Unai Emery takes swipe at Arsene Wenger and defends his Arsenal record

Unai Emery insists he has made Arsenal a more competitive team than they were under Arsene Wenger (Picture: Getty)

Unai Emery has defended his record Arsenal record and claims he has made the team more competitive than they were under Arsene Wenger.

The Spaniard is facing mounting criticism following Monday’s limp defeat at newly promoted Sheffield United which saw Arsenal squander the opportunity to move back into third place in the Premier League.

Wenger finished sixth in his final season at Arsenal and although Emery’s revamped team improved by one position, his maiden campaign finished on a sour note following a capitulation against Chelsea in the Europa League final and missing out on a place in the top four by a solitary point.

Arsenal’s new executive committee presided over sizable investment in the playing squad over the summer, but Emery has presided over a series of disjointed performances which has led club legends, including the likes of Alan Smith, Paul Merson and Ian Wright, to question whether the Spaniard has improved anything at all.

Defending his record ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash against Vitoria, Emery said: ‘Sometimes we forget the memory and we need to remember. When I arrived here, this team needed to improve being more competitive.

Arsenal were beaten 1-0 by Sheffield United on Monday (Picture: Getty)

‘This team in the history was winning 1-0 and being very competitive, but it wasn’t enough. Then one process being competitive and with improved creativity.

‘When I arrived here, the creativity is more or less good, but being competitive was worse. It was not enough.

‘I think last year I started to improve being competitive, also more or less creativity with some very good matches playing with that creativity.

‘The supporters, there are a lot of supporters with different opinions. Some want more creativity, some want maybe more intensity, more energy. I want both and my way is both, both sometimes one player is less with than that another because this is the way.

‘Last year we did not achieve, we were in the table by one point and in the Europa League final and we lost in the end. And OK, we were there. And this year – be there and take it.’

MORE: Unai Emery reveals Arsenal wanted to sign Liverpool star Fabinho

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