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'Next manager needs a stronger...
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'Next manager needs a stronger personality' | Cunningham on Emery successor

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

11:47 29 Nov 2019

Arsenal's next manager must be a strong personality who is willing to transform the personnel of the club, according to Kenny Cunningham.

As speculation swirled that Emery's departure from the Emirates was imminent, Cunningham joined Friday's OTB AM to discuss how the club could return to challenging for titles.

While Emery was eventually sacked on Friday morning following the previous night's 1-2 loss to Frankfurt, Cunningham suggested it was last weekend's 2-2 draw to Southampton that highlighted the descent of the club.

"The game against Southampton was a real shock. Southampton really should have put them away", Cunningham noted.

"At the end of that game, I must admit I started siding with the Arsenal supporters because it was a really inept performance."

"Some individuals need to take some responsibility too. [Lucas] Torreira had a terrible game; a lot of Arsenal supporters had been calling for him to be included in the team. He didn't grasp that chance, he looked really out of sorts.

"Bellerin in the right wing-back position looked like his legs had gone for someone who was the quickest thing on two legs two years ago."

Body language

In addition to the poor performances, the former Ireland international said the most telling sign was the players' body language.

"More than anything else you got the sense that the players were in the process of losing confidence in the manager. The relationship and that dynamic weren't great, you got the sense that it's come to a natural conclusion."

Looking to the future, Cunningham made the call for a manager that will shake up the dressing room and pack the bags of those who aren't doing enough for the team.

"The new manager who goes in there, he needs to be a stronger personality. Some big decisions need to be made there in terms of players going out the door and others coming in.

"I think if players get the sense that a strong personality has walked through the door – and is a person who will make those decisions – reputations will count for nothing and then pretty quickly they will fall in line."

Freddie Ljungberg will take over the first team on an interim basis and Cunningham said the club shouldn't rush the decision of finding a new manager.

"It's going to be a huge decision looking for the next manager. They might have to be patient and bide their time until the end of the season.

"I still think Arsenal Football club will be a huge draw because of the history of the club and its profile."

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Arsenal Kenny Cunningham Unai Emery

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