Freddie Ljungberg says people underestimate Arsene Wenger’s hunger to succeed at Arsenal and insists the Gunners boss hates losing and always wants to win.
The former Sweden international spent nine years at Arsenal winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups under Wenger who he admits he still calls “the boss”.
The 39-year-old also revealed he was keen for the Frenchman to stay at the Emirates, with Wenger yet to reveal whether he plans to stay at the club or move on after his contract expires in the summer.
“I think people underestimate his hunger to succeed sometimes. He is polite and respectful in interviews but he hates losing. He wants to win as much as anyone else,” he told the Evening Standard.
“When you hate losing that is a gene than you are born with and I do not think Arsene is ever going to lose that. Arsene loves coaching. He is on the field all the time and you have got to enjoy it if you are going to be doing it for 20 years.
“With Arsene it is totally up to him how long he stays. When he feels he has had enough or wants to do something different, that is his decision. He is a great manager and I want him to stay on. But that is up to the boss, as I call still him.”
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Ljungberg also paid tribute to his former manager saying he believes most neutrals like to watch Arsenal under Wenger, due to the entertaining style of football that they play.
“Twenty years is an amazing amount of time and to stay at the club for that long shows what a great manager he is. It does not really happen in football anymore,” he added.
“The way he has made Arsenal play, he has given the club a great name around the world. Fans who do not have a specific team like to watch Arsenal because they know they are going to get entertaining football. That is credit to Arsene.
“In our heyday we had a great side and loved playing offensive football. The changes the club has been through, moving from Highbury to Emirates Stadium and all the financial restraint that he had, means it has not always been plain sailing but Arsenal are back to having the financial power to compete again.”
Wenger may hate losing but the 66-year-old has only suffered one loss so far this season on the opening day, going down 4-3 to Liverpool. With the team currently in good form, and a relatively kind fixture list on the horizon, supporters will be hoping the manager does not have to taste defeat again in a hurry.