No more Emery-ball: Freddie Ljungberg teaches new approach in Arsenal training - Report Minds

No more Emery-ball: Freddie Ljungberg teaches new approach in Arsenal training

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Freddie Ljungberg is already looking to stamp his own identity on Arsenal’s playing style and gave away a few clues as to how he wants the team to play in training this week.




The Swede was handed the reins after Unai Emery was sacked last Friday following a dismal run of results, having not won a Premier League match since beating Bournemouth at the start of October.

Although Ljungberg’s reign did not get off to the ideal start, only drawing against relegation candidates Norwich City, he had only been given one session to work with the players.

But his ideas came though more clearly in footage from this week’s training, with Ljungberg and assistant Per Mertesacker putting the players who did not start at Carrow Road through their paces.

Arsenal were often criticised for their slow, pedestrian build-up play under Emery, but the Spaniard’s successor is looking to bring quicker, more incisive passing to the team and that was evident in his drills and instructions.

In a two-touch exercise, Konstantinos Mavropanos got an excitable reaction from his manager when he took four players out of the game with a defence-splitting diagonal pass.

‘Yes! That’s the pass I like,’ yelled a delighted Ljungberg, who got the players together to explain his ideology further.

‘The pass, when Lucas [Torreira] is here and we find the diag [diagonal pass], is amazing. No team can defend against that diag into the pocket.’


There was clear emphasis on Arsenal playing out through pressure and finding pockets of space, with Ljungberg demanding intensity throughout the session.


He also pulled up youngster Gabriel Martinelli for taking too many touches in the drill and explained the best way to avoid pressure from the opposition: ‘If you stand closed, you have to take two touches. We try to work on. Give me the ball, I’m open, then you don’t get done on your press.’

Ljungberg reportedly failed to see eye-to-eye with Emery on a number of tactical decisions and will have the opportunity to try and implement some of his own methods when Brighton visit the Emirates on Thursday.

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