Fab Freddie Friday!! Review of all Nine Candidates for the Big Job.

Note by TA:

Thank you Unai for all the hard work and passion for the club and team. It was not to be but nobody will ever say you did not give your all. Good luck in your next endeavour!

Freddie takes over as interim, but who will be the big boss after that?….

A few notes on each guy on the bookies’ list.

NES – I’m very suspicious about his arrival. He will be another Jorge Mendes’ yes-man who will play people Mendes orders him to. We don’t have Moutinho-Neves axis in the midfield so it’s highly unlikely Nuno would be able to recreate the holy spirit of his idea at Arsenal. His Valencia days bring a lot of worrying signs, some of those signs we should have read before we had gone for Enemy but Raul seems to be a politican who “fix” his mistakes by repeating them.

Allegri – the biggest name on the list. He’s won things with Juventus and reached two CL finals out of blue. His Juventus was known for their slow build-up (playmakers such as Pirlo and Pjanić were key part of his game), rock solid defence (with a note there were three individually strong defenders: Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini aka BBC with eternal Buffon and a bit of Chez between the sticks) and top class forwards who could invent a goal on their own (ring any bell?). I see him as a manager that would build our midfield around tenacious Torreira and DLP Xhaka but he’d scratch his head over Mesut.

Arteta – arguably the best option on the list. He knows the club, he has learned from Wenger as a player and from Guardiola as an assistant manager. He may be too nice for his own good though. He played for PSG with Pochettino. The main issue, aside from the fact nobody has seen his own work including himself, is our expectation we’ll play flying football with him in charge.

Pochettino – I think I have dwelled into this one already but just to repeat most important things: all his qualities (defensive drill, high energetic pressure, attacking football mixed with dirty moves) won’t find a good ground at Arsenal and all his flaws (discontent with his influence on our transfer policy, poor in-game management, trophyless personality) will maximize at Arsenal.

Rafa – one that knows how to steady the ship, one that knows the league, the language. He did well with Chelsea back in 2012-13 when he came in for Di Matteo and managed to win EL and FA Cup. We’d take that record in a heart-beat, we even don’t have to finish third like he did with Chavs back then. Now, his playing style is not so exciting when he doesn’t have the required personnel with an honourable exception Liverpool 2008-09.

Howe – I see the point of his arrival but he looks to me as another Moyes in making. He has done wonders with Bournemouth but I’m not sure he’s prepared for a big club. I’d like to see him at, say, Everton for a start.

Paddy – oh Paddy. I’d take him as a player. I wouldn’t take him as a manager. I’m not sure he’d Wengerball his way to the Hall of Fame.

Kovač – his name can be translated as Nobody Blacksmith. His Bayern weren’t that bad and putting seven past Spuds is always a great thing to have in your CV but he doesn’t cut it for me. I happen to have a good mate who is a good mate of his and Niko is really a great guy but I don’t think he has what it takes for the highest level.

Rodgers – that ship has sailed.

By Admir

33 thoughts on “Fab Freddie Friday!! Review of all Nine Candidates for the Big Job.

  • Cheers Admir, for succinct summary of the candidates (until now) in line to take over. You know what I would like: a manager with strong focus/system approach to football, excellent ability to raise energy levels and belief, gets the most out of the team, knows how to recognise and develop talent and instils perseverance and integrity in the team. I reckon NES will deliver in all these areas.

  • Thank you for the post Admir,

    There is s real mixed bag of opinion, as we might expect, on Emery’s replacement but looking around Allegri and Poch appear to be the pundits favourite, with Arteta and Santo close behind.

  • Allegri, big name but worry about his ability to work abroad/ in UK. Given what we had with Emery, I am less excited about him. Like the idea of him building the midfield around Tor/Xhak though…

  • Pochetino: superb manager. The first one to move the Spuds above the mighty red and white in the league for a few seasons in a long, long time. Knows how to set up defence and midfield and play in a disciplined, organised way. It would freak out the Spuds and I reckon he could do well enough. I am just not sure whether he would be able to bring that renewed energy we are in need of. Somebody needs to revive the nearly dead corpse asafp.

  • I lack the temerity to copy and paste my comments from the previous post…but I will say this…

    The new guy has a beautiful head (of hair?)…

    I’ve always maintained that (early) hair loss leads to/is a sign of wisdom… Not sure if that’ll translate into results, but it seems better than working so hard (Emery) that things always appeared a bit oily up there… Of course, other’s never trusted AW’s (dry) look, either…

    Longer term, Arteta (a helmet?) is from the school of Moo-man, Pellegrini, Silva, Howe, Conti, Klopp, Poch, etc., etc… who have all skated by with all their fun up there and their weekly trip to the salon… Me, I favor the going or the gone… Pep is bored at City (probably not…), MaxiA gets more popular the longer he’s away (but balder too…) while Rafa will need a LOT of Yuan to come back to England… NES maybe bridges the gap best with the beard making some forget about the troubles upstairs…


    Troubles upstairs?… Ah…NOW we’re back on topic… 😦

  • Rafa, a nice guy who deserves a big club in the PL again. No problem with him but same issue as with Poch… he may be simply too laid back for where we are now.

