Report: Freddie on AIK’s head coach shortlist

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According to Sportsbladet, Freddie Ljungberg is one of a number of names being considered for the vacant head coach position at Swedish side AIK.

After a troubled start to the new Allsvenskan season, AIK called time on Rikard Norling’s four-year stint in the role earlier this week.

According to sporting director Henrik Jurelius, they are now looking for someone who can make an immediate impact – they are currently 12th out of 16 teams – but also a figurehead who can help them improve in the long-term.

Ljungberg has been identified as one of the ‘dream’ candidates with other names on the list including ex-Aston Villa defender Olaf Mellberg, veteran British coach Stuart Baxter, a former AIK coach who is currently working in the Indian Super League, and Bartosz Grzlak, a former assistant coach at AIK and current assistant manager of Sweden’s under-21s.

It’s no secret that Freddie Ljungberg is keen to become a head coach. Since Mikel Arteta took over in December, the 43-year-old stopped sitting in the dugout on matchday, instead watching matches from the stands. He still works day-to-day with the first team, but you wouldn’t be surprised if he starts looking elsewhere with the top job at the Emirates out of his reach for the time being.

Given the circumstances, Ljungberg did pretty well in his six-games as interim head coach at the tail-end of 2019. Three draws, two defeats and a win at West Ham are not to be sniffed at given he had limited backroom staff to work with and the team were suffering an existential crisis following months of schizophrenic football under Unai Emery.

Obvously if AIK does come knocking and Freddie decides to take his chances, we’d be sad to see him leave. Either way, it sounds like Mikel Arteta will look to make additions to his coaching set-up this summer. 

The boss had very little time to assemble his assistants when he took over in December and he’ll no doubt have a better grasp of their strengths and weaknesses and in what capacity his players might need additional help and experience.

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Saka's fro

Based on his six game stint at Arsenal, he deserves the chance to be head coach somewhere. Wish him the best luck, whatever he decides is best for him. Could also be best for our club if Freddy gains managerial experience.

Rohan

Looking back now, the job Arteta and team have done is quite impressive. Freddie steading the ship must be comended too. We were so low on confidence and seemed directioneless. Good work by the coach, backroom team and the players. Now we need to keep improving and pulling in the right direction. A long way to go, but the early signs are encouraging.

Rohan

Also, although I would love to have Freddie in the backroom team, I wish him the best of luck. One of my favorite players to don the red and white.

Joakim Olsson

Funny, Freddie and Olof (Olaf is a talking snowman) in contest (?) for the same job. No love lost between them back in the day when fists were thrown at a national team training after a seriously dangerous tackle against Freddie (as I remember it, though I’m surely biased)

arseblog

I remember that! Before the 2002 World Cup – it featured in the very early days of Arseblog.

Johnny 4 Hats

Nah, didn’t get into Arseblog until the late noughties. The early stuff was ok but a little too low fi for me. Also, it was a bit too happy back then. Invincibles here, Champions League final there. It’s better now there’s some real and tangible human suffering that goes into Arseblog.

AussieGooner

Without tangible human suffering there would be no arseblog. Yeah sure we did the Wenger thing, got a few sexy world class players in, won a few fights with Manure and even went a season unbeaten. But that was just to lure the suckers in, like fishing for Mackerel in the Irish sea, easy to reel in with the right bait. The real arsenal was always about pain, suffering and real tears on a Saturday night after 8 pints and loss at home to WBA. Wenger’s job was just to recruit a new generation to carry the cross. Arteta now… Read more »

Andy

Too right. Only feel the need to post when it’s really shite. Call it therapy.

Twatsloch

Here’s the clip. Looks like heat of the moment stuff between two highly competitive blokes. It’s funny though.

https://youtu.be/On4t0ZKi3F4

Twatsloch

Some more research and I appear to be wrong. Ljungberg and Mellberg really did dislike each other.

Apparently the Swedish team at the time was divided in two camps with Ibrahimovic/Mellberg on one side and Ljungberg on the other with elder statesman Larsson as a meddling force between. Near punch ups on occasion.

DomMacca

I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone

Johnny 4 Hats

Great quote. Kindergarten Cop is still one of my favourite movies.

DomMacca

Mental image of Arnie whittling stones into chess pieces ha!

Johnny 4 Hats

Haha! Arnie would just punch a hole in the wall on his first night. He’d be in Zihuatanejo by the third scene.

Public Elneny

GL Freddie, hope he has a successful career to the point where he could take on the job full time here. He seemed to have a lot of the same good instincts as Arteta – tightening up defensively, trusting in youth, rewarding effort and professionalism levels, going back to basics to a certain extent – but struggled to put them into practice with the limited time, experience and lack of staff he had In terms of coaching staff, we should get a specific throw in coach like pool! We always just stand around like lemons when we have a throw… Read more »

It's only Ray Parlour...

Must say that I really enjoyed the Tierney throw / Aubu goal at the weekend – very un-arsenal goal, but makes us a little unpredictable. Also, in another recent match either Liverpool or City, Tierney fired one down the left hand side from halfway inside our half (a throw that is) and we ended up with a corner. So it shows that you can use throws more effectively, so specialist coaches welcomed in my book.

ewan

competing with melberg hey? time to revisit this

Mentalista

That random FFS though lol

gooner

Didn’t Freddie give up on the team and even go all out with the youngsters in his last game? He always said things a little bit too direct like a fan would put it and less like a manager. I am sure he wouldn’t be towing the “back injury” line with someone and he’d go all out “am done with him and Sokratis” He did reasonably well with results but player management not so much but who knows? Maybe if he wasn’t interim manager he would have taken another route. When you look at how he dropped most of the… Read more »

Swedes4Dixon

Please no Freddie, anywhere but that lot.

A Voice in the Noise

Would hate to see him go, but can’t blame him if he does.
He may have grown fond of being in charge of a club following his stint with us!

Chrispy

Can’t wish anything but the best of luck for Freddie if he goes…..

AussieGooner

Good luck Freddie. Thanks for being so classy despite all the crap you had to endure.

Proper Arsenal, to the core.

Goldfingered

AIK is a poisonous chalice. A club with aging players on huge salaries (for Swedish football) who are used to play a really boring defensive game and all of a sudden they decide to play fast attractive possession football.

They are a mess.

At least he’s used to it.

Good luck Freddie. A proper legend.

Daniel

They have 4 players under 19 on the pitch every game and 3-4 are to join within 1-2 years.

Goldfingered

Yeah you are right. I should have wrote “the good players are aging”.

Bobbyp

This will be good for Freddie. I would love him to do really well and then come back when/if Mikel leaves at some point. It’s good to have ex players at the club.

Lanre

The guy was shite in team selection and game management. Overhyped. I hope he goes, he adds nothing to the team.

arseblog

So you think you can judge him when he was thrown in at the depths of the Emery despair, with no staff to work with – only Per Mertesacker? Get a grip.

He did really good work with the U23s, listen to what the likes of Saka, Willock, Nketiah say about him.

And you can’t be overhyped if you’re not hyped in the first place.

JamesGodwinson

Goodbye Freddie Ljungberg! Goodbye my childhood…

Wish you all the best!

Anthony

Thought he did well given the limited time and support at the end of last year.

If he does leave for AIK, I wish him the best of luck!

Santori

Will be great for him to gain first hand experience and at a club without too much pressure….practically thrown into the deep end for us and relatively unprepared still back then.

Hope he gets a chance to develop further. I hear Santi maybe interested in coming back to us….youth team with Metersecker (Big man Little man dream team)