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How Emery’s fierce battle with Edu and players’ revolt cost him his job

How Emery’s fierce battle with Edu and players’ revolt cost him his job

The only surprise this morning was that it took so long. Staff have been bracing themselves for Unai Emery’s sacking for weeks.
So, too, have the players; exchanging WhatsApp messages at the expense of their beleaguered boss.
It wasn’t that they disliked Emery. Well, that isn’t entirely true – certain members of the Arsenal squad found the Spaniard irritating.

 


But on the whole, they found him pleasant enough. He didn’t possess the charisma or charm of his predecessor. In term of personality, Emery and Arsene Wenger are like chalk and cheese.
Wenger is the ultimate people person; engaging and always emotionally available for his players.
Emery is different, he was insular and business-like at their London Colney base.
He didn’t shut himself away; he held regular one-on-one meetings with his players and staff, who found him amiable enough – though not with Wenger’s famous wit.
He was, though, guilty of keeping himself to himself – never the best way to strike a rapport with your squad.

 

 


He trusted his inner circle: Juan Carlos Carcedo, Pablo Villanueva and Victor Manas. But those at the training ground felt he was far more wary of others.
For instance, Steve Bould left his position as first-team coach in the summer to take up a coaching position at the club’s academy.
The switch was viewed as a demotion, but Sportsmail understands Bould was happy to move back to academy because he felt under used within the first-team set-up.
Ironically, Bould could yet be re-introduced into the first team set-up with interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg – though the former Gunners defender is said to be hugely enjoying his role working with the club’s Under-23s.
Of course, it would be unfair to judge the Spaniard on his personality. At the end of the day, football isn’t a popularity contest.
What isn’t questionable, however, was the feeling that Emery was out of his depth. That view was universally held.
The final straw arrived on Saturday, the 2-2 home draw against Southampton essentially the result that cost Emery his job.
Head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham flew to the USA earlier this week to make an initial recommendation to the Kroenke family that the Spaniard be removed from his role.
It was decided they’d let Emery have one last chance — Thursday night’s game against Eintracht Frankfurt. Arsenal lost 2-1 and Emery’s fight was over.
He arrived at the club’s London Colney HQ at 9am this morning hopeful he’d be given Sunday’s trip to Norwich to save his job.
Not long after, he was informed of the news. Sanllehi, Venkatesham and technical director Edu were waiting for Emery at London Colney to deliver the fatal blow. The Spaniard is said to have taken the news gracefully.
The players began to filter into the training ground from around 9.30am, truth be told, not completely oblivious to what was coming.
The squad was ushered into a first-team meeting at around 10am to be informed of Emery’s sacking and the appointment of Ljungberg, who was already part of the senior coaching staff, as interim boss.
Axed Emery had the opportunity to say goodbye to his players before Ljungberg addressed the squad.
The Swede issued a rallying cry to the team, urging them to turn their sorry season around.
There has been some conjecture about whether Ljungberg has the necessary qualifications to take up the role, but Sportsmail understands he does have the UEFA Pro Licence.
Ljungberg now has the opportunity to make a play for the job on a full-time basis – starting with Sunday’s trip to Carrow Road.
But as Sportsmail revealed on Monday, the process of identifying external candidates for Emery’s long-term successor has already begun with Nuno Espirito Santo, Massimiliano Allegri, Mikel Arteta and Carlo Ancelotti among those being in the early running.
But there is an appreciation inside the club that persuading managers – particularly those already in work – to join mid-season is a difficult prospect.
With that in mind, Ljungberg takes his first full training session on Saturday morning before leaving on the team coach for Norwich hopeful that a successful run until the end of the season could convince the Arsenal hierarchy that he is the man to lead the club forward.
As for Emery, any sense that he was ever the man to propel Arsenal towards a bright future was lost a long time ago.
He’d lost the dressing room, there is no doubt about that. By the end, the squad felt confused and flummoxed by his instructions and training sessions.
His tactical sessions left players scratching their heads, while his arduous video analysis meetings were agonising for the squad.
Part of the problem, undoubtedly, was the language barrier. Credit to Emery, he worked hard on grasping English – but his difficulty in communicating clearly with his players, in the end, proved costly.
Despite their run to the Europa League final, players were losing faith towards the end of last season. Those doubts were starting to trickle through to the board.
A relatively positive start to the current campaign helped placate the emerging concerns. So, too, did the memory of last year’s 22-game unbeaten run – a stretch that included a sequence of 11 straight wins.
But when you’re Arsenal manager, seven matches without a win leaves you susceptible.
The appointment of Edu to oversee the club’s football operation earlier this year is also believed to have been a contributing factor in Emery’s sacking.
Sources claim the pair’s relationship was somewhat frosty, particularly when it came to the issue of player recruitment.
Edu wanted to put his stamp on the club. Emery feared the technical director’s desire to leave his mark left his position in jeopardy.
To Emery’s detriment, Edu, Sanllehi and Venkatesham have made a seismic imprint. Unfortunately for the Spaniard it was a decision they simply had to make.

