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Arsenal sacked Unai Emery 11 days ago but appear no closer to appointing his permanent successor.
Arsenal were unable to get a head-start in their mission to find Unai Emery’s permanent successor as the Kroenke family insisted the club could not speak to potential candidates until the Spanish coach was sacked. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), which owns several US sports teams, has employed the policy over the pond and wanted to stick with it in England.
Even though the interview process for a new coach is far more transparent in the NFL the family believe the same approach is important to uphold in the Premier League.
Many clubs go behind their manager’s back, however, and speak to potential successors before wielding the axe on their current hotseat incumbent, such as Watford and Tottenham who both made swift appointments of Quique Sanchez Flores and Jose Mourinho after the departures of Javi Gracia and Mauricio Pochettino.
The Athletic claim that KSE would not allow the Arsenal board to begin talks with other managers before Emery was dismissed though.
That situation is even more intriguing given that the Kroenkes and Arsenal chiefs decided they would sack Emery before his last game in charge against Eintracht Frankfurt which came four days later.
They would not be happy if their policy was disobeyed and would internally punish any rule-breakers, it is believed.
It appears that Arsenal’s committee in charge of vetting candidates adhered to their boss’ wish, however, with the club ostensibly no closer to hiring a new head coach than they were 11 days ago when Emery was fired.
The men tasked with finding Arsenal’s next manager are head of football Raul Sanllehi, managing director Vinai Venkatesham, technical director Edu and director of football operations Huss Fahmy.
The four men will oversee an extensive interview process which will involve three sit-downs for the successful candidate, according to Daily Telegraph.
The first meeting will be with Sanllehi and Edu where their football vision and philosophies are expected to be discussed.
Next comes a talk with Venkatesham and Fahmy which will presumably centre on more business-centric matters such as contracts and funds.
If a manager makes it through those two stages they will then meet Stan and Josh Kroenke in America, with the father-and-son pair making the final call in conjunction with their trusted chiefs in north London.
One day after Emery’s departure, Josh did confirm the “process is already underway” to appoint the next man in charge but hinted it may take a while.
“Because of our confidence in Freddie [Ljungberg] we’re very fortunate that we’re going to be entering into our process and doing a thorough search and it’s about finding the right candidate, it’s not about finding the first candidate,” he said.
Ljungberg did not repay that faith in his first two results with a draw and loss to Norwich and Brighton but claimed his first win as caretaker boss against West Ham on Monday night.
The Swedish manager spoke of an improved feeling in the dressing room after the 3-1 comeback victory which he hopes can inspire a fruitful festive period.
“They looked happy in the dressing room, but I don’t think any of us can imagine, in my opinion at least… Arsenal is a big football club,” he said.
“We are demanded to win football games and they haven’t won for a long time.
“I at least have been able to feel or sense the pressure they’ve been under and you can always say ‘well they’re professional football players, they should deal with it’ but it’s been tough for them and you’ve felt it and seen it in games.
“Today, in the last 30 minutes, that lifted a bit and we started to play some good football and slice them open like I said. We’ve got a lot of things to work on but it felt nice with a win.”