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Arsenal turn to Freddie Ljungberg as under-fire Unai Emery faces sack

Unai Emery

Emery is facing intense pressure after watching his side throw away the lead to lose 2-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the Gunners in front in the first half before the Bundesliga side mounted a comeback after the break in front of a small and unhappy crowd at the Emirates.

Arsenal were booed off the pitch by their own supporters at full-time and many fans held up “Emery Out” banners throughout the game.

The Times reports that Emery is now on the brink of being sacked after failing to oversee a victory in the last seven matches, the club’s worst run of form in 27 years.

The Emirates club are already scouring the market for potential replacements, and former Gunners winger Ljungberg is said to be a leading candidate to take the job on a temporary basis.

The Swede, who played for Arsenal between 1998 and 2007, is currently an assistant coach at the club, having previously led the Under-23 side.

Other options include former Gunners captain Mikel Arteta, an assistant coach at Manchester City, and Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, but neither would leave their current roles immediately.

Former PSG and Sevilla manager Emery has a contract until 2021 at the Emirates worth £6 million a year, which includes a break clause for next summer.

It seems unlikely he will make it that far after a period of dismal form that has seen Arsenal eliminated from the Carabao Cup and drop to eighth place in the Premier League, eight points off the Champions League places.

The report adds that while the official attendance for Thursday’s meeting with Frankfurt was 49,919, that was based on season ticket sales and the actual turnout was closer to 25,000.

That is the lowest attendance for a competitive senior game since the Emirates opened its doors in 2006.

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