What should Arsenal be thinking about when hiring a new manager?

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You know things are flaccid when Le Grove is struggling to muster some sort of new angle on Wenger’s demise fresh off the back of an embarrassing defeat.

There isn’t a fresh path these days.

Uninterested owner

Neutered CEO

Dictatorial manager

Average players who don’t believe in themselves

No sign of an end in sight!

Man, that’s a depressing run of bullet points.

Some more colour commentary on quite how average the Arsene regime comes from ex keeper, CHEZZER. This is him talking to the press about development.

“Honestly, I couldn’t say from a technical standpoint that I improved in any way from when I became first choice at Arsenal until the day I left for Roma.

“However, in the two-and-a-half years since I came to Italy I’ve improved massively, which is thanks to the coaches and the way they work.

“It’s not about improving when you play, it’s every day in training you have to work on every aspect of your game and that’s something I’ve really enjoyed.”

He goes on…

“I think in general, the coaches in Italy are much more tactical, that’s just how the league works.

“At Arsenal you’d just prepare physically for it but here you watch films analysing a specific opponent before the game and afterwards we’ll watch again to see what worked and what didn’t.

“I enjoyed working with some great coaches at Arsenal, Roma and here, but the goalkeeping school in Italy is very different – it’s very technical and pays more attention to the details.”

It’s really not an England vs Italy thing. It’s an Arsene vs the world thing.

Pep Guardiola had three meetings to prepare for how to beat Stoke. His players love the variety in training, they have fun, they learn, it’s intense.

How many meetings do you think Arsene had about Watford? How intense do you think a training session with Mesut Ozil is going to be? How often do you think Arsene has changed up his training ideas in the last 20 years? How detailed do you think Arsenal reconnaissance missions are? How much information do you think the Arsenal players have on the opposition before they play? How often do you think Wenger sits down with players and actually coaches or mentors them?

It’s a lifestyle offering at Arsenal. Players come to us to die. We’re like Florida for players. Xhaka was a promising talent, now he’s drowning in a crisis of confidence. Mesut Ozil hasn’t adapted his game, he’s the same guy he was 4 years ago and fan commentary is centred around the issue being how the squad is set up to cater to his precious needs. Lacazette can’t play away from home so far, and looks really, really okayish.

The only players you can really look at as heroes are Monreal and Sanchez. The latter because he plays for himself, the former because he’s a gladiator.

Wenger isn’t bringing anything new to the table.

People talk about his replacement needing to be a big name don’t have much of a grasp on what the club need.

Would I take Carlo right now? Of course. I’d take Marco Silva, Sean Dyche or Brendan Rodgers right now. All would improve Arsenal and that’s not even being sarcastic. That’s pure reality.

However, we don’t need any of those guys. We need someone with a fresh vision of how the game is played. We need a next generation mind with a philosophy on how the game is played, how a team should press, how you recruit players.

Reality is we need a Sporting Director as badly as we need a new manager. Is Mark Overmars the right man for the job? Who knows. My doubts with him come from the fact he’s being hired by Wenger. That man doesn’t invite attacks on his authority. So it’s a powder puff signing regardless of how talented the guy is as a sporting director.

Anyway, back to the manager. We should be finding someone doing great things at a smaller club. Be the kingmaker.

Find a man who understands the psychology of the players. Someone who is a people person. Someone who is a football man as well.

We need someone with an exciting vision of how the game should be played. Ralph Ragnick is getting the most out of Ralph Hasenhüttl. An extremely defensive manager in a past life, now offering up the flare of Ragnick. Leipzig are sitting third in the Bundesliga again.

In Italy, Sarri of Napoli is creating some of the best build-up play in the world. His football is only seconded to the mesmeric show being put on by Pep G. We’ll never land the Spaniard, but we could land the Italian building a similar project on a budget. You’re not buying trophies, you’re buying a brand of football and thinking you believe could counter something spectacular in our league.

Signing Simeone looks great on paper, but he doesn’t have Arsenal football at Madrid. He has a big ego, he’ll demand he brings an expensive team, and he’ll be bigger than the club.

