The Nuno stories went from a light belly rumble to an out and out unexpected ripper of a fart.
Sami Mokbel, a man with fine information, reckons he’s on our list should the club move Emery on. This story was backed by a number of others.
I am hoping the story is a touch like the Enrique and Mourinho rumours. It’s good for a manager like Nuno to be linked with the big jobs even if the story is a nonsense, it’s basically a way of alerting the rest of Europe that he’s all ears if anyone wants to send an offer his way next summer.
My hope is Jorge Mendes is trying to push for his client to find a new gig after 800 days at Wolves.
The Portuguese has done a solid job at Wolves. He’s taken them to the Premier League and made them very difficult to beat. His record against the top 6 has been better than Wenger’s and Unai’s combined, which admittedly isn’t a stretch achievement, but it’s still something.
He has sauce on the touchline, no doubt. If that Sky Sports presenter made a joke about his beard, he’d probably have biten a chunk out of his neck and murdered his kids. No doubt his English is better than Unai’s and the fact he’s built a solid team capable of being an underdog is also very commendable.
I’m just not sure that’s the sort of hire that moves you forward longterm. Compare Nuno’s resume to Unai’s and our guy trounces him. Emery had a smaller budget with Sevilla, La Liga’s version of Wolves, and he won 3 Europa League finals. They both managed Valencia, Nuno finished 4th, Unai finished 3rd three times. The only thing Nuno has on Emery is the language and one very good season in the Premier League.
Also worth remembering, the tiny little club in Wolves is run by one if the murkiest super agents in the game. The man that sold Bebe to Man United bankrolls the club with big cash and pulls in favours only a man of his pedigree could. Wolves has spent £200m in the past two seasons. £20m more than us. That doesn’t diminish the job, but it’s quite an advantage to be able to blow money like that. He’s currently 1 point ahead of Arsenal’s worst run in 38 years.
You also can’t ignore the past. Last time he was given a run at a big club, it was Porto, he struggled to break down teams that played a deep block and he resorted to longball football the fans didn’t like. He didn’t last. I’m sure he can adapt to Arsenal, he’s always flexed the sort of football he plays, but do we really want to play underdog football? If you’re going to go for that sort of manager, why not opt for one with Champions League experience like Allegri or Mourinho? Or, if you’re punting for a Premier League manager at a smaller club, go all out for Brendan Rodgers.
The notion that he’s Poch before he went to Spurs is a struggle for me… Poch didn’t blow £200m net on players at Southampton, nor at Spurs. Different gravy I’m afraid.
The deeper concern would be the signifier that Arsenal are a club controlled by super agents… and all the connotations that go with that sort of territory. We’ve seen first hand what Kia Joorabchian can bring you for a combined outlay of £40m (David Luiz). Can we honestly believe that all these mega fees that are passed around are in the best interests of moving Arsenal forward? It’ll start to look like pigs at a trough.
Raul’s reputation will sour very quickly if we continue to lack creativity and rigor with our approach. Sven Mislintat might not have been the right person for Arsenal, but it’s hard to argue that his vision for how the game should operate was incorrect. The contacts approach lacks transparency and it outsources your creativity. Hoping for other people to be honest about people they’re making fees off of is a fools game.
Here’s hoping the solution to the Emery problem isn’t to give it to a guy with a less impressive resume and better beard. That said, I do like his beard, it’s very cool.
Listen to my pod, please.