Skip to main content

Arsenal manager Unai Emery reacts on the sidelines during the UEFA Europa League match between Arsenal and Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates stadium in London on Nov. 28, 2019.

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal fired Unai Emery on Friday following its worst run 27 years, a move that comes just 18 months after the Spaniard succeeded Arsène Wenger as manager of the Premier League club.

The north London team lost to Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in the Europa League on Thursday in front of a sparse and disgruntled crowd at Emirates Stadium. The loss extended Arsenal’s winless streak to seven matches – the club’s worst since 1992.

In the Premier League, Arsenal has dropped to eighth place.

Story continues below advertisement

“The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required,” Arsenal said in a statement.

Freddie Ljungberg has been put in charge temporarily. The former player, who was promoted from his assistant’s position, has only two days to prepare the team before Arsenal goes to Norwich on Sunday for a Premier League match.

Arsenal finished fifth in the league in Emery’s first season and reached the Europa League final, losing to Chelsea.

“However long I oversee @Arsenal for I will give everything I have to put smiles on faces again,” Ljungberg wrote on Twitter. “We have a busy few weeks ahead and the team needs your support. Let’s get to work!”

Emery’s departure comes 10 days after Tottenham fired Mauricio Pochettino in response to a poor run of form. Emery is the third Premier League manager to depart this season after Pochettino and Watford’s Javi Gracia.

Wenger spent 22 years in charge at Arsenal. The club hoped Emery could revive the winning ways seen under the Frenchman.

Emery arrived at Arsenal after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, where he won the French title but couldn’t deliver the European success the Qatari-owned club craves. Before that, he won three Europa League titles with Sevilla.

Story continues below advertisement

After losing his opening Premier League games to Chelsea and Manchester City in August, 2018, Arsenal under Emery went on a 22-match unbeaten run. However, that consistency has been missing this season with losses to Sheffield United and Leicester.

Arsenal had a distinctive, easy-on-the-eye approach under Wenger, but Emery’s team had no discernible style, even though he stated his intention to adopt a high-energy pressing game upon his arrival.

Crucially, he never managed to shore up Arsenal’s defence – wobbly in the final years of Wenger’s reign – and didn’t seem to know how to handle playmaker Mesut Ozil, who was repeatedly dropped.

Earlier this month, Emery removed the captaincy from Granit Xhaka after the midfielder swore at fans while being substituted during the Oct. 27 draw against Crystal Palace. Xhaka later said he and his family had been subjected to abuse and threats on social media.

Arsenal’s majority owner is American businessman Stan Kroenke. His son, Josh, is a director on the Arsenal board.

“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,” Josh Kroenke said. “We wish Unai and his team nothing but future success.”

Related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies