‘It has been an honour’ – Emery pens heartfelt message of thanks to Arsenal fans

The departed Gunners boss said he had come to “understand and feel the greatness of Arsenal” during his season and a half at the Emirates Stadium

Unai Emery has written an open letter of thanks to Arsenal supporters and staff following his dismissal on Friday, urging fans to continue to put their support behind the players.

The 48-year-old was sacked following Thursday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League, with the Gunners sitting eighth in the Premier League table.

Emery departs after a year and a half in the role, taking the Gunners to fifth place and a Europa League final in his sole full season in charge.

The letter, posted on Arsenal’s website, read: “It has been an honour to be the Arsenal head coach.

“To all the fans, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me to understand and feel the greatness of Arsenal.

“To all of you who have supported us from every corner of the globe, all of you who have come to the Emirates, all of you who have waited in the rain and cold just to greet me after a game. I want to tell all of you that I have worked with passion, with commitment and with effort.

“I would have liked nothing more than to have achieved better results for you.

“I also want to send a message of gratitude to all Arsenal employees for the way they have treated me. The greatness of Arsenal is in every director, executive, employee, assistant and volunteer.

“In particular, I want to highlight Ivan Gazidis, who welcomed me to the club, and Raul Sanllehi, Edu and Vinai Venkatesham for their respect, companionship and help. Until the very last minute I have been treated with honour and honesty. And of course, I send my sincere gratitude to the Kroenke family, for their trust.

“It has been a year and a half full of emotions, of great moments and some other more bitter ones, but not a single day has gone by without me stopping to think about how lucky I have been to work for this club with these players and their professional and personal qualities.

“They have always honoured the shirt they wear. They deserve your support.

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“I had already experienced a lot in football, but I have enjoyed and learned a lot in England, in the Premier League, about respect for professionals and about the purity of football.

“My best wishes always. COYG.”

Freddie Ljungberg has taken temporary charge of first-team matters, with the Gunners now facing league clashes with Norwich, Brighton and West Ham before the Europa League group decider with Standard Liege on December 12.

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