Unai Emery and Arsenal FC – this has been history since Friday morning. The Gunners could not win seven games in a row. The 1:2 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Arsenal fired the Spaniard after not even one and a half years after taking office.
In the not even half-filled Emirates Stadium, the „Emery Out“ signs of the Arsenal fans were not conspicuous. For a long time the fans want to see a Gunner‘s manager, who brings the highly decorated team back on the successful track.
Ex-Arsenal player Freddie Ljungberg temporarily takes charge of Sunday’s duel with Norwich City at the Carrow Road. The Swede said on Friday via Twitter: “No matter how long I’m in charge here, I’ll do anything to bring the laughter back to the faces of the players”.
The head coach position at the North Londoners is certainly one of the most sought in the world, so it was not long before the big names in the game came forward. Tennis legend and Arsenal fan Andy Murray would have found José Mourinho “great” as Gunners’ coach.
The Portuguese, who recently took office from arch-rival Tottenham, was also promptly asked if he had taken on the Arsenal job if Emery had been fired. Mou usually answers brusquely: “It does not make sense at all. It did not happen a few months ago but he was released. I am so happy here that I do not even imagine the possibility of coaching another club.”
Jürgen Klopp also commented on the dismissal of the Spaniard: “I was surprised by the news, but that’s the football business,” said the Liverpool manager. “I have no insider information and no idea what happened there, but the board was obviously not happy with the results and achievements and they made a decision. I wish Unai all the best. He is a great manager and has shown that in different countries and different leagues. Freddie is taking over the job now and maybe he can take the chance.”
Mikel Arteta, longtime Gunners player and current co-manager for Manchester City, was hailed by British media as Emery’s successor. Pep Guardiola, however, rejects any attempts by the Spaniard: “He is in the squad for the Newcastle game. For me Mikel is not up for debate”.
Meanwhile Ex-Arsenal player Perry Groves suggests Leicester coach Brendan Rogers for the Gunner coach. “Would he leave Leicester? Certainly! Leicester is a very well run club, but none of the big six clubs. I think Rodgers would like to prove something with one of the big clubs.” Groves also considers Wolverhampton coach Nuno Espirito Santo and Mauricio Pochettino, recently sacked by Spurs.
It will be interesting to see who will get the job at Arsenal. Only one thing is certain: A return from Arsène Wenger is absolutely impossible.
Key figures from Unai Emery’s tenure at Arsenal:
3 wins from 17 matches against the top 6 teams (in all competitions)
55.1 percent won games (Wengers quota was 57.2 percent in 1235 games)
7 games without a win between October and November 2019, until his release
8 away wins in the Premier League with Arsenal, including only one in the 2019/20 season
9 teenagers played for Emery’s Arsenal squad
£ 210 million in transfer expenditures since Emery has been hired in the summer of 2018