emery] came as a bit of a surprise and perhaps there was one or two rewrites necessary," Gazidis added.
"But as I said in the beginning of the process, those who know won't speak and those who speak won't know.
"All of those eight people that we targeted were interested in the position. All of those eight people took part in extensive in-person interviews with the three of us. And none of them at any stage withdrew their interest. We were in the fortunate position in this process of being able to make our first choice. And that's what we did."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.