Arsenal sack Unai Emery: Spaniard leaves the Emirates after 20 months in charge at the Emirates

Unai Emery
Unai Emery

Arsenal have sacked manager Unai Emery and placed Freddie Ljungberg in temporary charge at the Emirates.

A 2-1 Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday made it seven games without a win for the Gunners - their worst run since 1992.

The pressure intensified that proved to be the final straw for the Arsenal hierarchy, who were thought to have given Emery three games to save his job, and they acted quickly on Friday morning by sacking the Spaniard.

Fans voted with their feet on Thursday, with just 49,419 tickets sold for the Europa League game but far less than that actually at the Emirates, and the fans showing their opinion looks to have forced Arsenal's hand.

Emery arrived at Arsenal in March 2018 to replace Arsene Wenger, but despite making the Europa League final he was unable to get the team back into the Champions League in his first season in charge.

In his second season, things seem to have gone backwards for the 48-year-old, and enduring such a long winless run was just too much for the club owners to accept.

Speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and our 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 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.

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

Emery said it had "been an honour" to lead Arsenal in a letter of thanks posted on the club's website.

He added: "To all the fans, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me to understand and feel the greatness of Arsenal.

"To all of you who have supported us from every corner of the globe, all of you who have come to the Emirates, all of you who have waited in the rain and cold just to greet me after a game - I want to tell all of you that I have worked with passion, with commitment and with effort.

"I would have liked nothing more than to have achieved better results for you."

Emery added: "It has been a year and a half full of emotions, of great moments and some other more bitter ones, but not a single day has gone by without me stopping to think about how lucky I have been to work for this club with these players and their professional and personal qualities.

"They have always honoured the shirt they wear. They deserve your support.

"I had already experienced a lot in football, but I have enjoyed and learned a lot in England, in the Premier League, about respect for professionals and about the purity of football."


Unai Emery at Arsenal

  • Arsenal have won exactly the same number of points in Unai Emery’s first 51 Premier League games in charge of the club as they did in Arsene Wenger’s final 51 games in charge (88 points).
  • Unai Emery has taken charge of 78 games in all competitions as Arsenal boss, since his first-ever match as Gunners’ manager in August 2018; a 0-2 Premier League defeat to eventual Champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Overall, he’s won 55% of matches as Arsenal boss, but this is inflated by his very decent UEFA Europa League record (70% win ratio – helped by a run to the final in 2018-19). He’s managed to win less than half of his games in charge of the club in the Premier League (49%).
  • This season has seen Arsenal pick up only 18 points from their first 13 matches; their worst-ever start to a Premier League campaign; ahead of 1994-95 under George Graham.
  • In fact, they currently trail league-leaders Liverpool by 19 points in the Premier League table. This is the biggest points gap between Arsenal and the table-topping side in the top-flight after 13 games.
  • Arsenal’s current winless streak now stands at seven games in all competitions (W0 D5 L2) – this is their worst winless competitive run since February 1992 under George Graham (eight games). Despite taking charge of 1235 matches across all competitions, previous boss Arsene Wenger never suffered a winless run this long at the club.
  • In the Premier League, the Gunners are without a win in five matches now (W0 D3 L2). When they face Norwich City on Sunday 1st December, it will have been 56 days since they last won a Premier League match (1-0 vs Bournemouth on October 6th) – this is the longest wait in days for a Premier League win within a Premier League season since the 56 days between January 1st and February 26th 1994.
  • Overall, Emery has won 55.1% of his matches in charge of Arsenal and this is the third best win ratio by any Arsenal manager to have taken charge of 20+ games in all competitions. Only Arsene Wenger (57.3%) and Joe Shaw (60.9%) have won a higher proportion of games.
  • Since taking charge of Arsenal for the first time in August 2018, Unai Emery has won 88 points in the Premier League – the same tally as rivals Spurs. Only three clubs have won more in this period, but the 88-point tally is 46 fewer than Liverpool in that time.
  • Arsenal have conceded 70 Premier League goals under Unai Emery – more than any other ‘big six’ club in the Premier League since the start of 2018-19.
  • Arsenal’s home form under Emery in the Premier League has been decent enough – only Liverpool and Manchester City have won more points at home since August 2018, while Emery’s only two Premier League defeats at the Emirates came against Manchester City (August 2018) and Crystal Palace (April 2019).
  • Arsenal’s away form in the Premier League under Unai Emery has been more alarming. They have averaged just 1.20 points per game on the road (30 points from 25 games) and have kept only two clean sheets in these 25 matches away from the Emirates.
  • Unai Emery has had problems finding a leader on the pitch during his time at Arsenal and this is shown by the number of captains that he’s started in all competitions since his first game in August 2018.
  • Nine different players have started as captain for Arsenal during Emery’s tenure, with the latest club captain being Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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