How Emery’s fierce battle with Edu and players’ revolt cost him his j
ly surprise this morning was that it took so long. Staff have been bracing themselves for Unai Emery’s sacking for weeks.
So, too, have the players; exchanging WhatsApp messages at the expense of their beleaguered boss.
It wasn’t that they disliked Emery. Well, that isn’t entirely true – certain members of the Arsenal squad found the Spaniard irritating.
But on the whole, they found him pleasant enough. He didn’t possess the charisma or charm of his predecessor. In term of personality, Emery and Arsene Wenger are like chalk and cheese.
Wenger is the ultimate people person; engaging and always emotionally available for his players.
Emery is different, he was insular and business-like at their London Colney base.
He didn’t shut himself away; he held regular one-on-one meetings with his players and staff, who found him amiable enough – though not with Wenger’s famous wit.
He was, though, guilty of keeping himself to himself – never the best way to strike a rapport with your squad.
He trusted his inner circle: Juan Carlos Carcedo, Pablo Villanueva and Victor Manas. But those at the training ground felt he was far more wary of others.
For instance, Steve Bould left his position as first-team coach in the summer to take up a coaching position at the club’s academy.
The switch was viewed as a demotion, but Sportsmail understands Bould was happy to move back to academy because he felt under used within the first-team set-up.
Ironically, Bould could yet be re-introduced into the first team set-up with interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg – though the former Gunners defender is said to be hugely enjoying his role working with the club’s Under-23s.
Of course, it would be unfair to judge the Spaniard on his personality. At the end of the day, football isn’t a popularity contest.
What isn’t questionable, however, was the feeling that Emery was out of his depth. That view was universally held.
The final straw arrived on Saturday, the 2-2 home draw against Southampton essentially the result that cost Emery his job.
The only surprise this morning was that it took so long. Staff have been bracing themselves for Unai Emery’s sacking for weeks.
So, too, have the players; exchanging WhatsApp messages at the expense of their beleaguered boss.
It wasn’t that they disliked Emery. Well, that isn’t entirely true – certain members of the Arsenal squad found the Spaniard irritating.
But on the whole, they found him pleasant enough. He didn’t possess the charisma or charm of his predecessor. In term of personality, Emery and Arsene Wenger are like chalk and cheese.
Wenger is the ultimate people person; engaging and always emotionally available for his players.
Emery is different, he was insular and business-like at their London Colney base.
He didn’t shut himself away; he held regular one-on-one meetings with his players and staff, who found him amiable enough – though not with Wenger’s famous wit.
He was, though, guilty of keeping himself to himself – never the best way to strike a rapport with your squad.
He trusted his inner circle: Juan Carlos Carcedo, Pablo Villanueva and Victor Manas. But those at the training ground felt he was far more wary of others.
For instance, Steve Bould left his position as first-team coach in the summer to take up a coaching position at the club’s academy.
The switch was viewed as a demotion, but Sportsmail understands Bould was happy to move back to academy because he felt under used within the first-team set-up.
Ironically, Bould could yet be re-introduced into the first team set-up with interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg – though the former Gunners defender is said to be hugely enjoying his role working with the club’s Under-23s.
Of course, it would be unfair to judge the Spaniard on his personality. At the end of the day, football isn’t a popularity contest.
What isn’t questionable, however, was the feeling that Emery was out of his depth. That view was universally held.
The final straw arrived on Saturday, the 2-2 home draw against Southampton essentially the result that cost Emery his job.
Head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham flew to the USA earlier this week to make an initial recommendation to the Kroenke family that the Spaniard be removed from his role.
It was decided they’d let Emery have one last chance — Thursday night’s game against Eintracht Frankfurt. Arsenal lost 2-1 and Emery’s fight was over.
He arrived at the club’s London Colney HQ at 9am this morning hopeful he’d be given Sunday’s trip to Norwich to save his job.
Not long after, he was informed of the news. Sanllehi, Venkatesham and technical director Edu were waiting for Emery at London Colney to deliver the fatal blow. The Spaniard is said to have taken the news gracefully.
The players began to filter into the training ground from around 9.30am, truth be told, not completely oblivious to what was coming.
The squad was ushered into a first-team meeting at around 10am to be informed of Emery’s sacking and the appointment of Ljungberg, who was already part of the senior coaching staff, as interim boss.
Axed Emery had the opportunity to say goodbye to his players before Ljungberg addressed the squad.
The Swede issued a rallying cry to the team, urging them to turn their sorry season around.
There has been some conjecture about whether Ljungberg has the necessary qualifications to take up the role, but Sportsmail understands he does have the UEFA Pro Licence.
Ljungberg now has the opportunity to make a play for the job on a full-time basis – starting with Sunday’s trip to Carrow Road.
But as Sportsmail revealed on Monday, the process of identifying external candidates for Emery’s long-term successor has already begun with Nuno Espirito Santo, Massimiliano Allegri, Mikel Arteta and Carlo Ancelotti among those being in the early running.
But there is an appreciation inside the club that persuading managers – particularly those already in work – to join mid-season is a difficult prospect.
With that in mind, Ljungberg takes his first full training session on Saturday morning before leaving on the team coach for Norwich hopeful that a successful run until the end of the season could convince the Arsenal hierarchy that he is the man to lead the club forward.
As for Emery, any sense that he was ever the man to propel Arsenal towards a bright future was lost a long time ago.
He’d lost the dressing room, there is no doubt about that. By the end, the squad felt confused and flummoxed by his instructions and training sessions.
His tactical sessions left players scratching their heads, while his arduous video analysis meetings were agonising for the squad.
Part of the problem, undoubtedly, was the language barrier. Credit to Emery, he worked hard on grasping English – but his difficulty in communicating clearly with his players, in the end, proved costly.
Despite their run to the Europa League final, players were losing faith towards the end of last season. Those doubts were starting to trickle through to the board.
A relatively positive start to the current campaign helped placate the emerging concerns. So, too, did the memory of last year’s 22-game unbeaten run – a stretch that included a sequence of 11 straight wins.
But when you’re Arsenal manager, seven matches without a win leaves you susceptible.
The appointment of Edu to oversee the club’s football operation earlier this year is also believed to have been a contributing factor in Emery’s sacking.
Sources claim the pair’s relationship was somewhat frosty, particularly when it came to the issue of player recruitment.
Edu wanted to put his stamp on the club. Emery feared the technical director’s desire to leave his mark left his position in jeopardy.
To Emery’s detriment, Edu, Sanllehi and Venkatesham have made a seismic imprint. Unfortunately for the Spaniard it was a decision they simply had to make.

