Arsenal legend Ljungberg reveals the managerial lessons Wenger taught him

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The Swede spoke about the learning curve his young Gunners side faced in Tuesday night's 6-2 defeat to Cheltenham Town in the Checkatrade Trophy

Arsenal youth coach Freddie Ljungberg has revealed how advice from former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has helped him to become a more calming influence in the dressing room.

The Swede previously coached the Arsenal Under-15s two seasons ago but left the role to become assistant at Wolfsburg last season.

He is now working as head coach of the Gunners' Under-23 team and witnessed a disappointing 6-2 defeat to League Two side Cheltenham Town in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.

However, Ljungberg admitted the defeat was a learning curve for his young guns and cited words of wisdom from ex-Arsenal boss Wenger as to how he issued feedback to a deflated youth squad.

“First of all I told them, quite sternly, that that’s what happens in a game like this,” Ljungberg told Goal.

“Then I tried to explain to them a little the mistakes we’d made. But often after a game - maybe I was told by Arsene a bit - [you realise] you don’t always see the correct things on the bench. 

“Before I go and point fingers at players I like to go and see the videos because there could be different angles. I like to be clear if I want to make a point to someone. I try to be calm after games and have a discussion 24-48 hours later.”

Arsene Wenger 2018-10-09

Several youngsters still put in encouraging displays, including goalscorer Tyreece John-Jules while Gedion Zelalem made his first appearance in 17 months after recovering from a serious knee injury. 

“It’s still a youth team where we try to learn,” said Ljungberg. 

“I told them that if that was the first team maybe the manager would be screaming and shouting. We still have to be focused and see what we can learn from it. 

“They had changed the system they played before, we tried to always play out from the back because I think that’s what a youth team player has to learn. I don’t want them to change and just boot it because the result will get better, I want them to learn so they’re ready when they go up to the first team. 

“But you maybe have to change how you play out from the back. We made some mistakes in the beginning of the game, I said ‘you have to be more mature and you can’t just keep making the same mistakes’. We’re going to learn a lot and of course we got a sending off and then it’s a really uphill battle. The boys fought well but I’m not happy.”

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The Gunners now face a must-win game at Forest Green Rovers next Wednesday to guarantee a place in the Checkatrade Trophy knockout stages, with Ljungberg insisting that the competition isn’t an inconvenience despite a packed schedule of games this campaign.

“No, no, I value it a lot,” he said.

“The planning of the games could have been better for us but that’s how it is. We can’t decide on that. In certain parts of the season we don’t play games for three weeks in January, that’s how it ease. We cope. That’s why I bring up a lot of U18s to rotate the squad. Results are important but we think it’s important to bring other players in.”

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