Football News

Ljungberg admits “stealing” ideas from Sven-Goran Eriksson after managerial debut with Arsenal

By Harry Edwards

Published: 10:00, 5 December 2019

Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg has revealed he is taking some inspiration from the management styles of Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Ljungberg replaced Unai Emery as Arsenal manager last week after the Spaniard was sacked 18 months into his initial two-year deal, having the unenviable task of following Arsene Wenger.

Emery left Arsenal eighth in the Premier League after 13 games, with 18 points. The final straw for the Spaniard was a 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League which extended Arsenal’s winless run to seven games across all competitions.

Ljungberg’s managerial inspiration: Five things to know…

  • Ljungberg was named as interim Arsenal head coach last week.
  • He replaced Emery having previously been the Spaniard’s assistant.
  • Ljungberg’s first game was a 2-2 draw with Norwich City, unable to immediately turn around Arsenal’s poor form.
  • But he has been praised in the past for his work as a man manager.
  • Ljungberg revealed he stole some ideas on this from former England boss Eriksson.

Ljungberg didn’t fare much better on his managerial debut with Arsenal drawing 2-2 with Norwich City, having to come from behind twice to secure a point at Carrow Road.

But, despite the draw with Norwich, there have been some positive outlooks on Ljungberg’s position at the helm. The Swede has been praised in the past for his work with players as individuals, something he was able to enhance as an assistant manager.

And Ljungberg has admitted he has taken some inspiration from another well-known Swedish manager in Eriksson.

After starting his managerial career in mainland Europe, Eriksson was named England manager in 2001, leading through the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and Euro 2004. It was during his time with England that Eriksson and Ljungberg became acquainted.

“Sven is intelligent, I spoke to him a lot when he was the manager of England because he was watching our games,” Ljungberg told reporters.

“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.”

After leaving the England job in 2006, Eriksson would spend a season in charge of Manchester City in 2007/08 before a spell with Leicester City in the Championship between 2010 and 2011, saving the club from relegation.

Ljungberg also revealed his desire to talk to former Arsenal manager Wenger once things start to quieten down.

“No [I’ve not spoken to Wenger yet],” he added.

“I would really like to speak to him. 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.

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Ljungberg: No problems in stepping back

Ljungberg’s future as Arsenal head coach is currently uncertain, with the Gunners revealing they were looking for a permanent Emery replacement. Mikel Arteta, Mauricio Pochettino and Patrick Vieira are among those currently being linked with the Gunners role.

But the Swede is not bothered by this and has admitted he would be happy to step down if a permanent manager is named.

He added: “I work for the club and what the club wants me to do, that’s where I’m going to be.

“Of course I’m very proud to have this opportunity but the future will tell what happens.”