Freddie: The Prose and Con Artists In The Running

I don’t know why it aroused such surprise but the dismissal of Unai Emery was handled utterly courteously. As if adults were involved rather than the petulant brats which nearly always surface in professional football.

Arsenal released a short statement. I don’t why but it seemed too short and to be honest, it’s hard to conceive of a long eulogy being appropriate for someone who ultimately failed.

Then came Unai Emery’s statement which had everyone crying in their beer about how nice a bloke he was and how much of a shame it was that he wasn’t good enough to make a success of the Arsenal job. It was a wake but a jolly little one and best of all the corpse joined in with the drinking.

Freddie Ljungberg added himself to the list of bloody nice blokes who’ve managed Arsenal with his little epithet on social media:

He’s going to name his backroom staff today but if he doesn’t get round to it, we can look at those who helped him with training today as well as those beside him on the bench at Carrow Road. That’ll give us a good idea. Unless, of course, he sits on his own then we’re none the wiser.

Funniest moment of the day. Jose Mourinho’s reaction to Emery’s dismissal. “No point in telling you,” sulky knickers opined when questioned on if he would have taken the Arsenal job before signing his life away in the Swamp.

So, we move on to finding the new boss. Hopefully, he won’t be the same as the old boss. Out of nowhere, someone in a pub let’s rip a drunken fart propelling Max Allegri to the position of favourite but there are plenty of others, of course.

Pros and Con Artists

For each person we want to see appointed, arguments quickly surface against them. Nuno Espirito Santo was the early pacemaker in the betting but as ever, is fading. The initial favourites rarely become the ‘anointed one’.

Stories surfaced over his relationship with Jorge Mendes, the superagent. I found that quite amusing given the philosophy of our head of football operations or whatever Raul calls himself these days.

Sanllehi launched a power grab over the football club and Sven Mislintat lost. Badly. At the heart of the matter was a difference in philosophy. The German wanted a stats-based recruitment policy, not caring for agents. Raul is a traditionalist and preferred his agent-filled Filofax.

That’s before we even get to Edu’s ties with Kia Joorabchian.

And let’s not forget, Mendes represented Arsenal in the signing of Nicolas Pepe. We trusted him in a £72m deal but not now? I somehow doubt we’ve become puritanical that Mendes became persona non grata so quickly.

It’s the same those tied to contracts. If I say Rodgers, you ask why would he want to leave second-placed Leicester City? I wonder more if we want to pay £20m to buy out his contract.

Rafa Benitez is under contract in China but he is doing the rounds for interviews. Seasoned hacks claim that is a sign of an impending homecoming.

The Tottenham job interested Carlo Ancelotti but he’s under contract at Napoli. That doesn’t matter with the Italians imploding spectacularly, to such an extent that the turmoil at Arsenal is considered child’s play.

As I said earlier, for every man the pros and cons are thrown around with conviction. I watch incredulously at times as people claim we’ll never agree on a manager. We don’t have to; the hierarchy has to and they must get it right.

Surprisingly Sought After

One thing is apparent that despite our fallen status, the Arsenal job remains a sought-after position. I don’t know why anyone is surprised by that; we’re only a fallen giant, not a favoured pet ready to be put down.

The list of candidates is strong before you begin to add in the unproven and untested. Little wonder the club isn’t in a public hurry to appoint.

Personally, my criteria would be as follows: strong organisational skills, knowledge of the English game.

Do I care if he is charismatic? Nope. Not a sausage. You could mistake him for an accountant from Croydon for all I care; just so long as he can do the job.

There’s going to be so much speculation over the next week that it will feel like a transfer window. All this and Christmas too.

Fortunately, there’s a match tomorrow and you can find my initial thoughts on it in my Novibet preview.

’til Tomorrow.

24 thoughts on “Freddie: The Prose and Con Artists In The Running

  1. Jerry Gunner says:

    First maybe! Seemed a decent fella but out if his depth. Despite our current situation we are still the biggest club in the capital so will always be attractive. Who would you want Yogi?

  2. consolsbob says:

    Well, yes, YW.

    But how many superagents do we want around the club given the involvemment of Joorabchian and Sanllehi’s prediliction for their ilk?

    Can’t see any of them doing us any favours without some very expensive quid pro quo. How much is the Sideshow Bob business costing us? 40 Million according to some.

