Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery is not holding back in discussing why the Gunners failed to get the job done on his watch.
Emery said “Arsenal was a club on a downward slope for two years” when he was hired and that the club took positive steps in reaching last season’s Europa League Final and finishing a point off the Top Four.
Arsenal “had Champions’ League qualification in our grasp and it went wrong in the end.”
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Emery says that the exodus of four leaders this summer was too big of a problem to address by the time he was fired in December.
“We lost our four captains: Koscielny, Cech, Ramsey and Monreal,” Emery told France Football. “They were personalities that we missed this season to stay on the right track. And some stars did not have a good attitude and asked for more than what they were giving back.”
Well, those words point in the direction of several well-worn targets for fan unrest, don’t they
Mesut? This is where Lionel Messi will have wanted Emery to name names.
Emery seems to accept that he played his part in the failure but also name-dropped the club’s biggest summer signing in addressed the terrible first half of this Premier League season.
“We needed time to succeed with our transition to a new Arsenal which is what I wanted,” he said. “For example, Nicolas Pepe, who was the club’s choice, clearly needed time to adapt. But I accept the rule of thumb and that I am poorly placed to criticize because I also benefited from such judgement in the past.”
This where we feel required to point out that Pepe must have some sort of personality issue with both of his coaches, because advanced stats say he’s been one of, if not, the most effective Gunner.
There’s a comparison to be made between the long rebuilds after the tenures of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger at Manchester United and Arsenal. Certainly United was left in a better position, but Arsenal had the better replacement.
Either way, the ends of two eras have led to a pair of substandard new ones.