Juventus Sporting Director speaks on Allegri + thoughts on risk

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Arsene Wenger has switched his LinkedIn profile status to THIRSTY AS before the season is out.

“I don’t look very good on the beach,”

“How long would I like to work for? As long as I feel I want to. But overall people look at your age and make an issue of it. It becomes a bit of discrimination. They don’t really look how you work and perform. They look ‘oh he is old’. I can understand that as I thought the same when I was young.”

“I like the English saying: ‘you have to live every day like it is your last’ and one day you will be right.”

It’s like for a moment there, I thought there’d be some sort of self-reflection from our favourite old goat, but no… he’s militantly deluded until the very end.

No point in going hard at him, I’d like the man to land himself a job, I just feel like him casting this season off as some sort of age discrimination issue is missing the point.

It’s game over for him, so I should leave it.

But then you read a little further on in the interview and it makes you a little sad inside. He really loves the game. He’s totally desperate to be in the mixer again, and how could we deny him?

“You know I didn’t miss a training session in 22 years, I never stayed in my office. Every day I was out there. That is something that I will miss.”

“I keep myself fit, I can still play! If I was really objective then I would pick myself every week. We have staff games. I don’t play with the players, they are a bit too quick for me.”

The thing is, where can you find a job that’ll take you if you can’t perform in this era? The two longest-serving managers in the Premier League now are Sean Dyche and Eddie Howe. You can’t even take a job at Stoke now and expect to last out three years. Football has such high stakes these days. I wish he’d just listen to those around him and take a bit of time off. Write a book, do some punditry, get a radio show… there’s so much he could do with his life that’d give him status and celebrity. I just don’t see things working out positively at Everton or PSG.

Onto more exciting things… Arsenal fans have a favourite managerial candidate on their lips.

He has trophies by the truck, truck, truck
Tactics like what, what, what
Allegri move your butt, butt, butt.
I think I’ll sing it again

The suave Italian has piqued our interest, and everyone has him at the top of their list. My view? He has unfinished business in the CL with a team more than capable of winning it. Do we really think he’s going to leave a squad that needs minor tweaking before he’s won the biggest trophy of them all? I also think he’s angling for a big pay rise. He earns a pittance compared to the big dogs in the EPL.

Marotta looked to dampen the fire…

“With Allegri, we have a great rapport that has always worked well and still continues that way,”

“At the right time, after we accomplish the Scudetto, we will talk about the future, which I’m sure will be full of satisfaction together.”

He doesn’t seem too worried.

Allegri is tier one kinda guy, he’s an unbelievable coach, and he’s on top of his game, but it’s hard to ignore that he’s working in one of the most efficient structures in Europe. Juve are a dominant force, they can buy the best players, everything there is perfect for him. Things weren’t so great when he was at Milan. he won one title when Milan were the best team in a weak league, he choked the next season with the best squad, then he finished third after a summer of decimation because he signed Mad Mario, then he was fired. He nearly choked against us in the CL in the heat of the banter era. Milan fans don’t reflect on him fondly.

I am not saying he’d not turn us into a better proposition, but is he really built to deliver on an Arsenal brief? Certain managers work incredibly well under certain structures, with certain types of players, with a certain amount of money. Milan didn’t work for him, but he’s crushing Serie A under Juve conditions.

That’s why I love the idea of Jardim or Nagelsmann. The Portuguese is particularly adept at working with minimal resource, he’s a great coach, and he’s dynamic enough to work with what he has at his disposal. The same can be said of Paulo Fonseca who is at Shaktar, he’s a coach first and foremost. They look at the tools they have, and build something out of nothing. They’re not cheque-book managers, they proper coaches who work to improve what they have (bit like Poch).

Nagelsmann is also really interesting, he’s a student of coaching, having never played at the highest level due to injury. He’s proved his mettle taking a team in big trouble to the heights on Champions League football nearly two seasons in a row. If he can extract that much potential out of a crop of players with an average salary of £20k a week, imagine what he could do to our comparable megastars? He’s potentially the Jose Mourinho of 2018, and we have the chance to make the early first move on him.

You know my POV on the Arteta rumblings. What I like about him is he’s being raved about by Pep G, he’s won a Premier League in season two, he’s being credited with developing players, The Times report that City have him in line to take over from Pep G, and the whole vision of Pep football is geared around intense education of exacting ways to play the game, underpinned by ruthless discipline. Pair Arteta with an experienced assistant like Buvac (mysteriously moved on), and you might have a very exciting combination of aggressive innovative football.

My point in all of this is there’s no one right answer. Each manager flourishes in different scenarios, sometimes experience is needed, sometimes an injection of naivety and youthful exuberance does the trick. The key for me in all of this is Arsenal make sure they build the right team around whoever comes in. It really is a roll of the dice whether all the stars align to make magic happen. Look at Carlo, Champions League winner at Real, booted out of Bayern with rumours of relaxed training and a lack of tactical preparation. Look at Mourinho at United, an elite pair of safe hands that’s sucking the joy out of Sanchez, Pogba and Rashford. Even Conte, when given the chance to exact more power over transfers blasted £200m on utter dross, taking Chelsea from 1st to 5th inside a season.

Arsenal can make success with an elite manager at the top of his game, an experienced manager looking to cut it at the next level, or with a young buck with an exciting new vision of the game no one is prepared for.

Don’t write anything off, keep an open mind, and pray the club don’t fu*k things up by giving Alan Pardew a chance to make it in the big time.


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“The most obvious conclusion when you watch most games is that they attach more attention to offensive play and entertainment than the art of good defending.”

Lol…..Arsenal haven’t scored more than one goal in each of the 7 away losses since the start of the New Year.


If Arsenal’s offensive play was more potent then they may have avoided half of all those away losses since the New Year.

David Bolo

Our away form this season is only better than that of the three relegated teams and Brighton. Wenger out! You can’t make this up!

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