Managerial War Games: Arsene Refuses to Surrender

“I think he’s in contact with Arsenal,” was Lothar Matthaus’ take on the Tuchel situation. Really? Is that before or after you’d read Bild or Kicker. Honigstein, it seems, is better informed than you, Lottie; he retweeted someone who’s (apparently) always right and BOOM!, dreams of ‘Tommy Guns for European battles’ and other World War II inspired headlines died.

And no “For you, Tommy, ze war is over” when he gets sacked; all those Commando books I read in my youth, wasted. I mean the content is wasted in this instance, not that I read them wasted. I wasn’t even ten-years-old, for god’s sake; get a grip!

Anyway, your brief hopes died when someone in Team Tommy let it be known that the Tomster – who looks more like Phil Neville than Gary Neville does – was only looking at managing teams who could win the Champions League every year. Which means Bild and Kicker are wrong or Tommy Boy been taking Spanish lessons. For you, Zinedine, ze war is over.

In football, an ego is imperative for a successful player or manager. Not all the time, of course; on the pitch. In the same way the best players demand the ball, the best managers demand the best from their players. And get it.

The best managers don’t look necessarily at the spending power of the club.

A good manager knows how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. A great manager knows how to spend the GDP of a small third world nation and mesh the players into a unit which in most games plays an exhilarating brand of football. Or can win ugly, if needed.

Is Tuchel a Champions League winner? Not so far and his career with Dortmund didn’t suggest he would be either. Tuchel’s Dortmund was vibrant but he didn’t make them into challengers for the title or the Europa League, their natural habitat.

How Did You Become King Then?

Does that make him any less worthy a replacement for Arsène? He has his supporters, almost as many of them as Ancelotti has detractors. Tuchel is the hipsters’ appointment as next Arsenal boss.

But is that the way KSE thinks? Not at the Rapids. Their new boss formerly managed New Zealand All Whites, which is about as left-field an appointment as the MLS could expect. The Rams chose Sean McVay who worked his way from assistant wide receivers coach at the Buccaneers through to offensive coordinator with the Redskins.

McVay solved a perceived problem with the Rams; they were dull and the Rams benefitted from his thinking, culminating in their first visit to the playoffs in more than a decade.

Which begs the question: how will Josh and Pops approach the succession issue?

We desperately need a coach who understands the defensive side of the game. Bellerin can become a great right-back; he needs coaching on defensive responsibility to achieve that. Mustafi might become a passable central defender, a good squad player if he’s taught how central defenders play. Calum Chambers as well, while a decent defensive coach would make Rob Holding a good centre-back.

None of those things will happen at Arsenal now. We don’t have a manager who is interested in that side of the game.

Who could? A young coach who is bright and knows the game well? If that sounds like advocating Eddie Howe, you’re out of luck there; I’m not. There will be a clamour for the next Arsenal coach to young and English, followed by a lot of navel-gazing about the appointee not being young and English.

You Can’t Expect to Wield Supreme Executive Power Just ’cause Some Watery Tart Threw a Sword at You!

I genuinely don’t know who I would like as the next Arsenal manager. Sarri would probably head my list of the Italian coaches although I like Ancelotti. Sorry, I don’t pay heed to the spoilt little girls in the Bayern squad who bitched about him. Let’s face it, they’ve underperformed in Europe for years now and blaming the coach deflects criticism of them.

But therein is the problem, if you like. Put 20 of us in a room to discuss who the next manager ought to be and we’ll come up with around 30 names. The issue isn’t so much who is coming but whom they are replacing.

None of those names is Arsène Wenger. Which is a pity for the man himself, who believes he is the victim of age discrimination. He can take the criticism of results, but not the hint which comes along with that. Nor can he take the constant harping on about how he’s been twenty-two years in the job and we need a change.

That was before he mentioned the twenty-two years of loyalty he’d shown Arsenal when he turned down every job in the world. So, it’s Arsène Wenger’s fault that America ended up with Donald Trump as president. If only he’d listened to all the offers. Probably missed it because he was too busy meeting with Real Madrid or cosying up to the owners of Paris St-Germain.

Wenger’s words of defiance underline he isn’t going to leave voluntarily this summer. Having turned down the opportunity of leaving on a high twice before, he made it clear he won’t walk away even with his first European trophy tucked under his belt. If anything, that would fuel his belief that he is the best man for the Arsenal job.