Ivan needs to be kingmaker, and he needs to set his sights higher than Eddie Howe, Roger Schmidt and Rafa Benitez.

That’s the big fear here, does Ivan have a footballing vision? Has he been paying attention to what’s going on in the world of football? Sounds like a stupid question, but is he really paying attention? The press narrative was about post-Wenger planning being a shambles. Well, start planning right now who you want. Sound out names. Get your ducks in order right this second. Have a plan A, plan B and a plan C. Have monitors our on managers cutting tremendous shapes. Keep tabs on Marcelo Gallardo. Tap up Jardim about taking over from Wenger. See how David Wagner’s season pans out. Pay attention to what Silva is doing, because he’s on his second club and things are looking good for him.


But likely not.

… because we are not a sporting entity.

201 Responses to “What should Arsenal be thinking about when hiring a new manager?”

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  1. WengerEagle

    Cesc was an animal in his Arsenal days, best midfielder in the league at the age of 19/20 when prime Gerrard and Lampard were still knocking about.

    Never returned from Spain the same player even if he had a very good 2014/15 with the Chavs.

  2. gonsterous

    Wenger over the years has been the cause of his own downfall. making stupid comments is one thing but making stupid decisions in the window is terribly unforgivable…

  3. Paulinho

    WE – Also Madrid suited him down to a tee in terms of his mentality because he could work in the shadows behind ego maniac Ronaldo. For most top players it might be a problem due to clash of egos, but Ozil was perfectly happy to play second fiddle because he knew he wasn’t capable of being the main man anyway.

    He could pop up every now and then and score, and that would be enough to get people thinking he could do more. Same with Busquets to some extent, you had had people thinking he was selfless and playing within in himself for the greater good of the team, when in fact he was already playing to the height of his ability doing what he was doing, and he didn’t have another gear in the locker.

  4. WengerEagle


    I wouldn’t even give Ozil the credit of being second fiddle, for me that’s been Benzema all this time whereas Ozil was merely a cog in the machine. Agree that it suited him to play in a side where they had the vast majority of games won by the 65-70th min affording him the opportunity to go off when he gassed.

    For me Benzema is an interesting one, I think he had another gear in his prime years but he was just one of those players who valued honours and enjoyed the status of being a key Real Madrid player over leading a team on a lower echelon side, the opposite to Totti or a Gerrard.

    Higuain played both sides of the fence between Real and Napoli but he was drawn back to playing for a side in Juventus that could compete for top honours on a yearly basis despite being a God in Naples.

    Which brings us to Ronaldo, he may be a selfish git and a primadonna but fuck me is he a hell of a player.

    Along with Messi for Barca, he has carried the brand of the biggest team in the world for close to a decade, accepting the pressure and responsibility that it brings, winning the UCL back to back and 3 times.

    For all his flaws, that’s pretty damn impressive.

    And last season in the UCL he stepped up in the late knockout stages in a way that was unprecedented for ANY player before.

  5. WengerEagle

    Has any player ever had to deal with the pressure that Ronaldo and Messi have before in history?

    They’ve plundered in 40+ goals a season every season and have split 5 UCL’s between them in the space of 7 seasons and still they face scatching criticism if they go 3-4 matches without scoring or if they miss a penalty in a big game, etc.

    It’s insane.

  6. TR7

    Man City winning the Champions League doesn’t look improbable anymore. If Pep wins it with City I think it will be quite a statement. Won’t be surprised if Spurs also do well and make the semi finals.

  7. Paulinho

    WE – Real Madrid seems to turn players into machines. They lose a bit of their spark or individuality and become kings of efficiency.As you say, Benzema has almost sacrificed himself. Seems like it’s only in the last year Isco has displayed more his individual talent as well, which is good to see.

    Madrid are weird though. Never really impressed by them, but unbelievably well coached and know how to do just enough.

  8. HighburyLegend

    “Has any player ever had to deal with the pressure that Ronaldo and Messi have before in history?”

