Arsenal have announced the sacking of head coach Unai Emery on Friday morning. The Spaniard was in charge of the club for just 18 months, but a run of poor fixtures, and more significantly, poor performances meant that Emery's time at the North London club was over. Former player and now assistant coach Freddie Ljungberg will be the interim coach.
Arsenal last won a match on October 24, a 3-2 victory over Vitoria. In the Premier League, the last win was on October 6, a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth. The club has conceded 19 goals this season and is languishing eighth on the points table after just 18 points from 13 matches. The inability to hold on to a lead has seen the club draw, or even lose matches from winning positions.
The Arsenal hierarchy, over the last few weeks, have been under increasing pressure from the fans after a run of draws, defeats and dismal performances. The club has backed Emery via unofficial channels, however, the lack of victories and the added pressure of having star players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette has lead to the club taking the fateful decision. Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday evening was the final nail in the coffin.
Emery has also been facing serious issues with decision making and player management. He had a famous fallout with star player and World Cup winner Mesut Ozil. However, a lack of creativity in the team, added by a lack of results meant that Emery had to turn to the former German international and integrate him back into the team. Emery has also been indecisive with the decision of picking a captain and which lead to confusion around the club.
Arsenal executive and Board member Josh Kroenke said, "Our most sincere thanks go to Unai and his colleagues who were unrelenting in their efforts to get the club back to competing at the level we all expect and demand. We wish Unai and his team nothing but future success.”
Unai Emery took over the role at the end of a 22-year era of Arsene Wenger. The former Paris Saint-Germain F.C., Sevilla and Valencia coach took Arsenal to the Europa League finals, a competition that he has won on three previous occasions. However, Arsenal lost the finals, and thus ended up losing out on returning to the UEFA Champions League spot.