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Arsenal Sack Unai Emery

Unai Emery has been sacked as Arsenal manager after 18 months in charge and has been replaced on a temporary basis by assistant and former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg.

The Spaniard, who previously led Paris St-Germain to the French league title and won three Europa Leagues with Sevilla, was appointed Gunners boss in May 2018, succeeding Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal said the decision had been “taken due to results and performances not being at the level required”. The Gunners have not won in seven games and lost 2-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday. It is their worst run without a victory since February 1992, which was eight games under George Graham.

They are without a Premier League victory since 6 October and eight points off the top four.

Ljungberg took training on Friday and the Arsenal statement added:

“We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward.

“The search for a new head coach is under way and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete.”

Ljungberg posted on social media:

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

Arsenal chiefs held a meeting on Friday morning to discuss his future following the loss and decided to fire Emery.

Before the Frankfurt game, Emery was expected to get the chance to lead Arsenal into the match against Norwich and turn around their form.

But the defeat in the Europa League accelerated the process and they decided to end his contract early.

Emery arrived for training as usual on Friday morning before being informed by head of football Raul Sanllehi, managing director Vinai Venkatesham and technical director Edu that he had lost his job.

Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi and technical director Edu informed Emery at about 09:00 on Friday and the players were told at 10:00 as they arrived for a recovery session.

Former Arsenal player Ljungberg has been put in interim charge of the team and has already met with the players to discuss their next steps. He took training on Friday morning ahead of the trip to Norwich.

Media reports suggest Arsenal had identified Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo as a potential replacement for Emery, while other names linked with the post include former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta, ex-Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri and Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.