Help! Help! I’m Being Repressed

The emails offering match tickets from Arsenal tell the opposite story. His reign is stale, the football bland and the public has had enough. Ultimately, that is what the owner will take notice of.

Fans protesting doesn’t affect him; he’s not here and we’re just ungrateful serfs. Empty seats impact his bottom line, especially the unsold ones. That is becoming a familiar part of the Arsenal landscape in the same way they did at Chelsea when Mourinho’s reign imploded.

The squad responded to the previous season’s tenth place with the title. Could we do that? No, but the top four as a stepping stone is well within this squad’s reach. But not with this manager.

Arsène, for you, ze war is over.

’til Tomorrow.

33 thoughts on “Managerial War Games: Arsene Refuses to Surrender

  1. andy1886 says:

    Wenger: I’m not dead!
    Stan: ‘Ere! ‘E says ‘e’s not dead!
    Ivan: Yes he is.
    Wenger: I’m not!
    Stan: ‘E isn’t?
    Ivan: Well… he will be soon– he’s very ill…
    Wenger: I’m getting better!
    Ivan: No you’re not, you’ll be stone dead in a moment.
    Fans: You’re not fooling anyone, you know–
    (Junior dispatches Wenger with a swift blow to the head…)

    With apologies to Monty Python.

  2. MikeSA says:

    MikeSA,

    Wow, I thought I’d stumbled on an uncommented thread, but no…………

  3. Welsh Corgi Cardigan says:

    andy1886,

    I’m feeling much better. Think I’ll go for stroll😀.

  4. Amos Jeff says:

    Arsenal for sure needs a regime change,withe current manager and the sleepy technical bench, oops!!.

  5. andy1886 says:

    Welsh Corgi Cardigan,

    😂😂😂

    Stan thought he’d re-signed a thoroughbred but it was just a silly old man clopping two coconut shells together.

  6. James says:

    Sad that even the thought of looking at a book containing his memoirs (let alone reading it) would make you want to puke. Time, lots of it, will be needed to lessen the wounds of the last decade of Wenger.

  7. Michael says:

    Morning All
    Is that the same age discrimination, that only gave 1 year contracts to those players over 30, no matter how long they served the club?

  8. YW says:

    Not when your the one whose contract is being questioned.

  9. Orson Kaert says:

    Good afternoon all, Wenger is looking increasingly desperate to hang on to his job, so desperate that he’s resorted to playing the discrimination card.

  10. C says:

    Quality stuff Yogi.

    Age discrimination, is Arsene really playing that card…I mean that is a man realizing his kingdom is crumbling and he is desperate to hang on to what little power he has and it really is sad to see.

  11. C says:

    Yup, Josh is the man making the sweeping coaching changes.

  12. Roxana Kelly says:

    This is a new low even from Wenger himself! Sorry Sir it is NOT because of your age that the fans would like you to step down – I think it is patently obvious and it has been for some time – at least 8 seasons as far as I’m concerned! – that you have needed to step aside and your age NEVER came up for discussion. I guess when people get desperate, they will clutch at any straw that seems feasible other than the ACTUAL reasons that warrant them to walk away . Arsene, desist, please, so that we can remember your contribution to The Game & to The Arsenal in the right way – not this half-baked, clearly not thought out excuse!

  13. Dukey says:

    Stupid me…I must now have to realise that I’m an ageophobe… I never realised. I’m now going to find some course to rid myself of this horrible character trait.

  14. Colts says:

    Hi,

    I unfortunately stopped watching anything to do with Wenger, I’ve read and seen quite enough. I didn’t hop off the fun bus ten plus years ago to jump into a fun taxi driven by a French riddler. Ffp, hairspray, we’re an attacking team, handbrakes, no trousers.
    With the appointments we’ve made it would be surreal if he wasn’t sacked this summer. Disappointing and bizarre in a rod for your own back type of way.

    For me, tuchel would be nice, but in the back of my mind I’d be waiting for an implosion. Allegri would also be nice but Leo jardim should be the prime target. Ticks so many boxes for a club like ours, reckon he’d surpass five years.

  15. Orson Kaert says:

    Colts,

    I think it’s extremely unlikely that any manager, at any club, is going to last for five years. Just as any quality player looks for fresh fields after a season or two, so managers are just as likely to follow the trend.

