Arsenal manager Unai Emery has pulled no punches by admitting that the Gunners had been in steady decline before he took over the reigns from Arsene Wenger this summer.
During the first half of Wenger’s 22 year tenure in North London Arsenal enjoyed a huge amount of success. However, the second part of the French mans reign was marred by fan unrest and he was constantly criticised for his sides defensive and mental weakness.
Emery has agreed that Wenger’s over emphasis on attack caused the Gunners once famous defensive ability to gradually decline. The Spanish coach has revealed that his aim is now to improve his sides defensive solidity so they become as strong at the back as they are going forward.
“Before Wenger came, Arsenal celebrated 1-0 and were based on defensive solidity,” Emery told Marca.
“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.”
Emery’s Arsenal are currently on a superb 16 game unbeaten run in all competitions, with their next fixture coming away to Bournemouth in the Premier League this Saturday.