Our Everchanging Moods: Runners and Riders for New Arsenal Boss Leaked?

Has someone been talking out of school or are they all just copying the answers? You’d think so with this morning’s back pages. Column inches devoted to which big name is replacing Arsène with more or less the same names in all. No-one left-field like Wenger when he took over; these are great and not-so-good of world football who may be available for an interview if asked.

There will be those who say, “Oooh, but he’s at this club or that” as if it is some barrier to appointing a new manager. Here’s a hint: it isn’t; it’s the same as signing a player when it comes down to the two clubs.

Sunday was always a tipping point for action for the media. But the manner of defeat and the pitiful vignette of complaining about injury time confirmed Arsène’s race is run. Does he know it? I’m not convinced; he may sense the walls closing in on all sides but I don’t believe he thinks he’ll be ‘asked’ to leave.

Maybe he isn’t as blinkered as we think and he’s just waiting for Unai Emery to be given the elbow by PSG once their seemingly inevitable Champions League exit is confirmed. It’s a bit like ours from the Europa League, just sooner.

Do any of the names mentioned as his successor ‘float your boat’? I’ve long advocated the appointment of an experienced interim manager, such as Carlo Ancelotti, who is available now. There’s plenty who call him ‘Wenger-lite’ and among some, the words of the Bayern Munich players ring true.

I always found it odd that their complaints were aired as they were in the midst of the usual battering for failing in the Champions League again. It’s as if they were looking for a scapegoat.

Don’t Forget Sol Campbell

As you peruse the list of usual suspects, some names stand out. For the wrong reason. If we’re hellbent on appointing David Brent, can we at least get Ricky Gervais in rather than Brendan Rodgers? Sorry, but no, Arsenal; just no.

The interesting names, again, are unsurprising. There was a lot of talk about Max Allegri over the past few years and his track record – like Ancelotti’s – demands respect. On Netflix, there’s a documentary series about Juventus which is sort of interesting in a PR kind of way but the one thing which is clear is Allegri is a hands-on coach who isn’t afraid to tell the players what he thinks they are doing wrong.

And more importantly, how to put it right.

If I had to pick names which appeal to Stan’s vision of the club, Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim and Shakhtar’s Paulo Fonseca would be the two in the frame. The former club is who Arsenal want to be as a business and while the manager brought relative success to the playing field, the pressure instantly turns onto the youth system.

Jardim joined the Monegasque in 2014; it took three years to deliver a title, in which time they procured a talented batch of youngsters from around the globe. Is it something we can replicate? Arguably not but then again, that’s why Sven Mislintat was brought in: revamping player recruitment.

Fonseca is the bigger risk in that sense. Shakhtar’s profile abroad comes through European adventures and relatively speaking, they don’t do badly. Can he replicate that success here is the question?

Jardim of the two has more experience and of clubs who occupy a similar level as Arsenal. Interestingly both men managed Sporting Braga so the Arsenal connection is there. Omens, eh?

Ahem, Sol Campbell?

Which leaves Joachim Löw. No club pedigree to speak of and an international coach for the last fourteen years. Successful as well, you have to admit. It would be an appointment to keep Mesut Özil happy and the prospect of us playing a similar way to Germany holds appeal, particularly if it comes with the same success.

I’d be surprised if Arsenal went with Löw; would any of the board want to shake hands with the man when he walked into the room for an interview? Instinctively, you’d smell them after and have a quick squirt of the antiseptic gel.

The PR side of the club’s executives would look at former players. Maybe Thierry Henry and Ancelotti; Arteta and someone else? There’s a huge boost to be taken from this kind of appointment because those are the two names who regularly form part of the ‘Managerial Dream Team’ you see mentioned on social media. Tony Adams as well but as fine a player as he was, no. Just, no.

Bergkamp is another many would willingly add to the coaching staff and I see no issue with that. Ajax didn’t either until they reached a tipping point with the head coaches, and according to a BBC report at the time, there was a difference of opinion over the “technical direction”. The Dutch arguing? Who’da thunk it.

