International week is so miserable, especially the third one of the season. It’s like going back to the doctor for the third time after an ‘accident’ in Kavos.
Still, at least this one is short.
More news crept out today that the club is going to give Emery the next 4 games to sort himself out. Raul propping up Emery like a 4-year-old he’s trying to teach football to at a BBQ.
‘Come on Unai, here’s Standard Liege, put your front foot here’
I know I go back and forth on this, but my biggest fear is that Arsenal lose the next two games and Don Raul makes a stunningly bad move and hires in Jose Mourinho or his BFF Luis Enrique. Both are panic hires, they’re the go-to phone numbers for those that lack imagination. Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce were the absolute perfect match, I think Don Raul and Jose Mourinho would be a similarly noxious cocktail. On paper it makes so much sense, but you always know where it’s going.
Regardless, I think there will be a decision by the turn of the new year. That’s 50 days. £821,000 of Emery cash to go. That’s a chunky amount of time to work out what’s going on and who might be interested. Remember, they went from first interview to hire with Unai in 8 days.
The big problem is timing. There aren’t a lot of great managers out of a job at this time of the year. If you want a Marco Rose or a Paulo Fonseca, you’d have to wait until the summer. I’d imagine that even someone like Arteta will wrestle with the ethics of leaving a title-challenging team midseason. That leaves you with the grifters like Jose or Enrique. The problem with those types of hires is you can gingerly let them into your bed only to then find they’re very hard to push out.
Freddie Ljungberg makes a lot of sense on paper. The fans love him, he’s a sexy man, and he’s already the defacto communicator in the camp. My worry is that he’s been part of the current mess and he didn’t have much joy when he went to Germany. If you bet on a young pretender because you like him, you blow the chance to do that with the next hire. I love Freddie, but you know I badly want some of that Pep IP at Arsenal. If Freddie tanks December, we’ll be BEGGING for something that feels safe, which I really don’t think is the right direction.
Moving on Emery is a complicated operation. There are landmines everywhere. But before we get there, we still have to wrestle with the reality that one of our CEOs really has a thing for Unai. Remember, he brought him to the table, it’ll be hard for him to admit that he made a disgustingly bad decision because he’d have to admit that the murky world of contacts based decision-making left him naked to a very ill-informed decision. A few people have mentioned to me that they feel I shouldn’t be questioning the logic of a man that has worked at more football clubs than me. As Arrigo Saachi once said, you don’t need to have been a horse to be a jockey. If anyone in this godforsaken international week flavored week wants to sit up here and tell me that hiring Emery was defendable, I am here, sitting by my laptop, all day. If you don’t like to keyboard-warrior, here are some refresher notes.
Emery couldn’t speak English. He had no record of building resolute defences. He had a bad record with big-name players. His football across all his clubs has been described as negative. He is known for blowing leads. HE STILL CANNOT SPEAK ENGLISH.
This guy, according to Raul, was a bigger draw for him than Ralph Rangnick and Massimiliano Allegri. I think even a horse would confidently say that the lack of diligence on this one is a crime against football. The type of people who don’t want to talk about how a club should be run because they’d impinge on someone else’s expertise are the same type that say they don’t like transfers. Absolute traitors to the football community.
I digress. Raul is going to give Emery all the patience he can, because in the same way I thought Nik B could be a world-class striker, he still thinks Emery can deliver us Champions League football.
So let’s see what comes next.
While you’re here, check out my BEAUTIFUL new podcast. I’m kind of excited to be able to dial people in, so I’m going a bit OTT on content this week. I hope you enjoy the work, the sound is solid and we have Aash back on with LE GROVE OLD SKOOL DIVA, Dan Ahern. Also, read my piece yesterday, turns out everyone in the world now agrees with me on Arteta.
Enjoy it and PLEASE leave a 5* review if you’re on iTunes, it’s a lower value ask than me driving to your house asking you to put money in my Patreon box.