Ray Parlour identifies Freddie Ljungberg's first priority to sort as Arsenal manager

Ray Parlour has told former teammate Freddie Ljungberg that his first priority as interim Arsenal boss is to sort out the defence.

Ex-winger Ljungberg has been placed in temporary charge of the Gunners after Unai Emery was sacked as manager of the north London outfit on Friday morning.

Arsenal wrote in a statement that the Swede will be in charge of the first team until Emery’s replacement has been named.

“We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward.

“The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete.”

Freddie Ljungberg has taken interim charge of Arsenal after Unai Emery was sacked

Arsenal are currently on a seven match winless streak, with the Gunners allowing a lead to slip in five of those matches – with 15 goals shipped.

Emery chopped between a four and three man back line – with summer signing David Luiz ending his reign as a central midfielder.

And reacting to the news, Parlour, who played alongside Ljungberg between 1998 and his retirement in 2004, reckons the back line is the most important thing to look into.

Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg were teammates at Arsenal

“Defensively, you have to be much better. How many times have Arsenal been in front and suddenly, they’ll always give the other team a chance to get back into the game. Sometimes you have to see a game out,” he told talkSPORT.

“Get a unit set and I think Freddie would do that because he played in sides that did that.

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“When we played against sides and we were in front but right up against it, he knows how to organise that midfield area because it’s not all about the defence, it’s about the shield in front of them.

“They come from all angles in midfield, there’s no structure. You might well put four or five bodies forward but when it breaks down, suddenly the opposition are at the back four.”


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