Freddie Ljungberg sees Arsenal positives despite draw at Norwich
Arsenal held to 2-2 draw at Carrow Road in Ljungberg's first match in charge
Last Updated: 02/12/19 11:07am
Freddie Ljungberg insists he saw plenty of positives from Arsenal despite his side being held to a 2-2 draw at Norwich in his first game in temporary charge.
The Gunners started brightly in their first game since Unai Emery's sacking, but they were forced to come from behind on two occasions as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's double rescued a point at Carrow Road.
The draw extends Arsenal's winless run to eight games in all competitions and they are seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the battle to finish in the Premier League's top four.
Ljungberg was disappointed by the result but there were also a number of positives for the Swede ahead of their next match with Brighton on Thursday.
"We started the game really well, that's how I want to play football," he said. "We dominated totally and that's when we needed a goal.
"We couldn't get that but we need to work on the transitions, we dominated and they break us too easily, and that's where their two goals came from.
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"That's hard to take but the players showed great mentality. They went a goal down twice away from home and came back, that shows that we have desire.
"We have things to work on."
"I want this club to do well, so it is only winning that counts. That's the only thing that was in my mind. I really wanted to win the games so I am disappointed but I have also seen some positive things and certain things we need to nail down."
Ljungberg only had two days to prepare his side for the trip to Norwich following Emery's dismissal on Friday, but, despite the minimal preparation time, Arsenal's interim boss saw some of the work they had put in pay dividends.
"In the beginning, when the players were fresh, I saw a lot of things we worked on in training," he said. "That was pleasing and I thought it worked as well. I thought we got into some really good positions, but we need to score goals and take the lead.
"When you've had one training session the day before the game when everyone has to take it easy, it's hard, but hopefully I get more sessions now.
"They can now relax, but then I need to work on this and hopefully we see a better game on Thursday."
Positives yes, but old failings still there
Analysis from Sky Sports' Oliver Yew...
"Ljungberg is right to take the positives from his side's draw at Carrow Road. What else can he do?
"In only a couple of days, the Swede got the Gunners attacking with more intent than they had done in several weeks under Unai Emery. They also showed plenty of character as they clung on for a point thanks mainly to a number of fine saves from Bernd Leno.
"However, clinging on to a point at second-from-bottom Norwich is not good enough for a club of Arsenal's stature, and Ljungberg knows it.
"Despite the positives, the old failings were still there for all to see as the game highlighted the problems facing the club's former midfielder in their battle for a top-four finish.
"Defensively, Arsenal were all over the place and had it not been for Leno, they would've certainly lost the game.
"Ljungberg sprung a surprise before kick-off by pairing Shkodran Mustafi with David Luiz at the heart of Arsenal's defence, but time after time they, alongside right-back Calum Chambers, were exposed. Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil once again failed to impact the game significantly, while the balance of Arsenal's midfield will be called into question with Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka and Joe Willock starting ahead of Lucas Torreira.
"Time really wasn't on Ljungberg's side ahead of this encounter, though.
"It was a short turnaround from the defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt and Emery's sacking to Ljungberg's appointment, but with three full days now until the Gunners' next clash against Brighton on Thursday, Ljungberg, with the help of Per Mertesacker, needs to get to work on the training field."
Ljungberg's first team selection surprises
Analysis from Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher:
"It shows that it isn't just a case of changing the manager. There are problems there that will take a while to fix.
"I was surprised by the team because he has gone back to players who we know what they are and they aren't going to get any better.
"In terms of the club going forward, find out about the players they have in the squad. Calum Chambers isn't a right back, he struggles there every time l see him play. Put him at centre-back - you know that Mustafi and Luiz aren't the answer.
"They spent £70m on Pepe. We need to see what he's like. As a club, there are certain players who need to play as opposed to others."
Arsenal now host Brighton on Thursday at 8.15pm, before going to West Ham next Monday at 8pm, live on Sky Sports.