Arsene Wenger aims dig back at Unai Emery over Arsenal claims

Are you team Arsene or team Unai on this…?

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has aimed a dig back at Unai Emery following his recent claims about the situation he inherited at the Emirates Stadium.

Emery was sacked by Arsenal back in November after some hugely disappointing results and performances this season, and in a recent interview he appeared to indirectly blame Wenger as he described the club as having been in decline before he arrived.

Wenger isn’t having this, though, with the Daily Mirror quoting him as taking a swipe back at the Spanish tactician by explaining all the ways in which he seemed to have the team on the right track.

“In 2017 we made 75 points and won the FA Cup so you cannot say that [Arsenal were in decline] and the year before [2016] we finished second in the league,” the Frenchman said.

“2018 was my last year but it is very difficult to come out on that.

“Arsenal is a club that is in a very strong position financially. It has good players, after that when you are a manager you have to stand up for what you do and your result and not look around you.

“That is the only thing you can do.”

Of course, while there may be some truth to what Emery says – the Gunners job certainly isn’t the easiest right now – it’s fair to say he has to also take some responsibility for how things unfolded during his short reign.

You only have to look at our quick improvement under rookie manager Mikel Arteta to see Emery’s glaring flaws. The challenging circumstances at the club have not changed, but Arteta looks like the far better long-term solution for us going forward.

41 Comments

  1. Kstix says:

    To be Frank, I think they both have a point. But it is folly for a manager to blame anyone but himself for his downfall. Emery had a moment of success after success with 22 game unbeaten run, 5th in the league 1 point behind 4th and europa league final better than wenger did in his last year. I remember fans shouting “we’ve got our Arsenal back” especially at the Emirates when we came from behind to beat Tottenham 4-2. No matter how we want to blame emery for awful second season he gave us a glimpse of hope in the first season which is similar to what arteta is doing now. Fans are fickle is all I’m saying and there’s some truth in what he said about some players not wanting to play for him..

    1. ozziegunner says:

      One only has to compare the quality and depth of the squad Wenger inherited from Rioch and the one Wenger left for Emery.

      1. ken1945 says:

        ozziegunner, so the squad that AW inherited from GG finished 12th, our lowest position since the 70s and no trophies for eight years.

        UE inherited a squad that had finished 6th that season and got to a European Cup semi final, while the year before had won the fa Cup and finished fifth.

        Plus, eight new players were signed at the same time UE joined, so what exactly are UE or you complaining about?
        This man continues to be a toxic person and he should be consigned to the past and ignored.

    2. jon fox says:

      Some good persective in your post but I’d suggest not too many thinking Gooners were at all fooled by that 22 match unbeaten Emery run. Wengers points were facts, not opinions, as we DID gain 75 points that season and won the Cup. Wenger never lost the dressing room but Emery clearly did so. For my money Emery always remained a “foreigner” at our club but his compatriot, Arteta is NOT a”foreigner” and nor was Wenger. OF COURSE I do not refer to birth country but the ability to become Prem class British managers who spoke not only our British language but also adapted to a British way of life. Wenger and Arteta are no more “foreigners” than am I, who was born and bred in London. Outsider would perhaps be a better word than “foreigner,” which some might interpret too literally.

      Where Wenger had enormous credit in his bank to withstand the campaign of criticism that he got, not least from me, Emery was a strange man , introverted, which is a handicap in managerial positions and given to odd ideas. He left the club in a total shambles with no earlier Arsenal success, unlike Wenger, to gainsay criticism.

      Arteta has instilled direction , discipline, motivation, has shored up our defence, even with several clowns still onboard of Kroenke led necessity. He has been little short of a revelation and almost all Gooners(a tiny few “oddballs” apart) are massively supportive and thrilled that we have him. I SUGGEST THIS IS MORE FULL PERSPECTIVE , EVEN THAN YOUR OWN POST, Kstix!

      1. Kstix says:

        Nothing truer Jon fox, but I still don’t see why Emery deserves to take all of the blame he does (of course, he deserves a lot of those, especially for his woeful second season) But we can’t say at some point in his first season, he didn’t improve the team. Remember his second half tactics and ability to read games? Wenger is not completely exonerated in that Wenger pampered the players, and when emery started becoming more ruthless especially in his second season especially regarding ozil, that was the beginning of the end for him as he lost the dressing room and the fans and in his confused state, he started to tinker too much with the team, playing players in the wrong positions etc
        All I’m saying is let’s not put Arteta under undue pressure by saying he’s changed Arsenal. Yes we’re playing better, I admit but the jury is still out for him I must say and only time will tell if Arteta is truly the real deal or just another flash in the pan like emery was.

