Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to reflect the news that Unai Emery has in fact been sacked by Arsenal.
It was a matter of “if” not “when.” And the when happened on Friday. Unai Emery has been sacked as Arsenal‘s manager.
Arsenal lost their Europa League match on Thursday at the Emirates to Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1. They’re not in real danger of missing the knockout rounds though. Arsenal travel to play Standard Liege on December 12th. If they lose that match by 4 and Frankfurt win theirs against Vitoria, the Gunners will not make advance. So…they’re advancing.
However, Arsenal have not won in 7 matches across all competitions. This is a tailspin. Arsenal management rightfully acted to pull the club out of this dive.
Emery isn’t a bad manager. But he was a very bad fit for this club. Freddie Ljungberg takes over as caretaker for now.
However, with Emery sacked, who could and should replace him?
A case for Mauricio Pochettino at Arsenal
Most pundits, including ours, considered Arsenal a favorite to finish in the top 4 in the Premier League. They have the talent.
With a top 4 spot slipping away, and chances for Champions League qualification potentially toast with an early Europa League ouster, drastic measures are needed.
Arsenal should contact Mauricio Pochettino. Immediately.
Yes, Poch has stated he would not coach Barcelona or Arsenal. Oddsmakers have Pochettino’s next manager post at Bayern Munich.
But money talks. Pochettino’s stated loyalty to Espanyol and Tottenham is admirable. It’s also temporary for the right amount of cash.
If they have any ambition in staying competitive this season, Arsenal should go all-in on Poch. Who else is available that would be a better fit?
Massimiliano Allegri has expressed doubts over the job. Former Gunner and current Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta has attracted interest. However, the 37 year-old has no experience leading a club of any size yet.
Other Premier League up-and-comers like Eddie Howe and Chris Wilder are highly unlikely to make in-season moves.
Pochettino is proven. He obviously knows the Premier League. And Arsenal have a squad that tactically offers a solid fit. If he’s good enough to be considered the front-runner for Bayern Munich and Manchester United, he should be more than good enough for the Gunners.
Poch is the best candidate. If Arsenal are serious about winning, they’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse. Somebody else certainly will.