Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss | Arsenal stars refuse to support interim manager Freddie Ljungberg, who is facing the axe after just two games in charge.

Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss

Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss

Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss

Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss

Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss

Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss
Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss
  • By: express.co.uk
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Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is facing the axe as the team’s stars refuse to back him shortly after he replaced Unai Emery on a trial basis. According to the Daily Star, players have been refusing to speak publicly about the situation in the dugout for two weeks and it is currently unclear whether they have faith in Ljungberg, who could be facing the sack if the Gunners lose to West Ham on Monday.

We need to dig out a win to get some confidence

Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg

The Swedish coach has been struggling to pick up a win in charge of the north Londoners following a 2-2 draw with Norwich, who are facing a relegation struggle, and a miserable 2-1 loss to Brighton at the Emirates where the players got booed off by the home fans.

Arsenal’s winless streak has been stretched to 11 games in all competitions - the club’s worst run since 1977 - and has seen the team slump to 10th place in the Premier League table.

Ljungberg understands the urgency of the situation and that is why he let rip rip at his players during half-time against Brighton on Thursday as he told them: “This is not Arsenal”.

The club legend, though, is confident that a win would raise morale to such an extent that the Premier League giants could be able to produce a comeback.

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Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is facing the axe

Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is facing the axe (Image: GETTY)

Ljungberg said: “We need to dig out a win to get some confidence.

“It’s obvious the nerves in the crowd affect the players. They are human beings, they want to do well and they feel pressure.

“But we need a win and we showed in the second half we can get one.”

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Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is in the running for the permanent job

Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is in the running for the permanent job (Image: GETTY)

Ljungberg is in the running for the full-time job on the Arsenal hot seat but the board is still rigorously looking for another permanent manager.

They now have less options after Brendan Rodgers signed a new five-and-half-year deal that doubled his wages to an eye watering £10million a year at Leicester.

Other candidates include former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta, ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti and Belgium’s Roberto Martinez.

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira also poses as a likely choice but the Nice manager has refused to address the rumours.

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Vieira said: “I have no comment to make on that, honestly.

“With all the respect I can have, I am not going to respond to that.

“I'm concentrated 100 per cent on what I have to do here.”

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win

Back in the summer, Manchester United duo Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward met to discuss transfer business at Old Trafford. After a summer where they'd again fallen well short of eventual Premier League champions Manchester City, the duo knew they needed to recruit.

One of the areas both men agreed needing bolstering was at right-back.

Having seen Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold flourish for Manchester City and Liverpool respectively, United knew they needed someone they can depend on.

As per usual, many names were linked once it became public knowledge that the Red Devils would be signing a replacement for veteran Antonio Valencia.

Thomas Meunier had his admirers at Old Trafford but Solskjaer knew who he wanted. In his eyes, it was this player or nothing at all.

So after much pressure, Woodward finally agreed to meet Crystal Palace's asking price for defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Man Utd Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Ed Woodward Man City news

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pressured Ed Woodward on Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Image: GETTY)

And, certainly based on Saturday night's stirring 2-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad, it appears to be money well spent.

City went into the game as favourites. While they've suffered a blip of late, they're still the defending champions. Still the possessors of the best set of players in the world right now.

United had beaten Tottenham but, before that, failed to beat Sheffield United, Astana and Aston Villa.

But the Red Devils sprang a major surprise, with goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial giving them three precious Premier League points.

And Wan-Bissaka, amid the heat of the Etihad battle, delivered perhaps his finest display in a red shirt yet.

Man Utd Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Ed Woodward Man City news

Man Utd star Aaron Wan-Bissaka was outstanding against Man City (Image: GETTY)

The United star was solid to the point where City players, on more than one occasion, would look to the heavens in frustration.

Raheem Sterling, the same Sterling whose name was banded about for the Ballon d'Or, had one of the quietest displays of his City career.

That's some feat. This wasn't Wan-Bissaka against a tricky winger. This was him against the trickiest winger, perhaps in the entire world.

And the 22-year-old didn't give him an inch. Not one.

It was similar with Angelino. The City star would try everything to get past his United counterpart - only to find a big red wall in front of him.

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In the end, Wan-Bissaka finished the game with a 100 per cent tackle success rate. For a derby, that's a stunning accomplishment.

And it proved that Solskjaer was right to pressure Woodward. He wanted United to sign the defender, he got his man, and now the only way seems to be up.

