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When Freddie Ljungeberg made the shock decision to leave Arsenal on the eve of the new season, Mikel Arteta was forced into action. The Swede enjoyed a positive spell as interim boss, laying the foundations for Arteta’s arrival at the end of 2019.
However, ahead of Arteta’s first full season in the Emirates dugout, Ljungberg made the difficult choice to leave the club in order to find a head coach role.
While Ljungberg is still on the lookout for his first permanent position, his replacement in north London is flourishing.
Arteta knew exactly the man he wanted to replace his former coach with, bringing in Andreas Georgson from Brentford.
Ljungberg’s compatriot had been with the Bees since January 2019, providing an immediate benefit to their promotion credentials.
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Georgson was given the role as head of set pieces and individual development in west London and his work was clear to see.
In the 2019/20 season, the Bees conceded just 10 goals from set pieces – the fourth lowest tally in the division.
That was clearly a huge appeal for Arteta, who had watched his side concede the most set piece goals (12) in the top-flight during his first months in charge.
The former Brentford coach played a key role in their data driven model and watches games from the stands.
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And similarly to his immediate impact with Frank’s side, his work at London Colney is already reaping rewards.
While the Gunners have struggled for results in the early months of the season, one clear improvement has been their ability to defend from corners and free kicks.
After being the worst in the Premier League last term, Georgson’s arrival has now moved them to the top of the pile.
While that hasn’t immediately translated into results, fans have hailed his work on the training ground.
“Very impressive stat in all honesty. And 1 of the conceded ones was from a Auba OG,” one said in reply.
Another posted: “There must be a method to the madness that is little bellerin marking the tallest attacker on the pitch every game, guess it works somehow”.
“I now feel much less anxious when it comes to set pieces. Now let’s improve the attacking side too,” a third concluded.
However, there were still some complaints about Arsenal’s propensity to score themselves.
“Does he only work on our defensive structure? We’re still rubbish at taking set pieces,” an Arsenal fan asked.
And another replied: “Take Saka off these odd short corners and I’ll be even happier. Pointless having Mari and Holding in box especially when it leaves us open for counters.”
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