Former La Liga coach Marcelino Garcia Toral has held talks about replacing Unai Emery at Premier League underachievers Arsenal.

Marcelino Garcia Toral would accept the challenge of taking Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League if offered the job, according to ESPN, but he is far from confident of being handed the reigns after holding talks with The Gunners’ chiefs.

One of the continent’s most underrated tacticians, it is about time that Marcelino has emerged as a genuine option for a bonafide European giant.

The diminutive 54-year-old is a real slave-driver, demanding blood, sweat and tears from every one of his players – and yes, that would mean you too Mesut Ozil.

Marcelino’s high-pressing, uber-intense style made him a huge success at Villarreal and Valencia, winning the Copa del Rey title with Los Che last season to bring an end to their 11-year trophy drought.

ESPN reports that Marcelino has been in negotiations with the Arsenal chiefs and would happily accept the chance to prove himself in the Premier League at last. The one-time Sevilla coach is enthused by the attacking talent in the Gunners’ squad too, though he accepts that it lacks quality in key areas.

Arsenal fans everywhere would undoubtedly agree.

But after a difficult 18 months under compatriot Unai Emery, Marcelino apparently feels that Arsenal have reservations about appointing another Spanish coach and feels pessimistic about his chances.

Whether that is for the best, however, is anyone’s guess.

At Villarreal and Valencia, Marcelino whipped his players into shape like a fierce, steely-gazed general but high-profile fall-outs with key figures, both on and off the pitch, were never far away.

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