Arsenal head coach Unai Emery reacts during an English Premier League with Newcastle United at St James’ Park(Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has criticised Arsene Wenger for neglecting defensive structure while Arsenal was in decline.

Wenger resigned as manager after 22-year with the Gunners, and many believe the 69-year-old tarnished his reign by staying on for as long as he did in north London.

Advertise With Us

Asked by Marca to define the man he replaced, Emery said: “Before Wenger came, Arsenal celebrated 1-0 and were based on defensive solidity.

“With Arsene, joy came from attacking, with players of good standing. And the perfect combination was the Invincibles.

“But over time, only technical quality and offensive freedom were taken care of, losing the defensive structure.

“What I want is to unite both essences and be more competitive. Arsenal was in decline. We had to stop it and start climbing.”