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Unai Emery has taken a subtle swipe at his predecessor Arsene Wenger for neglecting the defensive structure while Arsenal were in decline towards the end of his tenure, according to the Metro.
Arsene Wenger stepped down from his role as Arsenal manager in May after 22 years at the club, and many believe he tarnished his legacy by staying too long at the club.
He had a successful first decade at the club with three league titles and four FA Cups before a trophy drought started from 2005 till 2015.
He went on to win three more FA Cups and two Community Shields with no league title, before leaving the club after failing to qualify for the Champions league for two seasons.
Emery who took over from him in the summer has had an impressive start to his reign despite losing his first two games to Manchester City and Chelsea, he has led the Gunners to a 20-game unbeaten run, winning 11 games in a row during the run.
Speaking to the media, Emery was asked to talk about Wenger and he said: “Before Wenger came, Arsenal celebrated 1-0 and were based on defensive solidity.
‘With Arsene, joy came from attacking, with players of good standing. And the perfect combination was the Invincibles.
‘But over time, only technical quality and offensive freedom were taken care of, losing the defensive structure.
‘What I want is to unite both essences and be more competitive. Arsenal was in decline. We had to stop it and start climbing.”
While Emery’s side have not overcome the defensive frailties yet, they in fact seem to be more highlighted this season, he admits there is still a long way to go.
‘I told the players: “We started at kilometer zero”. Even now, four months later, I still say it: “We are in the beginning!”’