Freddie Ljungberg has noticed one big change in Arsenal squad since Unai Emery sacking

Freddie Ljungberg is coaching Arsenal on a game by game basis
Freddie Ljungberg is coaching Arsenal on a game by game basis (Picture: Getty)

Freddie Ljungberg admits he is relieved to see members of the Arsenal squad smiling against following a tumultuous end to Unai Emery’s tenure.

The Spaniard was sacked a fortnight ago following a disastrous run of form which culminated in a Europa League defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt, played out in front of a half empty Emirates Stadium.

Ljungberg’s interim tenure got off to a difficult start following a draw at Norwich and a first ever home defeat against Brighton, but the club legend is hoping his side has turned a corner following Monday’s victory at West Ham and a spirited draw against Standard Liege, when a young team battle back from 2-0 down force the point which helped Arsenal top their Europa League group.

The 42-year-old was also encouraged by the sight of his players coaching one another through a testing situation on Thursday and he believes that bodes well ahead of Sunday’s acid test against Standard Liege.

‘I’m happy you saw [the players telling each other what to do in Liege]!’ he said.

‘I actually had a little review today and I showed just that. We’re actually coaching each other now and you do communicate.

‘For me then, at least, the principles of how you want to play is becoming more clear and it’s a lot easier then to play football.

‘I try to look at – not quick fixes – but the things that are urgent that I see in a game so I know we need to get that right and try to prioritise 10 to 15 things we want to get better at.

‘But we can’t do that all in one go when we have no training sessions. So maybe try to build video sessions on that, trying to show the players small details that we need to fix and I feel that we are developing our gameplan.

‘Of course that doesn’t go that quick, it has only been 10 days, two weeks. But I feel there are certain things that are much, much better in the games and that I feel really good about.

‘I’m happy. The players are smiling at least and that’s important. Of course people that play are smiling more than players that don’t, but in general terms I’ve always believed in that. Of course you need to be professional and all of that, but they’re still human beings and they need to be happy.’

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