Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has today aimed a less-than-subtle dig at both the club and the squad of players whom he took charge of in north London.
On the back of mounting speculation, the news that Gunners fans across the globe were waiting for finally arrived at the end of November.
Amid a dismal spell of form, culminating in a 2-1 Europa League defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, Arsenal confirmed that the club had taken the decision to part ways with manager Unai Emery.
In a statement across the north Londoners’ official website and social media platforms, it was announced:
‘We announce today that the decision has been taken to part company with our head coach Unai Emery and his coaching team.’
‘The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required.’
Club statement: Unai Emery
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 29, 2019
‘On a downward slope’
Mikel Arteta has of course since been installed as Emery’s replacement, with the former Gunners midfielder having enjoyed a largely positive start to life back with the club.
Emery himself, though, despite having previously spoken with nothing but respect and gratitude with regards to his time spent in north London, has today taken aim at his former employers.
Speaking in an interview with France Football, the Spanish tactician was drawn on his Arsenal stint, as well as some of the key takeaways from his most recent experience in the dugout.
And Emery was quick to defend his performance whilst in the English capital, even going as far as to claim that he completely turned around the ‘downward slope’ that the Gunners were on before his arrival:
‘Arsenal was a club on the downward slope for two years when I arrived. We stopped this fall and even started to straighten the club with a Europa League final (1-4 against Chelsea in 2019) and a fifth place in the Championship.’
On his former squad, meanwhile, Emery first bemoaned the loss of 4 key players last summer, before criticizing others for ‘not having the right attitude’:
‘We lost our four captains: (Laurent) Koscielny, (Petr) Cech, (Aaron) Ramsey and (Nacho) Monreal. We have missed personalities this season to stay on track. And some stars did not have the right attitude and asked for more than they gave. Given all that, it would have taken more time to successfully transition to the new Arsenal that I wanted.’