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Can Freddie Ljungberg Be The Guardian Of Arsenal’s Golden Generation ?

Ljungberg, Unai Emery, Arsenal manager

The promotion of Ljungberg to the position of Arsenal’s assistant manager, was welcomed by the majority of fans and after a successful season with the under 23’s, the former player is firmly in the spotlight at a difficult time for the club.

Yet there’s more at stake than the immediate success of the manager, his new assistant Ljungberg and club. With Arsenal appearing to cut its wage bill by trimming off some of its academy asserts and seemingly prepared to embark on another series of experimental loans, is Ljungberg to assume the role of guardian to the Academy ? Protecting the players from the mismanagement of its chartered accountants whilst trying to propel them into the first team.

We have been given assurances that the club will make provision within their ‘operational strategy’ to include and nurture its young stars but there have been a number of disturbing departures from the academy that were once considered to be hot prospects.

So pardon me for being slightly suspicious with any statements emanating from the Emirates but it seems the hierarchy say one thing whilst meaning another.

Willock, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Nelson, Osei-Tutu, Saka and Medley are some players who have flourished under Ljungberg and are some of the names that could be offered out on a series of pointless loans to relieve the wage bill. The frustrations felt by this action will undoubtedly end with departures to other clubs that make good on their promises and which are willing to give them their chance.

I’m becoming impatient, there’s little money to rebuild, players are being dispatched to lessen the financial burden and the youngsters are not coming through in numbers.

The club continues to conduct it’s business like a bunch of amateurs in the hope of one day hitting the jackpot. Whereas Wenger could get his way through his trusted and established power base, Unai Emery is more of a willing disciple of the Kroenke’s, someone who will follow orders, toe the line and smile widely for the cameras.

Therefore the only shred of hope and belief I have rests on the shoulders of Ljungberg and if that seems slightly unfair, I don’t really care. Ljungberg needs to push his belief in youth and convince Emery of their value.

The coach himself, has a duty to his players and if he aligns with his new assistant Ljungberg who has crucial knowledge of the academy talent, Arsenal might emerge from this bonfire with light singeing, instead of fatal burns.


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The Long Shadow
Anti Kroenke , anti Gazidis but always a gooner. Still wishes he could watch from the stands at the Highbury library.
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