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Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery has criticised the attitude of some of his players during his time with the Gunners and said the club were on a “downward slope” when he arrived in 2018.
The Spaniard spoke to France Football ) about his 18 months in charge of the club and the difficulties he faced replacing Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium:
“Arsenal was a club on a downward slope for two years before I arrived. We stopped this fall and even began to rebuild the club with the Europa League final and fifth place in the league, only one point off of Tottenham despite the fact that we took just one point in our final five matches.”
Emery was sacked in November 2019 following a poor run of results that saw the Gunners go seven games without a victory, their worst winless run since 1992:
Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League and reached the final of the UEFA Europa League in Emery’s first full season in charge but lost their way rapidly and made a poor start to the 2019-20 campaign.
Emery saw a number of key players depart in the 2019 summer transfer window and said those departures had a big impact on his team:
“We lost our four captains: Koscielny, Cech, Ramsey and Monreal. 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. Taking all of that into account, we needed time to succeed with our transition to a new Arsenal which is what I wanted.”
James Olley at the Evening Standard reported that Emery “lost control” at Arsenal before his departure and that players “openly mocked his accent and broken English.”
Journalist Layth Yousif offered more reasons as to where it all went wrong for Emery:
The former Arsenal boss has accepted some of the blame for Arsenal’s poor performances but does not seem too impressed by their results under new manager Mikel Arteta:
Arsenal appointed Arteta as their permanent manager in December, and the 37-year-old had overseen an upturn in performances, if not results, in north London.
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno told reporters that Arteta has already had “a big impact” at the club and added that life under their previous manager was “a little bit confusing.”