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'What was the point of sacking Wenger?' Arsenal legend slams Arsenal's owners

  • The 1998 double-winning player did not hold back.
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 21:22 IST

Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

What's the story?

Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit has slammed the North London club's owners for their failure in backing new manager Unai Emery in transfer investments.

In case you didn't know...

Arsenal is currently coping with a new era following former boss Arsene Wenger's departure last summer.

The Frenchman had been in charge of the Gunners through some exceptional highs and some discouraging lows in his 22-year stint at the Emirates. The 69-year old won three Premier League titles, including one unprecedented ‘Invincible’ season in the English top flight.

His consequent years were, however, were restricted to top four finishes and FA Cups, with his last years witnessing Arsenal go down to the Europa League. 

Under Emery, Arsenal saw some radical tactical changes but their progress has not been as dramatic. The side suffered a 3-1 defeat to defending champions Manchester City on Sunday night falling further behind in their race for the top four.

The board's refusal to shell out money for permanent signings in the January transfer window has also left the side resorting to loan deals like that of Barcelona's Denis Suarez.

The heart of the matter

Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit has hit out on the club's refusal to allow permanent signings, especially when all other rival clubs are spending money for reinforcements.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Petit said, "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?" said the former French international.

Petit also went into Arsenal's defensive crisis which has intensified after players like Hector Bellerin have been injured.

"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."

What's next?

Arsenal now sits at sixth place on the table after having lost points to City and will next hope to redeem themselves when they face Huddersfield on Saturday.

Published 04 Feb 2019, 12:30 IST
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