Ljungberg hails youngsters for not folding

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Freddie Ljungberg praised his players for bouncing back from a two-goal deficit as goals from Alex Lacazette and Bukayo Saka snatched a 2-2 draw that secured Arsenal top spot in Europa League Group F.

The Gunners went into the game knowing they could lose by four goals and still qualify for the knockout stages, however, nerves were rattled by the consolation of two deflected goals before the 70-minute mark.

Thankfully, we recovered our composure, in the main because of two-game changing moments by Bukayo Saka, who was deployed as an auxiliary wing-back and left-back.

“I thought we played really well in our game plan in the first half and created a lot of chances and they didn’t have, I think, any shots on target,” reflected Ljungberg.

“We should have made it in one or two goals up at half-time. That’s what it felt like, at least. A bit of bad luck and we then get sucker-punched a bit.

“They then scored two deflected goals and of course there’s a lot of points to learn from before that, but they’re still two deflected goals that you can’t really smash the players for.

“But then, the reaction we had, we believed in how we played, we kept on playing and we found the pockets and we sliced them open for two fantastic goals.

“As I said to the players, away from home and – no disrespect – but there was not so much grass on the pitch and at 2-0 down you can be like ‘ugh, I’m not going to bother any more’ and fold and we didn’t.

“We actually kept going and we came back to the game and then 2-2 and maybe could’ve gone up 3-2 in the end there as well. But at the same time, like I said, I got the information about the other scores and we were trying to not go too much.”

Having taken such a young squad to Belgium, Freddie was quick to praise their character when the game threatened to get away from them.

“[They were] Tremendous,” he said. “Really proud of them. That’s what I said to them after the game, it’s a tough place to come and be 2-0 down, like you said, tremendous fans in my opinion, a great atmosphere and they showed that belief in how they can play football and their own quality.

“That shows good for us in the future, of course they need experience yes and they need to play but that heart and that fight and that belief was amazing to see from the sidelines. And maybe I should also mention the energy they do it with. They go and they go and they go and they don’t stop.”

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C.B.

We have some good signs going forward. Martinelli, Saka, Smith Rowe and Saliba.

Would be great to have some good older players at centre back and defensive midfield.

Nate

Older or younger is fine. Better is the key.

Naked Cygan

There is nothing better than getting 38 points this season first.

Orion

If they are good enough, they are old enough.

HelderHughes

I don’t mean this with any malice to Emery.

But what a difference there is having a clear, concise and positive communicator.

Great for the fans. Great for the players.

Maxin In The Shade

Agree.

Really enjoy listening to him speak.

Rambo Sambo

I love how he always talks about slicing other teams open. Great turn of phrase.

Merlin’s Panini

Fuck the tories.

Fireman Sam

Hey Arseblog is where I go to escape politics!!

loose_cannon

Same, but I can’t disagree with the sentiment!

Snagger

Josh Kronke has just said everyone should be excited about the next parliament.

North London is Redder

I come here to forget about politics too, but this fact is definitely worth remembering. Fuck them.

Steve

how did the election go? What was the score? hahahaha
fuck you lefty vegan soy boy cucks, time to go back to modelling shit fashion and crying on twitter.
don’t worry i’m sure you’ll get your communist revolution one day, or just move to Venezuala and enjoy your utopia right now.
hahahaha

Merlin’s Panini

Never said I was a communist. Just not a turkey voting for christmas, which you are unless you’re a millionaire. It is funny though that you support a club who for years prided itself on being run on a socialist model yet you are displaying the level of vitriol of a right wing fascist. Not saying you are. You just sound like one. Cheers.

Rich

The biggest problem with socialism, is eventually you run out of other people’s money. Boris won the working class vote, because Labour currently speak a language that very few outside the M25 understand. The Lib Dem’s had the same problems, they speak a slightly different language, but outside a few middle class areas….. nobody cares about the things they put front + centre of their politics. And it’s the same reason Trump will likely triumph again next November. The Labour Party and the Democrats continue to eat themselves, and the parties look unfixable in the immediate. Boris and Trump are… Read more »

Tomasso

The right wing press ran this election, combined with Corbyns inability to lead and the Labour vote was dead on the doorstep.
The billionaires who own the rags will make millions and the rest of us at best , will be stuck in the same situation.

Corbyn was a gooner though , so he couldn’t have been that bad.

