Spurs Take Lead In Sack Race, Will Arsenal Follow?

It’s been a good week for Unai Emery with two of the frontrunners to replace him finding gainful employment elsewhere. I admit relief at both Jose Mourinho and Luis Enrique joining Tottenham and Spain respectively. I didn’t want either at Arsenal.

Enrique for all his success at Barcelona has glaring holes in his CV at Celta and particularly Roma but more than that, I don’t believe has the tools to be a successful Arsenal boss.

As for Mourinho, the most hateful of managers at the most loathsome club is a match made in heaven if he destroys them from the inside. A match made in footballing hell if he makes them successful.

There is something very ‘Spursy’ in the appointment. Mourinho has won more major honours since 2002-03 than the club has in its’ 137-year history. That’s not even limiting it to the Premier League. One manager has won more than a 137-year-old ‘big’ club.

The worst of it is that he might actually do something in the next eighteen months; a major trophy. Not the league but Mourinho knows how to win cups. Big ones as well, with unfancied teams. It’s a frightening thought.

It is a sign, however, of a club willing to act decisively. Whether the decision is one which only history decides is good or bad.

The sacking of Pochettino – it’s worth noting that George Graham won more trophies at the Swamp – puts the Arsenal hierarchy into the spotlight. Spurs have taken 24 points from the last 25 games with one win in six. We’ve done better in the longer term – 39 points from 25 games – but we’re in the same hole this season.

Let’s not beat about the bush. Emery has us in the same boat on that creek and we’re rapidly losing grip of the paddles.

Spotlight on Raul

What of Arsenal? The run of immediate fixtures is the footballing gods throwing ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ cards around like confetti. Emery has the genuine prospect of putting together a five or six-match winning run across all competitions.

Do that and Raul is handed the statistics to say Unai has turned things around. Of course, when it all comes to pieces in our hands over Christmas and January, it’s the fixture list from hell. That’s if Unai hands him the breathing space.

Pressure will mount if Mourinho gets off to a good start as Tottenham boss. Emery doesn’t have any margin for error with three points the gap between the two clubs in the Premier League table.

The top four ain’t big enough for the both of us and we’re the ones who are under the most pressure! This despite the reality that we’re not good enough to claim a spot in the Champions League places. Not with the hierarchy determined to avoid a decision which must be taken.

Their show of faith would be understandable if we were playing good football and unlucky with results but we’re getting what we deserve. Only the Palace game falls into the ‘unlucky’ category; the rest of them were a case of most definitely getting what we put into the matches.

The key difference between Emery and Pochettino is the dressing room. Spurs was a club fractured by reports of affairs and loss of faith from the ‘Golden Generation’ – GG again; subliminal messaging that George Graham won more honours with a distinctly average side than the Argentinean did with the best squad for 50 years.

Now the axe has fallen. Pochettino has no managerial honours but still some want him at Arsenal, holding him up as some sort of ‘banter boss’.

We’re Not Much Better

We’re hardly a model of decorum though. The captaincy has twice proven a poisoned chalice; a player who doesn’t venture north of Watford didn’t want to venture onto the pitch at all and the coach was happy to accommodate those wishes; a right-back who likes Italy and a defensive midfielder played out of position wants to return there because he hasn’t settled in London, his sense of displacement exacerbated by his unhappiness at the club.

That’s before we start on the £72m winger turned into a Europa League misfit by an oh-so-talented coach. Look, hands up, I thought Emery was a good signing as a coach, a far better fit than Arteta. It’s proven wrong in that the problems which bedevilled the end of last season remain unabated.

We’re at the point of the season where we should have acted. Quickly and ruthlessly at the start of last week. We didn’t. Now, we’re going to hear about how Emery has turned things around after a series of good results but we know it’s flannel; we could win the next six and still be as bad as we were in winning one of the last six.

The reality is that Unai isn’t going to deliver the top four. We’re eight points off City and while Leicester may be overhauled eventually, there is a genuine prospect that it won’t be us doing that. New boss at Tottenham, a long-coveted one now available for Manchester United.

Both clubs could receive external impetus whereas ours must be self-generated. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to see that happening, if not impossible.

Club football is back and for once during an international break, I haven’t missed it a bit.

