He was supposed to build the new Arsenal – now the English Premier League club parted ways with coach Unai Emery after less than a season and a half. This is what the association announced. His former assistant Fredrik Ljungberg will take over as interim coach.
“Our sincere thanks go to Unai and his colleagues who have worked tirelessly to bring the club back to the level we all expect and demand,” the statement said. However, results and performance would not be “at the required level.”
Emery had come to London in the summer of 2018 with all sorts of recommendations. Three times in a row, in 2014, 2015 and 2016, he won the Europa League with Sevilla. Expectations for the former Paris Saint-Germain coach were high. But Emery could not solve the problems left to him by Arsenal icon Arsène Wenger.
In the pre-season Emery had moved into the final of the Europa League, which Arsenal lost 4-1 to Chelsea. The league finished fifth. The start of the current season was promising with two wins, but over the next 11 league games, Arsenal could only win two. After the team had lost a lead against Eintracht Frankfurt in the group stage of the Europa League and therefore could not win a mandatory match for the seventh time in a row, the club’s management considered cooperation with Emery as a failure.
With Ljungberg, one of the “Invincibles” of the golden generation of gunners, who became undefeated champion in the 2003/04 season, is now expected to bring back success, at least in the short term. The Swede gained his first coaching experience as assistant coach of Dutchman Andries Jonker at VfL Wolfsburg 2017. In 2018, he became head coach of Arsenal’s under-23 team before joining Emery’s team as assistant coach for the current season.