Freddie starts badly; this has serious implications. (ANOTHER long read)

by & filed under News Review.

You might be heading here this morning thinking I’m about to launch into Freddie Ljungberg and the drab opener to his career in the hot seat. If that’s the case, you’ll be disappointed. We put in exactly the sort of performance I was expecting after the handsome Swede had spent just two days with a squad that looks like it’s been on a 4-day stag-do bender in Benidorm with the boys from Croydon’s biggest building site.

No new-manager-bounce for Freddie. I think fans were genuinely more interested in what he was going to wear before the game, an event far more likely to bring joy than the collection of players that have been mailing it in under a banter manager for 18 months. Turns out, his attire wasn’t quite as striking as we’d hoped. He looked like an account guy in advertising that’d just moved to 3 bedroom garage renovated space, in Stoke Newington, preparing to pop out to pick up a takeaway from Pizza Express. No 3 piece tweed ensemble for the ages, nothing CK flare-ish, just a bit boring.

His team selections were also a bit, how can we say it kindly? Interesting.

He brought back Mustafi, Ozil, and Xhaka. He opted to try and make Lacazette and Auba work upfront. He played his favourite, Joe Willock. His defence omitted Tierney, had Chambers at right-back, along with David Luiz. If we’re being forgiving, which we are, he might have been playing the politics card before he hits the team with his true vision. Conte did that in his first season at Chelsea (bringing a back 3 in after 10 games); play the card everyone wants you to play, prove it’s shite, then switch it up. I mean, not that crazy a thought, Freddie believes in high octane pressing and his front three were Ozil, Lacazette and Auba.

The attacking output was interesting for the first 15 minutes, the passing was more direct, there were some attempts at the combination play of old. The problem though, as always, was the defence. We were a total mess as usual. The midfield did a very bad job holding their shape, the players in the back 4 looked like they were new to the game, and there was the typical array of poor individual performances.

David Luiz just isn’t built for the game in 2019. He’s desperately off the pace, he’s lacking confidence for the first time in his career, and he’s lost that edge we used to hate about him. In the heat of spending frenzy last summer, we all hoped this was a masterstroke. Now we’re looking at him in cold light of day, it’s apparent that was a ‘contacts’ signing for the ages. Nearly £200k a week, a bunch of agents fees, and a pretty large transfer fee on someone that just doesn’t have it.

The manager took a lot of flak for his subs, again, I thought this was unfair. Is there really much of a difference between Saka and Pepe at the minute? Freddie basically said Pepe trains badly. He was an elite player, we might not trust his judgement on knitwear, but you can’t deny that he’s likely very attuned to effort levels in training sessions.

The overarching problem for Freddie is a simple one: He’s the caretaker.

Arsenal won’t give him the job fulltime. The players absolutely know this. Sadly, they’re all still in holiday mode. Freddie is a nice guy that they all like, but he doesn’t have any real authority in that role, because the players know he’ll be leaving. That’s not a slight on Freddie, when Alex Ferguson announced his first retirement years ago, he had to cancel it because his squad switched off. Our squad is a collection of pampered babies, they’ll take any excuse you throw their way.

Regardless, I hoped they might want to play for him, but just look at the overall pace of that game and the lack of commitment. There was no fire in the tackle, everything was halfhearted, no one risked 50/50s. The players weren’t giving it their all, because Freddie doesn’t matter to them like he should do.

That means the club really is going to have to go very hard to make sure the manager we hire is in the door by January 1st. We need authority in the dressing room and we need some ideas on how to get the team ticking again. I cannot accept the notion that the squad is worse than Norwich or Southampton, it’s simply too easy to play that card. Leicester have been a sub 50 points a season team for 3 years, their players weren’t shite, the managers were. No one, and I mean no one, had that squad of players down as anything outside average when we tanked them in 2018 with a blistering performance. Now they have a very good coach, he has them in 2nd, and apparently all he’s done is awaken an incredibly balanced squad. Not true.

Good coaching makes a difference. Players are just like us. They buy into ideas. They want to operate in an organised unit. They want to win. We need some fire in the dressing room and we need someone capable of reenergizing players that have lost their way.

It’s super trendy for everyone to talk about the deeper problems at Arsenal. I’m with everyone on that, but let’s not overcomplicate football here. We need a manager with a believable idea, good communication skills, with the ability to crack the whip in a positive way.

The managerial shortlist looks unwieldy at the minute, but it’s filtering down as we learn more about the names.

The Guardian ran a piece yesterday that said the club has massively cooled on the idea of inviting a super agent lackey into an already messy situation. I’m am VERY pleased about that.  Thank you to everyone that raised the alarm there, you clearly made a difference here. Nuno would have been a fucking disaster. It looks like he’s off the shortlist.

Pochettino is apparently a favourite of the board. Why wouldn’t he be? The guy is absolute mustard, he’d be an incredible hire, but from what I understand, it is very, very unlikely he’d tarnish his reputation for Arsenal. So, likely rule him out.

Allegri has been out of a job for a while considering his talent. Word on the street is he interviewed very badly. He couldn’t sprechen zie English that well and he also asked the club to sell him on Arsenal (power move). That’s a bad footing he might struggle to come back from. I think Allegri is a saucy beast, but his English is very poor if you watch his online videos, but more to the point, the guy is at the top of his game. He’ll want to win the Champions League with his next move, fast. Any human arrogant enough to ask for the interviewer to sell them on the role is probably not suited to a shit show like Arsenal. No money, an unbalanced squad, and basically a huge step back for a top, top manager.

