Published: Fri, November 23, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Arsenal were in decline under Arsene Wenger, admits head coach Unai Emery

Arsenal were in decline under Arsene Wenger, admits head coach Unai Emery

Unai Emery says Arsenal were "falling" under Arsene Wenger but has denied making radical changes to turn the Premier League club around.

"Nowadays it's very hard for a coach to stay 22 years", Emery said in an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca on Thursday.

Emery said he has met Wenger once since being appointed his replacement and while he "has a lot of respect" for his predecessor, he insists changes had to be made.

"Before Wenger arrived, Arsenal celebrated the 1-0 (win) and was based on defensive solidity".

More news: Chris Watts to be sentenced Monday for killing pregnant wife, 2 daughters

"With Arsene, they became an attacking team, with players who were good on the ball, and the ideal combination came with The Invincibles [when an unbeaten Arsenal won the 2003-04 Premier League]".

I know that we are going to have to play at a very high level in order to get the three points because Bournemouth are doing some great work, they have some fantastic players.

Former PSG coach Emery has enjoyed an encouraging first few months as Wenger's successor, with Arsenal now unbeaten in 16 matches and buoyed by impressive performances against Liverpool, Fulham and Leicester.

"But over time, only technical quality and offensive freedom were taken care of, and the team lost the defensive structure".

More news: Dow dives 2.2%, moves into the red for 2018

Arsenal now sit fifth in the table, three points behind north London rivals Tottenham.

"What I want is to unite both essences and be more competitive".

While Emery's side have also impressed in their Europa League campaign so far, the Gunners head coach is keeping attention on their key target.

Arsenal have ranked fifth and sixth respectively in the last two seasons, meaning they have now spent two years out of the Champions League.

More news: New Zealanders praise Schmidt for outsmarting All Blacks

"At the same time, every competition where there's a title up for grabs is important and that counts for the two domestic cup competitions as well". "Arsenal must be big, not let us take advantage of the four above and not let the bottom approach".

Like this: