It’s never a great look for a former manager to throw former players under the bus when trying to defend the job they did at a certain club, but it might explain some of Unai Emery’s tenure at Arsenal.
Realistically he was on a hiding to nothing, Arsene Wenger was such a legend at the club and it’s so rare to see the immediate successor have a good time – look at David Moyes when he took over at Manchester United.
Looking back you would say that Emery took Arsenal from a club with an outside chance of Champions League qualification and he firmly cemented their place as a Europa League club instead.
It’s hard to say he was a definite success, but Get Football News France reported on some comments he made to France Football where he tried to defend his record.
Here’s what Emery had to say:
“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 5th place in the league, only one point off of 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.”
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.”
It’s interesting that he doesn’t name names when it comes to those players with the bad attitude, but you have to think that’s a thinly veiled dig at Mesut Ozil.
It would be interesting to see if many Arsenal fans are as positive about his spell in charge as Emery is.