A Different George

Seriously?

arseblog

Go read a book

Rich

Blogs you tell me to read a book….. but the well educated, middle and upper class writers, Guardian columnists and readers, CNN, BBC, Channel4, SkyNews viewers and journalists, have failed to read the mood of the public time and again. They didn’t see Brexit, Trump or Johnson coming down the road, and they’re so firmly secure inside their own echo chambers, they still have absolutely no idea how the majority have dared to reject their ideologies. And unless the left move back to the centre, and the left and EU institutions come around to the notion that identity, culture, patriotism,… Read more »

arseblog

I was talking to the idiot using words like cuck and soy boy, not you.

Rich

Furry muff… any ideas why my posts are monitored?

A P

Go Tories. Fuck Labour.

HelderHughes

Of course A P. It all makes sense now.

A P

Is that you talk crap most of the time? Carry on liking your own posts.

HelderHughes

Aw. You like lying to yourself as much as you like your politicians lying to you.

A P

Oh shucks, cry me a river.

LacaNewSigning

Finally a coherent post match interview by the Arsenal head coach? Please don’t wake me up!

OdalGooner

Could just be me, but I’d like to keep Freddie. He has the support of the boys, he says the right things, he’s humble yet ambitious, and … it’s not like he has to teach everyone football. I’d love to keep Freddie over some “stranger” that might have a better track record from some league somewhere… Stability. Positivity. Cohesiveness. Please keep Freddie, unless we can replace him with someone who guarantees trophies. And.. if that guy exists, we won’t get him. I’ve watched the last two games with genuine excitement and my love of Arsenal restored. It feels a bit… Read more »

AussieGooner

I hope we keep him too, but not as the gaffer. No disrespect to him, and what he is achieving, but we need a more experienced hand at the moment, we need to get this team competing at a higher level for a full 90mins consistently, I just don’t think Freddie has what it takes just yet. Some of our players need a rocket up their arses. I do want Freddie to stay however and hopefully learn from the new guy and position himself to take over one day. I would like our glorious leaders to make this a condition… Read more »

OdalGooner

I see your point, and obviously that’s the likely scenario – someone else will come in. I just sincerely doubt who would be able to “crack the whip” with any authority. I love Wenger (still!) but he wasn’t exactly the ol’ fire and brimstone type. Who could come in and stir up the hornets nest and make everyone perform better than a guy that everyone seems to like, and who has the affection of players and fans alike. I know it’s hopelessly romantic and “in 2019 this will never work” – but I just miss having a connection to my… Read more »

Granit(e) hard!

Yeah, my sentiments too. My heart says keep Freddie, but head is saying, he is not ready yet, but he will be in the near future, but the signs are there even now that he will make a great coach…someday? regardless, if he does well and gets the job?…i wont protest, ill cut him some slack and give him a chance to at least try?…imo he deserves that because of his love for the club

Mekus

There are still very demanding coaches are very good at what they do that can do that in 2020. The question should be, can the club owner cough out the dough it will take to get them and also back him with the key players he’ll need to implement his programs successfully or will they rather duck and go for a more “convenient” options. We are watching with keen interest.

sAMa

We all loved Emery at first and wanted him to be that man who would turn things around but see how it ended; from love to hate. In football we must not mix business with emotions otherwise things will end drastically. The love we have for Ljumberg could easily turn to hate if things don’t go well in few weeks.

OdalGooner

Obviously, but I’m not an Excel Spreadsheet fan. I’m an Arsenal fan. This *is* about emotions. I *would* rather finish 11th and feel like we’re going somewhere, than 6th with “3rd-manager-this-season-placeholder-random-dude”. I just think that if Freddie could be a really great candidate in 2-3 years, I’d actually prefer him being *here* getting the experience of the full time job *here* instead of having him in the wings while some other guy has the job and becomes another footnote in our history. Freddie’s here, he knows everyone, we love him for all the right (stupid) reasons, and we don’t have… Read more »

SharpasFc

Only a lunatic would hate Freddie…it’s just a game for Pete’s sake!

