Freddie Ljungberg: From underwear model to Arsenal manager


Freddie Ljungberg scored in a man of the match efficiency as Arsenal beat Chelsea to retract the FA Cup in 2002

The insecure Swede with inviting crimson hair. The surprisingly non-public underwear model. Arsenal’s unusual caretaker supervisor Freddie Ljungberg is a paradox, a a lot extra reserved man than the bolder image many non-public of him can also indicate.

Over 12 years since departing as a player, pale winger Ljungberg, 42, has been called on to place the Gunners’ season following the sacking of Unai Emery.

He’s an Arsenal and Sweden yarn, however what else can we all know concerning the Gunners’ unusual intervening time boss?

The insecure one?

Ljungberg spent 9 years at Arsenal and used to be a key determine in the checklist-breaking ‘Invincibles’ aspect that went a complete Premier League season without defeat in 2003-04. He departed for West Ham in 2007 as a two-time league champion and three-time FA Cup winner.

In 2017 he used to be named Arsenal’s 11th ultimate player of all time, but no topic his loud hairstyles – and his underwear modelling – Ljungberg is in level of truth a non-public particular person.

“Thinking concerning the truth he’s one in every of our ultimate of all time, we assemble not know loads about Fredrik Ljungberg,” Swedish soccer journalist Frida Fagerlund told BBC Sport.

“He has the least bit times been very low key in relation to the media and other public appearances. He has spoken overtly about not in actuality trusting folks in accepted, particularly not for the length of his old few years in the Premier League. That is potentially why he hasn’t performed so many interviews.”

Freddie Ljungberg signed a contract with Calvin Klein underwear while taking part in for Arsenal

Even in Sweden – a nation recently spearheaded on the enviornment soccer stage by the outspoken Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Vittsjo-born Ljungberg has maintained his mystery.

Whereas his introverted nature has kept him from the headlines, his role as a Swedish soccer icon has not wavered.

Fagerlund mentioned: “Fredrik will the least bit times be regarded as as one in every of the last be conscious. He did loads for the nationwide team and nowadays Arsenal is one in every of the most novel golf equipment in Sweden.

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“He describes himself as insecure however he’s a stable personality. That he isn’t driven by fame or recognition is also an advantage in his leadership.

“The model work he did for Calvin Klein used to be a shrimp of a shock to all americans however he has mentioned that it pressured him out of his comfort zone, and it potentially did.

“With that being mentioned, he will the least bit times be a shrimp of a mystery. It is rather recurring.”

‘When he spoke, all americans listened’

Spells in Japan and India concluded Ljungberg’s 20-year taking part in profession. The Swede returned to Arsenal in 2016 as below-15s coach sooner than being handed the opportunity to be part of then-academy supervisor Andries Jonker as Wolfsburg assistant in February 2017.

Tasked with maintaining the struggling aspect in the German top flight, Jonker and Ljungberg finished their plan through a relegation play-off, however non-public been sacked six months later following a heart-broken originate to the 2017-18 season.

Wolfsburg soccer journalist Leonard Hartmann told BBC Sport that Ljungberg commanded attention no topic his restful blueprint – and the club’s predicament.

“Andries and Freddie arrived with a mission to stabilise the struggling team in the worst section of Wolfsburg’s history and forestall the catastrophe of relegation,” mentioned Hartmann.

“The club had many complications. There non-public been insecurities in all areas. Freddie’s activity used to be to consult with the avid gamers and give them aid their self belief. He the least bit times acted in the background, however when he spoke, all americans listened.

“The avid gamers listened fastidiously when he talked, because they’d regarded up to him when they non-public been youthful.”

Wolfsburg defeated Eintracht Braunschweig 2-0 on combination in a relegation play-off to true their Bundesliga role below supervisor Andries Jonker and assistant Freddie Ljungberg in 2016-17

Given the opportunity to continue into the unusual season, Jonker and Ljungberg made “titanic mistakes” forward of being sacked, in accordance with Hartmann. He believes they failed to alter their solutions and successfully being used to be not infamous in favour of ways.

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“Freddie mentioned he wished to non-public beyond regular time to give their suggestions an right likelihood to grow, however it used to be the unhealthy time and unhealthy station. The club had mighty greater complications than a pale assistant and an inexperienced however mettlesome younger coach can also treatment,” added Hartmann.

The Gunners welcomed their club yarn aid as below-23s boss in 2018, and he impressed sufficiently to becomes Emery’s first-team coach.

Can Ljungberg stake his claim?

Various gigantic-title managers non-public already been linked with the vacant managerial station at Emirates Stadium, however can also Ljungberg conceivably change into permanent supervisor?

When compared withother frontrunners for the station, Ljungberg’s CV does not measure up to the Premier League trip of pale Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino or Wolves’ Nuno Espirito Santo – nor the European credentials of Massimiliano Allegri and Carlo Ancelotti.

Home competitors Manchester United and Chelsea non-public adopted a ‘club yarn’ blueprint, with the pale’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earning a permanent contract following a absorbing upturn in compose after he took intervening time preserve watch over.

That, of course, might perchance be Ljungberg’s sole plan when his out-of-forms aspect gallop to Norwich on Sunday.

Arsenal children in conjunction with forward Bukayo Saka non-public praised Freddie Ljungberg’s have an effect on

“During his profession he has the least bit times performed issues his bear blueprint,” Aftonbladet journalist Fagerlund mentioned.

“I mediate that’s why he by no blueprint returned to Sweden. In London it’s mighty more straightforward to be your self and it’s not vital what you are into or where you reach from. Pre-Zlatan it used to be calm very recurring to non-public outspoken and a shrimp absorbing characters within soccer.

“The truth is we assemble not in actuality know mighty about Fredrik’s vogue as a supervisor. What we assemble know is that he’s performed an preferrred job with the children and is at risk of continue on that course. He’ll furthermore potentially elevate aid some avid gamers who non-public been out in the cold.”

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A chain of Arsenal children non-public praised Ljungberg’s have an effect on in the aid of the scenes, with 18-year-frail forward Bukayo Saka admitting he ceaselessly relied on Ljungberg to clarify pale boss Emery’s directions.

With practically a decade of steering from Arsene Wenger an inevitable have an effect on, Ljungberg knows as well to any the kind of soccer Arsenal followers are acquainted with. However, while the crimson hair has since disappeared, it’s miles seemingly he will know no erroneous blueprint than to add his bear non-public set aside.

“He wants his team to play offensive soccer and that is what Arsenal stands for,” added Hartmann.

“I mediate he will assemble his job love he the least bit times has. Accrued, considerate and with a style out technique and ways.

“When someone with this kind of vital profession love Freddie offers everything in a runt city love Wolfsburg, where all americans cherished his unpretentious blueprint, why have to calm he not prevail at the club he loves?”

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