How Emery’s fierce battle with Edu and players’ revolt cost him his j
Head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham flew to the USA earlier this week to make an initial recommendation to the Kroenke family that the Spaniard be removed from his role.
It was decided they’d let Emery have one last chance — Thursday night’s game against Eintracht Frankfurt. Arsenal lost 2-1 and Emery’s fight was over.
He arrived at the club’s London Colney HQ at 9am this morning hopeful he’d be given Sunday’s trip to Norwich to save his job.
Not long after, he was informed of the news. Sanllehi, Venkatesham and technical director Edu were waiting for Emery at London Colney to deliver the fatal blow. The Spaniard is said to have taken the news gracefully.
The players began to filter into the training ground from around 9.30am, truth be told, not completely oblivious to what was coming.
The squad was ushered into a first-team meeting at around 10am to be informed of Emery’s sacking and the appointment of Ljungberg, who was already part of the senior coaching staff, as interim boss.
Axed Emery had the opportunity to say goodbye to his players before Ljungberg addressed the squad.
The Swede issued a rallying cry to the team, urging them to turn their sorry season around.
There has been some conjecture about whether Ljungberg has the necessary qualifications to take up the role, but Sportsmail understands he does have the UEFA Pro Licence.
Ljungberg now has the opportunity to make a play for the job on a full-time basis – starting with Sunday’s trip to Carrow Road.
But as Sportsmail revealed on Monday, the process of identifying external candidates for Emery’s long-term successor has already begun with Nuno Espirito Santo, Massimiliano Allegri, Mikel Arteta and Carlo Ancelotti among those being in the early running.
But there is an appreciation inside the club that persuading managers – particularly those already in work – to join mid-season is a difficult prospect.
With that in mind, Ljungberg takes his first full training session on Saturday morning before leaving on the team coach for Norwich hopeful that a successful run until the end of the season could convince the Arsenal hierarchy that he is the man to lead the club forward.
As for Emery, any sense that he was ever the man to propel Arsenal towards a bright future was lost a long time ago.
He’d lost the dressing room, there is no doubt about that. By the end, the squad felt confused and flummoxed by his instructions and training sessions.
His tactical sessions left players scratching their heads, while his arduous video analysis meetings were agonising for the squad.
Part of the problem, undoubtedly, was the language barrier. Credit to Emery, he worked hard on grasping English – but his difficulty in communicating clearly with his players, in the end, proved costly.
Despite their run to the Europa League final, players were losing faith towards the end of last season. Those doubts were starting to trickle through to the board.
A relatively positive start to the current campaign helped placate the emerging concerns. So, too, did the memory of last year’s 22-game unbeaten run – a stretch that included a sequence of 11 straight wins.
But when you’re Arsenal manager, seven matches without a win leaves you susceptible.
The appointment of Edu to oversee the club’s football operation earlier this year is also believed to have been a contributing factor in Emery’s sacking.
Sources claim the pair’s relationship was somewhat frosty, particularly when it came to the issue of player recruitment.
Edu wanted to put his stamp on the club. Emery feared the technical director’s desire to leave his mark left his position in jeopardy.
To Emery’s detriment, Edu, Sanllehi and Venkatesham have made a seismic imprint. Unfortunately for the Spaniard it was a decision they simply had to make.

 

About Femi Ige