If we are seriously looking at a former player though, Patrick Vieira is a name which ought to be in the frame. As far as managerial experience goes, he is head and shoulders above anyone else of the former players. People dismiss him on the basis of being in the USA; it’s a flimsy argument and one which if extended, rules out Arteta and Henry as well.

Cake and eat it time.

Footballing Genius?

That the story has broken this morning and so widely suggests something is happening behind the scenes. There’s no doubt that the thought process of the experienced football men in the senior management team are thinking of change; their own experience tells them it is overdue after the performance at Wembley.

It’s a squad no longer responding to the manager. I know Arsène diminished the role of managers, claiming players were more important in the game, but that came across as belittling Guardiola – the focus of the question – rather than anything else. Hindsight says there was an element of self-preservation in the answer: Arsenal’s failure isn’t Wenger’s fault (entirely).

Maybe he genuinely believes that and to some extent, there is a truth that the players are as much to blame. It’s Shkodran Mustafi’s decision-making for the first goal which is at fault; you can pinpoint wrong decisions made by the players at any time during the build-up to any of the three goals.

The psychology of the squad is the biggest indicator that change is long overdue. Heads went down very quickly, which combined with the lack of response in the second half tells me the manager no longer impacts the players. Are they inured to his every word?

It will take some time longer for the truth to emerge, probably even through to the summer. The close season is a time for decisions with the manager though. We saw last season how the uncertainty hit the squad. Can you imagine the effect on this group of poorly performing players? We’d rapidly hurtle toward mid-table obscurity.

Still, we’ve always got Sol Campbell to come in and save us.

’til Tomorrow.

74 thoughts on “Our Everchanging Moods: Runners and Riders for New Arsenal Boss Leaked?

  1. Hell no,
    We should be even looking at Solutions Campbell as a coach let alone Patrick Viera.

    It’s simple our short list should be:
    Carlos Ancelotti
    Diego Simeone
    Maurizo Sarri
    Maximilliano Allegeri
    Joachum Löw

    All these fantasy football managers without any valuable experience will lead us to another Moyes and United situation.

  2. I know that it keeps getting mentioned but seriously, PSG and Wenger?? The club that’s desperate to win the CL and the manager who’s record in that competition and in Europe in general is pretty poor going on terrible if you look at the last seven or eight years. Whatever they are smoking over there it could never ever make any form of sense.

    Back home IMO if that’s our list of targets I’m pretty underwhelmed. I like Allegri but that opportunity has probably gone. Jardim is the best of an average bunch being mentioned but is he really the sort of winner we need? I see him more on the Wenger end of the managerial spectrum than some of the out and out ruthless bastards who prioritise winning at all costs, and its the latter type that we need.

    Still, I’d accept almost anyone if it meant adios Wenger. If the right man isn’t available now I would also take Ancelloti for a year or two, in fact IMO it would be best to sack Wenger and appoint him temporarily now so that we could at least start on rebuilding rather than do it in August and write off another season.

  3. Harry,

    Even that would be preferable. Given the situation in Newcastle he’d probably do it for half Wenger’s wage. Oh, and as he’s won the CL and UEFA Cup/EL (one of each) he’d probably be more successful than AW in Europe too.

  4. Good stuff Yogi and its quite a situation isn’t it.

    I’ll say this, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vieira or Arteta as the new man especially with the experienced and successful futbol minds that Ivan has brought in. Also if you take a look at what has taken place with Kroenke’s American clubs where they have signed ‘younger’ managers and filled their assistant coaches with more experienced either former managers or highly experienced and successful assistant coaches and have actually seen more success, I could see Kroenke doing that Arsenal.

    Rams head man – Sean McVay is 30 years old
    Colorado Avalanche – Jared Bednar is 45 years old
    Denver Nuggets – Michael Malone is 46 years old
    Colorado Rapids – Anthony Hudson(managed the New Zealand national team to 2018 World Cup qualification) is 36 years old

    So I could see Arteta (who Pep raves about as a brilliant futboling mind) and then filling thr backroom staff with experienced assistants or possibly a former older manager or even a Luis Enrique. I don’t see Allegri or even Jardim honestly (for all the success with the youth, people forget that Falcao is still in the top 3 goal scorers year in and year out in France and that is driving them) as can’t see why either would leave.

