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Ljungberg: Arteta will make Arsenal even better

Everton coach Duncan Ferguson (left) and Arsenal coach Freddie Ljungberg on the touchline

Everton coach Duncan Ferguson (left) and Arsenal coach Freddie Ljungberg on the touchline

PA Wire/PA Images

Freddie Ljungberg is backing Mikel Arteta to improve Arsenal after handing over the reins following a 0-0 draw at Everton.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (right) and technical director Edu in the stands at Goodison ParkArsenal manager Mikel Arteta (right) and technical director Edu in the stands at Goodison Park

Interim head coach Ljungberg won only one of six matches in temporary charge of the Gunners, following the sacking of Unai Emery, but felt the squad had made some steps forward.

And after seeing the team battle to a point at Goodison Park on Saturday, as Arteta watched on from the stands, Swede Ljungberg said: ""I feel we've taken strides in how we want to play football.

"I liked that we dominated the game, put a very, very young side out as well and they fought so hard. Well done to the boys and it's a point.

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"I know Mikel is a great coach and he will make us even better."

Ljungberg handed starts to teenagers Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, with youngster Reiss Nelson also featuring in Arsenal's youngest line-up since May 2011 and Joe Willock coming off the bench.

But there was no place in the matchday squad for German international Mesut Ozil, who was sidelined with a foot injury but would have been left out of the squad anyway after reacting furiously to being substituted against Manchester City last weekend.

"I wanted to make a stand that that's not what I accept from an Arsenal football player," added Ljungberg.

Arsenal lie in 11th place, six points off the top four, as Arteta takes charge for a Boxing Day trip to Bournemouth, with home matches against Chelsea (December 29) and Manchester United (January 1) to follow.