Brendan Rodgers is interested in Arsenal. He couldn’t be any more excited about the opportunity. He’s clearly had his people leak ‘dream job’ to the press, and he wasn’t exactly emphatic when asked about his desire to remain with the Leicester project. Brendan is not everyone’s cup of tea, but look, the guy is a very good coach, he’s certainly better than Emery and it’s very hard to deny what he’s done at Leicester is anything outside exceptional. The football he played when he took Liverpool to 2nd was outstanding. Celtic might be a cakewalk, but keeping any side focused enough to be invincible is a notable achievement. If we end up with him, I’d certainly not complain. Only worry with Brendy R is he’s a bit of a berk, and I wonder how that’d go down with players that ripped the piss out of their last manager to his face. There’s also a harsh sting with Brendan: He comes with a £14m buyout clause and he’d likely cost us £10m a year (with his team). Just three weeks ago people were leaking that we were struggling to meet the ‘fuck off’ fee of Emery’s last 6 months. We are skint. I do not think we’ll be throwing that sort of money at a manager because that will hit our summer transfer budget. He’d be a solid hire regardless.

I’ve written extensively about Mikael Arteta, you know my feelings on him, he’s certainly on the radar of the club. He has had a lot of strong endorsements in the media (Henry Winter, arguably the #1 English journalist, being the biggest). He’d come at a very low cost, he’d slot right into the system, and he’d arrive with a big idea we’d all salivate over. Challenge with him is does he engage with Arsenal again after what happened last time? Would he fuck Pep over at a very bad time for the Manchester club? We’re what he wants, the question is, do the club have the cojones to make a hire that has some meek fans wetting their pants / calling me a melon fucker on Twitter.com.

Carlo Ancelotti will most certainly be asked about the role again. He knows the league, he’s world-class at bringing players together, and he has the sexy prestige that’ll have Raul firming up at the dinner table. I love Carlo and what he’s done, but I do think he’s had his time at the very top. He’s not a tactical master and most of his success comes when he’s given the best tools to work with. Also worth remembering that he lost to Emery in the Europa League last season, during a really bad Arsenal run of form. He also comes with a huge entourage of expensive people, including his son I believe. He’s a superstar manager, on superstar wages, not quite sure he’d deliver to the levels we’d want, but still a solid name to consider just because he’s a very cool guy and I like him.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see someone like Ralph Rangnick considered again. He’s been targeted by a lot of top clubs, Bayern had a go for him and United were rumoured to be interested. I would have preferred him as a technical director, not sure if he has the management chops for the Premier League, but it’s hard to argue that he’d not be suited to our mess at the moment. He’s picked up far worse problem clubs in his career and pushed them forward. RB are also at the forefront of football development. He’s had his fingers in lots of club pies with their franchise and Red Bull are doing pretty well out of it.

Patrick Vieira will be sniffing around the role. Petit was speaking about it at the weekend. I love him, but again, is the work he’s doing at Nice getting anyone moist? I don’t think so. For me, if you’re going to hire him, you might as well give the job to Per and Freddie. I think the football will be about the same level when all is said and done.

The shame of this process is we can’t consider names like Ten Haag, Marco Rose, and Paulo Fonseca. Oddly, not even Gio Van Bronckhorst because City are eyeing him for New York or to replace Pep. We leave a lot of good names on the table by shooting for a manager now, but as you saw today, if we don’t move in the next 30 days, Champions League qualification is lost.

Anyway… point about the above, the shortlist is starting to shrink. The frontrunners to me look like Brendan, Carlo and Arteta. All solid, all very different, all an improvement.

Still, early days, plenty of time for the club to fuck this up.

Right, see you in the comments.

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602 Responses to “Freddie starts badly; this has serious implications. (ANOTHER long read)”

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  1. Un na naai

    Denis Suarez, Pepe, Cebollas, Tierney (injured),Luiz.Utter tripe.
    Fortunes frittered away.

    Marc
    He’s calling them tripe
    I’m defending Tierney
    You say he’s injured

    Crossed wires
    All good

  2. CG

    Pepe

    Is a £10 million player, the type Newcastle buy.

    He can take a good set piece and has a trick on him.

    That’s it.

    I guarantee he wont score too many against any of the big boys.

    Never played a CL game and never will.

  3. Valentin

    Gun of SF,

    The fact that Arsenal still does not have officially named a head of scouting department in replacement of Sven since his departure or at least change the organigram was one of the disfunctional organisation described by diverse broadsheets.
    Edu may be doing the job he brought Martinelli which looks like a very good deal, but also David Luiz which is a very bad deal.
    Everything seems to indicate the complete absence of a plan. Looks like the upper management never heard of the proverb: Fail to prepare , prepare to fail.
    Why was no plan put in place before Emery’s sacking? A minimum would be to have an already prepared list of candidates. Some may not be available, but it should act as a start. It looks like we have no list and we are listening to whatever agents are proposing to us and then try to see how the native would react to that possibilities.
    We may get lucky and found a gem with Freddie, but right now Lack of planning, lack of accountability do not point to success in the near future.

  4. TitsMcGee

    ember 2, 2019 15:42:42
    Mustafi is one unlucky player… I heard he was doing ok until the goal went in then he lost his head…. is this so? Anyone care to comment?“

    Mustafi has been a train wreck since we overpaid to bring him here.

  5. CG

    Walt

    “”CG, He had a hernia”””

    So why buy him then for £30 000 000?

    What’s the strategy in play here?

    We have 10 games in Dec
    Buy fit , robust players.

    Page 1 off football management.

    Never NEVER buy injured players.

  6. Guns of SF

    Valentin
    Thanks, I do think that we will see more chances and shots with Freddie in charge.
    In fact, I think any coach will do better in this arena as Emery had no offensive tactical plans at all and only set out to nullify the opposition.

    Very conservative and reactive football. Not Arsenal at all

    I hope on Thursday we see something different, and better transition play.