  5. Rather have “one of the greatest minds in football” at the helm than Brendan bloody Rodgers. Not really.

    To be fair Andy, given Arsene’s poor record in Europe that’s probably not saying much. I’m not really advocating him but he does have the required experience, and at the very least he would bring some sorely needed tactical nous.

    Club should have made a serious move for Klopp was he was available. Wasted opportunities.

  6. Rafa is a decent coach. Under-rated in my opinion.

    It’s bound to be German looking at the new appointments, surely. How Low do we go before we appoint Low? World Cup would be a good way to bow out of international football to take on a new challenge.

    Harry:
    Rafa?

    I’ll get me coat.

  7. Well, I´d like Simeone. Not because I believe he´s a vastly superior coach compared to Jardim, Ancelotte etc or anything. No, not at all but because I´d love to see him set his teeth and temper into this squad.

    To see him tell Ozil it´s not ok to take sick leave 5 times a year, demand defensive responsibility of Mustafi, Xhaka and Iwobi.

    Be clear on whos responsible for which area of defense as well as shielding the backline. I´d love to see him go mental on this sorry group of Arsenal players.

    I`m not saying its the players fault as anybody who have worked with a bad boss knows what happens. But I really would like to see them wake up from their comfort zone.

  8. Good afternoon all, I’m not sure that anything has leaked out of Arsenal, with the evident drop in form and poor results it is inevitable that the press would latch onto a decent chance to knock Arsenal by running with the current trend.

    That said, I sincerely hope there is an element of truth in reports that the club are at least planning for life after Wenger.

    Of the names being put forward I would hope those such as Henry, Adams, Campbell, Rodgers and Arteta are not thought of as serious contenders.

    Joachim Low has been out of club football for twelve years, that’s far too long. Ancelloti for the short term with Arteta as his eventual successor, would work for me. Jardim or Fonseca would be fine and Vierra, despite his years as a player under Wenger, would be a good option, again with Arteta as an assistant.

  9. Neymar out until May, Barca is probably laughing their asses off after walking La Liga this year and looking favorites for the CL while PSG collapse against Madrid

  10. The one thing that must happen is a clean break with Wenger, no hanging about in the boardroom, no position as Director of Football, the only reminder of him should be his statue at the Ems.

  11. Pleeez…not Brendan Rodgers…arrrgh. A joint team of Ancellotti and Arteta would work, coz Wenger has left the playing side in such a mess that it needs an experienced head to unravel that mess, with Arteta or Viera to take the reins later on. Henry and Adams would ruin their cult status if they came in. Wenger has ruined his legacy now.

  12. I think the two main criteria ( at least for his immediate replacement) must be the ability to fully motivate the players for each game (the current generation seem to respond to the demonstrative brand of manager) and some demonstrated ability at organizing a team. Neither of these should be unobtainable for the Arsenal.
    And in the name of all that’s holy, make them sign an acknowledgment of the importance of defensive midfielders and an undertaking to capture at least one such unicorn.

  13. Great post yogi

    I really hope these rumors are true and not just a tease. Arsene wants to finish that last year of his current contract and he will not go down without a fight. We argue a lot about how much talent we have in the squad but the one thing we all do agree about is that the culture of our club is a complete mess and these players no longer execute at a reasonable level for Arsene. How much of the blame belongs to the players and how much belongs to Arsene is debatable but again we all agree that we desperately need a complete break with anything having to do with Arsene ASAP.

