November 29, 2019 / 3:34 PM / 14 days ago

Soccer-Reaction to Arsenal sacking manager Unai Emery

Nov 29 (Reuters) - English Premier League side Arsenal sacked manager Unai Emery on Friday after a poor run of form and named assistant Freddie Ljungberg as interim boss while they searched for a permanent replacement.

Here are some reactions to the Spaniard’s departure from the north London club:

INTERIM COACH FREDDIE LJUNGBERG

“However long I oversee Arsenal for I will give everything I have to put smiles on faces again. We have a busy few weeks ahead and the team needs your support. Let’s get to work,” he said on Twitter.

MANCHESTER CITY BOSS PEP GUARDIOLA

“I’m sorry for him. Every time a manager is sacked it’s not good news. It does not change my opinion of him. He is an incredible professional. I am sure he will find another job soon.”

LIVERPOOL BOSS JUERGEN KLOPP

“I was surprised when I saw the news. That’s how the football world is. I have no clue what happened there but obviously the board wasn’t happy with the performances and made a decision.

“That’s our life (as a manager) when you sign a contract. I wish him all the best. He is an outstanding manager and has shown that in many different countries.

“Arsenal have to find a solution now. There are coaches out there, younger ones, maybe less experienced. Maybe they can take a chance.”

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER JOSE MOURINHO

“It’s always sad news... There is not one single manager who is sacked that I’m happy with. I always feel the deja vu situation.

“I’m sad for it but that’s life, and Unai is a fantastic coach with a proven record. Little bit of rest, another big club will come for him and his career will be back on track.

“So no dramas, mi amigo, keep going and you will get another club.”

CHELSEA MANAGER FRANK LAMPARD

“I wouldn’t say it was inevitable. Nothing is inevitable either way in football. It is not nice, everyone has a work ethic and an idea and it goes one way or the other.

“It is a shame, it looked like he gave everything in the role.”

SKY SPORTS PUNDIT AND FORMER MAN UTD DEFENDER GARY NEVILLE

“He’s been disrespected at times... his accent and manner have been ridiculed. The reality is he’s a top coach who couldn’t find his way in this particular job. Without a shadow of a doubt the players have let him down.

“The manager will take the hit, it’s his responsibility to place them into an organised shape.

“But some of those players... I’ve been critical of my own club over the last few years for their recruitment policy and their strategy, but Arsenal’s is truly pathetic.”

FORMER ARSENAL GOALKEEPER BOB WILSON

“I think there was an inevitability about this. You had to be there at the weekend when I was there. And last night... the atmosphere had become toxic. There is no question about that.

“There are all sorts of issues, not just the fact that the defence has clearly been the main problem... I didn’t know what the side was going to be from game to game under Unai’s regime and I find that really difficult to come to terms with.”

ARSENAL SUPPORTERS’ TRUST (AST)

“The dismissal of Unai Emery was unfortunate but inevitable. Performances and results have been far below what is expected at Arsenal. But Emery’s departure is the easy part.

“The more difficult challenge is to recruit a suitable successor. We are far from certain that Arsenal has the right personnel to lead this process.

“The AST has long been advocating that the most important changes needed at Arsenal are in the boardroom where Arsenal need better governance.” (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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