Ljungberg looks to ex-boss Wenger for wisdom

LONDON • Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg said he would seek advice from the club's former manager Arsene Wenger as he prepares for his first Premier League home game in charge against Brighton today.

The 42-year-old, who was named interim manager following Unai Emery's sacking last week, guided Arsenal to a 2-2 draw at Norwich City last Sunday that extended the Gunners' winless run in the league to six matches.

The Swede, a member of Wenger's "Invincibles" team that went a complete season unbeaten en route to the 2003-04 league title, was keen to speak to the Frenchman as he bids to turn the club's fortunes around.

"I would really like to speak to him," Ljungberg told a news conference on Tuesday ahead of the clash with the Seagulls, who have lost three straight league matches.

"I'm in contact with him but I haven't spoken to him because it's been a bit hectic.

"He has a lot of experience. And he probably has some things he thinks are important that he can share and make me a better coach. That's what I wanted to ask."

Wenger left Arsenal in May last year after a reign of 22 years during which he became their most successful manager, winning three Premier League titles as well as seven FA Cups. He told Sky Sports that he would be happy to help Ljungberg.

"If he has that need then of course I'll be available," said the 70-year-old, who was appointed Fifa's new chief of global football development last month.

"My heart is with the club and I want them to do well. Freddie is fantastically committed.. Let's get him to work his ideas and support him."

Ljungberg, who was Emery's assistant, has a game plan of his own against Brighton.

While his predecessor had often been criticised for his team's porous defence, the Swede believes that the transition from attack to defence, rather than the defence itself, is Arsenal's main problem.

He said: "We started extremely well (against Norwich), played very well offensively but had a problem transition-wise, so they got shots on target and chances just from the transition of an eight-yard sprint, which we need to stop.

"Brighton will try to play out, defend well, they look very organised but for me, we need to concentrate on our own game.

"We play at home so I take into account how I think they will play but I have to develop the game plan, how we want to play football and that's what I try to concentrate on."



Singtel TV Ch102 & StarHub Ch227, tomorrow, 4.10am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2019, with the headline 'Ljungberg looks to ex-boss Wenger for wisdom'. Print Edition | Subscribe