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'What was the point of sacking Wenger?' - Petit questions Arsenal change with no transfer kitty available

13:47 GMT 04/02/2019
Arsene Wenger, Arsenal
The former Gunners midfielder is struggling to see why the club would replace a long-serving boss with Unai Emery but make little money available

Arsenal have seen their appointment of Unai Emery and subsequent lack of transfer activity questioned, with Emmanuel Petit asking “what was the point of sacking Arsene Wenger?”

The Gunners opted to make a change in the dugout during the summer of 2018.

After 22 years working under the guidance of Wenger, the long-serving Frenchman was moved out a year before his contract was due to expire.

Emery was appointed in his place but has faced many of the same obstacles which hindered his predecessor, with little funding made available with which to improve a squad that had tumbled out of the Premier League’s top four.

Petit, who tasted title success during his time with the Gunners, told the Irish Independent of a series of bemusing events in north London: "The frustration level must be very high for Emery as in only his second transfer window as Arsenal manager, he was told he cannot sign anybody.

"You look at the money Manchester United , Liverpool and Manchester City spend and unless you join them and put the cash on the table to compete for the best players, you are going nowhere.

"Tottenham are not spending money, but they are in the position Arsenal were in a few years ago building a stadium, but there is no excuse for Arsenal now.

"If you sack Arsene Wenger and then say to the guy who replaces him you have no money to spend on new players, I would ask what was the point of sacking Wenger in the first place?"

Arsenal made just one addition during the recent winter transfer window, with Denis Suarez acquired on loan from Barcelona.

The Spanish midfielder’s stay at Emirates Stadium could be made permanent over the summer, but Petit feels any money which is made available needs to be invested in defensive additions.

The World Cup winner said, with Emery's side having suffered a 3-1 defeat at Manchester City in their most recent outing: "Defensively, Arsenal have not been good enough this season, so I was surprised they did not try to sign defenders in January, but the problems they have will not be solved by signing a player or two.

"When I look at Manchester City and Liverpool, they play with the same style at home as they do away and that is not the case for Arsenal this season.

"This is not a case of mental strength of spirit in my opinion because the performances at home against Tottenham and Chelsea shows what this team is capable of. Then we see them lose at Southampton and West Ham before being smashed by Liverpool at Anfield and I ask why?

"Clearly, the defence is a problem.

"The better teams are getting through them far too easily and when I hear Emery say he is happy with his defence and he does not need new players in these positions, I'm pretty sure he does not believe this."