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Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg admits it 'wasn't an easy decision' to quit his role as a coach

Published on: 22 November 2020

Arsenal legend and former coach Freddie Ljungberg revealed that it was not an easy decision to leave the club earlier this year after quitting his role as a coach.

The Swede, who took interim charge of the Gunners after Unai Emery's sacking, made the shock decision to leave the North Londoners during pre-season in a blow to Mikel Arteta's backroom.

Ljungberg played a key role in nurturing the academy's talent with players such as Bukayo Saka, Reece Nelson, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah all breaking into senior football under his watch.

He admitted it was a tough decision to walk away from the club that he coached and played for in his career.

Ljungberg told Sky Sports: 'Yeah 100% everybody knows how much I love that club and a lot of very good relationships.

'But I felt I'm ready to manage myself and do be able to do that I felt I had to leave and stand on my own two feet. It wasn't an easy decision but I needed to do it for my career.

'I want to be a manager. I want to do all the work and learn from all the good managers and do it myself. I want something that fits all parties and we'll see.'

After leaving back in August, Ljungberg revealed his reasoning for leaving Arsenal, a club he has a great affinity for.

'I have decided to leave my first team assistant coaching role at Arsenal to progress my management experience,' he wrote on Twitter. 'I have been involved with this club on and off since 1998 and am grateful for all the opportunities they have given me both as a player and as a coach.

'I wish Mikel and all the team every success for the season ahead. Thanks also to the fans for their constant support and for always being by my side. I hope we will all meet again soon.'

He had a positive effect on several of the club's talent, as Saka posted on his Twitter account: 'You did so much for me and for our club! Forever grateful. Legend.'

He played for Arsenal for nine seasons between 1998 and 2007 - making 325 appearances. He went on to play for West Ham and Seattle Sounders before retiring and joining Arsenal as an ambassador in 2013.

Three years later he became part of their academy coaching staff with the Under-15s. He had a short spell as Wolfsburg's assistant manager in 2017 before returning to Arsenal the following year - this time taking charge of the Under 23s.

In the summer of 2019 he was promoted to Emery's first team coaching team and remained part of the senior staff ever since.


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