Wan-Bissaka's display wasn't entirely perfect. It was he, after all, who was outjumped by Nicolas Otamendi for City's goal.

But Solskjaer certainly got the right man and, if United didn't have Wan-Bissaka, they wouldn't be sitting in the lofty heights of fifth in the Premier League table.

Gary Neville explains what Man Utd need in January transfer window after Man City win

Gary Neville explains what Man Utd need in January transfer window after Man City win

Manchester United still need to be busy in the January transfer window despite winning two Premier League games in a row. That’s the view of former Red Devils defender Gary Neville who saw United beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad on Saturday evening.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both scored in the opening 30 minutes as United hit City hard with the counter attack.

They then showed their defensive qualities in the second half with Nicolas Otamendi pulling one back for the hosts in the final few minutes.

It was United’s second win of the week after they beat Tottenham on Wednesday.

But Neville believes it shouldn’t alter Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s transfer plans too much, with experienced faces still needed.

JUST IN: Man Utd players think Ed Woodward will agree Mauricio Pochettino deal to replace Solskjaer

Gary Neville saw Man Utd beat Man City on Saturday

Gary Neville saw Man Utd beat Man City on Saturday (Image: GETTY)

“It’ll give them massive confidence but I still don’t think it changes what United need to do in January,” Neville said on Sky Sports.

“They still need two or three, if they can get, experienced players in to bolster that squad.

“They need it desperately. McTominay and Fred have done brilliantly today in front of that back four.

“But they just can’t do it week in, week out. That’s been demonstrated over a period of time.

“It doesn’t change anything today but it does give confidence and gives Ole that little bit of breathing space that they can go and win big games.”

Solskjaer had been under pressure a week ago but the two results since has eased that somewhat.

And United goalscorer Rashford believes his boss should not be facing the strong criticism.

The striker said: “It’s been an inconsistent start to the season, it’s a young team, and we’ve been trying to get the right fundamentals and the only way to get consistency is to go through these hard times.

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has eased the pressure on himself

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has eased the pressure on himself (Image: GETTY)

“You have to stick with the manager and process. If we do that we’ve got something to be excited about in the future.

"We could have had more goals and really seen the game out. It is a tough win and sometimes they do more for you as a team and will Help us going forward.

"That first 30 minutes was terrific and what we played to do, the challenge is if we can do that for 80 or 90 minutes.”

Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players

Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players

Whisper it quietely, but Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are beginning to show signs of real promise. Days after producing what the Norweigan described as his team's best performance of the season against Tottenham, the Red Devils did it again with a powerful performance against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Plaudits will go to goalscorers Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, while the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jesse Lingard and Daniel James caught the eye as well.

But three other players deserve praise, looking completely different to 12 months ago when Jose Mourinho ruled the roost.

There's no denying that Manchester United remain very much a work in progress.

But three players are, slowly but surely, beginning to silence their critics. Express Sport now takes a look at who they are and why they're now integral for Solskjaer's team.

Man Utd Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man City

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw Victor Lindelof shine vs Man City (Image: GETTY)

Scott McTominay

A year ago, not everybody was sold on Scott McTominay. Certainly, the thought of the United midfielder being an ever-present appeared far-fetched.

But, while he was ticking along steadily under Mourinho, he has taken his game to new heights under Solskjaer.

The United manager himself has admitted that, these days, the Scotland international is virtually undroppable.

And his performance against City is proof that Solskjaer has turned him into a really important midfielder at the club.

McTominay was snarling but slick, nullifying the threats of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva while providing the foundations for United's powerful counter-attacking performance.

Man Utd Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man City

Man Utd duo Fred and Scott McTominay improved against Man City (Image: GETTY)

Fred

United fans, a year ago, were confused by Fred.

What exactly had Mourinho, Ed Woodward and other Old Trafford powerbrokers seen to persuade them to pay £52million to secure the midfielder's signature?

But now we know.

The Brazil international delivered, in the eyes of his manager, a 'man of the match' performance. He was confident in possession and again, alongside McTominay, excelled at both ends.

Fred may just end up living up to his huge United price tag after all.

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Victor Lindelof

The United star remains a question mark. But, against City at the Etihad, he was absolutely superb.

It's not easy keeping out Gabriel Jesus, especially given the Brazilian's pace.

But the Sweden international did just that while marshalling the troops and joining Harry Maguire in being particularly loud and vocal.

He's no Virgil van Dijk, sure, but the United star is turning into another undroppable for his manager.

And that can only be a good thing.

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