Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Arsenal confirm Bould and Ljungberg job swap

Arsenal have confirmed that Freddie Ljungberg will become Unai Emery’s assistant first-team coach with Steve Bould vacating his current position to replace the Swede as head of the under-23s. The changes will come into place in two weeks time.

The idea behind the job swap appears to be rooted in a desire to create a smoother transition for Academy prospects to the first team; a clear sign that we’re intending to use more homegrown talents in the coming season due to a reduced transfer budget, even if the club dress it up as an ‘ongoing strategy’.

Both men seem pretty happy with the changes. For Ljungberg, it’s a return to working with top-level players – something he experienced during a short spell with Wolfsburg – while Bould gets a second bite at working with our youngsters having done so for 11 years prior to 2012.

Freddie told Arsenal.com: “I’m really excited by this opportunity to continue helping develop and work with some of the great young players we have coming through in the first-team environment and to work alongside Unai and his coaching team to help Arsenal win trophies. I’m looking forward to working in this new structure and to pass on my experience and knowledge about what is needed to succeed at this level.”

Bould added: “I have always had a deep commitment to developing young players and am delighted to be back working in an area which is so important to the future of our club. We have great young players and my job will be to help them maximise their potential.”

Arsenal also confirmed two other changes to the way we develop our young prospects. Goalkeeping coach Sal Bibbo will facilitate the transition of young keepers to the first team and loan manager Ben Knapper will ‘continue to identify and recommend third-party clubs to play their part in our players’ development and, ultimately, the move into senior football.’

Head of Football Raul Sanllehi seems positive about the tweak to the restructure which we understand has been driven by Ljungberg, Bould and Academy manager Per Mertesacker. The German has spoken expansively in the recent past about his desire to better manage our young stars to ensure they get the chances they deserve to prove their worth.

“Identifying, recruiting and developing young players is a key part of our strategy,” said Sanllehi.

“We have some great talent coming through our younger age groups and, like all top clubs, the challenge is to help them make the most of their abilities.”

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Never rated Bould as First team coach, hope Freddy can do better

DB10s Air Miles

What are you basing that on exactly? Do you have a live feed to the dugout or something?


Steve Bould is part of the famous quartet of defenders, and his English media friends keep saying he is better than sliced bread, and how Wenger had reduced him to just setting marker on the training pitch. But despite Wenger’s and Lehmann etc sacking, this years results have comprehensively proven that Bould has no idea on how to train a defence, and can hardly improve any players.
So, all his reputation is just cause he is English and has friends in the media.


With all due respect, I think you are talking bollocks.

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

Who told you he’s our defensive coach?


Kind of changes that hopefully bear fruit in the future. Actually, it needs to work. In this world of crazy transfer fees and our penny pinching silent Stan, we need this experiment to work, and work well.

This is kinda exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Fingers crossed.

Man Manny

Please Ljunberg, do everything to get Krystian Bielik into the first team set up next season. That boy is a real talent; he was arguably the best player in League One last season.
He was awesome in the DM…a right footed Xhaka with same passing range but with more speed and better tackles.

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

I’m liking the increase attention he’s finally getting.
I’ve felt he’d fallen under the radar quite a bit in recent years, due to a combination of injuries and a transition move to CB. This was the case as rarely did people speak about him, even when they mentioned our talented academy prospects, but we’re talking about a kid who, under normal circumstances, would’ve probably made his first team debut at around 18 or so.


Project Youth 2.0 is on. Next up: photo of 5 youngsters signing new contracts together.

Fast forward to 2025: from those 5 in the picture, only Carl Jenkinson remains.


Hahahahahahaha……Now, leave Corporal Jenko outta this!!! He’s our incoming captain….


Sadly the only good one left for Liverpool. We are a joke

Teryima Adi

Hahahaha@ Yen


It’s mindbogling that here is always someone that will moan, bitch and complain about the way the club is going about it’s business. Whatever the club does, it’s just always negative and bad things overall. Had they not changed the management, it would be bad because then obviously Freddie wouldn’t be there to help the young players to transition and further learn and progress into becoming a first team player. Had they not promoted young players and Freddie along, then surely you would say ‘our academy is shit’. Now that we are intending to promote youngsters, it’s bad again, you… Read more »


Relax Bro!!!! its just banter…. If we don’t love “The Arsenal” we all wont be here waiting on the latest news….. We just want more and when we have more, we want more again…..


The only person I hear whinging constantly is you, you’ve now hit peak whinging…. by whinging about people who aren’t actually whinging…

It’s a free country (For now)

…… but be warned, by stepping out of your echo chamber into an Arsenal opinion+discussion forum, you may have to encounter opinions that differ from your own, and also the opinions of those imaginary people who are whinging inside your head..

Have you given them any names yet?


I remember you, Rich. You are one of the whining twats.

Kwame Ampadu Down

AlexP, curious who your rant was aimed at given not one negative comment before yours ?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Cannot achieve top four with four easy games against smaller teams that had nothing to play for. Surrendered at UEFA Cup final. Everywhere in the world, fans will be critical. You too can go support Fulham if you like to lower the bar.


What you have is a huge club with a huge fan base with diverse opinions. I mean who’d have thought people may have different views about the club they love, crazy right.


Ljungberg new head coach in 2/3 years

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

Christmas more like. lol.