    Edu better start scouting more of Brazil – we can do with more top players coming from there.

  7. CG

    UN

    He rattled them in The Loosers Cup against a Portuguese pub team.

    What’s that got to with top level soccer?

    Rattle them in at Anfield then I’ll admit I am wrong .

  8. Dan Ahern

    Un nana — They’re all tired franchises, can’t say I care one way or another. But if it means so much to you that the character depictions never change, I suggest you just watch the old ones in your VHS collection and you won’t get triggered.

  9. Un na naai

    CG

    We spent £25m on him because he’s a quality left back and a fucking bargain at that
    Was it not you banging on about British players? Walker went for £50m and Tierney is a better player.

  10. Ishola70

    Valentin

    “Edu may be doing the job he brought Martinelli which looks like a very good deal, but also David Luiz which is a very bad deal.”

    Cagigao was responsible for Martinelli not Edu.

    All Edu has done so far has given us shit David Luiz.

  11. Marc

    Luiz may not be a great defender but does everyone realise that it was an enforced buy after Kos threw his toys out of the pram.

    It wasn’t planned and is a short term signing.

    My bigger concern is where the fuck is Holding?

  12. CG

    Walt

    Robust British players off course.
    Because that’s plain sensible.
    Think Fergie sides

    How can you say it’s a bargain?

    He is always lnjured and no other club was in for him?
    (Just look at that baby face. He will always be Crock)

    Shame – because he can play
    That’s not my definition of a bargain.

    That’s being played like a kipper

    Apart from The Loosers – how many completed league games has he actually played?

  13. Valentin

    Ishola70,

    It was under the impression that Edu because of involvement with the Brazil BA reported Martinelli to Arsenal. Cagigao then had a look on Edu says and confirmed that he liked the player.
    That may be completely wrong and Edu had no influence in Martinelli deal, but that was what was reported at the time.
    That sound plausible because if Martinelli was so known in Brazil for our scout to spot him, surely teams with dedicated scout network in Brazil would have spotted him as well. Barcelona and other European clubs are now kicking themselves for not having spotted him.

  14. CG

    Ish

    None of them are super.

    All of them are excrement.

    I would rather the club folded and packed up than give these sleazebags another penny.

  15. Ishola70

    Valentin

    It is widely reported that Cagigao was responsible for the Martinelli signing.

    Just simply google Cagigao Martinelli and you will see a plethora of articles from many different sources confirming.

    If Edu had any involvement it was only to give support to the youngster after the deal was already done.

  16. Dan Ahern

    Marc — re: Luis/Kos, yeah, exactly. We went out looking for a veteran who could fill right in. We got that. The price seems totally normal if not actually a bit of a deal for a proven (if flawed) player.

  17. Graham62

    Pierre

    A few analytical percentages for you.

    Nice to see that your Ozil obsession remains 100% on track.

    If I’m perfectly honest, now that Emery has left the building, if Ozil can perform to even 40% of his abilities, I’ll be a very happy bunny.

    Bearing in mind his levels have been in the region of 15-30% these past few seasons, I think we should all rejoice if he attains 40% of his potential.

    Not bad to have a 40% productivity / performance level and still be on £350k a week.

    Go Mesut!

  18. Marc

    Dan

    Hopefully the long term plan is to either partner Saliba with Holding or even bring in another younger CB to partner Saliba.

    The term knee jerk doesn’t get close to a lot of what’s posted on here.

  19. Zacharse

    Looks like afc coaches are going to be low on the priority list for a while to come if that article has any truth to it. Kroenkes on the hook for A LOT of dough looks like. 9 figure min w relocation fees if i read that correctly

  20. Ishola70

    Graham62
    “Who actually listens to him?”

    He’s spot on in that article about the Norwich match and the point he makes about a new manager being asked what changes he would make to the team.

    A prospective employee will always have to flatter the interviewers about the club but that can be done regarding the non-playing side. Big club, great history, prestigious post etc. But on the playing side itself no flattery and blowing smoke rings up their arse. The club have been getting it wrong on the playing side and they should want to hear a prospective employee tell them what changes he intends to try to remedy.

  21. Aussie Gooner

    FFS pick the best starting 11 for every game that counts. People are laying into Freddie because he failed to do this – simple. Never mind that Pepe does not train well – George Best was not exactly known for his training discipline but he could do it on the pitch! We need to go radical now before we dissapear into mid-table obscurity for a long time to come. Confidence is shot through and it does not help chossing the usual suspects who might train well but fail to deliver time and time again on the pitch. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  22. azed

    That sound plausible because if Martinelli was so known in Brazil for our scout to spot him, surely teams with dedicated scout network in Brazil would have spotted him as well. Barcelona and other European clubs are now kicking themselves for not having spotted him.

    Martinelli had trials with Man UTD and other European club’s.

  23. KAY Boss

    People should lay off FL. he drew the game. Also why are u on Mustafi ‘s back. He did ok in the game can’t fault him for the goals especially, the 1st. It’s like some already have a formed opinion before watching the game. I didn’t expect much to change.
    My preferred coach will be Ten Haag. And what’s wrong dealing with super agents. They can get u good and drab players. So can data analysis get u same. Super agents don’t dictate your transfers if u don’t allow them. Finito!

  24. CG

    Diss

    “””””That’s two managers that haven’t picked Pepe first, it may be that Pepe does need to do more in training.””””””

    Pepe will flop at Arsenal- he is mentally gone.
    He should be busting a gut in training- not slacking off now.

    How can a £70 million player continually accept teenagers being selected in front of him?

    Knock the managers door down, man!!!
    ———————————————-
    Talking of Black Superman- we could have had our very own:

    Wilf Zaha

    Warrior
    Gunner
    Goalscorer.
    He would not be so timid,I am sure as Pepe.

