Arsenal on lockdown with press, here’s where clues are pointing (long read)

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Grow up you soppy melt. Wipe those tears away. Turn off your internet and stop searching ‘Wenger good times 1998’.

It’s done.

Time to look at the future and what Arsenal are trying to do to manipulate the media, and your tiny little minds.

Let’s get one thing clear, the MSM are struggling to keep pace with what’s going on with the new manager hunt. I read one publication say Arsenal weren’t likely to make an ‘esoteric’ choice when it came to hiring. Esoteric? Amazing how some in our press are against any sort of innovative thought when it comes to picking a new leader.

Even the great one, the king, lord of the rumour, Sir David Ornstein, has bugger all to give to the story outside the obvious. £15m a year net Enrique feels off, Brendy has been ruled out (YES) and Mourinho’s assistant is not on the cards. He couldn’t even give us anything interesting on Allegri who ‘might’ be leaving.

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The real story going on behind the scenes is this…


Don’t pay attention to any ITKs feeding you duff speculation, because they don’t know. Journalists don’t know either, because the club is keeping things seriously tight. Even the Allegri stories have me deeply suspicious. I read that he earns £6m a year, I can’t help but think he’s agitating for more money in a world where he’s a top 3 coach and he’s earning £9m less than Pep G. I’m also wondering if he’d leave a team that’s top 4 in Europe before he’s won the Champions League?

I might be totally wrong, but my vibe is the club are gearing up for a tier 3 manager. You all need to make your peace here and deal with it.

We’re going all in on an LA Rams Sean Mcvay special. The circumstantial evidence is mounting up.

ESPN has told the world we’re chasing a young manager, leaking to Mark Ogden, and that’s come from Stan’s people. No doubt.

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Jezza Wilson, trusted confidant of the club for many years indicated last week the club are after a ‘cheap’ manager.

John Cross went super specific and said we could sign a young manager, or a not sign a young manager.

‘Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis is known to fancy the idea of a young head coach – Patrick Vieira, Mikel Arteta and Julian Nagelsmann all fit into that category – while is also open to the idea of a bigger name.’

Poor old John, not even a 2004 vintage bottle of Jacobs Creek can get him an in. But he has the same basics as the others. Follow the people that matter to the club. If they don’t have an in, be sure that no one on twitter does either. Sky don’t have an in on this either, nor do The Independent. Everyone is speculating.

My gut says we’re going tier three because it makes a lot of sense. Allegri is an absolute dream, but he’ll come with expensive baggage, and he’ll get a monstrous shock to the system because he’ll be working in an environment that has none of the things he’s used to. If it goes wrong, he’ll cost a bomb. To make it go right, it’ll cost a bomb. Same to Conte, Carlo and Enrique. Big names come with pricey riders.

The club are going to want to rein in control of the football side. They’ve just blown big money on a proper sporting director from Barcelona, they’ve just hired the best scout in the business, now they need to make a move for a coach that’ll adapt to the new setup, not the other way around.

Below are some thoughts on what I think you need to rock it as a manager, and why a tier three is an interesting notion.

> Football is not rocket science. Taking on a job in the game when you’re inexperienced is not comparable to taking on a job as the CEO of Microsoft after you graduate. You need to be able to convince a small group of men that you can communicate a path forward, and deliver success. You need to be able to hire the sharpest experts to give you the right tools to make the best decisions, even if those experts are smarter than you. You need to be able to bend the press to your will. You need to be able to make ruthless decisions. You need to be able to motivate people at all levels to die for you. You need to be able to innovate in real-time.

Ok, so football isn’t that easy, but what I’m saying is this: splitting an atom is harder.

> Respect is key.  Can you control a room of immature young men? The common belief is if you’re dealing with Cassano like characters of the past who’d ask ‘can you do this?’, you need to be able to drop 6 CL winners medals out your pants to prove your integrity. But that’s the not the reality of modern football. Read Carlo’s book, his view is that elite players want to know one thing: Can you improve me?

It’s all about the manager’s ability to elevate a players career. There are two managers in Germany under the age of 32 who are rocking the top 4 this season.  Tedesco has a degree in business engineering and innovation management, he’s not an explayer. Nagelsmann lost his career to injury at U19 level at Augsburg and has never won a thing. They’re not winning hearts and minds because of their medals, it’s their ideas and ability to transmit them with force. Whereas on the flip side, legendary players like Clarence Seedorf are tanking at Milan and taking Deportivo down despite having a trophy cabinet loaded with elite accolades. Respect in management isn’t necessarily your experience in the game, or in the dugout.

