Freddie: It’s A Big Task…

You’ll be pleased to know I am penning this piece in a suit. Not my birthday suit but properly attired to show my proudness in carrying out this role of providing daily entertainment.

Try as I might, and I did try, I could not find a picture of Paul Scholes as Oldham boss wearing a shirt and tie. Was the Ginger Pr*ck saying “Don’t do as I do, do as I say”? If he’d followed his own advice, he might have lasted longer than 4½ weeks at Boundary Park.

Mind you, 4½ weeks sounds is like a cut-price Fellini film. Which is entirely fitting given Scholes is a cut-price pundit, wheeled out when the budget won’t stretch to anyone half-decent. A Poundland pundit.

Meanwhile, back at the Arsenal Big Brother house, it’s Day 5 and Freddie is in the diary room after another day of tears and tantrums after he introduced defensive coaching into the routines…

Freddie, the man with Sven and Arsene as the angel and demon on his shoulder deciding good and evil, is learning how to be positive in a public environment. He defended Sunday’s defending even though he knew that a chocolate teapot is more useful than our back four.

We conceded goals in transition, y’see. That’s the same transition Unai Emery frequently referred to when he didn’t want us to be Transformers. Dear old Unai. Freddie thought he was “a great leader, and a fantastic coach” while he did “a great job”. We’ll beg to differ on that one, Fredster.

But it got things out of the way. We learned Freddie is diplomatic although he seemed barely able to keep a lid on the criticism of Sunday’s performance. Should be interesting when we drop the bad performance which is waiting in the wings.

Freddie is a Devil

His boiled Norwich’s goals down to sprints.

The main thing I saw in the game is that we let them get into situations where it was just a sprint. It was not about football or technical stuff, they just went in a competitive sprint with our player. 

Freddie highlights the weakness in our play

The fundamental problem at Norwich was that we looked like we ordered the full-backs to get forward and forgot to instruct the midfield to cover. If we did issue the latter instruction then the midfield disobeyed it; lacked the discipline to carry out a relatively simple move to ensure gaps in the defence were plugged.

Still, he’s got a plan: “We want to stop that.”

While it was too soon to effect major change in his first game, let’s not forget Freddie has been part of the coaching set-up all season. This is not a new problem; it didn’t just emerge on Sunday because Norwich were devastatingly good.

It’s that element of his appointment which gives me an uneasiness about Ljungberg as a long-term head coach. Maybe he raised these points with Unai and was given short-shrift by the Spaniard. That being the case, he has some tough games ahead in which to put it right.

They shouldn’t be tough games but given our form, that’s exactly what they are.

The one thing I will say about Freddie is that watching his ‘bench cam’ there were reassuring signs of a different attitude. The best example was when Leno saved from McLean; a small clap of appreciation but he looked furious that the Norwich midfielder was able to run through the heart of the defence so easily.

Just the small matter of putting the myriad faults right.

If You Won’t Give Peace a Chance, Give Freddie a Chance Instead

The search for a new boss is dominated by procrastination and the need to give Ljungberg a proper shot at the title. I’m not sure how long The Muppet Show has in mind for Freddie to be interim before they make a decision but if it is a serious intention, then it’s hard to see him out by Christmas.

Unless we’re dreadful and showing no sign of improvement.

In the meantime, we see daily increases in rumours. The Athletic is obsessed with us appointing Mauricio Pochettino. It’s hard to know if he’s the #1 choice or just a good mate of a writer on the site. The Telegraph told us Pochettino’s mates told him to wait for a better job. Did they or were Torygraph hacks fed up with not being courted by The Athletic so decided to spite it?

Then Goal came up with the Marcelino link. You’d think that The Muppet Show would be wary of appointing another failed Sevilla and Valencia ex-coach but apparently not. Unai didn’t burn fingers badly enough. Either that or every member of The Muppet Show has a decent payoff clause in the event that they get cancelled.

Arsenal’s hierarchy is in an invidious position. They can’t talk openly about targets because of football’s tapping up regulations but that doesn’t stop targets ruling themselves in and out of the role with the space of 24 hours.

Do they interview while Freddie is in situ? “We might have a vacancy; we’re just waiting to see how this fan favourite gets on. If he drops a b*llock, we’ll call you.” It’s hardly the most flattering of approaches, especially to a coach six titles to his name.

First, there’s the small matter of Brighton to overcome. You can read my Novibet preview here.

’til Tomorrow.

19 thoughts on “Freddie: It’s A Big Task…

  1. andy1886 says:

    Marcelino? God no, I’d rather appoint an actual piece of lino.

