Ljungberg hoping to win Gunners fans back over

Freddie Ljungberg

Freddie Ljungberg admits he needs to prepare his Arsenal players for the potential of a negative atmosphere when Manchester City visit on Sunday.

The 42-year-old took over as interim head coach when the Gunners sacked Unai Emery last month but slipped to defeat to Brighton in his only home game in charge so far.

Arsenal were jeered off at half-time and full-time during the loss to the Seagulls, who thoroughly deserved to leave north London with three points.


Brighton captain Lewis Dunk said after that game the visitors were keen to start well and turn the Arsenal fans against their own players, following on from the disgruntled response in the final games under Emery’s tenure.

Now Ljungberg, who oversaw a first win in nine games when Arsenal won at West Ham last time out in the Premier League, feels he has to address his squad about dealing with any supporter angst when facing reigning champions Manchester City.

“It’s the right of the fans to be this way,” he said. “Of course, I want them to be with us and I know how much it means to the players and I can see sometimes when it happens (bad atmosphere) they can go a little bit down.

“But that’s something I will talk to them about. They already know about it but I will try to prepare them for if and when happens. But I think when we play City at home, the fans know it will be a very tough game and will be with us regardless.”

The victory at West Ham is Ljungberg’s only success in his opening four games in temporary charge and it remains to be seen if he will given the position on a more long-term basis or whether the Arsenal hierarchy will look elsewhere.

The former Arsenal midfielder has called for more time to implement his ideas as the games start to come thick and fast during the festive period.