Freddie Ljungberg says a lack of staff hindered him during his spell as Arsenal interim boss.
Saturday's 0-0 draw at Everton brought an end to Ljungberg's time in charge with Mikel Arteta set to take over after leaving his post as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Unai Emery's dismissal saw various members of his staff depart Emirates Stadium with Ljungberg left to operate with a skeleton backroom team as the recruitment process continued.
Per Mertesacker stepped up to help Ljungberg, who will remain at the club in some capacity under Arteta's leadership.
"I think we had six people leaving so there were no people there and you try to fill the gaps and try to do a lot of things," Ljungberg told reporters after the goalless draw at Goodison Park.
"I learned a lot of things about myself and tried to organise things and get it done but of course, it's been a big, big honour and as well a challenge to sort these things out.
"I must say Per Mertesacker - he's our academy manager and he's been academy manager plus being my assistant.
"It's not been easy for him, he's been going to kids Christmas parties and then coming back to me, going here and there, so a big thank you to him."
Mesut Ozil was left out of the squad to face Everton due to injury but Ljungberg confirmed the midfielder would not have been selected after his frustrated reaction to being substituted during last weekend's heavy home loss to Manchester City.
"For me, I got asked after the game about Mesut," Ljungberg added. "He walked off the game and took the things [gloves] and kicked it.
"The fans were not happy, I got asked about it and said for me, at Arsenal, that's not what we do and I stand by that.
"Mesut was injured but I would not have picked him for the squad because I want to make a stance that's not what I expect from an Arsenal player.
"That's my decision and I want to make the decisions again, but that's what I think."