Unai Emery sacked by Arsenal after worst run of form since 1992

Assistant manager Freddie Ljungberg will take temporary charge of the first team

File photo dated 28-11-2019 of Arsenal manager Unai Emery. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday November 29, 2019. Unai Emery faces fresh speculation over his future as Arsenal manager after his side were beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt in front of a sparse Emirates Stadium crowd. See PA story SOCCER Arsenal. Photo credit should read Adam Davy/PA Wire.
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Unai Emery has been sacked as manager of Arsenal, the Premier League club confirmed in a statement on Friday.

Emery, 48, had been at the Emirates Stadium for 18 months following his appointment as Arsene Wenger's successor in the summer of 2018. However, the Spaniard has presided over the club's worst run of form since 1992, which has seen Arsenal not win in the Premier League since October.

The decision was made the day after the Gunners lost 2-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League, a performance that prompted Emery to admit that the team was lacking "confidence".

“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 in a statement on behalf of the Arsenal board and owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.

The statement added that the move to sack Emery was due to "results and performances not being at the level required".

The slump that cost Emery his job is in stark contrast to last autumn when he led Arsenal to 11 consecutive wins - their best run of form since 2007 - as the club went on to register a 22-game unbeaten run.

However, despite reaching the Europa League final, where they lost to rivals Chelsea, Arsenal's domestic form tailed off at the end of last season which saw them miss out on a top-four place.

This season, the Gunners have won just four of 13 Premier League games to sit eighth in the table, eight points adrift of the top four.

Assistant manager Freddie Ljungberg will take temporary charge of the first team as Arsenal begin their search for a new permanent manager.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has been linked with a move to Arsenal, although the Portuguese said on Wednesday it would be "disrespectful" to discuss any potential switch.

"I wouldn't ever mention an issue which is not a reality," he said. "Speaking about a job which has a manager would be disrespectful and I will not do so."

Former Arsenal midfielder and current Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta has also been mentioned as a possible successor to Emery.