X

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Backs Freddie Ljungberg After Arsenal Managerial Debut

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2019

Arsenal's Swedish interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg smiles as he arrives for the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on December 1, 2019. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has backed interim boss Freddie Ljungberg to have a positive impact on the team.

The Swede was promoted from assistant coach to interim manager on Friday after Unai Emery was sacked.

Per Goal's Charles Watts, Aubameyang said of Ljungberg:

"He can give us something special. Everybody is respectful of Freddie.

"He was part of the Invincibles. His career speaks for himself. He played for Arsenal and he has this in his heart.

"We will try to follow him and give the best for him. For me, personally, I think it's good for us. It's interesting to have him."

The Gunners were held to a 2-2 draw at Norwich City on Sunday in Ljungberg's first game in charge.

Aubameyang scored both of Arsenal's goals as they twice came from behind against the Canaries:

Fox Sports' James Dodd and Football.London's James Benge were encouraged by some of what they saw from the Gunners despite the result:

James Dodd @JamesDoddFOX

Not a great result but there were positive signs. The team appeared faster, more direct when attacking & had a better idea of what they were meant to be doing. However, defensively we're still appalling, especially in transition and that has to be Freddie's starting point #AFC

James Benge @jamesbenge

A disappointing result for Ljungberg to begin with but a definite step in the right direction. Particularly in the first half Arsenal controlled the game in a way they rarely did under Emery this season. Norwich are great fun, showed real discipline at the back and broke well.

As The Athletic's James McNicholas noted, the north London outfit still have a long way to go, though:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

That game serving as a reminder that Emery going is the start of fixing Arsenal’s problems, not the end.

Ljungberg spent nine seasons at Arsenal, winning two Premier League titles—the latter of which coming in the Gunners' unbeaten 2003-04 season—and three FA Cups.

The 42-year-old's only previous first-team coaching experience came at Wolfsburg in 2017, where he was an assistant to Andries Jonker for six months.

The Swede subsequently joined Arsenal's youth setup last year before he was promoted to being an assistant to Emery in June 2019.

He has taken charge of a team that were without a win in seven matches in all competitions, and that run now stands at eight with their failure to beat Norwich.

Arsenal are seven points off the Premier League's top four, and by the end of New Year's Day, they'll have played seven more domestic games, including fixtures against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Transforming Arsenal's long-term prospects will, naturally, be a lengthy process, but if Ljungberg isn't able to engineer a quick turnaround in form over the coming weeks, the Gunners will find themselves completely out of the race for a top-four spot.