Axe effect at Arsenal

Updated: Nov 30, 2019, 09:45 IST | AFP | London

Gunners sack Unai Emery as manager after worst run in decades; former Juve boss Allegri and Wolves's Nuno Espirito Santo favourites to take over

Unai Emery looks on during Arsenal's 1-2 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa league on Thursday. Pic/AFP
Unai Emery looks on during Arsenal's 1-2 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa league on Thursday. Pic/AFP

London: Unai Emery was sacked as Arsenal manager on Friday after less than two years in charge and with the club without a win in seven games, their worst run since 1992. The Spaniard was fired following the 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in Thursday’s Europa League match. His assistant Freddie Ljungberg takes over as interim manager during the search for a permanent replacement.

Pressure from fans

Arsenal fans had demanded "decisive action" from directors with the club’s run of five draws and two defeats just one match off equalling George Graham’s run of eight without a win in 1992. Club directors responded by axing the man appointed in May 2018 to revive a club stagnating after two decades under Frenchman Arsene Wenger.

"We announce today that the decision has been taken to part company with our head coach Unai Emery and his coaching team," read the statement. "We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete."

Allegri  & Nuno Espirito SantoAllegri  & Nuno Espirito Santo

Ljungberg will be the first Swedish manager to take charge of a Premier League game since Sven-Goran Eriksson, whose last game in the competition came in May 2008 in charge of Manchester City.

Arteta too in the mix

Among those in the mix for the job include former Gunners star Mikel Arteta, Pep Guardiola’s assistant at champions Manchester City, ex-Juventus handler Massimiliano Allegri—Sky Sports reported there had been contact between the two parties—and Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo, who is at Wolves.

Napoli’s coach Carlo Ancelotti is another name that has entered the reckoning.

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