Manager flunked the key moments and decisions during his tenure and few fans or players will mourn his departure

In the end, when the Arsenal statement dropped on Friday morning to confirm the departure of Unai Emery, it came as a mercy. For the past few weeks the mood among many of the players had been they wanted the manager out and they did not exactly hide it at the training ground, and for the past six or so – from the Premier League defeat at Sheffield United – Emery had looked every inch the condemned man, thrashing desperately but unable to find succour.

There was a time when he had a clear plan about how to shape a team in the aftermath of the Arsène Wenger era, which ended in May 2018; how to return Arsenal to the Champions League and, for much of his first season in charge, he felt that he was close to finding the answers.

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