    Another huge strategic error.

    Wilf- Chelsea or Spurs bound now..

  25. Marko

    Just a few recent examples of us being robbed by super agents . Whereas good data would of got us better players for the same amount of cash.

    Yeah good data got us Mustafi Xhaka and Torreira so I have no idea what you’re talking about. There is both positives and pit falls going both routes. Fact remains though a super agent in the last few years could have gotten us Ronaldo, Pogba, Neves, Jota, Bernardo Silva etc etc it can still right now get us Dias, Neves, Semedo, Guedes etc etc.

  26. Marko

    That’s two managers that haven’t picked Pepe first, it may be that Pepe does need to do more in training.

    I personally think it’s two managers who are absolutely scared shitless to make a decision re Aubameyang and Lacazette and we continue to just shoe horn them in for shits and giggles.

  27. Marc

    Marko

    The Poch’s payoff might have clauses that affect the payment if he takes another job and in more normal lines of work company’s will often have a non compete clause but they will only last 3 or so months – it’s illegal under EU law to stop someone taking a job it’s restraint of trade.

  28. Paul Mc Daid

    Do not need Poch, Sacked at Spuds and walks into the Arsenal, Fuck off, Besides he has not won an argument with Three clubs now. The Special One has turned the Poch legacy on its head in two short weeks, Let him go to UTD.

  29. Bojangles

    I’m not that keen on Poch but I’d take him over Brenda. Brenda seems like a decent coach but I’d be concerned with him jumping ship to the first club that dangles a few sparklies in front of eyes.

    Anyway, it would make little difference who comes in as far as LG is concerned, many here will find reason to complain. Just need him to select someone they don’t like or their favourite player is left out. PlayStation has a lot to answer for regards today’s armchair managers.

  30. Words on a Blog

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7749093/Arsenal-struggling-afford-Europes-elite-coaches-forced-appoint-Freddie-Ljungberg.html

    Ironic that we might end up with Arteta, not because of his sauciness or his football vision, but because Arsenal cannot afford the big names, due to the salaries they’d want, or the cost of release clauses to make them leave their current roles. Still, as long as the first thing he does when he arrives is set fire to Raul’s dangerous contacts book, full of the names of satanic agents who are looking to offload expensive crappy player on Arsenal, who cares?

  31. Tony

    Send this to Josh & Stan – not that it would make an iota of difference to them.

    A sad indictment of what our club has become.

    “MARTIN SAMUEL: So, why would Brendan Rodgers leave Leicester for awful Arsenal?

    Why would a manager leave Leicester, or Wolves, to work for Stan Kroenke?

    Arsenal are some way behind the Premier League clubs they seek to plunder

    Leicester are simply better as a club, an executive regime and better as a team

    There is only one Arsenal player who would get into Leicester’s starting XI

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7748631/MARTIN-SAMUEL-Brendan-Rodgers-leave-Leicester-awful-Arsenal.html

  32. Tony

    The next Raul Spanish failure or …………………?

    Still Rogers as my 1st choice!

    “Arsenal and Everton monitoring former Valencia boss Marcelino as they plot managerial changes

    Marcelino has emerged as a candidate for a move to the Premier League

    Arsenal and Everton are showing interest in the former Valencia coach

    He took the club back to the Champions League and won the Copa del Rey
    Marcelino was sacked in September after falling out with owner Peter Lim ”

    “His career has evolved more slowly but he has emerged from a generation of Spanish coaches with Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique.

    Marcelino’s low-key playing career at Sporting Gijon was ended prematurely by injury and he turned to coaching.

    He leapt to prominence came when he led Recreativo de Huelva to La Liga in 2006 and kept them up. He finished sixth in the first of two spells with Racing Santander and won promotion to La Liga for a second time with Real Zaragoza.

    Momentum stalled with a disappointing spell at Sevilla but has been revived by his impressive recent work at Villarreal and Valencia.”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7749195/Arsenal-Everton-monitoring-former-Valencia-boss-Marcelino.html

  33. Rocky

    I thought FL looked good. The trousers showed he gets the English game, while the jumper said there’s a bit of Scando sauce coming aboard as well. 8.5/10.

  34. Sid

    Leicester won with because they had kante, mahrez and vardy, they lost 2 and slid down the table, they have got Ndidi to replace kante and they are back.
    Meanwhile who replaced carzola, cesc,instead of upgrading on lecoq we downgraded. The midfield we have cannot place in tight spaces, cannot absorb pressure not even cruyff can instill that in them.

  35. Sid

    You can get away playing djourou and senderos in defence if you have cesc, rosicky hogging the ball. You cannot get away with arsenals current midfield even if your CB are Sol and Vidic.

  36. Tony

    “Sorry. How the f is Poch a spurs reject? 5+ yrs. CL final.”

    How many trophies?

    I’m under the impression that a manager gains sauce for each trophy he wins.

    Ergo Poch is sauceless and thus a Spuds reject.

  37. Gentlebris

    ‘Arsenal are some way behind the Premier League clubs they seek to plunder’

    Believe this rubbish and you would believe anything.

    Leicester are just a championship side on form, a little crisis and they could be back in league one in five years.
    Wolves are a nothing club, they can’t even do excellently in a fucking Europa in the moments of their big form.

    Give Arsenal some space, things are not working now maybe because Wenger was in too much power for too long and the wrong coach appointment in Emery, but we having been showing good intentions in the transfer market recently.

    We just need a football intelligent guy to make major decisions, the will is there, we have just spent £300m in three years, we no longer practice the model of selling our best players for profit. A good coach and a good football brain behind the scene, and we will rock the CL.