    3. Ia'an says:

      i second you. he was good and his point about Ozil also its true. arsenal needs an overall number 10 who has the zeal to defend, pass and score goals at will. Ozil doesnt seem to have all those qualities

  2. Roshan says:

    I’ve lost all respect for Emery. He’s just blaming others and making excuses now for his poor coaching

    1. Chris Siple says:

      Emery would be better served in his job search if he showed more class, as he started out doing after he was fired. I think he should go back to a la Liga club that will have him and rebuild his reputation, which has taken a hit at PSG and Arsenal.

      Arteta seems like just what we need now and in the future, but we’ve seen very little of his Arsenal as of yet. His man management is (IMO) superb, his tactics decent. He’s like Wenger in that, but he’s a stricter disciplinarian. and having been a top player himself in recent years (and here!) gives him an added dose of gravitas in the dressing room. Let’s see how we finish the season with what is a pretty good squad.

  3. Siamois says:

    The fact that UE did far better in his first season with the full squad he inherited from Wenger that in his 2nd season says it all!

  4. Grandad says:

    I have to smile when I listen to Wenger.He ought to have gone into politics when he retired as he has the ability to skirt around the facts and come up smelling of roses.He was, without doubt a great Manager but his self belief and pig headedness was at the end of the day his downfall.He will never admit the wrong decisions he made particularly when it came to signing defenders. “It has good players” a comment which transcends the latter part of his reign.Yes he left Emery with some good players who were outnumbered by some really poor ones.

    1. David Rusa says:

      It is the likes of you that declared an irrational war against an innocent manager that put us in the mess we have been in. There was no reason whatsoever to make Wenger leave before the expiry of his contract which was just one year away. If he had left on cordial terms he might have perhaps helped us to identify the ideal replacement for him.
      It is sad that some of our radical fans are never apologetic about their actions that plunged the Club into the current situation. We should own up to the fact that it is not easy to replace a legend which Wenger was to Arsenal!

      1. ken1945 says:

        David. Agee completely with your post and I am sure that AW is not that blind that he wouldn’t admit he made mistakes, perhaps someone should ask him during a candid interview?

        As for being a politician, Grandad, he was responding to the accusation made by UE and gave the facts – unlike the politicians you compare him with.
        If UE wasn’t trying to blame everyone but himself, AW wouldn’t need to respond, would he?

      2. Jude says:

        Unai bought his own players and failed to clinch the champions league spot so don’t talk about failed Unai

        1. Reggie says:

          Agree Grandad you say it like it is. If we were not in decline neither would be out on their backsides.

      3. Chris Siple says:

        Didn’t Sir Alex choose his successor? I don’t think that usually works well. Wenger should have gone earlier than he did, but it’s clear now that he was never the biggest problem. It’s Kroenke and the execs he’s hired. Wenger deserves enormous credit, and is well loved at AFC for good reason. Arteta says he’s in regular contact with Arsene and it’s helpful. That’s his role now.

  5. Neo Malefane says:

    I really respect Wenger for what he is saying because it’s all true. When Wenger left he didn’t blame the players for underperforming or the board for the giving him the money he wanted, he took it like a man and left. Emery is not a man. He blames everyone else for all he’s failures and not himself. Wenger is right, in the 15/16 season we finished 2nd and in the 16/17 season we won the FA cup. What did Emery win? Yes nothing. Did some players underperform for him? Yes, but you the manager! You the one that’s supposed to motivate the players so they can perform constantly. Right now players like Ozil and Pepe are performing way better for Arteta than they did for you. That tells me he has way better man-management skills, and this is his first time being a manager! All you fans can say what they want about Wenger, but he is right. It all starts with the manager. He can’t blame other people for his failures.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    UE first season had no change from what HE Arsene left, his fall biggan back in March when the team started winning by good luck all the way to pre-season till we biggin this season in August there was no well organized team with best first eleven.

    1. Neo Malefane says:

      But it’s his job to get the best out of the team. Mourinho didn’y buy any of the spurs players but he is getting the best out of them..that’s what a manager does!

  7. Mogunna says:

    Wenger did amazing for this club and left a stadium, youth system and only trophies we can remember of. With no money, built this club to one of top clubs in the world.

    Emery won’t be remembered, Wenger is not at all to be compared, he is a legend on his own class; his statue and legacy will be forever!

    Today’s reality; with same team, Arteta is able to do better than Emery who had way more ressources than Wenger was ever allowed.

