Freddie Ljungberg has reiterated his thoughts on Arsenal’s defensive ‘problems’ and has suggested the club’s current options are not quick enough to execute his gameplan.
Arsenal‘s winless run extended into an eighth fixture in all competitions following their 2-2 draw at Norwich on Sunday, the first fixture of Ljungberg’s reign since he was appointed as Unai Emery’s successor on an interim basis.
Following the match, Ljungberg gave his assessment of Arsenal’s ‘problems’, particularly their defensive play when in transitions.
Speaking ahead of Thursday night’s clash with Brighton at the Emirates the Swede has now revealed he has twice watched the game back, with his ‘general feeling’ very much the same regarding the club’s ongoing defensive fragility.
“I’ve watched it twice now,” Ljungberg told the media at his pre-match press conference. “The general feeling is probably the same as I had after the match, we started extremely well, played very well offensively but had a problem transition-wise, so they got shots on target and chances just from the transition of an eight-yard sprint, which we need to stop.”
Ljungberg added that a lack of pace may be to blame for his side’s woes, his current defensive options unable to provide the necessary amount of quickness and intensity.
“I think my players try to defend,” he added. “Of course you can have different types of players in the squad. That’s just a fact, that you have different types of players.
“We’ve had a gameplan we’ve tried to execute and I want to defend. Of course we need to try to find solutions.
“If players are not super quick and we say, ‘You’ve got to sprint for this or that’, that’s going to be difficult for that player. In general terms, we try to put out a structure so that everybody knows what to do.
“The main thing I saw in the game is that we let them get into situations where it was just a sprint. It was not about football or technical stuff, they just went in a competitive sprint with our player. We want to stop that.”
Arsenal head into their fixture with Brighton currently eighth in the Premier League, with the visitors sitting in 16th following their defeat at Liverpool last weekend.