Good ebening 
Unai Emery is finally out the door at Arsenal.

In what seemed a belated move, the Arsenal board came to unison on the decision to part ways with the Spaniard. 

Big things were expected of the three-time Europa League winner as he replaced Arsène Wenger. With an impressive CV and curly hair, he looked like the man to finally return them to the Champions League.

What has happened in a second season hoped to see Arsenal move forward, however, is a shambolic run of results and performances. 

On paper, a 55% win percentage is not bad by any means, meanwhile, 100 goals conceded in 78 games when they scored 152 is a good indicator of his spineless reign.

Unai Emery endured a disappointing spell at Arsenal. (Getty Images) 
Sitting eighth on the premier league table, the Gunners had endured a seven-game winless run in all competitions, their worst since 1992, and a listless record of absurd tactical decisions by Emery.

Devastatingly, Unai didn’t seem to have improved anything -or anyone- in the last 18months.

He was provided reinforcements amidst amazing shrewd business by Raúl Sanllehí in the summer. In came Kieran Tierney, David Luiz, Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pépé, and Dani Ceballos but none have made a big impact on the team

The fans would keep memories of derby victories over Fulham and Tottenham amongst a 22-game unbeaten run last season; but the lasting memory of Emery’s reign would be the lowest home attendance in his final game against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Beyond a language barrier with members of the squad, some players seemed genuinely confused by Emery’s methods, so much so that you can’t pinpoint one Emery lieutenant in the squad.

Granit Xhaka reacting angrily to the Arsenal supporters. (Action Images)
His lack of grip and leadership over his squad was all glaring in Xhaka’s ill-fated one-month reign as captain. Beyond having a man who the fans didn’t want captain the club, the hesitation in issuing an apology for his reaction to the fans against Crystal Palace, after being instructed by his manager to do so, reeks of disgraceful for a historic club. 
So, time to roll up their sleeves then, and work.
Freddie Ljungberg, an Arsenal man at heart, must take his interim role as an opportunity to effect change as a fan.

Arsenal fans finally have the kind of man they want at the helm and Ljungberg must lay the foundations for whoever the new manager would be.

It would be easy for a club legend to get the fans and players onside and believing again.

Freddie Ljungberg has been part of Arsenal’s backroom staff this season. (Getty Images)
First off, he must work on instilling some discipline (tactical and off the pitch) in the Arsenal squad.
Getting some solidity in midfield and defence must be of prime importance to the Swede. Arsenal have world class quality in attack and would not be short on goals, but have become ridiculed today for being very soft at the back.

Being the Under-23s manager just last season, it’s easy to imagine Ljungberg plump for the youngsters. 
The Arsenal faithful, however, have famously seen lots of young players, they need to have a capable and experienced team on the pitch at all times. 

That said, the likes of Calum Chambers, Lucas Torreira, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos would feel they have a thing or two to prove about the team’s weak spine.

Pepe has struggled for form this season. (Getty Images)
Unlike Emery, Ljungberg must address issues that linger within the squad. The role of Mesut Özil post-Emery will raise some eyebrows, and the new manager must be clear with what he wants with the German.
Equally as important is getting record signing Pépé firing, the 24-year-old has shown flashes of his quality and must be at the forefront of the team going forward.
Across the squad, Arsenal possess a yet-unharnessed abundance of quality in the full back positions.
Héctor Bellerín, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Kieran Tierney can become key to attaining that much-needed balance across the team.
Hoping to finally shake off stagnation, the Gunners took a leaf out of rivals Tottenham’s book in sacking their manager.

The top clubs are awakening from their slumber? So it seems.
Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
November 29, 2019
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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