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Ljungberg not getting involved as Arsenal continue search for new boss

By Daniel Lewis
Freddie Ljungberg

Liege, December 12: Freddie Ljungberg has insisted he has not had any say on who will take over as Arsenal's next permanent head coach.

Ljungberg has been in charge for Arsenal's last three matches on an interim basis following the sacking of Unai Emery, celebrating his first win on Monday as the Gunners rallied to beat West Ham.

The 42-year-old is reportedly in contention to stay at the helm until the end of the season while the club continue their search for Emery's successor.

Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira and Massimiliano Allegri have been linked, while Carlo Ancelotti is also said to be in the running after the Italian was sacked by Napoli on Tuesday (December 10).

However, Ljungberg has not held talks with Arsenal chiefs over the vacant position and reiterated he is only focused on Thursday's Europa League clash with Standard Liege.

"It's not a conversation I've had with the bosses," he said at Wednesday's pre-match news conference. "My job is to go from game to game. All of those decisions are up to the top dogs."

Asked specifically if Ancelotti would be a good choice to take over at Emirates Stadium, Ljungberg said: "I've been asked questions like this a lot since I took over.

"I just try to concentrate on my job, which is to win football games and get better. Who they choose it is totally up to them and I stay out of it."

Arsenal ended a nine-match winless run with their 3-1 comeback victory at the London Stadium, which Ljungberg is hopeful will give his players some confidence.

"It does a lot of good when you haven't won for a long time," he said. "For me it's about how we won the game. We kept the ball well. West Ham couldn't get a hold of the ball.

"Everybody was in the dressing room after the game except the owner. They were very happy with the result and the victory.

"You can see players do things in training that aren't a problem but they can't in a game situation. You have to work on it, relax and be brave."

Ljungberg has named a young squad for Thursday's final Group F clash in Belgium, with Arsenal simply needing to avoid a 5-0 defeat to advance through to the last 32.

Despite being without a number of first-team players, including Kieran Tierney following news he is to spend another spell on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, Ljungberg has confidence in his travelling group.

"We have a few injuries. We've played a lot of games lately and have another game on Sunday," he said. "We brought a lot of firepower here.

"We have younger players that played in the group stages. It's a big game and we're here to get a result. We have a lot of respect for the opponents.

"We play a lot of games. Sometimes we have to change. We have a lot of respect for the game. We don't take it lightly. We want to win and get a result."

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Story first published: Thursday, December 12, 2019, 1:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 12, 2019
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