Arsenal boss Unai Emery makes shocking revelation as he feels the club was declining towards the end of Wenger’s prolonged 22-year era at the North London club. The Spaniard also said that “things had to change”. The Gunners failed to finish in the top four for the first time under the French tactician in his final two years at the club. Emery believes that kind of situation was faced by the club was a lot down to because of the team’s poor defensive structure.
Emery who is currently in the rebuilding phase for the Gunners said in an interview with Spanish publication Marca about Arsene Wenger, “I met once with him, and little else. I respect him a lot but no matter how much info he gave me, I had to change things. I told the players: ‘We started at kilometre zero.’ Even now, four months later, I still say it: ‘We are in the beginning!’”
The Spanish tactician feels that the club lost its defensive shape in the final two years under Arsene Wenger. He spoke very highly to the 2004 Premier League wining team and added, “Before Wenger arrived, the club took a lot of pride in their 1-0 wins which was mostly down to their stable back-line. Then with Arsene, joy was turned into attack, with players of good standing, and the perfect combination was the Invincibles.”
“Over time, only technical quality and offensive freedom were taken care of, and the team lost the defensive structure. What I want is to unite both essences and be more competitive. The Arsenal was in decline. We had to stop it and start climbing.”
Arsenal somehow managed to grind out a 2-1 win over the Bournemouth are now currently placed in 5th position with 27 points. Although they are 12 points adrift of league leaders Manchester City but their realistic target would be to end their campaign in a top four spot. With Chelsea’s unbeaten run coming to an end against Tottenham, the Gunners are just one point away from their London rivals and from securing a top 4 spot.
Further talking about his targets and goals at present, he told the club’s official website, “The Premier League is our priority, and our objective in terms of the table is to finish in the top four. The club wants to return to Europe’s top club competition, which is the Champions League, and we have two opportunities by which to do that – one is the Premier League and the other is the Europa League.”
Now coming to their latest 2-1 win over Bournemouth, Emery showered praises for the team as a whole but thought lauding the performances of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon international scored a goal in the much important fixture and also did help out his team in defence.
It was a vital win for the Gunners as the 29-yesr old scored the winning goal at the Vitality Stadium in their latest Premier league fixture. Aubameyang’s winner propels his side back to winning ways after three consecutive draws. His defensive involvement was also lauded by Emery as the side churned out a 2-1 win and every player played a part defensively as well.
The Borussia Dortmund forward has now scored 8 goals and leads the Premier League top scorers list alongside Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero. Aubameyang will look to use the momentum gathered by the goal and will look to replicate similar performance as Arsenal faces Tottenham in the Premier League at the weekend.
Europa League Win-
A young Arsenal team along with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech in the squad, managed to secure a 3-0 win in the Europa League against Ukrainian side Vorskla. It was a comfortable win that would have made the manager proud, who decided to rest some of his other big stars, ahead of some crucial games coming up in the domestic competitions.
The Londoners face their fierce rivals Tottenham on Sunday, followed by a mid-week trip to Old Trafford to face off against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side. Both games are crucial and Unai Emery will want to treat them as must-win games. Hopefully, his team can deliver like they have been doing in the season so far.
A win in both games will really boost their chances of winning the league title this season, though there is still a long way to go in this current campaign.
Key Players Rested-
The likes of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Ozil were missing from the Europa League squad. Ozil was on the bench for the game against Bournemouth too, while the Frenchman was not even in the squad for both matches. The fans will be hoping that this is nothing serious, as they will need their full squad for the upcoming fixtures.
Ramsey’s Still Got It?
Aaron Ramsey scored from the spot in the recent win and once again proved that he still has it in him to represent the club. His link-up play with the youngsters was really good and he played an inspirational role in helping them beat their rivals on the night. The young Arsenal talents can really learn a lot from him and he is a team player and a die-hard Gunner at heart. Hopefully, Emery hands him an extension and the two can work things out, which will be best for the club in the long-run.