• ‘He was here for 22 years so he has a lot of experience’
• Arsenal’s interim manager also plans to speak to Eriksson
Freddie Ljungberg plans to consult Arsène Wenger before taking charge of his first home match as Arsenal’s interim manager against Brighton on Thursday.
The former Sweden midfielder watched Arsenal’s winless run extend to eight matches with the 2-2 draw at Norwich on Sunday in his first game in the dugout since taking over from Unai Emery. Ljungberg acknowledged that he would have preferred more time to implement tactical changes before the Brighton match, although his desire to seek out Wenger for advice appeared more urgent.
“I would really like to speak to him,” he said of the manager who brought him to Arsenal from the Swedish side Halmstad for £3m in 1998. “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 intends to consult his compatriot Sven-Göran Eriksson. “Sven is intelligent,” he said. “I spoke to him a lot when he was the manager of England because he was watching our games.
“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, it’s been a long time, and I hope I can speak to him soon.”
Also on Ljungberg’s mind is how to dress in the dugout. He was criticised by the former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes for not wearing a suit for the Norwich match but joked that it had been in the dry cleaners.
“I have seen the Premier League and seen coaches in a tracksuit, coaches with a suit, and I have seen coaches with a sweater, so I will decide on a matchday what I will use,” he said.
Arsenal are searching for a long-term replacement for Emery but have yet to make any substantial progress , with the Leicester manager, Brendan Rodgers, having apparently ruled himself out. Ljungberg admitted that he was unlikely to have any input into January’s transfer targets and instead has set his sights on ending a winless run which is the club’s worst in the league since 1992.
“I’m going on a match-by-match time now so there’s nothing that I will get involved in,” he said. “I think we have a very good squad but it’s up to the big bosses of the club in regards to what they want to do.”