’til Tomorrow.

43 thoughts on “Spurs Take Lead In Sack Race, Will Arsenal Follow?

  1. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Why not get Poch, the new Campbell?

    He would be a massive upgrade, knows the league, speaks the language although has never won a trophy.

    I am also warming to the idea of Arteta. We need a younger coach with gravitas and vision – not Allegri and Jose and Enrique are thankfully out of the picture.

    I do not see the point in persisting with Emery if we can get Poch. In fact I see no reason to keep Emery at all and wanted him out a year ago. I find it amazing that people think that Emery is anything other than a very poor manager. His Seville side was a long time ago and will probably be the hight-point of his career. He might be better in Spain but in the Prem he is a joke.

    I called him the Spanish Moyes, but this is massively unfair on David Moyes who is a far better Prem manager than Emery. Emery is so bad it would be hilarious if it wasn’t Arsenal.

    Can anyone name a single improvement that he was made since he arrived? Answers on a postage stamp.

  2. YW says:


    Very surprised? Me too; I thought that was worth at least one ‘boom’.

    Hey ho.

  3. YW says:


    Can’t see Allegri. Good coach and all but we don’t have the chequebook to back him.

  4. Jonnygunner says:


    Very surprised? Me too; I thought that was worth at least one ‘boom’.

    Hey ho.

    Yeap YW…..very surprised that I was first for the fourth or fifth time on the spin 🤠

  5. Alex Ice Cream says:


    I hope that you are right on Allegri. We need more energy and vision and I am not sure how good his English is. The rumours that he is having English lessons casts doubt on his level.

    Poch though? Just imagine the look on the faces of all the Spurs fans that still adore him!

  6. Michael says:

    Somewhat shellshocked today. I have no idea of what the true story about the sacking is, but the spuds acted, which makes our decision makers look a bit pathetic. Our stats under Emery could hardly look worse, yet nothing, at least to Christmas, by which time it will be too late to get top 4.

  7. Damon says:

    I’d take Poch today, if it were possible

  8. blazon says:

    I stand shocked, SHOCKED, that there should be any other follow up topic to the Poch dismissal than will we sign him today or tomorrow?

    Very unlike you Yogi to skirt around the obvious. If we let this moment get away we deserve Emery with a new 5 year extension.


  9. blazon says:

    moments of choice
    call for only one voice
    and there’s no need to ask
    will it still be in Basque?

  10. Ras says:

    Bon Apres midi. Am i shocked yes but then knowing Levy( not personally) Im not surprised .

    As you’ve noted YW they’ve ( Spuds)been decisive in acting . No fanning around

    . AFC had they done real true diligence on Emery they’d have noted,kniwn that his sacking in Russia was due to his incapacity to communicate.
    It was the same at PSG. Je habits en France and its well known in Football circles he could not communicate in French to well. Here We are not having paid true diligence.

  11. Randy Thomsett says:

    ‘Get out of jail free cards’. I admire your optimism.

    At this point in time I don’t see any Premier League fixture that I could confidently say that we will win.

    Whilst not a fan of Mourinho, he is a better coach than ours and should make them better in the short term as you say. He knows how to stifle, how to defend a lead and how to close out a game; all things that we cannot do.

    As for Pepe, we should have got Perisic last January, a much better fit for us and the Premier League. Too many of our players are not suited to the Premier League.

    Torreira is a player that the coach didn’t want, doesn’t rate and doesn’t know what to do with.

    Different times for Arsenal fans; we no longer have Managers who choose the players they want. We should remember that.

  12. Paulie Walnuts says:

    So, the managerial merry go round is off again.

    Maureen may be a ‘tactical genius’ but he’s a cheque book manager who may well tank Tottenham like no other. Let’s hope so. He’ll certainly upgrade them I the dark arts , that’s for sure.

    Whilst we’ve dodged a bullet there I’m not so sure about Poch replacing UE. Something about that doesn’t sit right for me.

    As for Unai , I don’t see us winning 5 or 6 on the bounce. We’re not good enough right now.

