Arsenal caretaker Freddie Ljungberg says it is a “great honour” to lead the club following Unai Emery’s departure – but has played down talk of taking the job on a permanent basis.
Ljungberg, who was Emery’s assistant, was put in interim charge of the Gunners on Friday morning after the Spaniard was sacked in the aftermath of the club’s worst run of results since 1992.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports ahead of the Gunners’ trip to Norwich on Super Sunday, Ljungberg, who won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups at Arsenal, said: “It is a great, great honour, that is how I feel. I have this energy inside me and it is special.
“It is just a great honour and that is what I told the players – you guys have to do the job, I can help and support, but for me, it is a great, great honour.
“I was proud, honoured that they trusted me to do it and deliver that. I felt excited because I feel we have some very good football players here and it is a great club. I felt excitement at such a big thing.”
“They just said concentrate on the next game and do as good as you can and we will see from there,” he said. “For me, I will just concentrate on those players, we have a game and I will try to do the best I can.
“For me, it is about the team and the club. Try to concentrate about the game [at Norwich], not the future, try and win that and a few other games and then we will see. For me, that is what I look at and everything else is totally irrelevant.
“At the moment, I am learning the trade and trying to do everything I can to improve myself – of course it is an honour that the club thinks I am able to take on this massive responsibility, but at the moment I am just concentrating on taking it game by game.”
Ljungberg, who has not yet confirmed his Arsenal captain, admitted the training ground mood was “strange” on Friday morning and said his focus was on lifting morale as the Gunners head to Carrow Road seeking a first win in eight games.
“There was a bit of a strange [atmosphere]… the players have had a coach for a long time, a good coach, and other coaching staff who have disappeared,” the former Sweden international, who had a short spell as assistant boss at Wolfsburg in 2017, said.