  • Howe, would be a gamble but why not? Some managers belong to one club (Moyes, Curbishly, Wenger, Ferguson, etc) and they (are likely to) struggle somewhere else. Howe has that I am at home here aura about him, but the proof is in the eating of the pudding… Worth a try?

  • I feel we have an unbalanced squad. In the short term (always crucial) we need a coach who can be inventive with what is available to him (maybe Emery’s weakest point). Allegri might need £200m to fetch the players that would give him the team. Arteta with BFG assisting would build a happy dressing room, again, always crucial.

  • Santo has a win % of 54% and a points won % of 63% at Wolves. Both stats are impressive but certainly not top drawer, however the stats may improve as we have a superior squad.

  • My vote goes to Arteta, too. He seems like a smart guy, which is very important. And a calm, observant personality nevertheless. He is Spanish, but worked in many countries, so language couldn’t be an issue.
    And I can’t wait him telling Guardiola before the 2021 FA Cup final “When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.”

    Keown backs Vieria. Who didn’t fail as miserably as Henry, but didn’t achieve anything spectacular either.

  • There is also little room for romantic experimenting at this stage. We need to get points back on the board and don’t get sucked into a relegation battle. So we need a quick initial turnaround. Someone with a plan and strong motivational skills is much needed. It will be good to see how Freddie copes with this pressure.

  • I really like Arteta as an individual but I’m not sure he would be a good manager/coach. He has never managed on his own and I feel the risk would be too great.

  • Admit,

    Thanks for the post. It sure had been a long time coming. For the past few months, I and others had been calling for Emery’s sacking, not just because of poor results but more importantly because of poor, uninspiring on-the-pitch performances. The “clueless clown” (as I dubbed Emery) had absolutely no idea how to motivate this talented group of players and/or how to solve this big Arsenal riddle and that ultimately led to his sacking. I don’t particularly take joy in other people’s misery or misfortune but the proverbial writing was on the wall and the situation had become untenable. I am glad that the Kroenke family and the BoD finally came to see what the supporters had been seeing for a long time and decided to do the right thing by Arsenal FC.

    Emery is a good, hardworking manager. However, the marriage with Arsenal just wasn’t working and a breakup was therefore necessary for both parties. I thank Emery for at least giving it a good try even though Wenger’s shoes turned to be too huge for him to fill. I wish him better luck and success in his next endeavor, wherever that may be.

    As for our next manager, I would like Arsenal FC to take their time and have serious and detailed conversations with all potential candidates. No hurried decision and no half measures this time. This will be a very important turning point in our club’s history and we simply need to get it right. In my humble opinion, we need to get back to basics, to playing great football again (breathtaking Arsenal football that made us all fall in love with this club in the first place); we need the fear factor again, we teams to be scared of us, to literally poop and/or pee in the pants when they line up next to us in the tunnel; we need the fans back supporting the team (and I mean each and every player, even scapegoats like Mustafi, Xhaka, and Ozil for as long as they are part of the squad) with one strong and loud voice; we need a manager who can bring back confidence, passion, and joy, a manager who can give the players the freedom to express themselves and show their superior qualities on the pitch instead of playing like robots under strict control; finally, we need a manager who can solve once and for all, our achilles’ heels, our forever-present defensive struggles. This NEEDS to be the NUMBER ONE issue to bring up with any prospective candidate. Those who satisfactorily answer this question MUST provide solid evidence to back up their answer and they MUST also provide a great plan of action, moving forward. Now is our chance to find the man who can finally fix our main problem.

    Out of the list provided in this post, I admit that have my own favorite (Max Allegri, I actually wanted him to succeed Wenger instead of Emery but he chose to stay at Juventus last season), but right now it really doesn’t matter. The next manager may even be someone who nobody’s thought of yet, a total unknown just like Wenger was. As long as he is serious enough, can easily design and communicate his tactics to the players clearly, restore respect and harmony, and is able to do all of the things I mentioned earlier above, then he will deserve our respect and full support.

    Bottom line, we all want our manager and our team to succeed. For their success will be our success, their joy will be our joy, their failure will be our failure. And nobody wants us to fail. Arsenal FC, thank you for putting an end to this unbearable chapter in our history, but do your research well, take your time and choose wisely and rightly. Thank you.

    Next Man Up!

    Go Arsenal FC!!!
    “Victory Through Harmony”

  • I enjoyed reading your comment Gino, it was well thought out and I agree with your sentiments.
    We need to re invigorate the players, they have to learn to enjoy playing football again.

