Arsenal first-team assistant coach and former Interim Boss Karl Fredrik Ljungberg popularly known as Freddie Ljungberg announced a few days ago that he would be leaving the club in search of opportunities to further his management career. Freddie an Arsenal legend, Invincible, and current assistant to Mikel Arteta, announced his departure from the North London club via Twitter.
I have decided to leave my first team assistant coaching role at @Arsenal to progress my management experience. I have been involved with this club on and off since 1998 and am grateful for all the opportunities they have given me both as a player and as a coach. pic.twitter.com/KZjIeVFaB4
— Freddie Ljungberg (@freddie) August 22, 2020
The News has been received with a bit of surprise by Fans of Arsenal and the swede. Even with the recent restructuring going on at the club and the multiple recent departures, Ljungberg who was part of the Hands retained by Gaffer Mikel Arteta as part of his first-team Coaching staff seemed to have adjusted to his role and definitely played his part in guiding the club to a trophy at the end of the just-completed season; helping steady the ship after Unai Emery’s departure. He did this with no coaching crew and with only the help of Academy Head and fellow Arsenal legend Per Mertesacker to call on.
But perhaps this is not so much of a surprise as the writing had been on the wall. Ljungberg who initially rejoined the club after his playing career in an ambassadorial position would eventually join the Under-15 coaching crew before heading out to Wolfsburg to assist Former Academy Head Andries Jonker following his appointment as the new manager for VfL Wolfsburg on 27 February 2017. However, that role was short-lived as Jonker only lasted six months but this was Freddie’s first taste of first-team management. Ljungberg would return to Arsenal after that spell as the Under-23’s manager where he had an impressive campaign which was capped with the PL2 championship. After his impressive campaign with the U23’s, Ljungberg switched roles with Steve Bould the next season as Steve became the U23’s coach while Freddie joined Emery’s backroom. After Unai Emery’s sacking Ljungberg was appointed as caretaker manager, he managed the team for 6 games deploying his favored 4-2-3-1 formation, he had one win, 3 draws and 2 losses before Mikel Arteta was ultimately Appointed as the teams New Gaffer.
Freddie who already had quite the stellar career with the Gunners as a player will definitely have fond memories of his managerial career in Arsenal which culminated in his first senior management role after the departure of Unai Emery.
His time in the first team will notably be remembered for his good work with the academy youngsters which was evident in the promotion of players that became a vital part of the Gunner’s first team. This includes Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson. Current Gaffer Mikel Arteta only had good things to say about the swede and is hoping to face off against him on the touchline too. Arsenal Technical director Edu Gaspar also had good words to say about his former teammate;
“We’re really sad to see Freddie leave as we know how much he loves Arsenal. However, we know he has had various opportunities over the last 12 months and stuck to the job at Arsenal.
“Now he has the opportunity to consider other options, and it makes sense for his career at this time.”
Wherever Freddie goes and whether he has a great managerial career or not, one thing is for certain, he’ll always be held in high regard at Arsenal.