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Interview

'We can still achieve our goals'

Following the appointment of Freddie Ljungberg as interim head coach, Josh Kroenke spoke to us on behalf of the board and owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.

He explained the reasons behind the decision to replace Unai Emery and outlined the next steps.

Here's a transcript of the interview:

on how the decision came about…
Like all of our fans and supporters around the globe, we've been concerned about our recent string of performances. We wanted to support Unai and his staff until we decided it was time to make a change and ultimately we came to that decision over the last several weeks as a group between myself, Raul, Vinai and Edu.

on how difficult the decision was...
Very difficult. First and foremost Unai is a good man, someone that we all respect very much. His work ethic on a daily basis between him and his staff was fantastic. Ultimately we started to fall short of several goals that we set. We still feel that we can achieve those goals this season, which is why we decided to make the change now.

on Freddie Ljungberg taking over...
First and foremost Freddie has Arsenal DNA. Obviously he was a player here for a number of years, the supporters know him very well and he's worked diligently behind the scenes for the past several years, including the last year and a half or so with Arsenal again. So it's been great to have him around, he knows the club's DNA and we feel he is the right person in the moment to take the club forward.

on his message to Freddie and the players...
My message to Freddie and the players was let's get back to basics and most importantly let's get back to having some fun. I think footballers are at their best when I see smiles on their faces and going out there and winning matches. That's a winning formula to me.

on the process now...
Our process is already underway. It's going to be led by Raul, Vinai, Edu and Huss here internally. I look forward to getting with them and working closely with them throughout this process.

on a timescale...
Because of our confidence in Freddie 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.

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