Robert Pires warns former team-mate Freddie Ljungberg that there is no quick fix to Arsenal’s problems

2 December 2019

The former Sweden international was appointed as interim manager at the Emirates Stadium after Unai Emery was sacked on Friday.

The Spaniard’s dismissal came after a seven-match winless streak in all competitions, and Ljungberg was unable to oversee Arsenal’s first Premier League victory since early October in his first game in charge.

The Gunners were held to a 2-2 draw by relegation-threated Norwich on Sunday, leaving them seven points adrift of the top four after 14 games of the 2019/20 campaign.

Ljungberg could remain at the helm for several weeks, with the Arsenal hierarchy vowing to take their time in the search for a permanent successor to Emery.

There is even a chance that the former winger could be handed the reins on a permanent basis, or until the end of the season.

But Pires, who played alongside Ljungberg under Arsene Wenger, does not expect to see an immediate turnaround at his former club.

“This was a complicated and difficult game, even stressful sometimes,” the Frenchman told Canal Plus after Sunday’s draw at Carrow Road.

“The bottom line is that the team is still sick. Freddie or someone else, they are going to have find the right medicine.

“They are going to have to be patient but this is a little bit what has been happening since the start of the season.

“We are weak, we are not calm. When you are lacking confidence, you take less responsibility. You try fewer things.

“I think going forward things look very good, but defensively, and Freddie knows this, with Per [Mertesacker], a lot of work is required.”

Arsenal host Brighton in the midweek round of Premier League fixtures, before a trip to London rivals West Ham next Monday.


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