Having had great success with Sevilla and a reasonable amount with Paris Saint-Germain as well, Unai Emery was chosen ahead of a number of other candidates (including Mikel Arteta) to succeed the legendary Arsene Wenger as the Arsenal boss in 2018. The Spaniard arrived with fresh ideas and moved to reconstruct the team he had inherited, bringing in the likes of Bernd Leno, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner straight away.
Following the departure of Arsene Wenger in 2018 after 22 years at the helm, Arsenal appointed Unai Emery in his place, and former Gunner Jens Lehmann believes it was a mistake from the start.
Emery’s 18-month tenure at the Emirates has widely been labelled as ‘dismal’, though that may be just a tad harsh on the Spaniard. After all, he did lead the team to the Europa League final last season. On the other hand, there can be no denying that he had lost the thread towards the end, as Arsenal started the 2019/20 with the worst record since 1992. By the time he was dismissed, Arsenal were already in eighth place, having spent around £130 million on new players the previous summer.
Unai Emery spent just under 18 months as the Arsenal manager, from the start of July 2018 to near the end of November 2019. His reign can overall be described as completely underwhelming, especially when the hope that awoke in the hearts of supporters early on is taken into account. As The Guardian put it in an emotional interview with the Spaniard, “he had overseen the best start in Arsenal’s history and their worst run in 30 years”.
Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery was a divisive figure towards the end of his time in North London, but in the midst of his run at the Emirates, a lot of people were willing to give him the time he needed to succeed. As time went on it became clear that he was struggling to make the necessary impact, and that it was a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ he was going to be removed from the position.
Now, during a recent interview with France Football, Emery wasn’t shy about calling out some of his players from during that tenure.
In an interview with Spanish journalist Guillem Balague, Unai Emery spoke about the things that went wrong in the final months of his reign as the Arsenal head coach.
Emery was sacked at the end of November, following a string of poor results which culminated with the 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League. Former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg took over on a temporary basis, before the club eventually appointed Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal came into the game against Eintracht Frankfurt knowing that they desperately needed a big result. Emery’s team selection was strong and it certainly appeared as if they were going to go for it, with the home side really taking the game to Frankfurt. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring for Arsenal just before half time, but from there, it all fell apart.
Daichi Kamada scored twice in less than 10 minutes to give the German side the advantage, and when you mix that together with some bizarre substitutions from Unai Emery, you get a defeat that signed, sealed and delivered Emery’s fate. The man himself spoke with the media after the disappointing result.
Arsenal have officially confirmed they’ve parted ways with Unai Emery.
“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. We wish Unai and his team nothing but future success”, Josh Kroenke said, speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and the club owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
Kroenke went on to explain that the decision, which appeared imminent after the home defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday, as the consequence of the results as well as the performances not being on the level expected.
As reported exclusively by the ever-reliable David Ornstein of The Athletic, Arsenal are likely to part ways with head coach Unai Emery today (Friday).
The Spaniard has been in charge of the team for 18 months, and it’s fair to say that no tangible progress has been made in that time. He failed to improve on the results of the last stretch of Arsene Wenger’s reign and qualify for the Champions League. He had been backed in the transfer market during the summer window. The season started well enough, losing only once in the opening 11 games in all competitions, but the wagon soon started rolling downhill.
In one of the worst results of the season so far, Arsenal were beaten 2-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt last night. It seems to have served as the final nail in the coffin for Unai Emery’s tenure as manager of the club, but before that, the Spaniard spoke to the media in what will likely be his final interview as the club’s boss.
Numerous reports claiming that Arsenal boss Unai Emery has come near the end of the road have created a sense of a change in the post being almost imminent. Given the results the Gunners have lately been getting, it’s becoming all too easy to believe in such an outcome. Naturally, under such circumstances, speculations about who would be the man to succeed the Spaniard have been coming thick as well.
Here are some names put forth by the media, and some – let’s call them developments.