The legendary Frenchman, who was in charge of Arsenal for 22 years before the club decided to part ways with him and appoint Unai Emery in his place last year, is now working with FIFA as their Chief of Global Football Development. He was interviewed by Sky Sports recently in that capacity, and naturally, the subject of Arsenal and their actions and fortunes these days were an inevitable item on the agenda.
As you know well, the club sacked Emery last week and put Freddie Ljungberg in charge of the team on a temporary basis. At the peak of his career, the Swede was a hugely important player under Arsene Wenger’s command, winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups in the nine years he spent at Highbury and the Emirates. Therefore, it’s only natural that he should want a word with his old mentor about the job the 70-year-old spent over two decades in.
Wenger refused to give any views on the sacking of Emery, obviously wanting to respect both the Spaniard and the club hierarchy, but he was also asked about Ljungberg’s recent statement that he had tried to contact Wenger for advice.
“I am always happy to help my former players and my former club. I will always be available”, he said.
Wenger says his heart is still with Arsenal and he wants the Gunners to do well, which is certainly not too hard to imagine after all those years at the club. He also wants his former midfielder to do well in his new job, stressing the importance of getting an opportunity in life to do what he has always wanted to do – manage Arsenal.
He described Ljungberg as fantastically committed, which we certainly remember from his days as a player, with his talent, versatility and incredible work-rate making him a vital link in Wenger’s chain at the time.