He’s made quite an impact at Arsenal as a coach since his arrival at the Emirates and up until now, he has been standing in the shadows but Freddie Ljungberg may be thrust into the top job on a temporary basis if Unai Emery gets fired.
It’s all speculation at present but if Emery can’t get his side to put together a string of wins and gain valuable points, the Spaniard may be ejected before the end of his second season.
That’s very anti Arsenal but the club invested heavily during the summer of 2019 and there is a need to show some return, even at a commercial level. The Kroenke’s won’t let that facet of the enterprise escape them and even though it goes against the gunners managerial history, they may think it absolutely necessary.
Ljungberg arrived at Arsenal in 1998, having been signed directly by Arsene Wenger after scouts had kept tabs on him for 12 months. Ljungberg became a firm fan favourite for his ability to cause havoc on the wing, produce late runs into space and score important goals, in fact, one of the more productive partnerships in red and white was the one he enjoyed with Dennis Bergkamp.
The Dutchman had the ability to instinctively know where Ljungberg would be as the gunners surged forward. Ljungberg cut his playing ties with the gunners in 2007, but returned after a mixed playing career as a coach to the U15’s before a brief spell at Vfl Wolfsburg before taking up a post as the under 23 coach in 2018.
During his time in this position,Ljungberg managed to cultivate a fantastic team spirit and showed that he could motivate and mold a group of potentially talented youngsters into first team players.
That’s probably the reason Ljungberg was fast tracked to replace Steve Bould, who enjoyed no influence under Wenger and the same under was true under the controlling Emery.
Ljungberg is very much in the Arsenal mould of fostering exciting, free flowing football but his inexperience is a concern and having watched the struggles of Ole Gunner Solskjær at Manchester United, it may be better to wait a season or two.
Ljungberg may crave the job eventually but it’s premature at this point in his career, yet there may be no alternative as Arsenal nosedive this season and with questions being asked regarding the Spaniards ability to lead them out of trouble.
Trouble ? They are in fifth place in the premiership just 8 points behind Manchester City I hear you say, but it’s the two teams above them (Chelsea, Leicester) and the four below them (Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Brighton and Crystal Palace) that are the bigger concern.
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If Manchester United start to put a run together, they could, along with the aforementioned teams, shunt Arsenal down towards mid table. You wouldn’t rule it out at the moment because Arsenal couldn’t win a raffle even if they owned the only ticket.
Ljungberg’s name has emerged along with Mourinho, Arteta, Vieira and Allegri and it’s said that the players are bypassing the coach and conferring with his number two. The Mirror carried the story and published a quote allegedly from a player which declared that Emery does not offer clear and consistent instructions.
While the Express stated that youngster Bukayo Saka among others have publicly claimed they struggle to understand the former Paris Saint-Germain boss when he is trying to make a point.
We all suspected that the problem was deeper than confused tactics and new players. I’d love to see Freddie Ljunberg take the chair but at the moment, there are so many things wrong at the Emirates, it requires the experience of someone who can deliver miracles quickly. It’s getting to the stage where even they may be in short supply.