We’ve seen a few Premier League clubs benefit from appointing a popular former player as their manager, but it’s fair to say that Arsenal haven’t seen that bounce.
The examples of Frank Lampard at Chelsea and Old Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United are obvious, but they had a notable advantage over Freddie Ljungberg. Solskjaer had Premier League experience with Cardiff and Lampard had cut his teeth with Derby County.
Ljungberg only had experience as an assistant or a youth team coach, so in some ways it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s struggled, but performances under him have barely improved on what Unai Emery could get the players to produce.
When you couple those poor performances with bad results, it makes sense that Arsenal are looking elsewhere for a new manager:
BREAKING: Mikel Arteta is now the leading candidate to become Arsenal’s new manager, Sky Sports News understands.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 16, 2019
Arteta would be a fascinating option for Arsenal for a few reasons. Firstly he is a former player and captain, so he should understand the club, while he’s also very highly rated and clearly admired by Pep Guardiola.
The thing is, he’s not had any experience of managing a senior club either, so the Arsenal board would need to be convinced that he wouldn’t suffer in the same way that Ljungberg has.
There’s no sign that he’s about to be appointed, but this is bad news for Ljungberg if he has aspirations to take over full time. Even if Arteta doesn’t land the role, it’s clear the Arsenal board don’t trust the Swede to take over at this point.