> Football is about ideas. If we’re going for a young manager, we need to find one that has been influenced by great people and has demonstrable aptitude to deliver those ideas with extreme intensity. Julian Nagelsmann has been influenced by Thomas Tuchel, one of the most technical coaches in the game. He’s taken his ideas and approach and added a little empathy to it. He’s drawn thinking from Pep G, Klopp and Rangnick. The best artists don’t borrow, they steal…

Arteta is a key member of a Manchester City setup that’s just delivered a Premier League title – in the most competitive era of the competition – at an absolute canter. He is working with the greatest football innovator of our time, and he’s playing a key role. Pep is on the record saying what a f*cking great job he’s doing.

“I’m not the right guy to talk about that because my opinion of Mikel is overwhelming,”

“He deserves the best, hopefully. We are so comfortable, not just me, working with him. One of the reasons we had success this season is because Mikel is here.

“I hear there are many names for the next period in Arsenal. But I don’t know the plan for Arsenal deserves all the best and everything they want.”

The man clearly has ideas, and big name players are clearly listening and improving under his guidance. Don’t tell me a man of his intelligence would shit the bed at Arsenal.

> Horses for courses when it comes to experience. Arteta doesn’t have any management experience, but he’s played at a higher level than Nagelsmann across Europe. He’s smart, speaks all the languages and most importantly, understands how to deal with players who earn more than £50k a week. He knows how to talk the talk with big names, maybe an advantage at a club that’s lost its way when it comes to respect (yes Mesut, we’re looking at you).

Nagelsmann has done the f*cking business. He took a group of average players, instilled a culture, a footballing philosophy, and delivered Champions League qualification for a team called Hoffenheim (maybe twice in a row).

One has experience working a small team to its max potential in a small league. One knows how to make good players great at a massive club, and has the ultimate ‘I can make you better’ guarantee, that being a PL winners medal. Ideas are still the greatest currency, it’s just a question of what you think is more important from an experience perspective when you’re working at Arsenal.

> Connections. I was debating the merits of an inexperienced coach yesterday with some Gooner pals, one of the points was that no one in Europe is looking at Arteta and it’d be a substandard move. My counterpoint was no one in Europe was looking to hire Zidane, but Madrid went there and they’re about to play in their third CL final. No one was looking at Pep G before he took over Barcelona, even the great man himself told their board they didn’t have the cajones to hire him. The reason both of these players worked?

They had a tie to the club. It makes things so much more palatable to the fans. That’s why a Vieira and Thierry would last longer with Arsenal than they would anywhere else. They have the good graces of the fans. We’d will them on. Arteta is an Arsenal fan, the CEO likes him, he has fans in the backroom team, and though some of the reports are he’s a tough character, I’ve no doubt he’d be able to integrate quicker with the squad than an outsider. Same with Vieira, he might not be setting the world alight in New York, but it’s a pony league and sometimes the stars don’t align in football. Enrique was average at Celta and Roma, then he landed at Barca and elevated them to great heights. Diego Simeone had a patchy career before moving back to his old club where he set the world alight. Sometimes there’s an extra power in having ties to the club.

That’s my spiel. You can call me a hipster, but I see a lot of sense in doing something different. There’s literally no better time to try radical strategy. The fruit is low hanging and the fans will be up for something clever after 10 years of bland. Surround a young tier 3 manager with the best in the business and you have a good chance of creating something exciting we can all get behind.

Is it worth me giving airtime to the leaks in the press about Arsenal players thinking Ozil is an expensive waster? Not really. I’ve been telling you for a while he’s not at Arsenal for the trophies, it’s all about the lifestyle. Monchi said recently he liked mercenaries because they took the money and did the job. I’m not sure you can call Ozil a mercenary, because he turns up when he fancies it, literally choosing the games he wants to play. Rank amateur. Remember, there’s a reason not one top club in Europe came in for him when he was earning £140k a week heading into the final year of his deal… he’s not the full package.

Right, see you in the comments.


152 Responses to “Arsenal on lockdown with press, here’s where clues are pointing (long read)”

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  1. E54_

    but its…*sniff sniff* not apart of any *sob* conversa.. conver *sob sob* conversation..

    pull your skirt up. Wenger just stuck his head back up his arse and you’re worried about your “conversation”

  2. Vintage Gun


    1000% Agree. In Fact, i’ve been saying this to my mates for over a decade now.
    The Euro Super League will then be evolved into a World Super League even further down the line.

    International football is the gateway for this to happen. Hosting a World Cup not only brings passion and excitement to Nation (as well as money) but i’ts a way of building up new modern stadiums as well as giving worn down older ones a make over.

    If you look at the list of host nations of recent decades you’ll notice that the there are and will be some top modern stadiums around the world in places you wouldn’t expect. Take South Africa for example, or better still Qatar which is a hot dry desert land for the most part,

    Now here’s the thing, after the tournament finishes many of these swanky stadiums will be left dormant or matches played out in front of VERY VERY low attendances.
    A world super league will solve this problem in an instant as top level players/matches would generate massive interest and swelled attendances.

    Thats the big idea