Saturday, 26 December 2009

Freddie Ljungberg 2001/2002 - Arsenal's Saviour

After the brilliant Robert Pires sustained a long term injury in March 2002, question marks were raised over Arsenal's ability to last the run-in without one of their major creative influences and goalscorers.

Fortunately Freddie Ljungberg - himself returning from injury - managed to fill the gap by embarking on a remarkable goalscoring spree which saw him score 7 goals and provide 1 assist in 7 games towards the tail-end of the season. His trademark of timing a late run into the box made him difficult to pick up by opposition defenders, and he was able to make the breakthrough several times against teams that looked to stifle Arsenal.

It's also worth noting that 4 of his goals were set up by Dennis Bergkamp passes. The two had an excellent understanding of each other in their time at Arsenal, and Ljungberg would often make diagonal runs from the wing into the box, safe in the knowledge that Bergkamp would pick him out even through the tighest of gaps.