Arsenal interim boss Freddie Ljungberg reveals key to restoring Emirates Stadium atmosphere

Freddie Ljungberg believes he has the key to restoring the mood at Arsenal after taking the reigns at the Emirates Stadium.

The former Gunners winger was appointed as interim manager after the club sacked Unai Emery, who was in charge for less than 18 months, following a 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt at home.

Emery’s sacking followed another period of toxic atmosphere at the north London club, with similar circumstances leading to the end of the previous reign under legendary boss Arsene Wenger.

But Ljungberg, who played in the famous Invincibles team under Wenger, believes he can restore the atmosphere around the ground with attractive football which breeds positivity among the players and fans.

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Ljungberg was part of the great Arsenal side which went a whole season unbeaten in the Premier League. (Photo by Adam Davy - PA Images via Getty Images)
Fifteen years later, he is ready to lead by example as he looks to reunite the players and fans at Arsenal. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

He said: “I've been at Arsenal for a long, long, long time, I like entertaining football but of course at the same time you can't concede goals. That's a tricky balance to find.

“For me, happy footballers play the best football. That's a part I learnt as a player, there is a time to work hard but at the same time we need to enjoy what we're doing.

“Often the players we have enjoy playing offensive football which makes them happy.”

Arsenal currently sit eighth in the Premier League table, without a win in five matches.

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Disharmony has plagued the north London side throughout the season, with former club captain Granit Xhaka losing the armband after telling his own fans to ‘f*** off’ while being substituted in a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

A 1-0 win against Bournemouth is their most recent victory in all competitions - a result which came at the start of October.

And it was that form - plus Emery’s falling out with players such as Mesut Ozil - which saw the Spaniard lose the job.

Granit Xhaka falling out with fans was symptomatic of the atmosphere which developed under Emery. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)

But Ljungberg appreciates the value of the Arsenal faithful, insisting he needs them on board if he is to revive the club’s fortunes.

The Swede added: “They are amazing fans, they are. We need them and the players need them. That's the main thing that I can say to them.

“We as players and coaching staff will do everything we can to make them happy, just enjoy the game.

“Of course I am confident, otherwise I wouldn't have taken it when they asked me to help. If I didn't feel I could help them I wouldn't have done it, so of course I am confident in that way.

“I really feel that this club can all be brought together and put some smiles on to people's faces again.”

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