    I don’t follow the rest of European football as much as some others on the blog but from m what I have heard and seen, if I had a choice I would love Diego Simeone. After the years of Arsene we need a fire breathing task master who will start by whipping the defense into shape. Rebuilding defensive solidarity is job 1 and Simeone certainly has an excellent record from that standpoint. Hopefully it won’t be Brendan Rogers and not Henry or Vieira. I don’t like the idea of Low since he has very little experience on a club level

  14. The players have been given the opportunity to take it easy for far too long and inmates have been running the asylum for the last few years. Our best and most highly paid player has not been ready for first couple games of the season for at least 4 years now and he takes sick days whenever he feels like it and now that he has his new contract he is going to be angry if he is told to cut short his summer vacation after the World Cup this year. The defensive players are probably not going to be happy if they actually have to spend time doing repetitive drills. The new manager will have a lot of work to do to rebuild the culture of this squad.

  15. I may be a cynic, but this whole story (not Yogi’s post) smacks of a PR smokescreen. Some wise-arse in the Comms team bunker has leaked this non-story. I would be stunned if the club are seriosuly looking for a new manager at this time. This is all about turning the fans ire and attention and away from Sunday’s result and our performance generally this season. With Citeh up next on Thursday, this is pure deflection for what some of us expect to be PL defeat number 9.

    We all know that the problem won’t go away, but think about the Kroenke era Arsenal for a moment. Do we move early and decisively in the transfer market? Do we ship poor players out quickly? Do we secure early contract extensions? Do we act like a club that wants to challenge? No, we don’t. We dither. We fail. We take an eon to deal with business. So why expect any different? When Wenger leaves, whenever that happens, it wouldn’t surprise me if The-man-previously-known-as-Steve-Bould has to sit in the big chair until the new manager arrives in the autumn/winter.

    Leopards can’t change their spots. Why would Kroenke’s Arsenal?

  16. During the Europa league final, in May 2017, I was at a pub watching the game, and we were speaking about managers. Some dudes were heaping praise on Conte, and I mentioned Pep was doing a good job, and they threw the questions at me, why didn’t he win in his first season, an unsettled squad was my reply. They were not convinced, but I stood by my answer.

    This season, Conte pushed out Diego Costa, and he’s now in contention for 4th place, struggling with Tottenham for the top 4. Meanwhile Pep has sorted his squad issues and he is on the way to a double trophy winning season end.

    Wenger has dealt with squad unrest by lying to the press, lying to himself and he is unable to build momentum with this team, because he is obstinate and he will not listen. The abuse he endures from fans is needless, if he had left when the ovation was loudest, he wouldn’t hear such, but it’s been a while since we got a timely response from him. It’s been repeated season over season, of the same old issues.

    That’s a sign of failed leadership.

  17. Hallo peeps. Been keeping a low profile since Sunday’s shambolic shitshow.
    Just nothing to add – it was so predictable – I even called 0-3 at the beginning of the game.

    Who was it that was strongly advocating for Rogered Brenda in the comments earlier this season?
    Was it Birdcamp?

    Regardless, no thanks.

    It’s a tough call between the names listed. I still wish we had taken Klopp when that juncture arose.

    With a couple of easily identified tweaks in the summer, I think they will be City’s nearest challenger next season. At the very least he has made them into a joy to watch and it is clear they love playing for each other. We could not be further apart in that respect.

  18. I’d be happy to see Ancelotti as an experienced hand to steady the ship for a season or two followed by Patrick Vieira, who I personally rate very highly.

    I’d love to see Bergkamp somewhere in the setup (I recall reading somewhere that he has no interest in management, only in coaching.

    Adams is more than a few bottles short of six-pack, so absolutely no.

    I would not look at Arteta just yet, and Henry, nice guy and as talented as he is, just isn’t what I’d be looking for.

    Brendon Rogers?

    If he came in I’d look for another team to support.

  19. lari03,

    I think the other thing is that Pep was able to adjust his tactics and his players. Its funny but I actually think that there is something fundamentally wrong (it will sound crazy trust) with the Chelsea players because the same thing that is happening to Conte happened to Mourinho: they win the title and then the players come back and play like a shell of themselves.

    Pep for me is a brilliant manager not because he buys quality players, because lets be honest all the best clubs and teams do, but because he gets his players to buy in and year after year they play at the top level and once they win the title, there is no drop off from year to year. Now they might plateau but generally they are so far ahead that teams are still playing catch up the year after.