    When a giant falls, a lot of mischievous characters would form a queue to piss on him, that’s all the nonsense you are seeing in the media about Arsenal; cowards on a long queue aching to piss on a sleeping giant.

  38. Valentin

    Gentlebris,

    Giant falls and sometime they fall so hard they can’t rise again. The Championship and English lower league is littered with former big clubs.
    Leeds fell to the third tier of English football and only after a decade spend in the wilderness are they talked about rejoining the premiership.
    Sunderland is still in the third tier.
    Nottingham Forrest have a great European history, but most kids have never heard of them.

    Leicester have their own scouting network who keep finding cheap gem in both the French market and the English lower leagues.
    Arsenal does not. We have agents trying to foister on us has-been and never-been players at inflated rates.
    Despite his young age, the Leicester owner has a vision and is ever present. At Arsenal we have an absent owner who let the responsibility to run the club to people with no accountability in case of failure.
    The Leicester academy has been restructured and is now prepared for the future. Arsenal has just sacked half a dozen of the academy staff but will not replaced all because of budget constraints. Also since the inception of the premiership Arsenal academy has not produced a single CB playing regularly in the premiership. That systemic coaching failure.

    I still think that Brendon Rodgers wants to join us and that bar the salary most coaches see us as a great opportunity, but let’s not hide the fact that behind the scene Arsenal is a mess.

  39. RGG

    Excellent post by Valentin.

    Should have had Minsilat running things with Edu reporting to him. Raul was the one who should have fucked off.

    Minsilat and his progressive, intelligent Klopp like attitude to the game as a whole would have been a far better choice to overhaul the club’s operations post Wenger .

    This “contacts” idiot Raul represents everything that is wrong with the way clubs are run now.

    With the owners we have what chance of having the right people in place to take Arsenal forward?

  40. peanuts&monkeys

    “Saka was pushed off the ball as if he wasn’t there, this happened at least 3 times within the 1st 2 minutes he was on the pitch. Did u even watch the game?”

    You may be right. I might have missed it. Apologies……………………………………………………………………….Will you ever forgive me @StevieG?

  41. HighburyLegend

    “Giant falls and sometime they fall so hard they can’t rise again. ”

    Sounds pretty much like Arsenal to me.

  42. CG

    Tremendous post The G.

    Leicester City are a club we should attempt to emulate.

    They are absolutely magnificent.
    Totally top notch in every aspect of their org.

    They get Kante,Mahrez,Vardy for about the same money as paid out for the Cebollas loan.

    They get Maddison, Tiersman and Ndidi for the same money as Pepe.

    They get the Turk Centre back.
    We get David Luiz.

    They get Buck Rogers.
    We get The Clown.

    They win the league.
    We come 2nd to them.

    They are going to Madrid and Munich next year.

    We could be going to Millwall and Middlesbrough next year.

    Leicester City fabulous football club.

    End of.

  43. Graham62

    peanuts&monkeys

    Um, yes he can, he can just say no.

    As long as Kroenke stays at the club, we are fudged.

    Imagine if we had the Leicester City owners mindset at AFC.

    I agree with CG.

    “Leicester are a fabulous club”.

  44. Vintage Gun

    “Paul Merson says Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers cannot turn down the chance to manage Arsenal.What was he smokin..?”

    Meson doesn’t smoke though.

    He sniffs

  45. CG

    Rogers is simply using Arsenal as instrument to get a new improved contract at Leicester City.

    He knows he is entitled to a new one because Leicester are on the cusp of CL football and its increased revenue.

    Even he knows he cant walk out on his 4th club!!!

    If reports are true and we have (TWELVE) 12!!! candidates on the list – we really are heading into unknown territory..

    12 candidates and our 4 pillocks choosing one of them.

    Gawd help us.

    We could end up with

    Denis Suarez player manger and Banega as his assistant!

    They are totally clueless.

    They should known who was the next manager once they left Baku!

    That was 6 months ago!

  46. Gentlebris

    You all are talking as if Leicester have done something Arsenal have not done ×10 over.

    With Wenger we unearthed gems for peanut. Nasri, Adebayor, Henri, Kanu, RVP, Carzola, TR7, Hleb and many others, and for peanuts!

    And with all that talents we brought through from our academy, can you name me one big talent from Leicester academy? Have they ever brought in a young dude like we did Fabregas and turned him to a superstar?

    Leicester are in their moments, but frankly they would be proud to be called an EPL mid table club.
    Arsenal are a big club in trouble just like ManU, and that doesn’t mean we should now be saying Leicester are greater than Arsenal, that’s an extreme nonsense. They are not even doing anything Arsenal have not done multiple times before.

    And about falling so hard and never rising, well, that’s a thing of the past. It can’t happen to big English clubs again, the brands are now so big all over the world. You wanna sell your brand of mobile phone in Africa? Put Arsenal brand next to it on a billboard. Plus do you know what ‘Visit Rwanda’ means? Even countries are look for goodwill from a big English club!
    So you see, the big clubs are too established in the commercial world in 2019 to fall and not rise again.

  47. Nelson

    I would like the club uses the following operational flowchart for player movement:

    – Step 1: The scouting network identifies players
    – Step 2: Edu and the coach identify which player to buy and to sell.
    – Step 3: Raul takes care of contract negotiation of new and old players.
    – Step 4: Josh approves the transaction
    – Step 5:: Paper work done by a club’s lawyer.

  48. HighburyLegend

    – Step 1 : Josh to admit that his family is inapt when it comes to football business.
    – Step 2 : He should convince his dad to sell the club.

  49. peanuts&monkeys

    Arsenal has to given their new manager at least 30 months to bring in some difference in fortunes and most of all mindset.

