Arsenal have confirmed the sacking of head coach Unai Emery after 18 months at the helm and have placed assistant Freddie Ljungberg in charge on a temporary basis.
Former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss Emery took over from the long-serving Arsene Wenger in May 2018 and went on to lead the Gunners to the Europa League final last term, ultimately losing out to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
A summer of recruitment saw Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney, David Luiz, Dani Ceballos and exciting young forward Gabriel Martinelli join the ranks as Arsenal planned to push for a return to Champions League football.
Fortune hasn’t the favoured the Gunners of late, however, with the club sitting eighth in the English top-flight and they are now without a win in seven matches in all competitions, forcing the board’s hand to make a change in the dugout following Thursday’s 2-1 home defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt.
A statement released by the club’s official website reads: “We announce today that the decision has been taken to part company with our head coach Unai Emery and his coaching team.
“The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required.
“We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward.
“The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete.”
Non-executive director Josh Kroenke added: “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.”
Ljungberg now faces a trip to relegation-battling Norwich on Sunday tasked with arresting Arsenal’s longest winless streak since February 1992 and a return to challenging for a top-four finish.
The defeat by Frankfurt in what proved to be Emery’s final match in charge also means Arsenal are not yet through to the knockout stages of the Europa League, although only a heavy defeat away to Standard Liege in their final group fixture will likely prevent their progress.