“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.