    Whether Rodgers or Pochettino or Allegri…Arsenal cannot but put their money on a proven manager from hereon. Nagelsmann could still be a dicey one, but with these three – they are all peaking, they are proven.

    These three are such managers that no player will have the balls to sound any dissensions because the club won’t buy those theories.

    2 out of these 3 30-monthers are free. And, one still has a home in London. So, WTF??

  50. CG

    Posters are really believing that these top notch managers actually want this Arsenal job as its stands – with its current structure and parameters?

    They are totally deluded.

    They will have Edu and Raul/Vinny on their case- walking in the locker room pre and post match.

    Telling you what players you must sell ( I am assuming the Clown didnt want to sell Iwobi , he played him every game)

    I am assuming the Clown didn’t want to loan out Mikki – he played him hours before he left)

    The Clown we were told wanted Zaha- but he got Pepe!

    Ask yourself what self respecting top tier manager would stand for this?

    We will get a wally- because thats what facilitates their wretched and self serving structure.

    Fail to Prepare.
    Prepare to Fail.

  51. Gentlebris

    Freddie lost his first game because he had to play Willock and Saka, if he didn’t he would be an hypocrite. He must have been drumming in Unai’s ears that Saka is Messi lite. Hope he shakes that nonsense off and play real ballers in the next game. Either that or he would be gone in 2 weeks and he would have told the world that he’s not one of the new generation brilliant coaches.

    Auba Laca Pepe

    Martinelli

    Ozil

    Torrey Luiz

    Holding Sok Chambers

    Leno.

    That team can’t be pushed around.

  52. CG

    Nelson

    “””” Step 2: Edu and the coach identify which player to buy and to sell.”””””

    And if they disagree?
    And what has it got to do with Edu anyway?…..

    (His neck aint on the block)

  53. Gentlebris

    ‘Ask yourself what self respecting top tier manager would stand for this?’

    Raul thought being a head coach is a lazy job like the contact book job he does, he put a lackey in charge that would allow him do as he wanted. It failed, woefully.

    Either Raul goes same way again, fail again and get kicked out. Or he does things right. His choice.

    And I suspect Josh will be breathing down Raul’s neck this time.

  54. Gentlebris

    ‘That team is so unbalanced it’s a joke.’

    Marc,

    Unbalanced? Pretty balanced offensively and defensively, I would say. We don’t have to really play through the wings at the back. Get the ball to midfield quickly, you can pass it down the middle to Laca, you can spread it to Auba and Pepe on the wings. Martinelli is there to be the potent second line of attack, and to start the defensive phase of our play.

    That’s how I would set up.

  55. CG

    Gentle bris

    “”‘That team is so unbalanced it’s a joke.’”””

    I like your team on paper. ( especially for Brighton at home – Luiz apart)

    But Are we playing a pressing game or are we playing soccer with these players?

    Ps.

    How is that little lad of yours? Bigger than Torreira yet?

  56. Gentlebris

    ‘How is that little lad of yours? Bigger than Torreira yet?’

    Thanks, man.

    Truth is I want him to be a footballer! CR7 sort of guy. I pray he’s interested in football though😀😀😀😀

  57. Bojangles

    Lichtsteiner on Emery and Arsenal

    “Now, I don’t see the players who can show the younger players how to manage being in a big club and having the pressure to win every weekend.

    “Maybe that is something that Arsenal are missing.”

    On Emery, he added: “I’d say [he is] a good trainer, a good coach, but maybe he struggled with the top players.

    “With the big players, he hasn’t maybe the relationship to bring more out [of them] and get the top performances.

    “Maybe that point I can say [something] negative, but the rest was almost everything positive.”

  58. Dream10

    The Kroenkes don’t seem to want to pay compensation for a manager.

    Marcelino emerging as a strong contender.
    Arsenal and Everton are both interested.

  59. Valentin

    Bojangle,

    On Emery, he added: “I’d say [he is] a good trainer, a good coach, but maybe he struggled with the top players.”
    “With the big players, he hasn’t maybe the relationship to bring more out [of them] and get the top performances.”

    Polite way of saying that big players don’t rate him and he could not handle their ego and lack of respect.

  60. Bojangles

    Here’s a new name put forward by an Arsenal fan that I’m sure most here wouldn’t have heard of. Ange Postecoglou an Aussie manager plying his trade in Japan. Apparently he received great praise from Pep after playing a friendly in pre-season last year. I know he did some great work with a poor Australian national team and doing similar with his Japanese team Yokohama FM. Doubt he’s on the short list at Arsenal though. Lol

  61. guest man aka WW

    Pepe… NEVER was going to be a premier league star was he?
    Its a bit obvious isn’t it…….gervinho with turbo….but essentially gervinho….a flop in front of goal..(with a moving ball)….
    i tell you what his balance to still be able to kick it left footed when he is 2metres to the right is incredible…..the lean and balance is amazing. The determination to left foot the ball is awesome.
    Mentally he is like a beach player holding a giant cocktail in one hand and a spliff in the other.
    Hes probably a nice bloke…the sort that never gets irritable or narky.
    Perhaps we could sell back to where came from..is it lyon?…for half price?
    that would be interesting if they didn’t want him…

  62. Graham62

    Pepe walked into an utter shitfest..

    Emery treated him badly. Poor manmanagement from the Spaniard.

    Dropped him as he was starting to show signs of finding his feet.

    I believe he can still come good for us.

    Can Freddie show him the love he needs?

    The negative vibes towards him are unfair and uncalled-for.

  63. Gentlebris

    ‘You’re now playing Ozil – yes Ozil and Martinelli as wing backs.’

    Not as wingbacks, but on the wings of the middle connecting with the attackers.’
    My second team would be very weak defensively, I know. But the technique would be great.