  20. Jonny,

    Question for you that me and a friend of mine were debating last night and its something similar to what you talk abut with Liverpool:

    Say we get a new manager, do you think we are a couple tweaks and a couple players away from becoming a challenger?

    I made the point that should we get a true modern DM ala Fabinho, Tolisso (should Bayern want to part with him), Doucoure, Jorginho, Krychowiak, WEigel, Chris Kramer, Gueye, Ndidi, Illarramendi, Lars Bender or somebody of that ilk; I think that would help settle our midfield and then attack. The new man should be able to sort out the defense which just needs to be coached up (well and replacing Kos) and either seeing what we have in Macey or going after a Kevin Trapp and I think we could be there.

  21. True C,
    I think departed players are missed too. Looking at the situation, Fabregas and Hazard are probably suspect in this case.

  22. lari03,

    Agree completely, could probably add Courtious to that too which is quite funny given that those were the same players under Mourinho that got him sacked (well outside of him being, you know, Mourinho)

  23. We need a wide forward, Aubameyang is a big name signing, but we are lacking flair on the flanks. If we want to compete, we need a DM and a LF. (We lost the OX, Sanchez and Walcott).
    I look at our defense and I know that Holding and Mustafi can actually hold their own, if coached properly, and if they have a decent DM in front. I remember Flamini played as a LB in 2006 while Eboue was the RB, so it is competent coaching, which this squad lacks.

  24. I forgot to say, that we are yet to replace these 3 players with their positional equivalents. We need a flair player and we could also do with a workhorse like Freddie Ljunberg.

  25. lari03,

    True, I imagine that we could go with a front 4 of Lacazette, OZil, Aubameyang, Mhkitaryan and then instead of bringing in a specialized LW, bring in an attacker that way they could play on either flank and we would still have Lacazette to play either as a winger in a mobile front 3 or as CF1.b. to Aubameyang’s 1.a. if that makes sense.

    I agree, I think this squad needs coaching up and direction on how exactly we are going to play and that comes directly from the manager which it currently isn’t.

  26. C:
    I agree with you that a 4-2-3-1 with the front 4 being Mhki, Ozil, Auba and Laca would work. We could keep Perez and Campbell(who now wishes to stay at Real Betis) if a new manager comes in. You know that Lacazette feeds on rebounds excellently, so he won’t mind playing the second striker from the flanks.
    However we need efficient replacements, when injury does strike.

  27. No, no dead wood to return, please. This squad is not as bad as they are playing. Three or four additions and proper coaching and management would see us improve massively.

  28. lari03,

    I think that’s the current problem, we need a replacement that can score goals. Can’t see Campbell coming back (he doesn’t want to come back and I don’t think Arsenal want him back) and Perez I would have kept over Welbeck. Think bringing in a winger that could score and assists to help would be good for added depth.

    If Welbeck accepted he could be a really good squad front 3 because he can play on the flanks and hopefully he could return to his Welbeck form of working his socks off and being a bother for the opposition.

  29. The whole mindset and culture that Arsene has built in this decade is wrong. IMO. Sanchez had his warts but he played as much or more international football during the summers then any of our other players and yet he was always ready to play the first game of the season. Yet players like Giroud and Mert were given the slack to take their time and get mentally and physically ready for the next season after World Cup 2014. When Sanchez was at Barcelona even the great Messi was not given an extended summer vacations to rest after international summer duty because everyone knew they had to take the first couple games of the season seriously if they were going to compete with Real Madrid.

  30. Diego Simeone is a quality choice so are the other candidates mentioned…. However is it only I who thinks his a bit of a glorified George graham…. I mean I struggle to see atl Madrid demolish teams… It’s usually a 1-0 or 2-1 of sorts… Yes I agree wenger is not going to work but is too much to ask for us to still be an exciting teams… Diego seems to bore the game into submission and hopes his superstar forwards nick’s a goal…Maureenyo like…

  31. I would actually consider a Marco silva. Seems to meet stans requirements as his young… But really recruits well and I just think he has a lot more to offer with better players… Yet seem to hit the ceiling with Watford players… But his teams defend extremely well but still has good attacking instincts…

