Former Arsenal striker John Hartson says Unai Emery “had to go” but has criticised the Gunners’ new interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg.
Emery was sacked by the north London club on Friday morning after a Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt extended the team’s winless run to seven matches in all competitions.
Hartson, who played for Arsenal between 1995 and 1997 and now works as a pundit, supported the decision to dismiss the Spaniard, but questioned Ljungberg’s contribution against Frankfurt.
Ex-Gunners midfielder Ljungberg had been working as assistant first-team coach under Emery this season after being promoted during the summer.
“Ljungberg was a great help to Emery last night.. sat down for 90 mins..” Hartson tweeted.
“Surely you get in the manager’s ear if you can see what’s going wrong.. Emery had to go.”
After being chosen in May 2018 as the man to follow Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign, Emery missed out on Champions League qualification in his first season having finished fifth in the Premier League and lost the Europa League final.
The Gunners are currently eighth in the top flight following just four wins from 13 matches ahead of Sunday’s match at Norwich.
Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who played in Emery’s final game, apologised and said the players must take responsibility for recent poor results.
“Thank you @UnaiEmery_ and Javi (Garcia, goalkeeping coach) I’m sorry we let you down, it’s our fault for not performing the right way, I’m sure we will meet again,” he tweeted.
Former Arsenal youth player Fabrice Muamba was not surprised to see the club make a managerial change, tweeting: “Result business.”