By Randy Osae
Once an Arsenal sweetheart, forever an icon.
Freddie Ljungberg is still working his kicks and tricks in America after saying goodbye to Arsenal in the summer of 2007.
The 31-year-old now plies his trade in Seattle, Washington after signing for the Seattle Sounders following a brief stint with West Ham last year.
Arsenal’s former hot-heeled winger is serving a lucrative post in the MLS (worth $5 million a season) and in relax mood, studies his new surroundings.
The Swede held his first interview on American television with ESPN and expressed memories and concerns for his old employers. The latter part of the question/answer event was an all-Arsenal topic.
For a man who spent nine years as a Gunner, Ljungberg might know a thing or two about the close-up of Arsenal Football Club.
Here is how it went.
On his time at the club…
It was the best years of my life. We were like a family and had great players and a great team. And we kind of won everything we could win. It was like having eleven captains on the pitch as everyone knew what he was supposed to do and we also socialized well off the pitch.
On Wenger gaining more pressure as people come and go…
Maybe it is a bit harder for him now with pressure of not being allowed to spend as much money as he used to, but he is a great man. And also when he buys players, he looks at not just their quality but how they will fit in the dressing room because he doesn’t want any problems.
On the Frenchman staying even longer at Arsenal or leaving soon…
I don’t want to say anything to make the headlines. I know he is a winner just like anybody. These days when they don’t win and are fourth or fifth on the table, he is angry as anyone. But I don’t know, if he gets a great chance to work somewhere he can be allowed to spend more and win things, then there’s a possibility he will go.
On Arsenal not being mentioned in talks of the Premier League’s title chasers and under-achieving since his departure, Ljungberg reacted like a season ticket holder at the Emirates Stadium.
Excuse my language but it pisses me off a bit because for me, Arsenal are the biggest club in England and we should not be taken for granted. I feel we should be talked about a bit more, but of course, things have changed since I left.