Unai Emery’s final weeks as Arsenal manager featured him being ruthlessly mocked by Gunners players, according to a report.
The Evening Standard claim that jokes about Emery’s accent and broken English were commonplace at the club’s London Colney base, with players also ridiculing his decision to name a captaincy group.
It is claimed that a player said “how many captains to we have?” within earshot of Emery shortly after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had been appointed as the new Gunners skipper in place of Granit Xhaka.
The decision to sack Emery was made earlier this week at a meeting of the Gunners’ directors in US, although the Spaniard remained in charge for Thursday’s Europa League group stage game with Eintracht Frankfurt.
After Arsenal lost that match 2-1 at a hostile Emirates Stadium, the axe finally fell on Emery on Friday morning.
“We announce today that the decision has been taken to part company with our head coach Unai Emery and his coaching team,” read an Arsenal statement on Friday.
“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.”
Emery wasn’t a popular figure with many of his players by the end of his tenure, with his communication skills often cited as one of the key reasons behind his struggles.
Ljungberg is seen as a steady hand to come in and take charge on an interim basis, and knows that he could be in like for the job permanently if he impresses.