Former MLSer Freddie Ljungberg stepped into the hot seat at one of the biggest clubs in the world on Friday, as the Swede was named interim manager at Arsenal after the English Premier League side fired Unai Emery amid a miserable run of form.
Ljungberg, 42, is relatively new to coaching, having joined the first-team staff at his former club last summer after stints coaching the Gunners’ Under-23 squad as well as a brief run as an assistant at VfL Wolfsburg in 2017.
He tweeted out a message of commitment and encouragement to Arsenal’s frustrated fans after the news broke on Friday:
However long I oversee @Arsenal for I will give everything I have to put smiles on faces again. We have a busy few weeks ahead and the team needs your support. Let’s get to work! pic.twitter.com/WdekcA4h5G— Freddie Ljungberg (@freddie) November 29, 2019
A creative, dynamic attacking presence over his glittering 20-year playing career, Ljungberg starred for eight clubs across six nations and three continents as well as the Swedish national team. That included the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire, scoring four goals and 19 assists in 52 MLS regular-season matches (48 starts) from 2009-10.
The Guardian reports that Ljungberg "is not at this stage regarded as a long-term option" for Arsenal's top job. Currently languishing in eighth place in the EPL table, the Gunners have taken 18 points from their first 13 league matches of the season and a 2-1 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in Europa League play on Thursday night appears to have been the last straw, with a mostly-empty Emirates Stadium hinting at the extent of the fans’ dissatisfaction with Emery, who led AFC for a year and a half.