Since Unai Emery was sacked last week, former Arsenal player and second in command to the Spaniard Freddie Ljungberg has been in temporary charge of the Gunners. Though he has ruled himself out of the running for the full-time position, after two rather disastrous games in charge and his players saying his message wasn’t delivered across, the club’s hierarchy might be wise to make sure the Swede’s temporary reign at the helm of the club does not last too long.
Against Norwich City, Ljungberg’s first game in charge, Arsenal were improved in an attacking sense. The side showed more energy and flair than previously under Emery, and top scorer Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang bagged a brace as he started heading back towards his best. Though what definitely had not changed was the North London club’s ability to defend as they were dangerously leaky, twice coming from behind to rescue a draw against the Canaries.
Thursday evenings fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion was more evidence to suggest that their former player in the dugout is not the man to lead the rebuild required at the Emirates Stadium. Once again it was the same old defensive lapses that let them down, with Hector Bellerin twice at fault, for allowing opposition players to create dangerous scenarios while the trio of remaining defenders were unable to prevent the visitors scoring twice.
Though what was even more concerning is that Arsenal looked devoid of ideas in attack, their solo goal came via an Alexandre Lacazette header, an unusual source for a side that was once lauded for their attacking prowess. When David Luiz turned in a cross, he looked on course to help the hosts secure some points; however, the Brazilian was correctly ruled offside by VAR.
With fixtures against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United fast approaching Raul Sanllehi, the man heading up the team to appoint Emery’s successor, he would be wise to act quickly before the side slide further down the Premier League. Ex-players have had reasonable success elsewhere in the division, but Arsenal might be wise not to elect their current boss on a permanent basis.