Unai Emery has been sacked after 18 months of a blighted tenure at Arsenal.
The club made the expected announcement on their website just 12 hours after their 2-1 Europa League defeat to Eintract Frankfurt to leave them without a win in their last seven matches – their worst run since 1992.
A club statement read: “We announce today that the decision has been taken to part company with our head coach Unai Emery and his coaching team.”
Josh Kroenke said: “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.”
“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.”
The Times had reported that Arsenal “are sounding out potential replacements for Emery” and now with his 18-month ended Ljungberg has stepped into the breach.
Emery himself refused to entertain questions about his future after Thursday’s night’s defeat – a loss that Martin Keown labelled a “shambles” before pleading for Arsenal to sack the former PSG coach.
Asked if he feared for his own future last night, Emery said: “I am thinking first to analyse that match and also the Europa League matches. Today we improved things but it wasn’t enough.
After swerving that question, he was then asked: ‘Do you think you will remain in charge?’
He replied: “I am thinking about the next match and how we can improve and achieve confidence with the players. They know we are a little down in our feelings but if we continue with our first half performance, that is the way.”
Another inconclusive answer lead to another question, asking him whether another poor result on Sunday meant his job could be on the line.
“My work and my job is firstly analysing that match, how we are in the Europa League, in our feelings and how we are going to play on Sunday,” he added.
Last night’s official attendance was given as 49,419, based on ticket sales, but The Times claimed the actual attendance was around 25,000 – the lowest through the gate at a competitive senior game since the opening of the Emirates Stadium in 2006.
Former club captain Mikel Arteta, who is Manchester City’s assistant coach, and Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves have been mentioned as potential long-term replacements for Emery, who was believed to have a contract until 2021.
How Odion Ighalo Was Kicked Off Training By Man Utd Women’s Team Because They Didn’t Recognise Him
Nigerian footballer Odion Ighalo was reportedly booted off the training ground by the University of Manchester women’s team after they could not recognise the 30-year-old new club signing.
Ighalo joined Man United in a shocking deal that pulled the storm across the world on the deadline day of January transfer market.
In what appeared to be his second stint in the EPL, the Nigerian striker sealed a dream move to Old Trafford from the Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
But unfortunately, he could join the rest of his new teammates who travelled to Spain to enjoy their winter break due to heightened border restriction following the outbreak of Coronavirus.
The striker was left in England where he was training alone ahead of his debut against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
More facts have now emerged on how Ighalo was booted off by Man United University’s women team because he was not recognised.
According to UK Sun, the women players could not recognise the 30-year-old striker as their club’s new signing and ordered him to leave their training arena.
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) February 22, 2020
It took the intervention of the support staff, who explained Ighalo’s identity before the AFCON 2019 Golden Boot winner was allowed to take his routine.
The tension was doused down by Ighalo’s familiarity stunt which ended with the women team taking selfie picture with the former Nigerian international.
“Nobody knew who this guy was and there was a bit of back and forth between them. The girls were pretty feisty about him being on their pitch,” an eyewitness said.
Fernandes Shines As Man Utd Demolish Watford
Bruno Fernandes scored his first goal for Manchester United and set up two others as he helped the Red Devils down Watford 3-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Fernandes had shown glimpses of his talent in Monday’s defeat of Chelsea but the Portuguese came to life this time round, with a show of desire and grit that spurred his side to victory.
A sluggish first half looked as if it would end goalless but Old Trafford sprung into life shortly before half time when Fernandes opened his account in a United shirt from the penalty spot.
After a swift attack, the Portugal international got through on goal and was clipped by Foster in the box after taking the ball away from the goalkeeper, before finishing the spot-kick into the bottom right corner.
Watford started the second half better and Troy Deeney thought he had equalised, only for VAR to chalk off his effort for handball.
United took advantage of their one-goal lead being allowed to stand by adding a second of their own through Anthony Martial, who chipped the ball over Foster after a Fernandes through-ball.
A one-two between Fernandes then set up Mason Greenwood for United’s third, but Watford did have late chances, with Gerard Deulofeu’s effort hit the top of the post.
Wilder Lands In Hospital After Brutal Defeat To Fury
Deontay Wilder has been rushed to hospital after his defeat to Tyson Fury in their heavyweight title rematch.
The 34-year-old American boxer suffered the first professional defeat of his career as he was knocked down twice before his defeat to his British rival, 31, in the seventh round of the clash in Las Vegas on Sunday morning.
The fight was ended amid concerns of a burst eardrum, after blood was seen coming out from Wilder’s left ear and mouth.
After the bout, Fury was crowned WBC heavyweight champion but Wilder missed his post-fight press conference as he was rushed to a nearby hospital for a further check-up after being seen getting his ear stitched in his dressing room.
His trainer, Jay Deas, took his place in the press conference and said: “He had a small cut inside the ear which may have affected his equilibrium so he’s going to get some stitches.
“That’s the extent of it; it was a gruelling fight against a gruelling fighter. This will give him some time to enjoy his family and rest up.”