Mikel Arteta has appeared to take a subtle dig at his predecessor Unai Emery in an interview with the club.
Arteta took over from the current Villareal manager back in December when Emery was sacked following the 2-1 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
In an interview posted on the club’s website, the current Arsenal manager claimed that it will take time to rebuild a club that has been ‘damaged’ and ‘hurt badly’.
He said: “You cannot build something new [quickly] when something has been damaged and hurt badly, that you can see a big split between even our own fans and the team. When you were in that stadium 10 months ago, I was shocked.” (via Arsenal)
It’s hard to argue with Arteta on just how badly damaged the club was in the hands of the enigmatic Emery. His tenure at the club was filled to the brim with issues, including player relations and consistent starting XIs.
The most infamous of his problems during his time in N5 was his very public spat with Mesut Ozil which apparently escalated so badly that the German lashed out at the 49-year-old following the Europa League final humiliation against Chelsea.
There appears no such problems under Arteta, where he implements a ‘my way or the highway’ tactic on his stars. Despite Ozil having been frozen out this season, he still seems to have a strong relationship with Arteta.
Starting line-ups were the big problem for Emery, who implemented seven different formations and 50 changes to his teams during a seven-game period during the height of his terror. There’s no such instability under Arteta with the former Manchester City man consistent in his picking of players and formation so far this season.
The 38-year-old’s comments are no surprise given how badly Emery performed during 18-months at the club. Things proved to be incredibly toxic both on and off the pitch and the young coach has done a remarkable job to turn it all around.