    Bottom line is it has to be a coach with proven PL pedigree. Anything else is too much of a risk for a club that doesn’t have the luxury of making another cock up the way that ManU do.

  2. Stu says:


    Proven PL pedigree narrows the field somewhat. Who would you realistically want, who would be available/could be prised away? Benitez? Rodgers? Poch? Ranieri? Ancelloti?

    None of the other current managers have proven PL credentials (Nuno, Howe are unproven, Allegri, Nagelsmann, ten Hag have no PL experience) or would leave current roles (Klopp, Pep etc).

  3. YW says:

    Entirely appropriate for the ‘Belated Boom’, Andy. It was a belated post, after all!

  4. Wailesy says:

    Scholes. What a fuckwit.
    The board can’t really be seeing Freddie as a long term replacement. The poor bloke has zero experience and they think he can just come in and sort out this mess. Please? We are an embarrassment. I’ll never forgive Dein and co.

  5. andy1886 says:


    Just covering my ass YW in the event that I was doing a Xhaka (arriving just too late at a critical moment).

  6. andy1886 says:


    Ideally one of the first three.

    Other than that I would rather have PL based but inexperienced than someone who has done well in other leagues (with possible exception of Simeone).

  7. C says:


    Why does it have to be? If we are chasing the likes of Liverpool, Citeh, hell even Chelsea all picked managers who were NOT PL managers. People want Poch but what has he won since everybody wants a manager that knows how to win things?

    For me, its about getting the right manager not just for the handling of the club, but getting the players to respond. People say Howe, but isn’t he a risk making a jump from Bournemouth, who are happy to make midtable, to Arsenal who are expected to make top 4 and do well in Europe plus have you seen Bournemouth defensively? Benetiz, nope not for me. Poch, what has he won….ever and maybe they didn’t spend but how often did you hear people say, “well what player could they buy to improve that squad” plus they did actially buy quite a number of players.

  8. YW says:


    It’s hard to argue Lampard doesn’t know the PL given how recently he retired as a player! However, I’d agree with Pochettino. Nay, nay and thrice nay, say I!

  9. C says:


    That’s true about Lampard. Given that and people wanting an “Arsenal” man, then I would rather see Vieira given a shout maybe. Vieira checks all the boxes and equally as important, he would instantly get the respect of the players in the dressing room.

    Arteta is the one that I could see both sides point; you hear the Citeh players praise the impact Arteta has had on them. He is the sort of player and now #2 who you always thought would be a manager. The thing I would wonder is would it be too much too soon.

  10. Pete the Thirst says:

    The new coach has to understand defending (Benitez). Wenger neglected the art for the last 10 years of his reign. Emery took the defending to new levels of comedy output. Luiz has to go down as one of the most foolish signings in a long time.

    I hope Freddy was giving the players rope to hang themselves with on Sunday and we see a more solid line up on Thursday. Bring another player into midfield, drop Lacazette deeper and send Ozil to Dubai for a few months to get some new highlights.

  11. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Steven Gerrard anyone ?

    Doing a fine job at GR , knows the PL like the back of his hand & is miserable enough not to take any shit.

    OK he’ll be back at Pool one day but get a couple of quid on him….It’s worth a punt.

  12. Blue Yonder says:

    It seems we don’t want a coach without PL experience but we also don’t want a coach who doesn’t have the credentials. Who does that leave? Pep and Klop – except that they’re busy right now. I might also have said Mourinho but couldn’t bring myself to.
    Arteta could be the man but it’s one thing to have the players’ respect as the coach’s right hand man but quite another to be the man. So he’s a gamble, too.
    Freddie has the advantage of knowing the defence (but evidently to no avail.) That makes him an unknown as manager.
    I think fans have to resign themselves to the fact that no quick fix is going to make Arsenal champions of anything in the short term.

  13. Bill says:

    Great post yogi

    I am reasonably confident that we will have a run of good form at some point fairly soon and end up in 5th or 6th place. Same thing probably would have happened with a Emery. If that does happen which I expect it will make the debate about sticking with Freddie or getting a new manager interesting. Sane thing happened last year at ManU.

  14. Fell says:

    Is that it? Is that amazon prime’s best offering?
    Built for streaming on a phone. As a producer I’d be embarrassed . But not as much as if I was the person that entrusted them to sell my product well

  15. Woolwich Freddie says:

    If the sole purpose of VAR is to award United penalties for diving, it seems a little redundant given that was already the default for most referees.

  16. Jonnygunner says:


    He’s not exactly cutting it at Nice C

  17. C says:


    Your right about that but then again, neither is Howe at Bournemouth. That’s more the point I was making about being PL proven and Howe’s name being brought up.

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