The post-Arsene Wenger era at Arsenal isn’t quite going according to plan.
After 22 years with the same manager, the Gunners are looking for their second in as many seasons after sacking Unai Emery. The Spaniard was put out of his misery on Friday morning following the club’s worst run of results since 1992, and Freddie Ljungberg has been placed in temporary charge.
Ljungberg, the former Arsenal player and academy coach, is actually the favourite to get the job on a permanent basis and tweeted on Friday morning: “However long I oversee Arsenal for I will give everything I have to put smiles on faces again. We have a busy few weeks ahead and the team needs your support. Let’s get to work!”
How many times have we seen an interim boss successfully audition for the full-time role?
Most recently, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got the Manchester United job following a run of results which basically made him impossible to ignore.
Ljungberg will know he has a similar opportunity on his hands, and if he can guide the Gunners back to consistent form, the job could well be his.
Arsenal have been seriously underperforming given the talent at their disposal, and Emery has to take responsibility for that.
They boast an attack to make most top-flight teams jealous, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe in their ranks.
But they also have a squad filled with gifted young players, all of whom Ljungberg will know inside out.
The Swede managed Arsenal’s Under-23s last season and guided them to second place in the Premier League 2.
Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka featured regularly under Ljungberg, and they have since emerged as valuable first-team players for the Gunners.
We expect the pair to feature heavily during the upcoming interim spell, starting with the trip to Norwich on Sunday.
Here’s how the Gunners could line up: