Arsene Wenger has hit back at claims from Unai Emery that Arsenal were in decline when he took charge of the club in 2018.
Emery succeeded Wenger as Arsenal manager in the summer of 2018 but endured an indifferent reign as the club’s head coach, being sacked in November of last year following a dismal start to his second season in charge.
The Spaniard has since spoken out on his disappointing time in charge in north London, criticising Wenger’s final two seasons as Gunners’ manager by insisting the club were on a ‘downward slope’ ahead of his appointment at the Emirates.
Wenger has now defended the final years of his 22-year reign at the club, dismissing Emery’s claims by pointing to his side’s successes in both league and cup competition in the years prior to his departure.
“In 2017 we made 75 points and won the FA Cup so you cannot say that [Arsenal were in decline] and the year before  we finished second in the league,” Wenger said at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
“2018 was my last year but it is very difficult to come out on that.
“Arsenal is a club that is in a very strong position financially. It has good players, after that when you are a manager you have to stand up for what you do and your result and not look around you.
“That is the only thing you can do.”