Arsenal were “going nowhere” under Unai Emery, says Ian Wright, with the former Gunners coach branded “delusional” for trying to pass the blame for his failings onto the club and their players.
The Spanish coach was relieved of his duties at Emirates Stadium in November 2019.
He paid the price for ongoing inconsistency in north London, with even a summer of big spending seeing him fail to establish forward momentum.
Emery has since come out and suggested that he was destined to fail because Arsenal were stuck in a rut and too many so-called stars lacked the attitude required to shake out of it.
He told France Football: “Arsenal was a club on the downward slope for two years when I arrived.
“We had the qualification for the Champions League in hand and it went wrong in the [Europa League] final. But it was a good season and we had the idea to continue this progression.
“We lost our four captains: Koscielny, Cech, Ramsey and 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.”
Arsenal legend Wright has hit back at Emery for making excuses, with the blame for further regression considered to lie at his door.
He said on the Kelly & Wrighty Show: “Under the old manager it was like a regime, it wasn’t very enjoyable, they didn’t know where they were going, there wasn’t a lot of direction in what they were doing.
“And when you hear the quotes from Unai Emery… delusional comments if you ask me.
“Yes [they got to Europa League final] but it was the worst performance of an Arsenal team in a final.
“Because again, whatever he says, the players weren’t happy, there wasn’t a vision or direction, the communication was poor.
“He can say whatever he wants about how well he’s done because he’s got the 'facts' there but that team was going nowhere.
“When you look at his record, for him to come out and say stuff like that…
“This is the difference with Arsene Wenger, 21 years, he doesn’t come out and stay stuff like that.
“He [Emery] was coming in as the guy that was going to steer us back and everyone gave him the support.
“He was a gentleman when he was at the club, but to hear him say those things is quite sad to see.
“For me, he’s probably looking for a new job, trying to put himself back out there.
“Mikel Arteta has given Arsenal direction and focus now and that’s what he [Emery] didn’t give us.”