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.