    Chamakh ?? L’oLreal ?? Bendtner ??

  9. WengerEagle


    I still think that they are a level off of Real Madrid or PSG when they will step it up a gear in the knockouts.

    But yeah, a SF run would not surprise me.

    Jesus has made a big difference since his arrival, as much as I like Aguero they just look more dynamic with Jesus leading the line.

  10. Pierre

    Paulinho on özil..

    “He could pop up every now and then and score”…

    If it is that easy to “pop up every now and then and score” and make record assists then why don’t every player else just stroll around and do that…. Maybe it’s because it is not that easy, maybe it’s because he makes it look easy… Do you think that to play football at the very highest level is as simple as that, do you actually believe what your writing and I know there are many on here who are in agreement with you.
    Why would managers of Germany, Real Madrid and Arsenal continue to select him in their teams if all he did was pop up every now and then and score.

  11. Paulinho

    Pierre – Madrid booted him out of the club. So obviously, Ozil’s incredible play was far too high brow for them as well. Ah well, they’ve won multiple champions leagues since they fucked him off, so I’m sure they are coping.

  12. WengerEagle


    Last season was the first season whereby I was very impressed by them and felt that they strong-handed their way to the trophy by overpowering and overwhleming sides. They made an all conquering Juventus side look pretty average in the Final and they bested Bayern over the 2 legs deservedly IMO.

    In 2014/2016 it was more of a toss-up which could have went either way if Atletico had maintained their composure and showed bottle., especially 2016 where I felt that they deserved to win based on the run of play.

    I think that it was a combo of their insane squad depth and Ronaldo just scoring virtually every time he got a chance last season, their bench had Morata, James, Isco/Bale, Kovacic, Asensio which was enough to make the difference late on in games.

    But yes, they are not dominant in the way Pep’s Barca were or that 2014/15 Barca side.

  13. WengerEagle


    Funny that you mention Arsenal as if we are some top side.

    Real went up a level when they moved him on and Germany minimised his role (shunted him out wide to give Kroos more attacking freedom) which coincided with their World Cup success.

  14. Paulinho

    “In 2014/2016 it was more of a toss-up which could have went either way if Atletico had maintained their composure and showed bottle”

    Yeah if a certain German was playing for Real they probably would’ve won both of them finals. Unfortunately for them, Madrid don’t have any weak links in their side anymore, so harder to break the chains in those tight matches.

  15. Chris

    In terms of Ozil, his assists , chances created etc can’t really be questioned.

    His finishing certainly can. It has always been a bit patchy. Even in the last WC semifinal against Brazil when they were already 7-0 up he had a great chance to make it 8 but put it tamely wide. I think you can question his big game mentality and certainly his tendency to duck a physical challenge.

    All in all, he isn’t quite at that level where he can be considered a great player. He certainly isn’t indispensable. And really he shouldn’t even still be here to be criticised. If Arsenal had any kind of plan he would have been sold in the summer. However you can’t expect Wenger or the board to have any kind of plan apart from more of the same please.

    And comparing the Ozil chance at Watford to Kane’s last night is just plain silly.

  16. WengerEagle

    Barcelona have spent in the ballpark of €550 million since 2014 compared to Real Madrid’s €290 million, even factoring in Neymar’s sale for €220 million (Real have recouped €120 million this summer from sales themselves), that is an astonishing disparity.

    And then you look at the quality difference between the two squads and it is night and day, Barcelona have been run into the ground these last two years.

  17. Paulinho

    WE- Barcelona’s transfer policy went tits-up from the moment Guardiola signed that Ukranian centre back for £23 million. Ever since then, just one odd signing after another.

    Would love to see a list of their signings though to see how it amounts to so much.

  18. WengerEagle

    If Ozil is sold/moves on can guarantee that it’s a sideway step at best to a Bundesliga club in the mould of Schalke/Leverkusen or the Turkish League to a Besiktas/Galatasaray.

    Or Koeman takes him to Everton.