  32. Simeone is anything but expansive but he is certainly effective – I actually think you’ve been a bit unkind to GG though; the first part of GG’s reign we actually played pretty exciting football – it was later it became dour and reliant on grabbing a Wrighty goal. 😀

  33. George,

    Sorry but I always have had that nervous twitch when anyone pigeon holes George Graham as a manager of a dour defensive team, If you look at the pre-92 period (six years) we were an attractive attacking side. Don’t forget that we won the title on goals scored in ’89 for exactly that reason, and in both of our title winning seasons Alan Smith won the golden boot as top scorer.

    Simeone certainly has some traits in common with George, a will to win, doesn’t suffer fools gladly, is organised and efficient for example, but I wouldn’t use that example of dour football myself.

    One argument that you could make for Diego is that he manages (generally) to challenge bigger sides with more resources effectively and gets the best from the talent that he has. If you don’t have the funds that one or two other clubs may have then you really do have to make the maximum use of what you do have, and in all honesty Wenger’s recent sides are in fact less than the sum of their parts.

  34. andy1886,

    I actually disagree with you about Athletico not spending money and have no problem splashing the cash but as always, nobody competes with the sheer amount spent by Barca and Madrid.

    The other thing that I think is a misnomer with Simeone is that they play dire futbol. Sure against the big boys he plays purely counter attacking but against everybody else he attacks, the problem is that most only see him in the CL in the round of 16 against thr heavyweights. If you actually watch his sides, he sits 3 attackers on the halfway line and lets them sit and play on the counter by defending with everybody else.

  35. C,

    I wasn’t suggesting that they don’t spend which is why I said “challenge bigger sides with more resources” and “If you don’t have the funds that one or two other clubs may have”. In fact they are in approximately the same position as we are, they have two giants in terms of budgets to compete with as do we (the Manchester clubs – Chelsea are roughly in the same ball park as us but have managed their spending far better).

    So Diego’s experience in managing AM would be ideal preparation for the hot seat at AFC. He’d also do a great deal of arse kicking which I’d love to see happen too.

  36. andy1886,

    It was directed directly at you but just that I find that narrative which many people take as simply not true. Actually I think your spot on about Athletico spending about the same as Arsenal and in a similar situation. I think the biggest difference though is that Simeone, as you rightly say, gets the best out of his players; I mean FFS he is still using Torres and Torres is actually quite effective when called upon.

    Athletico Madrid would be a nice tune-up for the Arsenal job but I’m not sure he actually wants to leave where he is. Strange thing is, I actually think he could do for Arsenal what Conte in his first season did for Chelsea. I mean, naturally a couple tweaks as I stated earlier but I bet that his greatest contribution would be solidifying the back 4 who individually are all talented but all have seemed to plateau’d plus the fact that while Kos might be wearing the armband, Mustafi is actually much more vocal back there and all of them need to be better organized.

  37. Brendan Rogers is the man for me.

    I wonder if I can crowdfund an aeroplane with a banner to stimulate the interest of Invincible2? “Come on doon, Big Bren. Yer a braw laddie.”

    That should do the trick.

  38. Jonny,

    Okay okay you and andy have a point I admit I was a extreme in conveying a point with GG there…after all he did give arsene one of the greatest back four of all time… I remember at one of arsenes early interviews he mentioned that four were the rock and base of his team selection… I wonder if remembers that now…. Hmm

  39. George,

    I doubt it – he has a very selective memory! Although he rarely forgets to mention how he built the club with his own bare hands and lifted us from obscurity 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  40. C,
    Couldn’t help but notice you used solidifying,kos,mustafi and organized in one sentence… Lol…on a serious note I think kos has passed it… However mustafi at 25/26 years still has time to improve along with bellerina and sead with the right coaching…Diego looks like the candidate to do that but didn’t we say the same about bouldy… Ofcourse the difference is Diego would not have to be called to the headmaster’s office for trying to teach our defender’s to defend

  41. andy1886,

    He also said when he leaves he wants to hand over a club in a good position with a proper base for the new guy to build..there must be many relishing 6th on the log with Europa league?…

  42. George,

    I agree, I think Kos has passed it because injuries have robbed him of his pace and quickness which are what made him a top quality CB. Mustafi, Bellerin and Sead I think are all talented defenders that just need to be coached up and while Simeone obviously has the ability to given what he has done at Athletico, I think there are plenty of managers that could do the job. I mean for all the plaudits that Pep gets for his attacking, he has turned Otamendi, Delph, Walker and Stones into good defenders especially when they work in a unit like they currently are.

