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.
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
Nate

Older or younger is fine. Better is the key.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

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

Orion
Orion

If they are good enough, they are old enough.

HelderHughes
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
Maxin In The Shade

Agree.

Really enjoy listening to him speak.

Rambo Sambo
Rambo Sambo

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

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

Fuck the tories.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Hey Arseblog is where I go to escape politics!!

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

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

Snagger
Snagger

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

North London is Redder
North London is Redder

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

Steve
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
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
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 not hard to beat, but you don’t beat them by rebelling against their popular policies, you take their popular policies, and then you beat them by not being them.

The Democrats won’t learn a thing from this though, they’ll keep veering further and further to the left of social and economic policies, and Trump will this time win a landslide.

Tomasso
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
A Different George

Seriously?

arseblog
Admin

Go read a book

Rich
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, being tough on crime and illegal immigration, and having managed immigration under national control, are all election winners…

Then they’ll continue to lose ground and support.

The left in this country are tearing themselves apart, momentum are a dangerous cult that aren’t going anywhere, and the liberal left think being as left wing as possible is an election winner, and any right wing policies are bad, and therefor must be discarded out of hand.

Where Boris has tapped into the notion that the majority of people are both equally right and left wing in many ways, and in doing so he’s cooked up a winning structure.

arseblog
Admin

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

Rich
Rich

Furry muff… any ideas why my posts are monitored?

A P
A P

Go Tories. Fuck Labour.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Of course A P. It all makes sense now.

A P
A P

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

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

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

A P
A P

Oh shucks, cry me a river.

LacaNewSigning
LacaNewSigning

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

OdalGooner
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 like we’re “us” again, not “the players, the manager, the defenders, that asshole, the-guy-we-don’t-like” – we’re Arsenal. I’d rather finish 11th and have pride in my shirt than finish 6th and feel like KSE have put someone’s friend at the helm because he did well in those two games in Japan 32 years ago.

AussieGooner
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 of whoever comes in, Freddie will be assistant.

Probably easier to do with Patrick or Arteta I guess, but even for a manager with his own staff it would not be an unreasonable request.

OdalGooner
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 club.

Granit(e) hard!
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
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
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
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 to throw even more money at something that has no better odds of fixing our problems. We can’t get anyone in who can get us the league title or CL trophy. But we have someone we could build on, and perhaps in 2 years he’ll have that experience – and he’d have gotten in at the best possible place. What do we really have to lose?

I know, it’s emotions, and it’s naive, and it’s all those things. All those things I feel because I care about our club. I didn’t jump ship when we were boring boring Arsenal. I sure wont either if the club grows a pair and says “you know what, we trust in our academy players, AND our own home grown manager, and we’ll stick with him, damnit” (How much worse than “worst run since the 70s” and “haven’t won a game in months” could he realistically be?)

I know I know I know. I’m just struggling for something to be proud of. Something to believe in. Like I did when all the other clubs spent fortunes, and I said “well, at least we’re getting our 4th place finishes while within the confines of Financial Fair Play”. When there was “an Arsenal way”. I’m nostalgic as hell, I know, but I remember when that was what being a supporter was about. Most teams in the world have never been Invincible. None of them have ever been Arsenal. Most teams have no chance in hell of ever winning their leagues – or getting into the top division. But they still have fans and supporters. With dreams and something to believe in.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

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

Santori
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 least, it relieves pressure on us having to appoint someone with less than perfect synergy.

BUT be aware, we are facing City next, then there’s also Chelsea and United on the horizon so it can get worse before it gets better so it will depend on the board’s patience.

Frankly I’d prefer to see Llungberg helm till end of season IF he doesn’t struggle further. Then an assessment can be made close to summer with more/better options available.

Ten Hag at Ajax may be an interesting candidate considering how he has put together the youth at Ajax (This season bereft of key players notwithstanding) or maybe Simeone, a disciplinarian who can give the team better structure.

Any of these two may be a good fit for us considering current assets and shortfalls in squad.

Freddy is still on a learning curve.

Chip
Chip

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

sAMa
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
Bjoggi

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

TJoy
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
Santori

MUCH better than Elneny.

Better skill on the ball, better vision.

Elneny was rubbish.

AussieGooner
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 to play players to their strengths. We are too disjointed and unbalanced for players like him to really progress. I actually think he is a proper number 10 in the making, his vision is sometimes brilliant and he does make some fantastic passes. If we decide to stop playing this playing from the back and return to counter-attacking and being aggressive in midfield then I think we will see him become the player we build our team around.

OdalGooner
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 – and suddenly he’s worthless?