    And pray, what are your suggestions, Marc? Because we can’t just keep repeating the same formula and hope to stumble on success.

    I say we pack the field with creative guys and focus on attack play. Arsenal in the last 12 years have been poor in defense but we were winning until we started yielding to pressure and focusing on defense.

    Let’s go back to our attack play and do it well again. Back in the day, the Norwich of this world were scared to leave their areas when playing us because of our focus on attack play.

  64. Gentlebris

    ‘You want Freddy to go with that team? You really want rid of him mate.’

    Bojangles,

    I’m actually trying to help him. We were winning with Per as a defender remember?

    We brought less technical players who are supposed to be the muscles…..well they can’t muscle anything and we leak goals by the minute.

    Let’s go back to attack play; technically gifted players only!

  65. guest man aka WW

    @graham,
    not really negative mate, but you can only go on what you’ve seen so far…Pepe may well improve.,, and i hope he does…but i would be prepared to lay good money on him not being worth half of the £72m again.
    All I’m saying…his purchase seems to be one of those wenger-french-league-duds we got used to….

  66. HighburyLegend

    “Brendan Rodgers insists he is “very happy” to continue at Leicester – despite being on Arsenal’s shortlist to take over as head coach. ”

    Each day passing brings us closer to Arteta a bit more… God help us.

  67. Gentlebris

    ‘Marcelino emerging as a strong contender.
    Arsenal and Everton are both interested.’

    Pay little attention to the rags.

    Arsenal will not, at this point, appoint a man who will not arrive to the applause of 90% of the fan base. It would be extremely foolish to, at this point, appoint a guy who would raise questions, and I don’t think Josh and co are extremely foolish.

    The appointment, if Freddie doesn’t blow up, will be a big name. Poch, Allegri or that crazy looking guy at PSG, Tuchel.

    Maybe Rodgers too, but they will have to first push his name around and see how the crowd react.

  68. Distant legrover

    Marko

    Yeah but it doesn’t mean his success cannot be repeated. Like they said in the article, if the manager has it, then he will likely be succesful. Here’s to hoping Freddie got the hot sauce.

  69. Marc

    Highbury

    “Each day passing brings us closer to Arteta a bit more… God help us.”

    Look on the bright side when he fails it’ll give Pedro plenty more reasons to have a go at Sanllehi.

  70. Marko

    True distant I read it as not being enough to have a supposed DNA or affiliation with a particular club that one has to be his own man with his own talent doing it his own way and has to show examples of that ie Pep with the B team Lampard with Derby so to speak. Ole didn’t show any examples of such Mikel of course has no examples of anything and Freddie of course it was only the one game but he didn’t appear to be his own manager he literally looked like a carbon copy of Wenger with his formation and decisions against Norwich.

  71. Distant legrover

    Brenda Rodgers in Public – ” why would I leave Leicester city ? I love it here ”

    In his mind – “damn why didn’t I wait another year in Celtic, I could have walked right into this vacant Arsenal position. My freaking dream job right there.Here’s to hoping they don’t hire a new manager by season’s end. I would drop this city job so fast…”

  72. Marko

    Marc he’s the guy who is struggling at Genoa is who he is. Try that 2-7-2 crap on the park with some kids or anonymously on a blog not in a proper game because it’s stupid

  73. Biggles

    I think we’re looking at one manager in the short term and then a second one in the medium to long term.

    I think that Pochettino would make us a considerably better team and would probably get us into the top 4. I’d expect him to get the best from people like Pepe and tighten up at the back. But I don’t know that he could win the league with us, because he’s never won anything. But 2nd in the league and a CL quarter final or something like that… yeah, I could see Poch delivering that.

    I think a manager with a history of winning could win us the league or take us to the latter stages of the CL. That medium to long term view is where you possibly need an Allegri or an Ancelotti. Not coaches who you associate with building a project from scratch, but ones who can win.

    I’m not sure who is available that can do both. Klopp could do it, but no chance of getting him. Mourinho could do it in the past at least, but with a blank cheque book. Simeone kinda did it with Atletico, taking a team from bottom half of the league to actually winning it in the space of a few years whilst losing people like De Gea, Aguero and Falcao along the way. Can Rodgers do it? Not sure. He won a lot with Celtic, but Rangers were miles behind at that point and he left before they were a serious threat again. And in the PL, he bottled winning the league with Liverpool, but it’s hard to tell if that’s him or if the squad that was the problem.

    TL;DR – I think that fixing the culture of underperformance and mental fragility might be a 5 year thing and we might need more than one coach to actually win us a league title again.

  74. Distant legrover

    Marko

    Yeah Freddie certainly looked like a Wenger lite on Sunday against Norwich. But you can argue that Guardiolaborrowed some of his knowledge/tactics from playing under cruyff, he then transformed it into his own.

    I m really hoping and praying that Freddie can do the same remix. Funny enough he’s the most similar to Guardiola than Arteta, Lampard, Ole and the rest as he actually coached the Arsenal under 23 team before becoming the senior team’s manager.

  75. Marko

    I dunno do we really want Poch considering his ties with super agent Pini Zahivi? Didn’t he end up buying like 5/6 players from him while at Spurs…

    🤔

  76. Moray

    Leeds, I don’t think anyone expects any game is a given these days. We’ve taken, what, 5-6 points from our “easy run”.

  77. Moray

    “and I don’t think Josh and co are extremely foolish“

    Gentlebris, that is my comment of the year so far.

    These guys are not only stupid but stupid and disinterested. And our BoD is a who’s who of idiots from two generations ago.

  78. guest man aka WW

    Brighton are a good side….Liverpool only scraped a 2-1….. arsenal would do well to get a win…a draw looks likely

  79. CG

    Brighton will be a tough game…….. it will be Mission Impossible if Luiz ambles onto the Emirates turf.

