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What Arsenal players have said about interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg


Ljungberg is a popular figure among the Arsenal players (Picture: Getty)

Freddie Ljungberg has already impressed Arsenal’s first-team having been promoted to Unai Emery’s staff in the summer.

The club legend earned his coaching stripes working with the academy before departing with Andries Jonker to work as the Dutchman’s assistant at Wolfsburg.

Ljungberg subsequently returned to coach the Under-23s before being promoted to Emery’s backroom staff in the summer.

The 42-year-old will now take charge of the side on an interim basis ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match against Norwich, a decision which reportedly has the backing of the players.

Emery, himself, was a big fan of Ljungberg’s, saying: ‘He knows Arsenal perfectly, the young players, he helps us every day in training, the matches and before.

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‘He knows the characteristics of the Premier League. I’m very happy with him.

‘Each assistant has their work. We are together to speak with the players. We are in the dressing room, we spoke about all the situations individually. We share some moments.’

Here, Metro.co.uk looks at what other big-name Arsenal players, past and present, have said about one of the most flambouyant players in the club’s modern history…

Bukayo Saka

‘He helps so much. Sometimes when I don’t understand what the coach [Emery] is trying to communicate with me, I have a better communication with Freddie. He speaks better English.

‘Freddie’s has been a player at this level before, an Arsenal legend, and it’s vital for me because I play in the same position as him and he’s been a big part in my progress. Freddie is very supportive of me, he was teaching me some tactics at half-time but I can’t quite remember what he was saying because he does give me a lot of information but it was always helpful.

‘It was such a great night for me. I’ve always dreamed of this moment from when I was a kid to score a goal for Arsenal Football Club. Now, I’ve done it, I just want to keep working, stay humble, get that feeling again one day.’

Willock says Ljungberg has been his mentor (Picture: Getty)

Joe Willock

‘Freddie is not only such a legend at the club, he’s an unbelievable manager and coach. He’s a mentor for me, he showed me a lot behind the scenes that people don’t really know about.

‘Every day I’m working with him and I’m learning from him. He’s improved my whole overall game. If I’m being specific, getting in the pockets when I’m playing No 10 and attacking at No 8.

‘He showed me a lot of different tactics to get space and turn to attack other teams. Those are the main things really.’

Nelson said Ljungberg has high demands (Picture: Getty)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

‘There’s quite a few things [I have learnt from Ljungberg] really. He knows me as a winger, so attacking-wise he’s helped my game a lot.

‘Defensively, I go to someone else to help me because they’re two different styles that I have to play. Him personally, he’s pulled me to the side a lot and has shown me different techniques and ways of beating players, ways of crossing the ball and shooting. ‘It’s helping me and I’m happy to have him around because he’s such a big figure in the team.’

Reiss Nelson

‘Ljungberg’s demands are very high. He’s a great coach as well and I think he’s got very high standards for the young group that we have.’

Ian Wright

‘Arsenal players speak very highly of him. All the youngsters, you speak to Joe [Willock], Reiss [Nelson], all the young guys, they’ve got nothing but great stuff to say about Freddie

‘And I’m sure that Freddie, his involvement now with the transition from the academy into the first team, is vitally important. I suppose that’s why he’s been brought in and every single one of them [the young players] that have come in have not disgraced themselves.’

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