Arsene Wenger has hit back at Unai Emery’s claims that he inherited an Arsenal side on a ‘downward slope for two years’ by suggesting the Spaniard is merely searching for excuses.
Former PSG manager, Unai Emery was outspoken following his sacking earlier this season that his job was made far harder given what he had inherited from Wenger in the summer of 2018.
Arsenal had dropped out of the top four when Arsene Wenger brought an end to his legendary 22-year spell at the club but the French coach is of the belief that Emery has to ‘stand up for what you do’ and ‘not look around you’ when it comes to where he went wrong.
Arsène Wenger on Unai Emery's comments that Arsenal were in decline when he took over:
🗣"In 2017 we made 75 points and won the FA Cup so you can't say we were in decline and the year before we finished second in the PL.” [@footballdaily].
— TheAFCnewsroom (@TheAFCnewsroom) February 18, 2020
The Spaniard last week criticised the attitude of a number of his senior players and attempted to paint his only full season in charge as a success, despite blowing Champions League qualification and presiding over a humiliating Europa League final defeat at the hands of Chelsea.
‘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 Tottenham despite the fact that we took just one point in our final five matches.
‘We had Champions League qualification in our grasp and it went wrong in the end. But it was a good season and we had this notion of continuing to improve.’
Arsene Wenger, however, refuted Emery’s accusation, insisting he inherited a club in rude health and hinted he should accept responsibility for his own failings.
‘In 2017 we made 75 points and won the FA Cup so you cannot say that [Arsenal were in decline] and the year before  we finished second in the league,’
Arsene Wenger said at the Laureus World Sports Awards:
‘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.’