Unai Emery blames 'bad club decisions' for his poor Arsenal form and insists he 'could speak English' after fan abuse

UNAI EMERY blamed 'poor club decisions' for Arsenal's awful form during his last year in charge at the Emirates.

The Spaniard also defended his language skill claiming 'I could speak English' after fans regularly mocked his accent during his time in England.

Emery replaced Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2018 but was sacked in November 2019 after losing to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League and generally failing to improve the club's fortunes.

After a solid first season in which the Gunners finished fifth, things took a turn for the worse and Emery was let go after a run of seven games without a win.

The 49-year-old has since signed taken charge of Villareal and only looks back on his time at Arsenal with fondness despite ruing club decisions that were 'not good'.

Emery told Football London: "The club supported me and I was happy with the players, the atmosphere and the supporters.

"Only the second six months of the second year when I finished in November I think we made some decisions not good for the club, but not for me, the decisions of the club."

The decision to buy £72million flop Nicolas Pepe instead of Wilfried Zaha – who Emery was desperate to sign – is said to be one of the choices that sticks in Emery's mind.

And he also quashed suggestions his English skills were to blame for his departure.

Fans and pundits often delighted in mimicking his 'Good ebening' introduction which he often used before press conferences or interviews.

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But Emery insisted his communication skills had no bearing on his eventual sacking or his ability to do his job.

He said: "The problem in Arsenal the second year was only the results, not the language.

“I could speak English and communicate in my press conferences, with the players.

"The message was not perfect but it was good and little by little I was progressing. If I continued at Arsenal I would have got better, of course."

Despite the sour way things ended, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Valencia boss looks back on his time at the Emirates with fondness.

He added: “For me it’s not negative, it was a positive experience.

"After I left the club the first month was not easy for me because I was running out of things [to do] but now I am very grateful to the owners, the club, the supporters, the players, the workers in Colney.

"I now only remember the very good things there and the first year for me was a very good performance for us.

“I worked well with Mr [Stan] Kroenke, Raul [Sanllehi], [Ivan] Gazidis during the first months there.

"The results towards the end were the main problem but for me it was a positive experience and I’m grateful to Arsenal for the opportunity.

“This is football. Now I want the best for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, the supporters and everyone at the club.”

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