Freddie Ljungberg says Arsenal’s home support will be energised if they like what they see on the pitch.
Having not won a home Premier League game in nearly two months, it’s fair to say the atmosphere at the Emirates hasn’t exactly been pumping. Frustration on the terraces reached a boiling point during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace as fans targeted Granit Xhaka.
Since then attendances have been dwindling. Granted, there were mitigating factors last Thursday, but the sight of the Emirates two-thirds empty made for a depressing backdrop for Unai Emery’s final game in charge.
Ahead of Thursday’s game with Brighton, Ljungberg was asked how he plans to boost morale.
“I think the only way to change an atmosphere in the stadium is by how you play,” he said.
“Like you said, the fans were amazing at Norwich. I felt like they got more and more energy the more that we played in the first half.
“We were on top of Norwich and I think the Arsenal fans got energy from that. That helped. But they were great, even when we went 1-0 down or 2-1 down, they were even louder and they helped us. That’s important for the players.
“When it comes to the Emirates, the fans want us to win football games. They want us to play good football and I think the only way to try to get a good atmosphere and get them going is to try to achieve that. Whether that’s me or someone else as a coach, I don’t think that matters so much.”
Having only had four and a half days as head coach, Freddie obviously has his work cut out reversing the wrongs of the Emery regime. He maintains there’s no point dwelling on the past or his side’s poor form.
“What I try to focus on is going forward,” he said. “I’ve been here, I’ve done two training sessions now and I don’t want to talk about the coaches before. I think Unai did a great job and was a great leader, and a fantastic coach. That’s not for me to judge.
“I look forward. The main thing for me was that when we were at Norwich, we hadn’t won an away game since the first game of the season. I felt that the players could react that way and in my opinion, we played well offensively. It was good. But now we go forward.”