  13. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Hard to think of a pair who deserve each other more than Spuds and Moany. He truly is a hilarious appointment if it’s true his predecessor fell out with the club over lack of funds. There may be a short term gain but I’m confident we dodged a bullet and know we dodged an unclean feeling. Now, just to get shot of Emery…

  14. andy1886 says:

    Great news for us IMO. Maureen is yesterday’s man, he may get a brief response but I expect him to crash and burn sooner rather than later. I agree that AFC should be more decisive but this Spurs appointment is madness.

    I’m not convinced Poch would work for us. Like it or not he’s a Spurs man and I don’t think that either party would be comfortable together.

  15. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    Andy 1886:

    Are you saying Poch wouldn’t be professional if appointed by Arsenal?

    Our loyalty’s are to those who feed us, no?

    I’d say he’d be an improvement on Emery and he knows the league. He’d actually coach the team and give us a more attacking style. However it’s never going to happen because this is Arsenal.

  16. Damon says:

    Might be an attractive proposition for Poch right now. Tanking at Spurs and going to Man United or Madrid and tanking again would kill his career at the top level

    He surely couldn’t make our bunch of players worse? Turn the season around and he’s in for a mega money contract at one of the serious big boys

  17. Spike says:

    I dont even think we will beat Southampton at the weekend, such is my lack of confidence in Emery.

    And I’d happily take Pochettino as our next coach.

  18. Paulie Walnuts says:


    Terry Neil was never a Spurs man.

    After 5 seasons Poch certainly is.

    If (or rather when) Emery leaves he would have to be a contender though. Along with Rodgers , Howe , Arteta , Vieira , Benitez & Allardyce.

  19. C says:

    Honestly don’t care and I’m actually not sure I would take Poch but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a good manager. Lets also remember that he hasn’t actually won anything and I don’t want to hear anything about him punching above his weight because you look at that squad and they have some top players. Sure he got them to the CL Final but if you look at their record since last winter, its relegation form.

    I will say though, I didn’t see Mourinho taking over at Spuds but it will be really interesting to see how it shakes out. Will be really interesting because Mourinho has made a career at: Year 1 he wins things, Year 2 they win but things start going crazy, Year 3 he is sacked by Christmas.

  20. Alex Ice Cream says:


    Poch is not a Spurs man, he is an Espanyol man so the only cub that is definitely off limits is Barcelona.

    Why are you “not convinced that it would work for us?” Please explain.

    Top 4 on a relative budget 4 years out of 5, getting buy-in from players instead of paying them loads – like Wenger did with Henry and Co. Has a history of improving players, has a CL final under his belt.

    Furthermore he is young, motivated and ambitious. Spurs could or would not give him the support he needed to take them up yet more levels. He needed backing, not sacking.

    I think people get in a tizz because he is ex-Spurs. Forget that and look at what he could do for us. Think how motivated he would be to give Levy the finger.

    Pat Jennings
    Terry Neil
    Sol Campbell

    All crossed the Great Divide and in the cases of Sol and Big Pat they were both massive successes.

    Why not Poch?

  21. Pete the Thirst says:

    Well this will be interesting. Didn’t want Maureen at Arsenal with all his potential stored up damage down the tracks.

    On the other hand I would take Pochettino every day of the week. Doubt it will happen though,

  22. thetotteridge man says:

    As a long term supporter of Gunners, I would support appointing Poch. He has the record for developing young talents, and is an improvement over Emery.

  23. C says:

    Since 2016/2017 these have been the transfers, by year for Spuds:

    Sissoko – $39.90m
    Janssen – $25m
    Wanyama – $17m

    Sanchez – $45.6m
    Moura – $32.38m
    Aurier – $28.50m
    Llorente – $17.21m
    Foyth – 14.82
    Sold Walker to Citeh for $60m

    No signings

    Ndombele – $68.40m
    Sessegnon – $30.78m
    Lo Celso – Loan fee $18.24m
    Jack Clarke – $12.54m (loaned him back to Leeds)

  24. philmar says:

    Poch will NOT come to the Arsenal – he’d have to live with death threats and lord knows whatever else the angered Spud fans will heap at him forever. Furthermore why take on our squad when he can relax, enjoy his free time and severance and wait for Real Madrid or Manure to come calling/begging.

  25. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Poch is a decent manager but I’m most concerned that our next manager is a motivator who can get people on board and shake us up a bit. The fancy stuff can only be done afterwards.