    (Didn’ t beat them last year over 2 games.)

  80. Silverhawk

    Until we go 4 2 1 3, and drop Lacazette (no matter how good he is), we will continue to struggle.
    Our best formation should be 4 2 1 3 and line up as follows

    Bellerin. Chambers Luiz. Tierney

    Torreira Guendouzi/Willock/Ceballos

    Ozil
    Pepe. Aubameyang. Martinelli

    This is the way to go.

  81. Silverhawk

    Lacazette can come in for any of the front 3 as the match goes on.

    We desperately need a midfield enforcer, a right back and a center back.
    A CB in January
    2 CMs in the summer
    A CB in the summer (Saliba)
    A RB in the summer
    All should be starters.

  82. Silverhawk

    Also,
    Sokratis, one of chambers/holding, Xhaka, Ceballos (if he doesn’t step up), Niles and Lacazette should be be gone in the summer. No sentiments.

    Martinelli should be a able back up (wee Jesus at man city) and Nketiah is coming back.

    We should spend big in the CM and CB positions with the money gotten.

    Pepe will step up under a good coach. Same goes for all our academy attackers.

    I would love us to go to Ajax and poach Van de Beek and Ziyech.

  83. Samir

    I would get rid of both Lacazette and Auba in the Summer. They will not sign contract extensions (We will not get CL football this season 99.9% chance)

    This squad needs another mass sell out. I would even get rid of fan favorites like Bellerin. We need a proper right back.

    Only Leno, Holding, Tierney, Pepe should be safe. Any of the rest I’d be happy to see leave.

  84. Pierre

    Gentlebris
    “I say we pack the field with creative guys and focus on attack play. Arsenal in the last 12 years have been poor in defense but we were winning until we started yielding to pressure and focusing on defense.Let’s go back to our attack play and do it well again. Back in the day, the Norwich of this world were scared to leave their areas when playing us because of our focus on attack play.”

    There is logic in what you are saying but there has to be balance in the side otherwise the opposition could have a field day .

    The time to experiment something like that is pre season.

    What the team need now is to regain confidence, the Norwich game will have lifted the confidence a little, due to the fact that for the first time in a while we had more shots than the opposition. …yes scraping the barrel I know.

    I would like to see how we get on without Guendouzi as he has a tendency to have 2 or 3 touches too many, although his passing stats are high this reluctance to pass the ball early is one of the reasons we struggle offensively…maybe freddie will work on his part of his game.

  85. Marko

    I would love us to go to Ajax and poach Van de Beek and Ziyech.

    Get what you’re saying silver but I see absolutely no reason why we should go for either of those two. Ideally in January we should be targeting at the very least a competent CB and a Xhaka replacement and I would actually target a RB. I think having a consistent quality RB would really not only help us out defensively but would benefit Pepe to have some consistency there. Poor lad has had to deal with AMN, Chambers and Bellerin there this season.

  86. Marko

    Perfect time to snatch up Atal this January imo with Nice struggling. United and City spent big on RB’s in the summer. Bayern and Real and the likes don’t need him. Chelsea want him but have a ban. Maybe Spurs and PSG might be interested in him.

  87. David Smith

    Sadly, things are really coming home to roost, quicker than I thought they would. There is a price to pay when a passive absentee owner gives a well past it manager a free hand for so many years, when the manager refuses any hint of continuity posts or succession planning due to his own ego.
    Then, when the manager departs, a poor hire in Emery, followed by selling off the vast majority of the leaders/key players, without replacing that level of experience.
    It is going to take time and money to put things right, the next manager may inherit neither, no matter who he is. Some fancy names, but how do they sort this defence on little money?
    As bad as they are, this shambles is not the fault of Emery and it wont be the fault of Freddie either, no manager will get us out of this in a hurry. An ill balanced squad with no leaders, little experience, no confidence, no money for recruits. This team could end up dangerously close to relegation places by Feb 2020.
    I am sure Josh is sincere in his desire to improve things, but he lacks experience of this. And Raul is a problem.
    But the reality, we are now a typical Stan Kroenke club, and all that entails, yes, there are The Rams, but no comparison there, Stan nurtures and cares about them, doubt if he would let Raul or Ivan near them.

  88. Alex Cutter

    Freddie starts badly?

    More like Ferdie starts baldly!

    How are the Nigerian members here reacting to having a gaylord as manager?

  89. Marko

    Arsenal won’t attract ambitious players anymore, it’s over guys, wake the fuck up.

    I personally see no reason why we couldn’t for example be able to bring in Demirel who barely plays at Juve, Sander Berge from Genk (it’s Genk after all) and Atal from struggling Nice in January outside of financial reasons. Realistically speaking.

  90. HighburyLegend

    Freddie’s press conference :

    “I really would like to speak to [Wenger]. I haven’t spoken to him, it’s been a bit hectic, but that’s on my list.”

    “I’ve seen the Premiership, I’ve seen coaches wear a tracksuit, I’ve seen coaches wear a suit, I’ve seen coaches wear a sweater. So I’ll decide on matchday which one I’ll use.
    “We’ll see if I have one or not [a club suit]. We haven’t fitted one yet with a club suit but I can’t really see that being a discussion. I’ll make sure you’ll know what I wear.”

    The first quote make me believe in him even more!! lol

  91. Leedsgunner

    Before we throw more money at the squad I would like Freddie to demonstrate that he can motivate this group of men and make us difficult to beat.

    We need to see the team start to believe in themselves.

    When they do, the results will begin to change.

    Ironically, if we string a few wins together peppered by a few hard fought ties against the tougher rivals our winless streak will be transformed into a unbeaten streak…

    Go Freddie go.