Freddie Ljungberg 'Would Really Like to Speak To' Arsene Wenger over Arsenal Job

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2019

Arsenal's Swedish Interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg gestures on the touchline during 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)

Arsenal interim manager Freddie Ljungberg has said he will look to speak to the club's former coach Arsene Wenger before Thursday's clash with Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League. 

Ljungberg took charge of Arsenal for the first time on Sunday, as the team drew 2-2 at newly-promoted Norwich City. The former midfielder is in temporary charge of the club following the sacking of Unai Emery.

The Brighton clash will be Ljungberg's first at the helm at the Emirates Stadium and he's said he'll look to get some advice from Wenger beforehand, per Ed Aarons of the Guardian:

"I would really like to speak to him. I'm in contact with him but I haven't spoken to him because it's been a bit hectic, but it's on my list to do so 

"... He was here for 22 years as the coach so he has a lot of experience. And he probably has some things that he thinks are important that he can share with me and make me a better coach. That's what I wanted to ask." 

Ljungberg also said he'll seek out some guidance from former England manager and his Swedish compatriot Sven-Goran Eriksson, per Mark Mann-Bryans of the Press Association:

Mark Mann-Bryans @MarkyMBryans

...and then on Sven: "He is intelligent, I spoke to him a lot when he was the England manager. I know in the past, some stories of how he treated players and how he made them feel good and things like that. I have stolen a little bit of those ideas. He’s a great coach." #AFC

Per Aarons, it would appear the current interim coach may stay in the position for some time yet, with the Gunners said to be making little progress when it comes to finding a permanent replacement for Emery.

It's been reported by James Olley of the Evening Standard that the Swede, who previously worked with the Arsenal youth teams, is a serious contender for the job.

Football writer Daniel Storey said he thinks the role would potentially come too soon for the 42-year-old:

Daniel Storey @danielstorey85

Nothing against Ljungberg, but Arsenal making a long-term decision based on short-term results. It's like anti-learning. https://t.co/kogFSDKG2g

Given his relative inexperience managing a team at this level, it's not a surprise to see Ljungberg trying to canvas opinions from some huge names in coaching.

Wenger enjoyed a remarkable 22-year spell in charge of the north London giants, steering them to three Premier League titles, seven FA Cup wins and consistent UEFA Champions League football. He was also in charge of Arsenal when Ljungberg arrived at the club in 1998.

Per OptaJoe, while Wenger is an icon at Arsenal, in the final stages of his spell in charge he struggled:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

88 - Arsenal won exactly the same number of points in Unai Emery’s 51 Premier League games as they did in Arsene Wenger’s final 51 games in charge (88 points). Preservation. https://t.co/vu7qqf2pCg

The part-time boss faces a challenge to galvanise this Arsenal team, who have now gone eight games in all competitions without a win after Sunday's tie with the Canaries.

Ljungberg will likely receive a rapturous reception at the Emirates on Thursday, where his team will be favourites against Brighton. The visitors are down in 16th in the table, having lost their last three games in a row.


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