Arsenal sack Unai Emery after 18 months

Arsenal has sacked head coach Unai Emery.

The 48-year-old has left the club following Arsenal’s worst run of form since 1992 with the Gunners winless in seven games and eight points off the top four in the Premier League.

Freddie Ljungberg will lead Arsenal for Sunday’s game away to Norwich City.

A 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League proved to be the final straw for the Arsenal hierarchy, who had hoped to be able to wait until the end of the season before making a decision on Emery’s future.

The Spaniard faced mounting criticism for fans not just for results but for a style of play at Arsenal that was viewed by many as too conservative.

Speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and 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.”

In his only full season in charge, Emery led Arsenal to fifth place in the Premier League, a run of two wins in their final seven games seeing them throw away a top-four finish and a Europa League final where defeat to Chelsea cost them Champions League qualification.

Returning to Europe’s top competition is a major priority for Arsenal both in terms of finances and prestige. It was felt that the club’s chances of qualifying were greater without Emery than with him.

Arsenal will be appointing just their third manager in 23 years with the likes of Mikel Arteta and Massimiliano Allegri expected to be under consideration for the role.

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