The only real surprise about Unai Emery’s sacking was the fact that he almost made it to December.
Freddie Ljungberg has been given the gig for now, but it’s not completely clear how long he will get. There’s a good feeling around the club now that Emery has left, so it’s crucial that the board keep everyone on side and make a popular appointment.
Realistically that probably means we will see someone heavily connected with the club get the job, unless they can find a truly elite name who would be interested in taking over. Max Allegri has been touted, but there’s nothing to suggest he’s willing to accept it.
Another name who keeps popping up and could make sense is Mikel Arteta. He’s a former Arsenal captain who was well liked by the fans and he’s also very highly rated as a coach. If any fans are hoping that Arteta is the man to take over then this could come as some good news.
The Sun has reported that although Pep Guardiola desperately wants to keep his assistant at Man City, he won’t stand in his way if he does want to leave and become a manager in his own right.
We’ve seen in the past that great assistant managers don’t always make it when they step up for the main job. There’s no guarantee that Arteta will become the next Guardiola, but he’s certainly had a fantastic education when it comes to coaching and management.
A lot might depend on the performance of Ljungberg, but a look at Man United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be seen as a cautionary tale. If he gets a good run of results they need to evaluate if that’s his own abilities or just down to a positive feeling around the club helping the players for a few games.
It really will be fascinating to see what Arsenal decide to do here.