Arsenal’s decision to turn to Unai Emery as replacement for Arsene Wenger has been slammed by Gunners legend Ian Wright.
Manchester City No.2 Mikel Arteta, a former Arsenal captain, was expected to land the role having been instrumental as part of the City backroom team that helped the club to Premier League and League Cup success this year.
New York City FC coach Patrick Vieira, another one-time skipper and Gunners favourite, was another firmly linked to a return.
But Emery, latterly of Paris Saint-Germain with whom he has just won the domestic treble in France has emerged as the No.1 candidate of the London club, who apparently spoke to 10 potential successors to Wenger.
Previously he guided Sevilla to three Europa League triumphs – which the Gunners will be competing in next season.
Although Arteta is said to have got cold feet after being told he would only have £50m to spend this summer, Wright was still unhappy with how the recruitment process has been handled.
Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live in the UK, he said: “Why have they strung him [Arteta] along? Why couldn’t they just be honest and come out and say, ‘This is what we’re going for?’
“It seems like they went, ‘OK, we’re not going for him now because we don’t like the way the public has reacted, let’s go for him and see what they say. It just seems really desperate.”
On his former team-mate Vieira, Wright was even more damning regarding his old club’s approach.
“One of the saddest things was Arsenal getting in touch with Patrick [Vieira] was tokenism. To go from Arteta, who I was thinking was getting it, was fine, to approach Patrick like that, a legend of the club like that, I think that was despicable.”