Unai Emery has been relieved of his duties as Arsenal manager. The Spaniard has endured a torrid time in the Emirates dugout this season and was heavily criticised by supporters. COPA90 sat down with fans to get their reaction.
Following Thursday night’s Europa League defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, Emery cast the figure of a broken man. The onlooking, half-empty Emirates told its own story and, sure enough, come next morning news had filtered through of his sacking.
With such a toxic atmosphere around the club of late, COPA90 reached out to Arsenal fans to get their thoughts on the managerial situation.
“Emery has failed to utilize what, on paper, looks like the strongest Arsenal team of the last 5 years.”
“The extremely real fear after parting ways with Grandad Wenger was that we’d end up like Manchester United, and the 'Wenger Out' brigade would be made to eat their words,” says Sam Stringer.
“The hope now is that Freddie and co. can rally the core squad back together and restore some order in the dressing room that Emery appeared to have lost. The team has a fresh slate with a club legend at the helm and a chance to get the fans back on side with attacking football. Hopefully they take it!”
“The rest of the season is practically a write-off for me, until we confirm a long-term replacement. Here’s hoping for Poch!”
That fear of becoming a club with a revolving door policy is echoed by Beth Christie. “I never wanted us to be one of those clubs that sacks their manager at the first sign of trouble *ahem* Chelsea *ahem*. However, after no wins in our last seven games, I think it was inevitable at this point.”
“We’ve had defensive issues for a long time, but I think the most worrying thing at the moment is our inability to build and sustain attacks. I’m happy with Freddie as caretaker for now; he’ll understand the fans and the values of the club.”
“The main concern now is whether we can trust the board to make the right decision over a new manager.”
Identifying a new permanent manager seems to be a common concern too, given the lack of top candidates available. “I like Ljungberg and hope he gets to ride the ‘new manager bounce’ for a bit but realistically, barring a near perfect string of performances, we’ll be hiring a new manager in the summer at the latest,” Joe Hardie says.
“I’m not hugely inspired by some of the managers we’ve been linked to – like Nuno, Eddie Howe and Arteta. Personally, I’d like to see us be ambitious and aim for someone like Ten Haag at Ajax or even Tuchel from PSG.”
“It's difficult to take pleasure in someone losing their job but I'm glad that the club has finally taken some action.”
Numerous issues led to Emery’s departure but one of the main reasons centred around his relationship with the squad. “It's been evident for some weeks that things wouldn't improve on the pitch,” Roy Thomas explains.
“The recent issues with Xhaka and Aubameyang – and ongoing problems with Özil – have all been additional unwelcome distractions for a team that's been lacking an identity. I'm not asking for much, I'd just love to see some organisation on the pitch, some consistency in results, and for the new figurehead to help fix the divide that currently exists between fanbase and team.”