‘Arsenal should show guts and hire Ljungberg’ – Former coach Jonker supports Swede’s claims

A man who has spent time working with the Gunners’ interim boss in north London and at Wolfsburg believes he is the right man for a permanent role

Arsenal have been urged by former coach Andries Jonker to show “guts” and hand their managerial reins to Freddie Ljungberg on a permanent basis.

The Swede, who became a fan favourite in north London during his playing days, has been placed in interim charge of the Gunners.

In the wake of Unai Emery’s dismissal, a familiar face has been asked to steady the ship and deliver an upturn in fortune – similar to the call made by Manchester United when reaching out to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils eventually handed the Norwegian a three-contract and Jonker – who has worked with Ljungberg at Arsenal and Wolfsburg – believes another Scandinavian should be in line for a long-term deal.

Jonker told Sky Sports, with several high-profile figures being linked with a vacant role at Emirates Stadium: “I would support the guts in making the choice [to hire] Freddie Ljungberg. Arsene had been there many, many years and he did it his way. Then came another coach [with a different way] who had a very difficult time.

“I would prefer for them to give the chance to someone who knows Arsenal, knows the academy, knows all those talented players. He also knows the laws of total football.

“Give him time, give him confidence, help him and support him. He is one of Arsenal. I would appreciate the guts of the Arsenal bosses if they hired Ljungberg.”

Jonker added: “Freddie is a lover of really good football, the way Arsenal want to play normally fits him. He wants his teams to try to play offensive football and be exciting – winning with that. This is the style he likes.

“He will always try to find the combination of having good organisation in his team. Freddie has a good eye for the tactical details for the team and he knows that you cannot only play beautiful players.

“If you want to win you need to find the mix of people who can defend and do the dirty work and then the players who can make the difference and decide matches to your advantage.”

Jonker has also claimed that Ljungberg is no ‘yes man’, with Arsenal in need of somebody to show some passion as they bid to get back on track.

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The Dutchman added: “Freddie is a team player, he will involve his team in his decisions but he has also been a top player for years, so it is quite obvious that he knows how it works.

“He knows he is the one to decide at the end and he is the one who will be responsible.”

Ljungberg will be calling the shots for Arsenal again on Thursday when they take in a Premier League home date with Brighton, with the Gunners having drawn his first game at the helm 2-2 away at Norwich.

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