New manager in the mixer, but can a failure work?

by & filed under News Review.

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Finally, we have something more to talk about than the golden 4-5 managers I’ve been tracking these past few weeks. Spanish media has linked us with the Basque manager Unai Emery, who has departed PSG after failing to move them to the next level in the Champions League.

Arsenal fans are starting to come to terms with the reality that Allegri is a dream that might not have much reality to it. I have no basis for saying that deal is dead outside the fact he still has unfinished business with Juventus, his press mutterings indicate he’ll be there next season, and his sporting director saying he thinks Juve will come to a solid agreement when they speak this summer.

FOOTBALL IS MAD FAM, so don’t rule anything out, but I think he’s a sexy damp dream too far this season…

That means we have to be real with what’s available on the market, and also start to tune ourselves into the brief that Ivan’s hawking around Europe…

  •  Rejuvenate a club that’s lost its way
  •  Bring a broken squad together around a new footballing philosophy
  •  Be an actual coach: instilling discipline, tactical awareness plus out and out winnertivity™
  •  Do a lot with a little: purse strings will be tight blud
  •  Suck it up in a management structure where you’ll not have full control
  •  Sell Ospina

That’s why Emery is interesting. The man beat Madrid with Almeria (more here) leading them to a top half of the table finish. He consistently took Valencia to 3rd place. No one talks about Spartak Moscow. Then he took Sevilla, a selling club, won 3 Europa League titles in a row, the last one beating Liverpool in Klopp’s first half season. He’s a deep thinker, super pragmatic and his best work has been with teams that are in the shitter, or just skint.

One of the big critiques of him at PSG is the players didn’t care for him. He was deemed passive.

‘There is no fear of rebuke for poor displays or selfishness as a significant chunk of the first team will be picked no matter what. As a result PSG lack any semblance of rigour or discipline and players dally in possession and struggle to find any intensity.’

Arsenal is a mess, but we’re still bigger than Sevilla. Could Emery manage man-monsters like Ozil?

Or, do issues like this sit at the owner’s feet? PSG pride mega names over the proper casting of personalities. Remember, not even Carlo – the master of egos – could manage effectively there.

The other question is: if he can’t make PSG European Champions, how is he going to make us special?

This is something I think about a lot (twice a day at least), management is a flip of a coin at the highest level. Pep G has fucked the Champions League twice in a row for City, and he never made a final with Bayern Munich. Does that make him a bad manager, or just unlucky? I also think there’s something in the idea that PSG might be so dominant in Ligue 1, they lose their edge when they play a proper team because they’re coasting most of the season.

This is the madness of football, because he failed badly at PSG, fans won’t want him. Though take a moment to look back on PSGs style of play this season, it’s hard not to be impressed, until you realise they dropped £300m on talent to win a league and a cup.

Anyway, back to the list of items CEOs look for in a modern manager:

  • A footballing philosophy the CEO and the fans can buy into (which is why I’m amazed Mourinho is still at United)
  • A coach who has the charisma and passion to transmit that vision to the players (which is why all the Twitter muppets who used ‘pashun’ as a derogatory snipe at English fans are eating their hat now every hipster manager is a touchline gangster)
  • A leader who can make the players better, get bums on seats and elevate the club in a saturated global football market (which is why you’re increasingly seeing stable managers who win ugly moved on for the folk who are a little bit more ambitious about putting on a show)

You’ll have to let me know whether you think Emery can deliver on the above.

Finally, before I go. There was a lot of debate yesterday after I gave Mesut a roasting online. My take on his agent’s comments are as followed.

Keown has won 3 PL titles. 3 FA Cups. A Euro trophy. He’s an Invincible.

Who the f*ck is his agent to plough into an actual legend of the club?

Mesut Ozil isn’t a legend. I don’t care about his POTY with Germany. I don’t care about his chances created record. I don’t care about his World Cup win.

He’ll always be a luxury player who never really delivered on what we wanted. He’s not a warrior. He’s rarely been a leader (though he’s shown he can be both the latter when he fancies is). He almost never shows up in the big games. He disappears in the second half of every season, even when he’s rested.

I find it amazing that on the one hand, we’re complaining that our strikers don’t get any service, and on the other hero-ing Mesut as a chance creator. We literally have two of the most potent strikers in Europe lining up for us and we’ve lost all our away games this year. Which is it? A lack of finishers? Or a lack of service?

Back to Mesut, he has no right to pop off at Martin Keown, who certainly doesn’t have had the talent of the German, but he had 10x the heart, 10x the commitment, and the trophies to back it.

There has never been a question around Martin’s dedication, the man has never taken a day off before the season was out for a sore back, he’s never ducked an away leg at a team that might kick him, and though he may have kissed the ring of Wenger over the years and been an enabler, it’s mostly because he’s so desperate to impact the team he loves.

If you don’t quite comprehend why Martin Keown is a more important player than Mesut Ozil, you never watched him.

Keown is a legend. Also worth noting that even when his career was coming to an end, he’d have been working with the younger defender, passing on the knowledge, helping them through the Invincibles season.

Ozil doesn’t measure up for Arsenal. World Cups don’t matter in the debate about Ozil. Messi and Ronaldo, two of the GOATs, have never won the World Cup.

Too many people just don’t get it… Mesut doesn’t care about Arsenal. Europe knows it, that’s why no one bar Arsenal made an offer for his services.

He’ll always be remembered as a supremely gifted talent that didn’t have the stomach to elevate Arsenal.

That’s me done, see you in the comments.

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