Arsenal have announced the sacking of Unai Emery after 18 months in charge. The Spaniard has been under scrutiny since the beginning of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign after failing to provide a positive boost after the departure of Arsene Wenger.
Indeed, a lack of tactical direction and consistency proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the former-Paris Saint Germain manager, with assistant Freddie Ljungberg appointed as his replacement on a temporary basis. The former-Arsenal player will be desperate to inject some much needed impetus and passion into a bleak side, whose issues extend far beyond the pitch.
Arsenal confirm Unai Emery departure
During this morning's announcement, Arsenal said the decision was made "due to results and performances not being at the level required."
The Gunners, who are without a win in seven matches, have fallen off the pace in the race for a top-four finish, having failed to obtain three points in the league since October 6th to leave them eight points adrift. Elsewhere, Thursday saw them suffer defeat in the Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt to a very depleted home crowd.
Emery endured a torrid time during the course of his Arsenal tenure, finishing fifth inside his first season to kick off the post-Wenger era. Investing heavily in the summer, expectations were rife that the Gunners could break into the top-four and close the gap with their rivals, signing Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Kieran Tierney and the highly-regarded William Saliba amongst others.
However, such fortunes have failed to come to fruition, with defensive frailties acting as an Achilles heel, having shipped nineteen goals in thirteen league games so far. Elsewhere, the attack, while filled with plenty of quality, remains over reliant on the individual brilliance of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Indeed, but for the latter's injury-time equaliser against Southampton, the Gunners would be in an even more precarious position heading into a crucial December.
The club's current trajectory left Unai Emery living on borrowed time, with fans visibly declaring their desire for the Spaniard to be sacked in the past few weeks. Now, attentions will turn to ensuring there is a buoyant reaction to the announcement, with Freddie Ljungberg stepping up to the plate.
Ljungberg becomes the latest former-player to take reigns at Premier League outfit
Arsenal's decision to appoint Ljungberg as a temporary measure sees the former-midfielder join a growing list of players who have gone on to take the reigns at Premier League clubs alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Frank Lampard.
Ljungberg took charge of training on Friday, with the club announcing their confidence in his ability to take the side forward towards better fortunes.
The 42-year-old posted on social media: "However long I oversee Arsenal for I will give everything I have to put smiles on faces again. We have a busy few weeks ahead and the team needs your support. Let's get to work."