Freddie Ljungberg sees Arsenal positives despite draw at Norwich

01/12/19 4:29pm

Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg was encouraged by his side`s mental strength after coming from behind twice in their 2-2 draw against Norwich
Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg was encouraged by his side`s mental strength after coming from behind twice in their 2-2 draw against Norwich

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.

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Norwich`s draw against Arsenal
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Norwich`s draw against Arsenal

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.

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.

Freddie Ljungberg

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.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang`s double rescued Arsenal

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

Arsenal`s defensive frailties will have concerned Ljungberg

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.

Mesut Ozil and Saed Kolasinac in deep discussion during Arsenal`s trip to Norwich

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.

Granit Xhaka made his first Premier League start since October at Norwich

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.

What`s next?

Arsenal now host Brighton on Thursday at 8.15pm, before going to West Ham next Monday at 8pm, live on Sky Sports.

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