Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal sack manager Unai Emery

The Gunners have confirmed Freddie Ljungberg will take charge on an interim basis.

Unai Emery has been sacked by Arsenal (Steven Paston/PA)
Unai Emery has been sacked by Arsenal (Steven Paston/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA

Arsenal have sacked boss Unai Emery following a run of seven games without a win.

The Gunners have confirmed Freddie Ljungberg will take charge on an interim basis and pointed to “results and performances not being at the level required” for the reason behind Emery’s exit.

The 48-year-old replaced Arsene Wenger in May 2018 but was unable to take the club back to the Champions League, finishing fifth last season and losing the Europa League final to Chelsea.

The start of this season has proved a challenge and a 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night proved to be the last straw.

Speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and the club’s owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, 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.”

The club statement added: “The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required.

“We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward.

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Freddie Ljungberg, right, will take charge at Arsenal on an interim basis (Nick Potts/PA)

“The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete.”

The likes of Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta, currently a coach at Manchester City, have been linked with the full-time job.

But it remains to be seen how long Ljungberg, promoted from manager of Arsenal’s Under-23s to Emery’s assistant head coach during the summer, will remain in charge.

His first game at the helm will come away to Norwich on Sunday before a home game with Brighton and a London derby at West Ham.

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Arsenal manager Unai Emery on the touchline on Thursday (Adam Davy/PA)

Speculation had been rife over Emery’s future during a poor run of form which leaves Arsenal without a win since October 24.

He was publicly backed by head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham during the international break but lasted only two more matches.

Alexandre Lacazette’s injury-time goal rescued a point at home to struggling Southampton on Saturday before the 2-1 defeat to Frankfurt, in front of a sparse Emirates Stadium crowd, ultimately saw Emery lose his job.

PA

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