Freddie Ljungberg says he has grand ambitions for his coaching career and revealed he’s already working 60 hours a week with Arsenal’s Academy to gain the necessary experience.
The Swede made 328 appearances for Arsenal before moving to West Ham in 2007 and then embarked on short spells in the USA, Scotland, Japan and India before being welcomed back to the Gooner bosom last year.
The 39-year-old worked with the club’s under-15s last campaign and appears to have taken up Arsene Wenger’s offer to fill the position left vacant by Thierry Henry, training Kwame Ampadu’s under-18s.
Looking ahead to the future, Freddie told City A.M: “My vision is I want to go as far I possibly can. But I’m trying to earn my stripes and do it the right way.
“I was offered roles as assistant here and assistant there, but I spoke to Arsene about things and it’s important to make your own mistakes and be the one making the decisions.
“Now I have my own staff of six people and I need to manage them and for them to feel like a group pulling in the same direction.
“It’s important to give people ownership and I’m not the headmaster telling people what to do. I do 60 hours a week, just trying to coach, coach, coach and get experience and build from there.”
Ljungberg also spoke about why he’s focusing on coaching young players rather than current first teamers, underlining his eagerness to get in the heads of the next generation.
“The main thing why I am doing the younger age groups is they are the future and mentality-wise we are changing as human beings,” he added. “We often talk about them just being on the iPads, whereas our generation maybe sat talking, but there is no point in me saying that because those are the facts.
“I need to change with the times and ask ‘how will I be able to inspire them, get them concentrated and focused’.
“That’s something I’m trying to learn so in the future when these players come up to the first team places, if they ever get a chance somewhere, I will know how they think and what makes them tick. That’s very important.”
Interesting stuff from Freddie, it’ll be interesting to watch how his career develops from here. Good luck to him.