Arsenal sack Unai Emery with Ljungberg taking over as caretaker

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Unai Emery
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AT Sports

London – Unai Emery was sacked as Arsenal manager on Friday after just 18 months in charge at the Emirates, with the Premier League giants mired in their worst run since 1992.

The 48-year-old Spaniard was fired following the 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in Thursday’s Europa League match, which extended their winless run to seven games.

In a statement from the Arsenal board and club owners, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Josh Kroenke said a decision had been taken to part company with Unai Emery and his coaching team due to results and performances not being at the level required.

“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.”

“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,” added the statement from Arsenal Football Club.

Africa Tembelea has also learnt that the search for a new head coach is underway with Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and ex-Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri among the early favourites to be named the next full-time boss.

Ljungberg, a former Arsenal player, said he would work hard to improve the atmosphere at the club.

“However long I oversee @Arsenal for I will give everything I have to put smiles on faces again,” he tweeted.

“We have a busy few weeks ahead and the team needs your support. Let’s get to work!” he added.

Arsenal are on their worst run without a victory since 1992, when they went eight games without a win under George Graham.

The club is also eight points off the top four after going without a Premier League victory since October 6.

Unai Emery (L) and Arsène Wenger

Emery was appointed as successor to Arsene Wenger in May 2018 after a trophy-laden career at Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain with a brief to make Arsenal a Premier League force again.

He spent more than £130 million ($168 million) in the close-season, bringing in a clutch of players including winger Nicolas Pepe, centre-back David Luiz and left-back Kieran Tierney.

Despite the reinforcements, Arsenal has collected just 18 points from 13 games so far this season and are the only team in the top half of the table with a negative goal difference.

Emery is the third Premier League manager to lose his job this season after the dismissals of Watford’s Javi Gracia and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.

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