    Let’s face it, at almost any top tier club with Arsenal’s record over the last decade, the board would have stepped in with P45 to hand long ago.

  16. Orson Kaert says:

    C,

    An amazing turnaround on somebody’s part. Wasn’t Wenger trying to flog Elneny last summer?

  17. C says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Yup, actually had sold him until Elneny told Arsene and Leicester to fuck off because he wanted to stay and fight and half season later he gets a new deal

  18. C says:

    Lacazette back in training ahead of Stoke.

    Not sure how long or how much Elneny’s contract is for. I know people will think its a bad move but he is actually a good option even if we sign somebody in the summer.

  19. Colts says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Indeed, it does fly in the face of the norm but this club doesn’t do normal. I think his cv coupled with the way this club is run is a match made in heaven that could span ten years.
    Imagine Sven providing him with mbappe potential, he would most certainly keep us top four which would keep Stan happy and in turn a job for life. Plus this club loves anything that could be presented as ‘the arsenal way’.

    The way he managed to have his team give man city a run for their money after he got raided in the summer makes me think he’d relish a project of this size and ace it.

  20. Orson Kaert says:

    Colts,

    The way the club is run is a large part of the trouble, the appointment of the new guys will inevitably change the structure of the coaching/managing side of the game. It could well lead to the appointment of a head coach working to a Director of Football, rather than an all singing, all dancing manager.

    Whoever comes in will be working with a clean sheet and a completely new regime.

  21. Colts says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Indeed, it does fly in the face of the norm but this club doesn’t do normal. I think his cv coupled with the way this club is run is a match made in heaven that could span ten years.
    Imagine Sven providing him with mbappe potential, he would most certainly keep us top four which would keep Stan happy and in turn a job for life. Plus this club loves anything that could be presented as ‘the arsenal way’.

    The way he managed to have his team give man city a run for their money after he got raided in the summer makes me think he’d relish a project of this size and ace it.
    Orson Kaert,

    I was more so alluding to our business model. We can’t outspend 3 clubs and aren’t prepared to outspend another. Having a coach that can polish whatever rough Sven finds i think is goin to be a big deal for us moving forward.

    I can’t wait for the all singing and dancing to be completely removed. Though I doubt it will be a new regime, we’ll still be operating under ‘moneyball’. To be fair, besides bottling it on removing the manager (which is huge but understandable ish due to history) they’ve done alright. We’ve just taken our sweet sweet time. Pains me to think where we would be had the four horsemen come in with Leo 3 years ago.

  22. Bill says:

    C:
    Orson Kaert,

    Yup, actually had sold him until Elneny told Arsene and Leicester to fuck off because he wanted to stay and fight and half season later he gets a new deal

    When a player we like refuses to take a pay cut and move to a team where he will get a lot more playing time then he is staying to fight for his spot. If its a player we don’t like and he does the same thing then he is being greedy.

    The bottom line is we need a few players like Elneny who are happy with the role as squad players to fill the 25 man roster.

  23. C says:

    Bill,

    I always found it funny that you say he was stayinh because of wages but we have no idea how much he is actually on.

  24. Bill says:

    Speaking of over paid squad players. Lucas Perez moved back to his ideal situation in Deportivo and is no longer being coached by Arsene and he is getting the playing time he wanted. However, he has morphed back into his role as a career long journeyman and he has 4 goals in 26 games he has not scored since Nov 19.

  25. lari03 says:

    The thing is if we sold Elneny earlier on, we wouldn’t have sold Coquelin in January. It is hard for Wenger to admit he’s lost himself and he’s struggling to be the man he was.

    The thing is 14 years is a very long time to have lost the mastery of consistency, which is what wins the league. It’s not age Wenger, it is that you are no longer the sage you used to be.

  26. C says:

    The other funny part about Arsene’s age discrimination bullshit is the tiny part that Heynckes, yup Bayern’s manager is actually older that Arsene by 4 years and Bayern want Heynckes to sign on for 3 more years…

  27. Orson Kaert says:

    A snippet from Southgate, Wilshere is suffering from a knee tendon problem that he is managing. In other words he is carrying an injury, so cannot be considered fully fit. If that is the case, why was he called into the England squad, and why did Wenger allow him to go?

    The wider question is, just how fit is Wilshere?

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