Sunday 15 December 2019

Ljungberg to lean on Wenger for Arsenal advice

Freddie Ljungberg is looking to end Arsenal’s run of eight games without a win when they face Brighton tomorrow. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Freddie Ljungberg is looking to end Arsenal’s run of eight games without a win when they face Brighton tomorrow. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Ben Kosky and Tom Morgan

Freddie Ljungberg has the backing of Arsene Wenger, his former manager at Arsenal, as he continues his efforts to inject fresh momentum into the club's season.

Ljungberg (42) has been promoted from his role with the club's U-23s to take interim charge of the first team following the dismissal last week of Unai Emery.

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The Swede oversaw a draw at Norwich City on Sunday and will attempt to register his first victory when Brighton and Hove Albion visit the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.

The former midfielder is taking his first steps in management and, having enjoyed nine trophy-laden years as a player under Wenger - a period in which the club won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups - Ljungberg is planning to make contact with the Frenchman, who departed the north London club 18 months ago after a 22-year reign.

Contact

"I really would like to speak to him," Ljungberg said. "We're in contact. I have not spoken to him (since taking over), but that's on my list. It's been quite hectic, but I'm very proud about this opportunity."

Wenger, for his part, believes it is an opportunity Ljungberg needs to seize with both hands, and will be available to offer any advice required.

"I'm always happy to help my former players and former club. If he has that need, then of course I will be available," the 70-year-old said when asked about Ljungberg while at the annual meeting of the International Football Association Board (Ifab) he was attending in his new role as Fifa's law-making chief.

"I do not want to comment too much on Arsenal. My heart is with them and I want them to do well. Freddie is fantastic and committed and will want to do this job for a long time. So he has an opportunity.

"What you want in life is that opportunity. Let's get him to work with his ideas and support him."

Ljungberg said his approach will also be influenced by his compatriot Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England manager who spent a year in charge of Manchester City before leaving the club 11 years ago.

"Sven is very intelligent and I spoke to him a lot when he was the manager of England," Ljungberg said of the last Swede to manage in the Premier League.

"I know some stories of how he treated players and made them feel good and I've stolen some of those ideas. He was a great coach and I hope I'll speak to him."

Ljungberg's primary aim is to end Arsenal's dismal run of eight games without a win in all competitions.

"What I try to focus on is going forward," he said.

"I've been here, I've done two training sessions now and I don't want to talk about the coaches before. I think Unai did a great job and was a great leader and a fantastic coach. That's not for me to judge. I look forward." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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