Full transcript: Freddie Ljungberg’s first interview as Arsenal manager

Freddie Ljungberg will take charge of his first match as Arsenal manager against Norwich tomorrow (Picture: Getty)

Freddie Ljungberg was straight down to work at the Arsenal training ground on Friday after taking over managerial duties from Unai Emery.

The Spaniard was sacked following a dismal run of results, culminating in Thursday’s embarrassing Europa League defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ljungberg, who was promoted to Emery’s first team coaching set-up in the summer having previously been in charge of the Under-23s, will pick the team ahead of tomorrow’s match against Norwich.

Ahead of the trip to Carrow Road, the 42-year-old gave his first interview in his new role to Sky Sports, the full transcript of which is below…

How does it feel to be Arsenal manager?

It’s a great, great honour I feel this energy inside of me. It’s special of course. There is sadness with the club with where we are and this and that. There is also excitement with what we can do tomorrow and the chance we have to play. It’s a great honour and that’s what I said to the players. You guys have to do the job, I can help and support them but for me it’s a great, great honour.

How does it feel to have been chosen for the role of Arsenal manager?

I was proud and honoured that they thought about me that it’s such and important thing and they trusted and believed in me to deliver that. I felt excitement because I feel we have some very, very good football players here it’s an amazing club.

How long will you be in charge of the Arsenal first team for?

There is no indication of how long or how short they just said concentrate on the next game, do as well as you can and we’ll see from there. For me I concentrate on those players we have a game tomorrow and try to do the best I can.

Do you want the Arsenal manager’s job full-time?

For me it’s about the team and the club. I try to concentrate for the future. We have a game tomorrow we need to try and win that, there might be a few other games but for me that’s what I look at. The other stuff is totally irrelevant.

Do you want to be a manager?

We’ll see in the future. At the moment I’m learning the trade trying to be doing everything to prep myself. Of course it’s an honour that the club thinks I’m ready to take this big responsibility. But at the moment I concentrate game by game.

How will you get the Arsenal squad smiling again?

A lot comes from staff ourselves and a lot depends on playing good football. I was in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg. We got in when they were almost getting relegated. There is a lot of pressure at a big club when people are down. So I’ve had experience of players and staff being down and low. There are things in my opinion that you can do. At the end of the day if you play good football and have results there is nothing better than that to raise spirits.

Who will be on your Arsenal coaching staff?

I have been asked to try to organise what I can and stuff. It’s been a quick turnaround trying to look at Norwich and sort everything out but we will have things in place for the game tomorrow.

Will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remain as Arsenal captain?

I believe just because it’s me now I’m not going to make big, enormous changes I will keep those things as it is. There has been so many things and discussions with the media I’ll leave that and I will concentrate on how we’ll play and what we can do on the football pitch. You’ll see that tomorrow [who the captain is].

How was the mood in training after Unai Emery was sacked?

It’s a bit of a strange one. Not strange, but a bit of sadness there we had a coach for a long, long time he was a good coach and also other coaching staff that all of a sudden disappears.
It is a very cut throat thing in football and of course players are emotional as well and they will react on that. What I tried to do was be as respectful as I could in that sequence and then after that when I trained the players I just tried to take sessions where there is a little bit of excitement, try to make them not think too much and just enjoy themselves and hopefully get them in a good mood because we had a game on Thursday, there was not the whole squad.

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