    All the players beside Pepe are all Wenger signed and develloped. This shows Emery is completly wrong, he simply lost his mind to compare himself to Wenger. That is rude and insulting to football! Pressure was too much for him in least than 15 months, lost is mind for real, needs to se ek for mental help.

    1. Neo Malefane says:

      Totally agree with you. Emery is a joke of a manager!

  8. LT says:

    I think UE is in damage control mode. He is basically saying “hey future employer, I’m an excellent coach but Arsenal is a club that cannot be saved. My short stay at Arsenal is not a reflection of my managerial abilities”.

    He is just looking to secure his next job by blaming the club for his failure. I don’t think we should waste too much time on him. Lets discuss important issues that move the club forward.

  9. Mogunna says:

    A damn fool! Winning El 3 times earned to be respected and land at PSG.

    But that was all erased, forgotten, when he broke world record and news as Mr Remontaded! He will certaiblnly be remembered forever for this total joke, unreal stuff.

    The all world as all of us laughed at Neymar who predicted it before game! Unbelievable and pure classic!

  10. Benjamin says:

    Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery should not be compared. The first is a legend and the latter is a nightmare.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Benjamin, no more needs to be added – a perfect response.

  11. Warfa says:

    Emery missed one piont for the Champions League football that he could gained over the last 3-4 games in the Premier League from last year and that says at all …….

  12. Sue says:

    Good for you, Arsene 👍

  13. Stewart Macintosh says:

    I am on team “doesn’t-really-matter-what-they-think-as-they-aren’t-Arteta”.

  14. RSH says:

    Cute, theyre both wrong to some degree. Emery achieved nothing though and has less room to talk

  15. Reggie says:

    We are where we are because of those two.

  16. ThirdManJW says:

    Good to see Wenger is still delusional as ever! 14 years in row of not winning, or even being competitive in the league. 9 straight years of European embarrassment. 9 straight years of not even winning a single trophy! According to Wenger and his fan boys, that not only isn’t a decline, but its actually very acceptable! Hahaha!

    1. Mogunna says:

      With no money it is a miracle! Wish we were nearly top4 today !

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        Yes and who played a major role in the lack of finances…you guessed it, Wenger!

        Wenger may have got us CL money, but his and Gazidis’ disastrous handling of contacts and player sales, meant we still lost hundreds of millions for reinvestment. Meaning we kept having to go for the cheap options.

        As I’ve said many times though, the bulk of poor decisions made by Wenger had absolutely nothing to do with money. E.g. Does one need money to be able to coach defending, or perform squad assessments?

  17. Top Gunner says:

    Arteta wont take us anywhere, trust me. Unai Emery bought good players. But Arteta is still fielding thr 9ld horses like Ozil and Xhaka.
    If Wenger was having this squad, he would win the league. Arsenal would be interesting football ever

  18. David Braithwaite says:

    I feel many fans have taken a position and that is informing some of the views I see expressed here.
    How many of you have actually read or listened to Emery’s comments before coming out with these ad hominem attacks.
    Considering Arsene’s last two years, despite reaching a cup final, how many would disagree that Arsenal were underperforming?
    Emery did not absolve himself of responsibility but did point out that some players were not applying themselves well enough-this is something many fans have been complaining about for years.
    I suppose what many of you just want hear or say is that Emery is solely to blame for all of Arsenal’s recent problems.
    The dishonesty and parochialism of some fans is really astounding.

    1. Reggie says:

      Well said, sensible post and true.

    2. Neo Malefane says:

      It is still up to the manager to get the best out of the team. When Wenger left he didn’t blame Lacazette missing chances or Ozil playing poorly for his failures. He solely took blame. That’s what Emery did not do. He blamed everyone but himself for his failures.

      1. Reggie says:

        But ultimately they both failed this club, what they say after is different.

  19. Michael says:

    To be sincere, all these fuss about UE doing well in his first season was because Wenger’s legacy and tactics were still fresh in the players’ memory. As soon as UE started his own tactics to abolish Wenger’s legacy, we all saw the results. Truth be told Arsenal lost their identity under UE, though I am still angry Wenger didn’t win enough as we expected, there were times I watch arsenal lose a match and yet enjoyed myself. Under UE it was a nightmare, my wife usually keeps a glass of water in my front if Arsenal is playing.

    1. Reggie says:

      Wow, you have a short memory. Lol

      1. Kstix says:

        A really short one I might add Regie. Lol..

  20. Masembe says:

    I think players was against Emery due to his style of playing

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