UNAI EMERY looks “increasingly” likely to be sacked as Arsenal manager this morning after 555 days in charge.
The Spaniard, 48, led the Gunners to the Europa League final last season after replacing Arsene Wenger in the Emirates dug-out in May, 2018.
Following a busy summer in the transfer market, Arsenal looked to be improving again after just one defeat in their opening 11 matches of this campaign.
However, they have since suffered a huge dip in form and last night’s Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt made it the club’s worst run for nearly 28 years when George Graham oversaw an eight game winless period in 1992.
Now the ex-Valencia, Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss is set to be axed TODAY following an emergency board meeting at Arsenal’s London Colney HQ.
That is according to The Athletic, who claim the decision will come as a big surprise to Emery.
They report that the under-pressure coach told his players after their Frankfurt setback to “forget” about it because Sunday’s trip to Norwich in the Premier League “carried far greater importance”.
It goes on to state he “had no reason” not to believe he would still be in the dug-out to take on the Canaries.
He is under contract until 2021, and despite the miserable run, the board have been quick to back him privately and publicly.
As worries intensified, Arsenal’s top brass were going to review the situation at the end of the season.
Now Emery’s position appears to have become so untenable they are due to relieve him of his duties.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo is the bookies favourite to replace him in the hotseat.
But Freddie Ljungberg looks set to step-up to take charge of the Gunners as caretaker from his position as first-team coach.
Despite the Emirates being half-empty for their latest failing, the full-time whistle was met with a huge chorus of boos and jeers on Thursday after Arsenal let a one-goal advantage slip.
And even before that, a number of “Emery Out” signs were held aloft by disgruntled supporters.
Now the club’s legends are urging to Arsenal board to act, with Martin Keown leading the charge.
Speaking on BT Sport, the 53-year-old said: “We just witnessed an absolute shambles of a performance in that second half.
“The team selection, the team motivation, the substitutions, the performance – everything was missing here, it was a dreadful performance.
“I think you have to go back, the fans turned, many years ago, on Terry Neill, 37 years ago. I was at the football club when it happened. Things got very toxic within the club.
“I think we’re getting close to that again. Is he able to motivate this team? He seems to have lost the players. The direction of the team, the desire seems to have ebbed away.
“I could question players, [Granit] Xhaka stayed on the pitch, perhaps should’ve gone off, [Shkodran] Mustafi couldn’t get off quick enough.
“The substitutions that he made, the players that are sitting on the bench. You’ve got [Nicolas] Pepe there, [Alexandre] Lacazette to come on, you’re trying to get back into the game. It’s not enough.”
Keown believes Emery, 48, may well decide to walk out on his own.
But if not, then the Arsenal board need to make the decision for him.
He added: “I think maybe the manager is in a position where he might feel he has to step to one side now. Serious questions really need to be asked. This is as bad as I’ve seen it.
“I know change was needed. Wenger was at the football club just a little bit too long but now it looks as if the club have got to go in a different direction.
“This is relegation form. Do the club really realise how tricky this is now going to be?
“Decisions have got to be made.
“The football people at the top of the club, make the decisions that need to be made otherwise Arsenal are going to plunder further down the trouble.”
Eighth-placed Arsenal travel to Norwich City this weekend without an away win since September 19.
They are already eight points off the top four and need at least a point in their final Europa League group match in Standard Liege next month to reach the knockout stage.