Belfast Telegraph

Freddie Ljungberg not allowed to bring in own coaching staff at Arsenal

The Swede is in temporary charge of the Gunners.

Freddie Ljungberg is in temporary charge of Arsenal (Adam Davy/PA)
Freddie Ljungberg is in temporary charge of Arsenal (Adam Davy/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA

Freddie Ljungberg has been told he cannot bring in his own backroom staff as Arsenal continue the search for their new full-time head coach.

The 42-year-old was appointed on an interim basis following the sacking of Unai Emery last month and had largely avoided questions surrounding his future in the role.

But he has now said he has had no chance to add to his coaching options and seemingly started talking as though he does not believe he will be given the job on a longer deal.

The Gunners have won one of Ljungberg’s four games in charge, the 3-1 victory at West Ham their only success in 11 matches, and came from two goals down to draw at Standard Liege on Thursday.

  • Norwich 2-2 Arsenal
  • Arsenal 1-2 Brighton
  • West Ham 1-3 Arsenal
  • Standard Liege 2-2 Arsenal

The next test is due to be the Swede’s hardest to date as reigning Premier League champions Manchester City head to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday looking to breathe new life into their faltering defence.

Ahead of the game, Ljungberg conceded he has not been able to recruit additional help, with academy manager Per Mertesacker still sitting alongside him in the dugout.

“That’s up to the club,” he replied when asked if he had made any decisions regarding backroom staff.

“The club have said I have to wait until they make a decision, so yeah, I can’t do anything at the moment. I have Per but at the same time he is academy manager but he is helping me with the coaching.

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Freddie Ljungberg has help in the form of Per Mertesacker (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“The club has said when they make a decision then that’s it or I’m obviously leaving or maybe then we can do something with the staff. But it’s up to the club.

“If you look at the person who was here before, he had a lot of staff and maybe I don’t have so many. So if you keep on going like that for months and months, it’s not so easy. But that’s totally up to the club.”

Ljungberg claimed earlier in the week that he is yet to hold talks with the Arsenal hierarchy as to whether he is in the running to be appointed as Emery’s long-term successor.

The likes of former Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti and former Arsenal midfielders Patrick Vieira – currently coach of Nice – and Mikel Arteta, who is on the coaching staff at Manchester City, continue to be linked to the post.

The club have said I have to wait until they make a decision, so yeah, I can't do anything at the moment Freddie Ljungberg on adding to his coaching staff

“I haven’t got any indications of if I’m here (for longer) or not,” added Ljungberg.

“What I’ve said to the bosses and the club is I will do everything in my power to do as well as I can for this club and the players.

“Then obviously it is up to them to make a decision. I try not to put any emotions into that. It’s totally business and up to them.”

As Ljungberg waits on a decision from the top, he has the chance to pit his wits against Pep Guardiola this weekend – a man whose coaching career he suggests it would be nice to emulate having both started on their paths in similar ways.

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Arsenal play Manchester City on Sunday (Adam Davy/PA)

“I think he is a tremendous, tremendous coach and of course I’ve looked a little bit at how he did in his career,” Ljungberg said of his Manchester City counterpart.

“When he was with the B team with Barcelona I thought, ‘OK, I’m an assistant and with the under-23s and the reserves here in England’, so trying to see how he developed himself.

“But the ideas he comes up with, for me it has revolutionised football. Of course it’s something as a young coach, I looked at that.

“I’m looking forward to it but I have a lot of respect for him. I think he is an amazing coach.”

PA

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