London, December 16: Freddie Ljungberg believes Arsenal now need to make a swift decision in their search for a new manager.
Arsenal slumped to a 3-0 defeat against Manchester City on Sunday (December 15), with Kevin De Bruyne playing the starring role with two excellent goals and an assist.
The Gunners have managed just one victory in 12 games across all competitions, with Ljungberg having overseen the last five matches on an interim basis following Unai Emery's dismissal.
However, the search for a new permanent boss does not appear to be nearing its completion, with reports suggesting City assistant Mikel Arteta is still a primary target, and Ljungberg has urged Arsenal to make a decision soon.
"We all have to look in the mirror. What I felt is that the West Ham game [a 3-1 win for Arsenal] was a big step in the right direction," Ljungberg told a news conference.
"I haven't seen that from a team in a long time. Today, they [City] are a top side, they are a lot better than us.
"For me it's a great honour to do this, but Per [Mertesacker, serving as Ljungberg's assistant] is an academy manager and he is doing two jobs. I think it needs to be cleared up, so everybody knows.
"That's what I've said but it's totally up to the club. I'm very honoured and I will do what I can, but I think we need to make a decision, regardless of what it is."
6 - Arsenal had just six shots in their 3-0 defeat to Manchester City - their fewest in a home Premier League game since December 2008 against Liverpool (also six). Limp. #ARSMCI pic.twitter.com/sP8KkPZujxOptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 15 December 2019
Many fans appeared to have left Emirates Stadium well before full-time on Sunday, but Ljungberg insisted he was proud of the support offered to his side.
"I'm an Arsenal man and we try everything but we need to be a bit realistic as well, there is a gulf between City and Liverpool and the rest," Ljungberg said.
"I am happy and proud of the fans, they responded well to the young players that came on. Of course they can see there's a difference. They sang in the end and appreciated the young boys trying it.
"We know in the last couple of years we have struggled against City at home. When we countered on them which was one of our game-plans they took five yellow cards just kicking us down.
"Maybe we can learn to be a bit more cynical and not let our opponents counter on us. It's a bit of a weakness of ours. We need to take those fouls.
"That's intelligent by City. It's tactical, there's no other way. Maybe we need to be cynical as well, take the free-kick and nothing happens."