  19. gonsterous

    real Madrid is the best team atm. barcelona just couldn’t gel the MNS front line. they miss the leadership or xavi and puyol..

  20. David Smith

    Ozil is a fantastic player, its just that the powers that be in this club will not spend on the quality for him to play to, as explained by Colney regular, Pires
    Agree with the many that say these frustrations go back to the summer of Cech.
    Unfortunately, the likes of Ozil and Alexis were told we would compete, they were told a pack of lies by this inept club, just like the rest of us. You cannot expect to sign top players and surround them with dross.
    I can see why he is angry and doesnt want to risk himself at the end of his contract.
    Bet those two are the last of the statement signings, as the club supposedly came out of the financial shackles

  21. Leedsgunner

    “Leedsgunner, stop the melodramatics.

    PSG: 1-1 :Arsenal
    Arsenal: 2-2: PSG”

    Rambo R – fair enough… my bad.

    We did achieve two draws with a top side last year… and guess what?!? We even finished top in our group of the said Champions League competition… well done Arsenal… everyone clap for Arsene!

    But I digress, well done for pointing out that Arsenal drew with PSG last year home and away. Factually you are right of course.

    Yet, they were hollow results weren’t they? What good did they do? We were still embarrassed in Europe in the knockout rounds remember?

    We lost 5-1 to Bayern Munich away.

    Then, just in case we forgot how humiliating that was we lost 5-1 in our own ground.

    Shame we couldn’t progress any further in the competition when it came to knock out rounds, despite drawing with a top side huh?

    Wishing you all the best.

  22. WengerEagle



    -Dembele: €100 million + €40 million add-ons.
    -Paulinho: €40 million
    – Semedo: €30 million
    -Deulofeu: €12 million
    -Marlos Santos: €5 million


    -Alcacer: €35 million
    -Cillesen: €15 million
    -Andre Gomes: €40 million+ €15 million add ons
    -Digne: €20 million
    – Umtiti: €25 million


    – Turan: €40 million
    – Aleix Vidal: €25 million


    – Luis Suarez: €85 million
    – Mathieu: €20 million
    – Vermaelen: €20 million
    – Rakitic: €20 million
    – Stegen: €15 million
    – Bravo: €12 million
    – Douglas: €4 million

    It’s actually well over €600 million if you factor in add ons.

    Pretty mental considering the vast majority of these players are bit part players/squaddies/duds.

    Suarez, Rakitic, Stegen, past that it gets pretty grim if you are a Barca fan.

    Semedo looks good although it’s early days and you have to feel for Dembele picking up such a nasty injury early on.

  23. WengerEagle

    Iniesta has been the key to that dominant Barca team and this was pretty evident in 2015, he still had the magic and elevated Rakitic/Busquets which facilitated MSN to wreak havoc up front but once he lost the wand, their CM functionality self-destructed and they began to get overun by the better sides, only got worse in 2016/17 to the point it was painstaking.

  24. raptora

    My thoughts on Ozil’s problem is that his ethnicity is not helping him in a way.

    The European part of Turkey is part of the Balkan Peninsula. I am from Bulgaria and it’s known that people, and football players especially, in our geographical location, are not famous with their ambition. A lot of footballers would play great in a smaller team, then they would make the move to a bigger team on a much higher salary and just stop performing the same way they were before. It would happen all the time. It mostly consists of players having enough money to afford a lot of luxuries and having a lot of money to go to night clubs, beaches, travel the world etc. They would stop giving the same amount of care on the football pitch as soon as they get a taste of the good life. It would go as far that it would stop happening only to our local bulgarian players, but to foreigners as well. Because the foreigners would hang around with our very own players and the players from another country would see how things are around, how apparently they’ve made it, they have God grabbed for his balls, and after being top players for our teams for a half to a full season, they would stop performing as well and just blend with the rest of the players that don’t give an eff. It’s the same in all the Balkan countries, believe me.

