Arsenal announced this morning the dismissal of their coach, the Spanish Unai Emery. The decision happens after another defeat – this time at home, against Eintracht Frankfurt, for the Europa League group stages (1-2).
The Gunners have been already 7 games without winning a match, with their last victory happening on the 24th of October, also for Europa League.
Unai Emery was in charge of the North Londoners since June of 2018, when he replaced Arsene Wenger, after the Frenchman had spent almost two decades as manager of the club.
In the message delivered by the club, it is said that “the decision was made because the results and exhibitions were not at the level that was pretended”. The interim manager will be the Swedish Freddie Ljungberg, coach of the youth squad.
Josh Kroenke, who represents the company that owns the club, thanked Unai for his work. “I want to express our appreciation to Unai and his coaching team for their efforts to take the club to compete at a level that we wait and desire. We wish him success”.
The dismissal of Unai Emery happens just one week after their North London rivals let go of their own manager Mauricio Pochettino. The latter was promptly replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Why Unai Emery had to leave?
Few will dispute the reasoning behind the sacking of Unai Emery. Maybe some will even argue the coach should have been released already some months ago.
Unai Emery arrived at Arsenal with the promise to bring silverware. The Spanish conquered 3 Europa Leagues during his reign at Sevilla, besides 1 Ligue 1 and 2 French Cups with PSG.
However, during his first season in charge, the Gunners failed the primary objective: a Champions League place. They ended the season just outside the top 4, being 1 point away from the rivals fo Tottenham.
His other entry to the biggest European club competition was through Europa League and he was indeed close. Arsenal got to the final, but they were humbled in Baku by other London crest: Chelsea.
However, the Arsenal board renewed their trust in Emery for another season, bringing him some new signings. Nicolas Pepe arrived from Lille for a record-breaking fee, along with Tierney from Celtic, Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid.
But, Unai Emery failed to fix Arsenal’s leaky defense as the Gunners have conceded 19 goals in 13 matches so far. They are currently 8th and still at risk of not qualifying for Europa League knockout stages.
Adding to the disappointing results, Arsenal has seen some issues with the fans booing their own players. There was the Xhaka episode, where the captain of the Gunners was booed when he was being substituted.
Instead of backing the player, Emery took the armband of the Swiss midfielder and gave it to Aubameyang. There are also some rumors of an ongoing conflict with Mesut Ozil, with the German playmaker making only 4 Premier League appearances.