  43. C,

    He does have an outstanding fernandinho to cover up when they do fuck it up…pep has been known to be to loyal to his philosophy but when watching his team closely he does make some brilliant tweaks and tactical shuffles in light of the opposition which may not be that obvious to the unsuspecting eye

  44. George,

    Fernandinho is arguably the most underrated player in the PL. Its amazing how many times people talk about DM’s and you hear Kante, Matic, Gueye, Doucoure, Wanyama, etc but I said even last season that the key to Pep’s success at Citeh and allowing De Bruyne and Silva to play as freely as they do is that Fernandinho is a brilliant DM, take that back, just a brilliant player overall.

    Its funny because I have never wanted a big lumbering DM but rather one who has a never ending battery and is athletic enough to get around the middle of the pitch and put out fires but also technically good enough to play in the CM role if necessary.

  45. Its always instructive and we can learn some things when we look back to subjects we have debated a lot in the past. A couple of years ago argued a lot about the importance of width. The consensus from a lot of us was that Ramsey was destroying team balance and really hurting because he provided no width on the right. Now we play Ozil there and we actually want him to move around and tuck in behind the striker which gives us even less width then Ramsey did but no one is concerned about a lack of width anymore. Have we decided that width is no longer that important?

  46. C,

    To be fair though… I’ve literally seen de bruyne track the left back into his own box and 30 seconds later his finding the through ball on the edge of box at the other end… Sure the base of that trio is fernandinho who is the workhorse but silva and de bruyne play big roles defensively 1.to beat the press and 2. To ensure when fernandinho wins the ball back they not doing a suicidal xhaka pass which is where the coaching up comes in

  47. I like the idea of Simeone because my impression is that he has an excellent defensive mind and some of his Athletico teams were the best in the world at getting results even if it meant winning 1-0 against Pep’s team and any team with better overall talent. We can argue about how far behind we are but least for now there is certainly a talent gap that is going to cost a lot of money to bridge. The least expensive way to get results is by playing world class defense. Defense is the great equalizer

  48. Simeone has shown he can compete against teams who have spent a lot more money and had much much more firepower then his squads. That is the sort of manager we need for the next couple of seasons

  49. George,

    There is no doubt that De Bruyne and Silva do defensive work, but a lot of their work is in the pressing as you say. The thing with Fernandinho is that he ensures that De Bruyne and Silva can focus more on pressing and he just sweeps up everything that gets past them. He is also an acommplished passer so that he can pay those 1-2’s with De bruyne or whoever to get out of danger.

    Its part of the reason why I think another manager can come in and solidify this team and we would be better for it because we have players that have been in systems where defending is/was demanded of them and they have performed. Arsene just doesn’t care about defending unless its having a go at his players but not correcting it.

  50. George:
    Jonny,

    Okay okay you and andy have a point I admit I was a extreme in conveying a point with GG there…after all he did give arsene one of the greatest back four of all time… I remember at one of arsenes early interviews he mentioned that four were the rock and base of his team selection… I wonder if remembers that now…. Hmm

    Oh, he went further than that – I memorably recall him saying that the back five were the cake, the filling in the cake, and the icing.
    Everything else was the cherry on top. 😀 😀 😀

  51. Dukey,

    Current temperature -3c but wind chill brings it down to _11c with light snow showers. We have maybe 2/3 centimetres on the ground. Beast from the East is really just tabloid hype.

    NHS England has offered the following advice:- “Anyone going outside should wrap up warm and tell someone where they are going and what time they are expected back”. It didn’t do much good for Captain Lawrence Oates in March 1912.