  3. Ferkov says:

    Morning YW. Thanks for the reflections. Didn’t know you drank in the Duchess. I was there from lunchtime on Weds , and you pretty much recount the conversations in there til midnight. Sorry about the flatus btw. But a brief reference to how 3 years ago Fast Eddie’s name was in the hat for Wengers crown proved too much for my ageing sphincter.

  4. YW says:


    I’d go for NES, Benitez or Howe. I suspect of those three, Benitez is most suited having done several firefighting roles, would get the job.

    I wonder about Rodgers and think he’s done a good job at Leicester. Can he rekindle Arsenal?

    If I follow the club’s criteria of a ‘long-term’ appointment, building for the future, I genuinely didn’t know. I can’t contemplate ‘long-term’ for a job where the average incumbent lasts for 2 years.

  5. YW says:


    Fee of c. £8m, VAT £2m, wages £15m. You’ll struggle to get to £40m.

    We didn’t deal with these guys and it got us nowhere. We’ve just started to deal with them, so we shall see.

    I wonder what the fuss is TBH. We deal with agents all the time and I’m sure Raul has his favourites. Are KJ/JM any worse or better than dealing with 20 others?

  6. JonJon says:

    That was one of wengers biggest issues that we discussed on here many times.

    his refusal to work with super agents.

    he kept bleating on about how we nearly signed this kid and that kid but we didnt – because he wouldnt deal with the agents. too stubborn – had too many personal opinions about football that involved rainbows and bunny rabbits – fifa job was best place for him in the end.

    while everyone else was signing the ronaldos and the messis we were busy signing the denilsons and the bischoffs and the silvestres to make us a PL contender. whilest losing players like the rvps and the cescs and the nasris. madness..

    part of wengers decline was due to his refusal to move forward with everyone else and it fucked him. his best players were running their contracts down and fucking off, he lost his perfect cl record, couldnt win an away game for toffee. instead of pushing the squad on and challenging for top honours we fell behind..becuase he refused to do what everyone else was doing. unless he was selling players to them.


    so far behind it was always going to be a massive rebuild job after he left.

    ive got no issue with super agents, we’re going to need to get in bed with them to get back to the top

    emery was always going to be a stop gap…the next guy needs to be a carefully chosen. he needs to be tactical aware, have a vision, be a good man manager who gets the respect of the players and he has to be able to speak fucking english

    not really bothered about nuno..doesnt impress me nor strike me as someone who can succeed.

    pochettino and rodgers interest me. pl experience who had/have clear visions.
    benitez too, hes more of a ship steadier to be fair.
    id be interested in what arteta could do on his own without pep but possibly still too early for him to jump into a top job – although nagelsmitt could possibly do it.
    allegris probably the standout name – hes elite. just depends if our super agents can work something out.
    anchovi – sell by dates and all that – not interested.
    howe? see nuno – not bothered by him.

    alegri if he can speak english
    toss up between poch and rodgers if not
    arteta or nagelsmitt if we are going with youthfullness

    whoever gets chosen, were a massive club with massive potential, we just need a slap to wake us up – i can see many managers putting their name forward for this one.

    but for now its super sexy fred.

  7. The Totteridge man says:

    I agree with @YW, and go for Benitez, as he has credentials and the experience of managing big clubs, has gravitas and knows the PL. He can be approached directly. He knows,the weakness of the Arsenal team., while he wasthe boss at New Castle. An year or two of stabilisation is necessary,and Rafa will provide this.

  8. Damon says:

    Allegri, Poch, Benitez, Howe. In that order, the language thing could make me switch the first two with each other but I’ve not chatted with Max so can’t past judgement on his linguistic skills

    Don’t fancy NES at all. His record in Spain is very iffy

    Can’t see Rodgers jumping ship. He’s got a good thing going on and if it goes pear shaped the narrative will be that they were over achieving earlier anyway

    Very glad we didn’t get Jose. With the state of the club at the moment he would’ve run tings around and torn us to pieces and left us in pieces in 30 months time

  9. SUGA3 says:

    Been saying to give it to Freddie in the interim, Emery’s been sacked about a month too late, IMO.

    Now I’d like for the club to treat Freddie fairly if he does well.

  10. Wailesy says:

    Allegri or Poch. We’ve all seen managers speak through translators and I’ve never though much of it but now I’ve experienced poor communication at our club I don’t want to again. So that may rule Allegri out for me. Vieira’s name is being thrown about. I’d take him over all others mentioned. Arteta especially doesn’t interest me in the slightest. He’s just not an “Arsenal man” to me. Nuno no no. Rodgers, Benitez? yeah why not. Glad Mourinho’s not in the mix.

