Andries Jonker has extolled the virtues of Freddie Ljungberg as a coach, and has backed him to take over from Unai Emery on a permanent basis.
The Dutchman spent almost three years as the Gunners’ Academy Manager, and the former Invincible was one his coaches during that spell. The pair also left the club at the same time in 2017 when Jonker was appointed manager of Wolfsburg and Ljungberg went along as his assistant.
It was an ill-fated move that lasted just 6 months, but Freddie was brought back into the Arsenal fold by Per Mertesacker to manage the U23s, and following Emery’s departure last week was appointed interim Head Coach.
His former boss believes he’s got what it takes to do the job on a full-time basis, telling Sky Sports, “I would support the guts in making the choice of Freddie Ljungberg. Arsene had been there many, many years and he did it his way. Then came another coach who had a very difficult time.
“I would prefer for them to give the chance to someone who knows Arsenal, knows the academy, knows all those talented players. He also knows the laws of total football.
“Give him time, give him confidence, help him and support him. He is one of Arsenal.
“I would appreciate the guts of the Arsenal bosses if they hired Ljungberg.”
As for what he might bring in terms of football style, Jonker believes the Arsene Wenger influence will play a part.
“Freddie is a lover of really good football, the way Arsenal want to play normally fits him,” he continued.
“He wants his teams to try to play offensive football and be exciting – winning with that. This is the style he likes.
“He will always try to find the combination of having good organisation in his team. Freddie has a good eye for the tactical details for the team and he knows that you cannot only play beautiful players.
“If you want to win you need to find the mix of people who can defend and do the dirty work and then the players who can make the difference and decide matches to your advantage.”
The Swede takes charge of his first home game tonight when Arsenal take on Brighton at the Emirates. After a 2-2 draw with Norwich failed to put an end to a win-less streak that goes back to October 6th, tonight is a chance to take a very valuable three points.