Santori
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 out of the europa. It was a very close thing and for much of the game, many seem to forget we were rather poor.

A good mix is necessary for this team based on practical approach.

We need the experience of the seniors but the enthusiasm/work rate of the younger players.

Guendouzi I feel needs to be part of midfield. Why he had been left out by Freddy for the BHA game is beyond me.

He’s definitely one of our better assets in midfield because he is one of very few who will carry the ball for us. neither Torreira nor Granit do this as much.

…the other player of course is Ceballos, which hopefully we will see shortly again.

LacaNewSigning
LacaNewSigning

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

T.A.
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
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 then we already bought Saliba for 27m who would not feature this season (and remember he is 18yrs plus relatively untested)

So what did we do? Panic bought David Luis. BUt then many fans did the usual and convinced themselves that this was anything other than a panic buy.

2) Then there was midfield. We brought in Cebellos (on loan) and many quickly imagined he was the next Santi Carzola or that Torreira bc of his height was better than imagined.

This has not come to pass. Even without the much maligned Granit (and he has his own faults), we are no more water tight with Torreira.

Ceballos to all effect frankly replaces Ramsey.

So we have yet to find equilibrium in midfield and the sort of player we need to exert better control.

3) Finally we bought Pepe amidst great fanfare as Sanlehi decided to go for wow factor at 72m.

Frankly there were cheaper options in Ziyech or Fekir we could have brought in but we also got rid of Iwobi too early.

…granted we have plenty of potential in Saka, Nelson, Martinelli, we were risking it with Pepe (on huge money). As it proved, he has taken a long time to get to grips with the league (arguably he still needs to show a lot more off ball work and sustain the blips in performance he has thus far delivered)

Plus the younger wingers are also on learning curve so performance levels will be erratic and understandably so.

We could have afforded to have gone 40m in the red on Iwobi hold off his sale and put him on the block next summer allowing better management of risk.

The result :

a)Sanlehi has done some things better than Mslintat but he has also consolidated power (with less threatening but inexperienced appointees like Edu) and has not armed the gaffer as well as should be.

b)Emery was not playing with full deck of cards with short fall in capabilities still in evidence regardless of who is gaffer. BUT he tried to play a game based on possession ill suited to this team short on technical merchants like City.

c)And the players themselves have not performed to their level. Forget the defense, limited players trying their best, the front players have in no way put enough work off ball closing down as a unit and sustaining this effort beyond 10-15 minutes each game.

Leaving aside the Kroenke, frankly they are non football people best left out of too much meddling, we have a situation not wholly unpredictable from last summer.

Add fan induced issues with Granit (as if we do not have enough assets already available in midfield), it merely compounds the problems and made the atmosphere that much less palatable.

The hope now is to get a decent gaffer that can helm long term with shared ethos for developing younger players.

BUT if Freddy continues not to be able to deliver of course, the board will have no choice but to go for less than perfect solutions that may need more management down the line and with likely potential impact to next summer’s window.

…there are no easy choices at the moment.

Which is why I always said be careful for what you wish for, as much as things can improve when getting rid of a manager, they could also get worse

Santori
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 in the effort off ball.

Then the other side of the coin is to not over complicate things (Pepe) and stay sharp (Auba) on the counter, take our chances.

Midfield I would ‘over’ populate against City run 4 across/diamond.

Don’t want to invite City too close to our box because they will punish us (already, we have issues with Liege and lesser teams)

An attacking duo each pulling wide to stretch out the middle on the counter with Ozil or one of the other mids ghosting into the box with the other striker may be key on the counter as we have to be careful fully committing fullbacks forward (with space left behind for them to exploit)

Very unlikely for us to get anything against City but if we work hard off ball like the young guns did, we may give ourselves a chance.

I don’t think anyone is expecting us to get anything this weekend so in a sense, pressure is off. What we don’t want is to lose by an embarrassing scoreline.

Santori
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 with too many touches and pass when we can shoot (Granit take note)

Just take the shot when you have it. And take it hard and accurate.

Santori
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 would be all manner of hysteria.

BUT that could have easily cost us game and europa.

SO its necessary to be a bit more level headed with these sort of performances much like the West Ham game.

All of a sudden we have people going on about how LLungberg is transforming things.

West Ham had us on the rack much of the game, we look poor.

Same with the Standard Liege game.

We are a long way away but they are positives (small ones). BUT plenty of issues still unresolved, and still a lot of work to be done.

Michael The Miami Painter
Michael The Miami Painter

This is a get well message for Dave Blogs.
He is currently unwell .
I send you prayers mate .
I enjoy your Blogs and input.
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