  • Possibly as much as 60% success as a coach goes to having an eye for the right players. The other 40% shared about equally between tactics and man management. There is no doubt that poor recruitment has been very contributory to our poor state ……. for a top European team we’ve done very poorly there: Xhaka, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Sokratis, Luiz, Torreira, Leno, Guendouzi, Tierney, Pepe, Auba, Laca. Out of these 12 names only about 2 (3 maximum) would interest Klopp.

    Our current 1st string has these post Wenger players: Leno, Sokratis, Luiz, Tierney, Guendouzi, Torreira and Pepe. That’s 7 players. It’s not by any stretch anymore Wenger’s team. That’s where the revolution failed. Arteta is very attentive and very analytical. Pep rates him so highly. With him our recruitment would be spot on and that’s our best route back. If we focus exclusively on the short term we would never get out of the hole.

    Despite the fact that Arteta was neither athletic nor physical he performed well as a holding mid because he was such a cerebral player. He understood space so well and that’s a coach for you. Arteta Who? We’ve seen it before.

  • Gold-star stuff Admir.
    Perfect post. Clairvoyant timing (yesterday 🎯).

    TA’s requiem was enough for me to nod and move on.
    Did not have to be this way.

    My small sympathy for the departed is that he was left to twist-in-the-wind for so long.
    Though two months later than necessary (six months truth-be-told). Been pining for this far too long to take any satisfaction.

    + + +

    #WengerBack! OK. Since that seems right-out?
    I’ll settle for my choice in May 2018– Mikel Arteta Amatriain.
    Ljungberg was necessary no matter what. We as a club have to re-cultivate the club’s identity– and Ready-Freddie was the first, best way to get it started. Honestly feel we can bolt things down on defense by planting Torriera in front of it. The real need is coordinating what we have in midfield to accentuate Mesut’s best abilities.

    If Freddie can sort those things?
    Then we can start looking at the New Newman whose style fits what the players offer.

    I’m still placing my even larger bet (now) on Mikel.


  • The following is a message from Unai Emery:

    It has been an honour to be the Arsenal head coach.

    To all the fans, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me to understand and feel the greatness of Arsenal. To all of you who have supported us from every corner of the globe, all of you who have come to the Emirates, all of you who have waited in the rain and cold just to greet me after a game. I want to tell all of you that I have worked with passion, with commitment and with effort.

    I would have liked nothing more than to have achieved better results for you.

    I also want to send a message of gratitude to all Arsenal employees for the way they have treated me. The greatness of Arsenal is in every director, executive, employee, assistant and volunteer.

    In particular, I want to highlight Ivan Gazidis, who welcomed me to the club, and Raul Sanllehi, Edu and Vinai Venkatesham for their respect, companionship and help. Until the very last minute I have been treated with honour and honesty. And of course, I send my sincere gratitude to the Kroenke family, for their trust.

    It has been a year and a half full of emotions, of great moments and some other more bitter ones, but not a single day has gone by without me stopping to think about how lucky I have been to work for this club with these players and their professional and personal qualities.

    They have always honoured the shirt they wear. They deserve your support.

    I had already experienced a lot in football, but I have enjoyed and learned a lot in England, in the Premier League, about respect for professionals and about the purity of football.

    My best wishes always.


    Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

  • friends, mark my words:
    freddie’s gonna make it
    he’ll be an unsackable coach, if ever there was one
    i’ve got sunday on my mind, at last

  • Very classy message from Unai Emery. Nothing but total respect for the man! Hope he finds a new job that suits him and his style of play soon. His efforts and hard work were always much appreciated by all of us. Just not the right fit.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this, GunnerN5.

  • Again TA, sir– your class is apparent.
    Myself? Am reading this missive through the lens of a one-time PR flak (another of my ‘hats’). Certain it garnered an OK digitally from Mr Emery. That writing though? Templated from a PR portfolio.

    Never been one for misty goodbyes.
    Cheers Unai.


  • Unless we get Wolves to release NES, I reckon the choice should be down to Rafa Benitez and Arteta. While the former can only be a short term (2 to 3 years) stint, Arteta has the capacity to stay longer and he already learns from the best in Wenger and PG.

    Last night I talk about soul searching amid Thanksgiving, and we need to do some soul searching ourselves too and get behind the team. Let’s turn the away atmosphere into a home one.

    Victoria Concordia Cresit

  • N5 … that letter brings the human angle to the fore. Pity that whichever way there must be pain in life.

  • I think many of us will mix Overmars and Ljungberg up. They are both very technical players, like Arteta, and i like all of them for their technical attributes.

    Now for the team is to keep their physical and mental strengths up and there was another name thrown into the coaching staff’s mix: Gilberto Silva. He would be a good addition for us.

  • Yes it is JW, but I am sure you will agree that most senior employees need help from a PR department to write such a statement at such a moment. We all know his limited ability to speak English, let alone write it. But he signed it and I do think a lot of it he really wanted to say.

    It looks like Freddie may be interim for a while ala OGS at Manure if he can get the results in the next few months. But that is a big IF and I am looking forward to seeing how he gets on in the hot seat.

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