12 Dec 2019, 18:10 IST
Ashley Cole hopes Arsenal appoint interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg as their permanent new boss because “he knows the club inside out”.
Ljungberg was put in temporary charge following Unai Emery’s sacking two weeks ago, celebrating his first win on Monday with a 3-1 triumph at West Ham.
The 42-year-old is reportedly in contention to stay on at the Emirates Stadium helm until the end of the campaign while the club continue their search for Emery’s successor.
However, Cole has called on Arsenal chiefs to consider sticking with Ljungberg – whom he played alongside for seven years – for the long term, rather than looking elsewhere.
Great start to my coaching career buzzing for the boys they we’re brilliant throughout, and also thanks to the other coaches who have helped me, frank O’Brien Ian Howell and Harvey great job guys @ChelseaFC pic.twitter.com/LmpWFjmMM3
— Ashley Cole (@TheRealAC3) October 6, 2019
“Every club has to change. They’re in another transition period at the minute where they tried Emery and for whatever reason it didn’t work out,” Cole, speaking on behalf of Nissan, told Omnisport.
“Now Freddie is there and hopefully he can take over as permanent manager because he knows the club inside out. Freddie was my friend when I was at Arsenal and hopefully he can change some things there.”
Another of Cole’s former clubs, Chelsea, are also going through a transition period after appointing club legend Frank Lampard as head coach in July.
Lampard has showed faith in young players such as Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James, who all spent time on loan in the Championship last term.
And Cole, currently working as an academy coach at Chelsea, is full of praise for the work Lampard has done so far in the early stages of his Stamford Bridge tenure.
Getting set for the return of the @EuropaLeague!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 11, 2019
“I’m delighted,” he said. “I was lucky enough to work with him at Derby County before he came here and I knew how good he could be.
“He’s obviously come here and changed a few things, brought his own philosophy here, the way he wants to play. I think the team has done brilliantly so far, so no, no surprise how good he’s done.
“The youth players have been great. A lot of people were probably saying he had no choice to play them, but I think he knows if they weren’t good enough he wouldn’t play them.
“But they’ve been brilliant, they’ve adapted well from playing in the Championship as most of them did last season and I think they are the driving force of this team at the minute.”
— César Azpilicueta (@CesarAzpi) December 10, 2019
The emergence of young talent has come at a cost for some players, though, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta recently losing his place at right-back to James.
“I wouldn’t say his time is coming to an end,” Cole said when asked about Azpilicueta’s future. “Tactically sometimes maybe the manager wants fresh ideas, fresh players.
“It comes with the job, you can’t play every game. It happened to me: Cesar took my place. He’s still the Chelsea captain.
“It’s not about just what he does on the pitch, it’s how he motivates the players off it and I’ve been around that and seen how good he is at that.
“I don’t think it will worry him. It will probably spur him on to be even better and train even harder, which is hard to do because he is a beast at training.”
Nissan are proud partners of the UEFA Champions League. UEFA ambassador Ashley Cole was at the Chelsea FC v LOSC Lille match on Tuesday 10th December, along with the UEFA Champions League Trophy, which is being driven around the UK by the next generation Nissan Juke.
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