  26. JonJon says:

    fantastic opportunity here

    hell yes…thank fuck spurs have got jose….that is a relief, but it would have only applied if we fuck emery off..

    jose or no jose we are stuck in the same position.

    we had a similar situation with wengers last years…we held onto to him for too long, our gameplay was nothing like it was before, wengerball had long been dead and turned into negative boring possession easy to defend against, our defence was split open time and again, our away form was shocking and we started to drop down the table. player contracts were allowed to run down, our best players were being sold to rivals. wenger should have been replaced before we dropped out of top 4 it was coming for years, but we held on and watched the likes of pep and klopp find jobs at our rivals and now we are stuck with bruce rioch mark 2 who cant fix what wenger fucked, the same way rioch couldnt fix what graham fucked.

    need to learn from past errors….we should have moved at the end of last season but the likes of raul backed him in a way that gazidis never backed wenger (or in a way wenger wouldnt allow gazidis to back him) and he was given another go with new players..

    hasnt worked out….great squad, lots of talent, lots of promising young players but the coach is still shit scared of everyone and has probably spent the last 2 weeks studying clips on southampton and the finding out ways of trying to stop them…and emery isnt wenger so theres no sentimental value…just get rid..

    pointless exercise from here…fuck him off and get poch in before bayern get him.

  27. Paolo says:


    Ironic that youre talking about poor communication and then you spell “too” as “to”!

  28. Alex Ice Cream says:



    You know that we won’t though. Arsenal is a byword for paralysis when it comes to decision-making. We will wait too long as usual and he will be snapped up by Bayern, ManU when Ole drives them off a cliff or Madrid when they finally realise that Zidane is not a developmental manager.

    We made this mistake before when Pep, Klopp and Ancelotti were available a few years ago. We cannot afford to make the same mistake again.

    Emery out, Poch in, now but don’t bet on it.

  29. Blue Yonder says:

    Strange that Pochettino has gone from great manager to fired manager in such a short space of time. I would like to see him at Arsenal but he’s been rumoured for MU for some time and they are surely not continuing for long with Ollie.
    Not much doubt that a change is needed at Emirates; how it’s done will be at least as important as who it is.

  30. Blue Yonder says:

    Pochettino may not have achieved the successes in EPL that we would like and, if he had, he wouldn’t be fired now. Anyway, the present Arsenal is not the club it was in the early-Wenger years so the Klops, Peps and Ancelottis would not be beating down the doors to come in, even were they available.
    Pochettino got Spurs into CL in short order and isn’t that what we want?

  31. Bufallo says:

    levy appointing mourinho in many ways a genius move to raise the club’s profile, amazon doc ongoing etc but football wise could be an absolute disaster. fingers crossed he hasn’t refound his touch. definitely puts huge pressure on us to act, especially if he starts well. good news and now my least favourite manager is at my least favourite club. let the fun begin !

  32. consolsbob says:

    I have an awful feeling about this.

  33. consolsbob says:


    Can you do that in real money, please. We are an English club with thick, racist English fans.

    Well, Sterling users anyway.

  34. Bufallo says:

    But Alex it’s not instead of, he won’t manage Arsenal. I truly believe him.
    And as i said, i’m glad not because i don’t think many make fair points about him above but i don’t think for many reasons Arsenal hiring, or trying to hire him is a good idea. Imagine if it went badly, it would be ruinous for us i.m.o. Certainly far worse than another candidate and i also don’t see Poch as outstanding above many others, all this waffle about him being an elite manager. He is not. Mourinho on the other hand is. And i still wouldn’t have liked him at Arsenal.

  35. Andy1886 says:

    Pochettino said in January last year that he could never manage Barca or Arsenal, he was very clear about that. Now I know those promises are sometimes empty ones but I didn’t get the impression that it was the case this time.

  36. Damon says:


    Very true. But we both know that was said when he was Spurs manager and flying pretty high. PR noise

    Now he’s had his P45, if a job offer came in from AFC that mean he continued his work with exceptionally high renumeration and didn’t have to uproot his family and relocate them half way around Europe, whilst both his children, I believe, are either playing for or employed by Spurs (?)

    I’d imagine that he might have a different position to that of last January

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