Santori

Too early to call it. I don’t see that much change. We are still struggling in games and he is still trying to feel his way with plenty of mistakes with selection. What he is trying to do is keep it positive for the squad because at the moment morale is so low. BUT tactically, its not exactly as if Freddy is suddenly brilliant. Far from it, we are still very iffy in many areas. That said, we don’t expect much of him since he is practically thrown into the deep end. If he can keep afloat till January at… Read more »

Chip

I fucking love Freddie, what a breath of fresh air he is!! COYG!!!!!!

sAMa

Arsenal have good young stars all they need is the right coaching and patience from us fans. Saka, Willock, Marinelli, Smith Rowe all have potentials. I did not mention Guendouzi because I’m not convinced by him, he’s not much different from Elneny. Nelson too still hasn’t convinced me.

Bjoggi

You ask for patience from fans and than slack off two of our young players !!

TJoy

not much different from Elneny, except for the fact that he’s always looking for the ball and always looking to go forward. And he’s just 20 years old

Santori

MUCH better than Elneny.

Better skill on the ball, better vision.

Elneny was rubbish.

AussieGooner

Guendouzi convinced me the first time I saw him play. You can always tell the ones that have that little bit of.something special and he definately has it. Don’t confuse being young and green with just being an average player who shone for a few games. There is clearly a difference and whilst impossible to explain it is so obviously there with him. He is going to be in the French midfield for 10 years, I would love to think he will be in ours for that long too. We just need a great manager who knows how and where… Read more »

OdalGooner

Agreed! If, as a young lad, having a poor evening in a team that’s underperforming on a massive scale is enough to turn you from “young prodigy already doing pretty consistent first team appearances” to “won’t ever amount to shit”, then people should really get off their instant-gratification-devices.. Guendouzi has lots of talent, drive, and passion. He’s proven that. It’s terrible how quickly people tear into our players. It’s not like he’s John Terry. He’s a young lad, has performed better and more consistenly than most young players that have come into our first team since.. some spanish guy –… Read more »

Santori

I thought Guendouzi was very good for us. he stepped up into a senior role (even if he is pretty much the same age as the other lads), always asked for the ball and gave us dynamic movement forward. Of course there will be issues with his game, he’s on a learning curve. BUT that is the problem. Too many people suddenly have overly high estimate of younger players over one or two decent showing. It will not be the case in league competition. Even in the match against Liege, we drew when we could have likely lost and gone… Read more »

LacaNewSigning

Finally a coherent post match interview by an Arsenal head coach? Please don’t wake me up!

T.A.

There were quite a few “senior” players out there yesterday but we saw the same frailties: very poor passing, poor movement, poor individual control, and very poor defensive organization. We have been saying for a long time that this is a talented team but with bad coaching. I am beginning to wonder whether the problem might not, after all, be the coach but rather the poor quality of so many players.

Santori

It has always been a mix of both. If you listen topundits and too many fans, they will shift blame to this and that, focus on favorite scapegoats or then the manager or the kroenkes. reality is many little things have built up to current malaise. Last summer, some people were celebrating like we executed the perfect transfer window. We did not. 1) We neglected as I mentioned yet again to reinforce the critical area at Cback. Sanlehi tried to extend on an over the hill Koscielny (who as I mentioned then frankly did us a favour not extending) But… Read more »

Santori

The young guns executed to plan as best as they could, did not panic and put in a good shift. Which is all we ask of the senior players this weekend. Particularly IF starting, Pepe, Auba and Ozil. They drop their levels too often and tend to not bother hunting the ball back when they mis-pass or lose the ball on a take on. They need to take a page from Laca, Alexis. We will need work rate against City. Considering we are likely not to get the plan right and make mistakes, the least we can do is put… Read more »

Santori

As much as we have a natural propensity to leak goals at the back, we really need to be far sharper with chances up front. We don;t have to complicate things (Pepe take note), Saka showed how simple it can be, a good delivery into the box from a simple run down the line and Laca plus others gamble into the 6 yard to knock it in. Then a simple one two off Martinelli and take a shot with some conviction (Guendouzi take note) at the goal. They got two in from deflections. if anything, we tend to over play… Read more »

Santori

And lest we (AGAIN) get carried away, these young players will have their moments but as Wenger always cautioned, young players will tend to be a bit more erratic with form. There will also be mistakes that can cost us. Just to point out, the second goal from Liege was a mistake by Willock. Did not clear the ball instead passed to the eventual scorer. Some people were having a go at Guendouzi which is completely inexplicable. Goes to show how narrow sighted some people can be with their prejudices. Had that been say Granit giving the ball away, there… Read more »

Michael The Miami Painter

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He is currently unwell .
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