  52. The first job any new manager is to rebuild a strong defense. You could argue that on paper we have some good attacking players but anyone who has watched this team knows that these players have not been effective and the odds are against us suddenly morphing into a high scoring team without some significant upgrades. However we don’t need to outscore Man City or Liverpool if we concede a lot fewer goal then they do. That was how Simeone was able to compete. Its easier, less expensive and simpler and more effective to rebuild the defense first.

    On the attacking side right now we only have 2 players who can be considered legitimate threats to score double digit league goals and both have been playing the same position for most of this decade and one is going to have to accept to be moved out wide. Lacazette has had a huge struggle and we can certainly hope for the best but we can’t bet the house on him ever replicating the success we had before he came to Arsenal. We have no idea how PEA will adapt to the PL. We also can’t bet the house on both of them to stay healthy and if one goes down for any length of time then we are left with one goal scorer on the squad which is unacceptable. Spending a lot of money to buy some more firepower is clearly the second priority after fixing the defense.

  53. I really think we should work towards moving away from using non-scoring players as forwards. We need to learn from Pep or Arsene’s invincibles. Ideally you want all 3 of your forwards to be a legitimate threat to score a goal. Again in an ideal world your purely creative players such as Ozil or Wilshere should be in the central midfield which allows you can maximize the firepower upfront so there are more possible options for the passes that Ozil or Wilshere or Mkhitaryan make to be turned into a goal scored.

  54. Part of the reason I mentioned the idea of width at 8:34 is because if you think width is important then you not only lose the goal threat but you lose any width when you play someone like Ozil or Wilshere in a wide forward spot.

  55. I copied and pasted this from an article in ESPN and I agree 100%. Despite having more pure creative talent on our squad then almost any team in the world, we really struggle to create high percentage openings for our scorers. The reason Sanchez thrived and no one else has was he could create his own scoring chances.

    “Ostensibly, Aubameyang was the replacement for Alexis Sanchez. Some have suggested that bringing in a more team-oriented player might improve Arsenal’s overall game. However, Alexis’ individualism was frequently his greatest asset to Arsenal. Even when those around him were underperforming, he could still produce something.

    Aubameyang is not that sort of player. He is principally a finisher, and subsequently reliant on service. After the matches against Tottenham and Manchester City, it’s clear that Arsenal have not yet found a way to provide him with an appropriate supply line.

    Perhaps Alexandre Lacazette is owed an apology. The Frenchman was in the midst of a dire run of one goal in 13 games prior to undergoing knee surgery, and that poor spell seemingly saw him demoted to second choice by Aubameyang’s signing. He’s suffered plenty of criticism, but perhaps it’s now becoming clear that he was simply starved of service. This is Arsenal’s worst midfield for a decade, so it’s not conducive to laying on chances for their frontmen.”

  56. A new manager could probably go a long way toward improving the defense with this group of players on the training ground. However, the same is not true on the attacking end. Fixing our problems upfront will require spending lots of money and take some time. IMO.

  57. On paper we probably have one of our best midfields with Ozil, Wilshere and now Mkhitaryan and Ramsey but its been highly ineffective. In reality our midfield has not done of good job of creating high percentage scoring opportunities since Jan 2016.

  58. I know I complain about Ozil a lot but 1/2 way thru the 15/16 season he had 16 assists in about 19 league games and was having a fantastic season and on pace to easily break the PL assist record. All of the other English big clubs were struggling and we only had Leicester to beat. Unfortunately something changed for Ozil and the team in Jan 2016. Since Jan 2016 he has only 19 assists in about 80 league games. That dramatic drop in production has occurred despite having the strongest group of forwards in his Arsenal career. Last season Sanchez had a career season and Walcott started on a hot streak and scored in double digits and he could only produce 9 assists in the whole season. This season he has had Sanchez and Lacazette and is on pace for 9.8 assists. The bottom line is something dramatically changed and his effectiveness dropped precipitously in Jan 2016 has not returned to the levels we need.

Comments are closed.