Arsene Wenger has hit back at Unai Emery after his Arsenal successor claimed he inherited the club in decline.

Emery succeeded Wenger after his legendary 22 years at the helm in 2018.

But the Spaniard was sacked after a miserable reign in November and claimed in an interview with France Football earlier this month the club was on a "downward slope".

"In 2017 we made 75 points and won the FA Cup so you cannot say that [Arsenal were in decline] and the year before [2016] we finished second in the league," Wenger said at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Arsene Wenger has hit back at Unai Emery for claiming he inherited Arsenal in decline

"2018 was my last year but it is very difficult to come out on that.

"Arsenal is a club that is in a very strong position financially. It has good players, after that when you are a manager you have to stand up for what you do and your result and not look around you.

"That is the only thing you can do."

Unai Emery was shown the door by Arsenal in November

"We stopped this fall and even began to rebuild the club with the Europa League final and fifth place in the league, only one point off Tottenham despite the fact that we took just one point in our final five matches.

"We had Champions League qualification in our grasp and it went wrong in the end. But it was a good season and we had this notion of continuing to improve."

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"Under the old manager it was like a regime, it wasn't very enjoyable, they didn't know where they were going, there wasn't a lot of direction in what they were doing," Wright said.

"Yes (they got to a Europa League final) but it was the worst performance of an Arsenal team in a final.

"Because again, whatever he says, the players weren't happy, there wasn't a vision or direction, the communication was poor."