    It’s one of the reasons Berbatov, another player who was compared to DB10, btw more reasonably than the said german, Berbatov was great for spuds and in ManU he couldn’t shine in the same way. He was in a team with all three of Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney for a bit so it was harder to be any kind of leader. Berbatov’s situation is a one-off though. Most players from here don’t have the ambition to reach anywhere close to what he achieved. They got money for a booze, for a prostitute, for a luxury apartment and houses at the shore. They think they made it big enough and don’t need to try hard anymore since they have nothing to prove is how they see it.

    I’m pretty sure that if you ask Ozil he will say the same, that he is a proven top class player, that his trophies and stats say enough, that he has been performing great and people who dare to speak otherwise don’t know what they are talking about. The loyal fans are the ones that matter. #YaGunnersYa

    In the real world he is underperforming game in game out, he doesn’t try enough, he is happy to collect his money no matter how the team is performing because of or in spite of him, he is focusing on being marketable, on doing ads, on expanding his brand and maybe thinking of where to go next that he will feel good, without much pressure but with a big paycheck.

    It could have never worked out for him at RM for a long time because in there if they ever get just a shadow that you are not entirely committed and you’re not giving your all, you are out boy, out! Reason why workhorses like Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, Marcelo, Carvajal and the rest have been there for years will stay there as long as they give the same 7+/10 in every single game.

    My take on Ozil’s situation. Lack of ambition on his part, add Wenger the board and Kroenke and I wonder who is even surprised. Wenger would be happy to give Ozil a new deal just so he could say he has a world class player in his team, but in reality it would be as real as Wenger being a world class coach.

    Hopefully I didn’t offend anyone by branding the people from the Balkans as people with a very limited ambition. Of course that it is not valid for everyone from here, but it is a known stereotype for a reason.

  25. HighburyLegend

    “Why would managers of Germany, Real Madrid and Arsenal continue to select him in their teams if all he did was pop up every now and then and score.”

    lol Pierre… you put, mourinho and low at the same level than wenger in management and tactical knowledge ??

  26. Paulinho

    WE – Cheers.

    Baffling list. Can’t really work out the plan. It’s like they think they can fill the midfield up with anything as long as the strikers are top class.

  27. WengerEagle


    And it’s like they failed to anticipate that Messi’s physical level might drop off coming into his 30’s after over a decade of playing every single match possible seaswon after season.

    What is surprising is Suarez’s decline, not just physically.

    And Neymat opting to fuck off, haha.

  28. TitsMcGee

    Ozil is a finesse type of player. Combine that with the lack of discipline /expectations / structure under Wenger and you get what we’ve seen from him.

    Blaming individual players for this or that is like blaming the staff of the Titanic after the ship hit the iceberg.

  29. Chris


    And yet on that version of the Titanic there are still passengers who are urging on the captain on the ships present course!

  30. HighburyLegend

    On the raft, there’s enough room for both Stan, Arsène and Ivan.

    Not enough room for the fans unfortunately…

  31. Paulinho

    WE- Yeah Messi at his best was a creator from deep as well as a forward. Older he gets the more he stays still and waits in the final third.

    Said last season I don’t really go out of my to watch him anymore, and it’s been like that for a while. Prefer watching a whole host of players above him now.

  32. WengerEagle


    Who out of curiosity?

    Agree he’s predominantly an efficient machine now, he doesn’t have that electric burst of accleration that he possessed in his prime either. Not as far gone as Ronaldo in terms of involvement but noticeably less so than 2 years earlier.

  33. Pierre

    Leg end
    My impression of you

    LOL the leg end thinks that bentner?? and chamack?? are the same level as Messi and ronaldo LOL??!!??!!

  34. Wallace


    “For most top players it might be a problem due to clash of egos, but Ozil was perfectly happy to play second fiddle because he knew he wasn’t capable of being the main man anyway.”

    a lot of creators have that psychological make-up though. Bergkamp also struggled as the main man. was only when Vieira arrived and took on that mantle that he really loosened up and started to play.

  35. Paulinho

    WE – De Bruyne, Bernardo and David Silva, Neymar, Coutinho, Hazard.