  11. Randy Thomsett says:

    It’s new Manager time again. Blog gold. Oh what fun we’ll have.

    We’ve got the January transfer window to look forward to as well. Fingers crossed for plenty of inaction. If we’re lucky we may get to see some spontaneous human combustion.

    Christmas can do one.

    To top it off, we’ve now got a new accent to take the piss out of.

    Arsenal is fucked internally and externally.

  12. andy1886 says:


    Can’t see Allegri or Poch wanting the job, Benitez may be okay but is one of those who doesn’t break contracts apparently. No thanks on Nuno, Arteta and I’d rather appoint the ghost of Herbert Chapman than have Wenger back.

  13. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Who knows? Emery seemed like a reasonable appointment 18 months ago. Freddie’s come through for us in a crisis before but must be long odds to keep the job. I guess the question becomes: does the board want to appoint a ship-steadier, take another punt, or pay up for a proven quantity? One of the first two then.
    I think there might be a case for a ship-steadier for two years max at this point.

  14. C says:

    Can somebody please explain to me why Pochettino is the one everybody wants? What has he actually accomplished or did I miss something? Allegri, much more accomplished both at Milan and Juve. Vieira over Howe for me everyday. Arteta would be interesting but it would truly depend on his backroom and number 2.

    Nagglesman, no way he is leaving RB Leizpig. Wouldn’t mind ten Hag from Ajax.

  15. andy1886 says:

    I see that Klopp bloke is doing okay. You know, the one that we were told was a busted flush and not a patch on AW.

    As with anything else in life you get opportunities rarely and those that dither don’t take them. Stan and Co. are ditherers. Big miss.

  16. Reloaded says:

    I think most can agree the stuttered nature tof the sack is another epic The New Arsenal move. With respect to giving FL a fair shake.. is that results-dependent or duration-based? I really hope I’m grossly underestimating the bored mgmt and its incompetence in thinking they are only just now starting to think about potential candidates but I can’t see us doing anything ahead of January. I’m hard-pressed to hear what about NES that makes some of our esteemed contributors think he’s not worth a look but a punt on Marcelino an option. I sure hope Freddie meant smiles back to Arsenal faces 🤔 and not more of the same OFFensive football we’ve been subjected to for too many years on the trot. If poor coaching was at fault for so much of the frailty then I would hope some measure of professional pride would by now have eventually sunk in. Let’s hope we Norwich way the opponents goal is tomorrow instead of the habitual sulking. Some Alt Madrid chums of mine told me this morning that they are sick of Simeone…oh if I had my way in this world!

  17. Blue Yonder says:

    For all the complaints that the board took too long to pull the trigger on Emery, there is an upside: had he been fired a few weeks back, we might have got Mourinho. Of course, now we’ll never know. Just as well.

  18. C says:

    Good ti see Adelaide is flourishing and really showing his talent for a very talented Lyon side.

  19. Reloaded says:


    Beers got the better of me on my ramble, JG! In sum, our leadership is quadruple D junk grade. They would never have the guts to get a strong man coach.

  20. Reloaded says:

    Ahh…so they HAVE been discussing the sack for weeks but could only now just act and with hardly a decisive plan. Not sure which is more painful the football or the dithering incompetence of the leadership. What a blockbuster opportunity for our model Gooner to get out of his comfort zone in taking the helm. I’m itching to see how we set up this afternoon!

  21. Bufallo says:

    Very oddly run club Arsenal. Compare and contrast us to Tottenham and Levy (Dracula)…..worlds best stadium, world class training ground, sack underperforming darling manager ruthlessly and replace with elite manager within 12 hours, amazon documentary makers salivating, club profile up.
    Arsenal dither, dither, dither… hapless manager after position becomes totally untenable and then decide to enter a ‘process’ to identify the next manager who has been a dead man walking for months if not longer. Searching for manager who will not be of elite level, much more of a punt….a Ljunberg, Arteta, NES. We are way way behind the curve and you can’t see it ever changing under the current ownership, who can’t even find and delegate to someone vaguely competent like Levy. All the gags about Tottenham winning nothing could be about to change. Are the board and owners even going to try and keep up with the top four ? Or are we going to enjoy the process of playing youngsters and attacking, i mean crap, football.
    I share your excitement Josh.

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