Cliff Bastin

In FM, Bergkamp approached to be my U23 coach which left me with the impossible choice between turning him down and sacking Ljungberg and my current save has been stuck at this decision for months.


Time to start a new game.


Hire Bergkamp, give Ljungberg his own statue.

DB10s Air Miles

I hired Bergkamp as my assistant on the last FMH game, not because he was the best available option but because it was Dennis!


As much as this might sound absurd, I actually think integrating the young talents is the way to go as Arsenal needs to go back to the basics. Apart from the fact that we have owners that do not want to spend money, we have young players that are talented enough and eager to wear the badge with pride. We are paying so much for young players from other teams of which some of our young players are probably better. The main problem is that we don’t give them the chance to play at the top level but other young… Read more »


Aptly said…. I’ll rather we give playing time to young players for this season at least… Defence: Sell Chambers and Mustafi, we’ve seen their abilities already. Give Bielik an extended contract,let him compete with Sokratis, Holding, Koscienly, Monreal (as a CB) and Saliba.. get a young LB to compete with Kolasinac…. Sell Mickhi (should fetch a decent price), Ozil most Likely stays.. bring in Reiss, Willock and Claude-Maurice… buy a Box to Box CM and a RB….think we’ll be fine with decent coaching….

Papa Wenger

Any thoughts on maybe the club will look to rotate bould and Freddie between these two roles over time? Assuming both stay at the club. Freddie helps current crop develop in the first team while bould nurtures the younger ones and in maybe three years they swap so bould is the one integrating them into the first team again and Freddie with the youth team again!! Would make some sense to me if bould and Freddie are on board with it…

Red Fred

I can’t see a problem with this. We need to integrate u23s and Freddie knows them better than anyone else, so bring him into the first team squad because his knowledge of them is invaluable. In the mean time Bouldie spends a couple of years with the U23s gaining two season experience of them. Then in two years they swap again so bouldie can integrate the new batch. That makes so much sense. We have 2 experienced Coaches permanently learning about our U23s and then integrating them. Freeing up money for quality new players. To many Bouldie haters here who… Read more »

Gudang Bedil

Yes Freddie! Get in!


It is concerning that we need to put someone in, close to the coach, to ensure a smooth transition for young players in the team. I would have thought that looking for solutions in the development system is part of the coach’s prerequisites. The coach should look to the development first to find solutions before going to the transfer market. That could have saved us on signing Denis Suarez and given our youth a chance.

I am hoping to see less of bad and useless signings in place of our youth products.

Spanish Gooner

Maybe under Wenger, but it has been made clear that Emery is a head coach and nothing more. His job is to win games with the pool of players he ends up with thanks to the recruitment staff/youth academy, so I doubt he is particularly involved in the process

DB10s Air Miles

Originally Yes but that seems to have changed recently with everything being so up in the air with changes at the top. Also, promoting youth was part of his remit when he signed, so there is that….

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

Actually it was stated from his very first conference that it was part of his remit.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Never miss an excuse to have a whinge about Emery eh Devlin ?


Really hope Ljunberg turns out for us like Zidane and Pep. Hopefully takes over as head coach next y at from the Spanish Pulis


Next year*


He’d still require a boat of cash to achieve similar results, with a couple of Messi’s out of the academy.


Back to Project Youth. This time with less attractive football.
Hopefully that’s counterbalanced by some defensive grit.


Finally. An Invincible as part of our first team coach set up. Love you Freddie and I miss your pink hair.

Long may you reign.

DB10s Air Miles

I think you’ve already forgotten that mad ‘what a magic’ Jens was there until Wenger left.


I did not forget Mad Jens. However to me he looked more like an observer than someone who could call the shots to a certain extend.

Freddie is one of the 2 second-in-command behind Unai, so that to me looks more like a legit first team coach.

DB10s Air Miles

He was both an invincible and one of our former first team coaches. It’s funny how many people seem to have the inside scoop on which of our coaches are good and which ones are not….


Doesn’t make much difference.


Future manager

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

“we understand has been driven by Ljungberg, Bould and Academy manager Per Mertesacker” Interesting….and yet, a little concerning. Not because I disagree with it, because I think it’s the way forward and I fully support it. However, it’s clear it wasn’t Emery’s plans, and I can’t imagine they would’ve done this if they were fully confident he would be keen to use the youth. So now I wonder the dynamic of how this works out. As a head coach, this is a move done essentially by the club with those with more power. It’s the right move for the club,… Read more »


Probably not too well in private, but he’ll embrace it with both arms in public.


Well……that’s the first reasonable and positive thing we’ve heard from the club in what seems like a long time. Best of luck to them all in their positions.

Patrik Ljungberg

Me thinks Bouldie and Freddie has the same hair dresser.


WTAF The achilles heal of this side for years has been defence and now we are swapping out a defensive stalwart with more experience than a dozen people of his like for an attacking player. Do not get me wrong, much love for Freddie and hope he brings another dynamic to the first team but I am more than a little surprised with the decision to remove someone who y rights should be able to straighten that god awful defence up and make them fly right. I hope there is another plan in the background, otherwise we are royally F@@@ed.… Read more »


We have some promising younger players but the first team squad still has too many highly paid – but fairly useless – players. Until and unless we can get rid of them, there won’t be much opportunity for anyone else to make a real impact, regardless of what our former players do in coaching them.

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