    Might be a couple of others but I don’t want to go too far the other way. Messi still has his moments and even the way he creates space for himself these days is impressive. Iniesta was always my favourite to watch, even when Messi was at his best, so always preferred dribbling midfielders. Ironically my most enjoyable time watching Messi was at the back end of the 07/08 season when he was immense in general play but just couldn’t score.

  36. Paulinho

    Wallace – Disagree quite a bit there.

    Bergkamp had no problems being the main man at Ajax and Holland as a young player, and he was brilliant for us from the moment he scored his first goal against Southampton in his first season(Vieira joined year after). Scored the winner in the last minute against Bolton that year to qualify for UEFA Cup. His peak for us was 95-98.

  37. Wenker-wanger

    DENNIS BERGKAMP…. THE best player I’ve ever seen in an arsenal shirt….an incredible talent.
    As for the next manager, Pedro makes his usual highly perceptive analysis…..but hand on heart I believe that almost any manager with 5 years experience at a premier league club anywhere in Europe would do a better job

  38. Wallace


    “and he was brilliant for us from the moment he scored his first goal against Southampton in his first season(Vieira joined year after)”

    I disagree there. he was sporadically brilliant his first season. only showed it consistently once Wenger & Vieira rocked up.

  39. Wenker-wanger

    @ tits….agree entirely….where’s the logic in blaming players when those said players were of a quality to have had a decent pricetag on them prior to the destructive influence of Darth wenger.
    You get wengerised after 3 months at this retirement home.

  40. Paulinho

    Wallace – But he became more of a main man when Vieira arrived, so don’t really get the point. I won’t disagree his game moved up a notch, but the argument was being the main man, wheras his game naturally improved by it being his second season and Vieira was just a brilliant player who was always going to improve the side and Bergkamp.

    Back in 97/98 Berkamp was getting plaudits from every direction and was seen as our talisman. Vieira was equally as important, but it’s more about perception in this case, and Bergkamp had no issues being our main man who was expected to score as well as provide.

  41. Wenker-wanger

    Bergkamp was world class before rioch and wenger….
    Wenger couldn’t affect db10…. He told all his players to go and do their thing….convenient for all concerned as wenger would have been an irrelevance trying to coach Dennis.
    That’s how wenger achieved his success…. Db10, henry pires Freddie and of course the best defense possibly ever assembled ( by gg) in the prem…just didn’t need any words from the French dummy, they were so good they sorted their own tactics.
    Credit wenger with nutritional input and knowledge of physical boosts to give extra stamina etc….. Wenger the accordion player amongst the marching and fighting army! Ha

  42. Wenker-wanger

    Any Londoners here that can give me their observation take on arsenal replica shirts being worn these days? Is their a decrease?

  43. graham62


    “I believe that almost any manager with 5 years experience at a premier league club anywhere in Europe could do a better job”

    So true and that’s not including a large number of managers in the lower reaches.

  44. graham62

    What should Arsenal be thinking about when hiring a new manager?

    First and foremost, ensure there is a clear and precise clause in the CONTRACT that specifies the managers role.

    As an employee of AFC he should not be allowed to dictate terms and conditions relevant to his own role without approval from the board of directors.

    He will be employed purely in respect to his football credentials and will not, at any stage, be allowed hold the club to ransom on contractual issues, whether personal or club related.

    The contract should be three years, renewable on the agreement of both parties

  45. Wenker-wanger

    @ graham,
    I agree…. I kept my comment deliberately safe….. Yknow some on here dispute anything remotely risky of opinion !
    I think wenger has at last been found out by the majority of the football fraternity. He got away with his failings when he inherited gg s great players and got the French superstars offering themselves to play for him.
    He is exposed now as the fraud he is.

  46. Goobergooner


    To your point about having any other owner, especially one that cares for the club; do you think they would have sacked Wenger, or at least not extended one of his many undeserved new contracts? I think the answer would have to be yes.

    If we had anyone else in the world we wouldn’t still be talking about Wenger haha.