Arsene Wenger believes Unai Emery was not given enough time as Arsenal’s manager after the Spanish boss nearly took Villarreal to the final of the Champions League.
The Spaniard was chosen to replace Wenger when the club legend left his managerial role in 2018.
Emery had won the Europa League with Sevilla before becoming Arsenal’s boss and he led the club to the final of the same competition, while narrowly missing out on a top-four finish in his first season.
He was sacked in his second campaign and he has since got his reputation repaired back at Villarreal by winning last season’s Europa League with them.
As his team tried but failed to knock Liverpool out of the UCL last night, Wenger insisted Arsenal were too quick to oust him from the Emirates.
“They didn’t give him enough time, but there is a lot to talk about,” Wenger told beIN Sports as quoted by Express Sport. “For example, is it right that a team who is not successful in the group stages can play in the Europa League.
“For the last 10 years, the teams who are not successful in the Champions League go on to win the UEFA Cup. So, he has transformed a non-successful team into a successful one with Sevilla.
“It was more to give an importance to the trophy than to the sporting integrity. I think Unai Emery is a great coach, he has shown it in Spain and he is constantly at the top level.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
In hindsight, we probably should have given Emery more time. But in football, the manager is only as good as his last few results. Arsenal was on a downward spiral with him at the helm before he left, and they had no other choice.
His replacement, Mikel Arteta has since won two trophies for the club and he might take us back to the Champions League at the end of this campaign.