Arsenal have finally ended the wait and terminated the contract of Head Coach Unai Emery.
After a seventh game without a win, the Arsenal Board acted and the players were called for a meeting to declare that Emery had been sacked, with that day’s training actually having been taken by Emery.
It came on the back of Arsenal failing to win yet again, the 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt perhaps being the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to the patience for Emery and his methods.
It was clear that Emery couldn’t turn around the results, and now former Gunner Freddie Ljungberg, only this summer promoted to Assistant Coach, will take the reins on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Ljungberg is an Arsenal man and has accrued experience in his short coaching career. Having coached the Arsenal youth teams for a short time in his first posting, he was tempted to join then the Head of Arsenal Academy Andries Jonker in a move to coach VFL Wolfsburg. Despite helping them avoid relegation, they were dismissed early the following season. Ljungberg then rejoined Arsenal and soon impressed when he coached our U23 side, helping them to a runners-up position in their respective league.
He was credited with a key role in the latest line of talent progressing to the first team. Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith-Rowe, Zech Medley and Bukayo Saka have all been under Freddie’s wing, and it is this talent that helped him move up the coaching ladder to Asst Coach under Emery.
Ljungberg will have all eyes on him in his first Head Coach role, but his first task will be to restore the style that Arsenal are meant to play in. Under Emery, we lost our attacking identity, and Ljungberg will be keen to reinstate that, especially given his roots.
Arsenal can now push forward with a clean slate, and with a steady hand on the steering wheel while our backroom team choose the right man to bring us back in the longer term.
For now though, we can enjoy one of our own in the dugout, and perhaps a change in fortune on the pitch.
Thanks for everything Unai, and good luck Freddie.