Arsene Wenger thinks Arsenal can only afford to give Freddie Ljungberg a maximum of six matches to prove he is capable of succeeding Unai Emery permanently.
Unai Emery was sacked last Friday following a miserable run of form which culminated in a shambolic Europa League defeat versus Eintracht Frankfurt which was performed out in front of a half-empty Emirates Stadium.
Freddie Ljungberg, who was promoted to Unai Emery’s senior coaching set-up in the summer, took charge of his first match on Sunday as Arsenal laboured to a 2-2 draw versus struggling Norwich at Carrow Road.
The Swede will wish to secure Arsenal’s first Premier League win in approaching two months at home versus Brighton this evening, but Wenger fears the club’s board may have to turn to a more experienced candidate if Freddie Ljungberg is unable to mastermind an immediate improvement in results.
Speaking at an event for the charity Grief Encounter, Arsen Wenger replied: ‘If Freddie can’t stabilise in the next five or six games, you will need to put it to a guy with some experience. But I hope they take off with Freddie.’
Another former Arsen Wenger charge, Patrick Vieira, is now reported to be the primary candidate to replace Unai Emery, while former Valencia and Villarreal manager Marcelino is said to be the option of Arsenal’s head of football, Raul Sanllehi.
Freddie Ljungberg, meanwhile, is firmly focused on the task in hand and hopes an improved atmosphere at the Emirates can make a difference in the coming weeks.
‘I think the only way to change an atmosphere in the stadium is by how you play, he said. ‘Like you said, the fans were amazing at Norwich. I felt like they got more and more energy the more that we played in the first half.