Arsenal and the Brave New World

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@GoonerReverend ponders the hereafter this morning and the Great Leap Forward

Football waits for no man and as recent events at Arsenal have shown the show always goes on no matter what is happening or who is leaving the game that is the English Premier League. Arsene Wenger & Arsenal have parted company after 22 successful years and the club is much stronger & much better positioned than when this partnership started back in 1996. The King is dead “Long Live the King” but now we have to prepare for the next chapter in the history of The Arsenal Football Club. Replacing a manager is never easy replacing a long serving manger is nigh on impossible and you only have to look at Manchester Utd to truly understand the scale of the task facing the powers that be in the Arsenal board room. Everyone has a view on who should be Arsenal’s next manager but at the end of the day the only opinion that matters is that of the Arsenal board members designated to choose Wenger’s successor.


The future is both exciting and frightening at the same time because nobody really knows what is going to happen when the new man takes over. Arsenal supporters all have their ideas on who should be the next manager with many demanding the appointment of a high profile manager like Max Allegri or Luis Enrique but the reality is that Arsenal have never been a club that appoints this type of manager in their entire history & are more likely to appoint a young manager with ties to the club as they feel that appointing a manager that fully understands and believes in the Arsenal values & principles will be of far greater benefit to the club’s stability than employing a short term fix that may or may not bring instant success. Fans have always been good at spending money that is not theirs because they don’t need to worry where this money is coming from and it is no different with the forthcoming appointment of the new manager.One of the fan favoutites & Juventus current manager. Max Allegri reportedly wants to know how much the Arsenal board will give him to spend on new signings & has supposedly said he would need to bring in up to 5 new players to make the team competitive. Now this is all media speculation as Arsenal never publicly divulge any discussions they are having or may have with candidates they have identified, The other alleged issue is that he is unsure if he can work within the new management structure implemented by Arsenal. Ivan Gazidis has now taken a hands-on role with the football club and moved his office to the training ground to be closer to the action along with Raul Sanllehi Head of Football Relations and Sven Mislintat Head of Player Recruitment.

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This new structure is not going to suit everyone and Gazidis stated that he is looking for a manager that will be similar in his philosophy to Wenger’s along with the clubs philosophy of developing young players while working within the club’s self sustainability model. In this current climate of spend spend spend the Arsenal manager position may not be as attractive to some big name coaches as many Arsenal fans would like to believe it is. Luis Enrique has reportedly priced himself out of the position which is very believable when you look at Arsenal’s spending policy. Joachim Low has just extended his contract with the German National Team & despite the numerous rumours and many Arsenal fans insistence that he is coming Allegri is still contracted to Juventus and they will be very reluctant to let him go. If you believe the British press former Arsenal mid-fielder and current Manchester City No.2 Mikel Arteta is the red hot favourite to be the next manager of Arsenal. Sure there are a number of reasons why Arteta is not seen by many fans as the ideal replacement for Wenger as they believe his lack of managerial experience counts against his ability to transform the current squad into a title contending squad.

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Some Arsenal fans had convinced themselves that the board would plump for a big name coach no matter what the cost but if you look at Arsenals history there is nothing to indicate that they were ever going to do that. Bertie Mee 1966-1976 Terry Neill 1976-1983 Don Howe 1983-1986 George Graham 1986-1995 Bruce Rioch 1995-1996 Arsene Wenger 1996-2018. Arsenal prefer managers with some connection to the club as they feel that if the manager has an intimate connection with the club they are more likely to respect the values of the club. Arsene Wenger was a left field appointment with no connection to the club but over the next 22 years became the focal point for the clubs values that he enthusiastically embraced and championed. Should Arsenal appoint Arteta as many are predicting it will clearly be a gamble but it will be a calculated gamble because they will be appointing a manager that clearly knows the culture and values of the club as well as many of the key stakeholders and football club staff and players he will be working with. There has been some negative comment about the possible appointment on social media but that is to be expected because everyone has their personal favourite and social media is the focal point for voicing disappointment.

Many fans believe that only a top coach with a history of winning trophies can manage Arsenal and turn them into a championship winning team but if you look at the growing influence of Josh Kronke you will understand where the club is possibly heading. In 2016 the Kronke’s fired Head Coach Jeff Fisher from their Los Angeles Rams football team and replaced him with 30 year old management rookie Sean McVey. This was a calculated gamble which has proven to be a good decision and it has become clear that Josh Kronke was central to this decision. Arsenal have always been a club that do things their own way and Josh Kronke is also a man who is very much his own man who likes to do things his way and is not adverse to taking calculated risks. There is no guarantee that the Arsenal board will appoint Arteta as their next manager but its even more doubtful that they will spend 10-15 million pounds a year on a high profile manager trying to buy success. Whatever happens and whoever they decide to appoint it is exciting times for Arsenal supporters because changing manager is a leap into the great unknown. No one really knows how it will turn out and in todays football world every new managerial appointment is a calculated risk. If Arsenal are going to take a gamble on a young manager with potential and give him the time & support to grow into the role we really are heading off into a brave new world and in the process we could be creating a new era of sustainable success for our grand old club.

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227 comments on “Arsenal and the Brave New World

  1. The Guardian article posted by Birdkamp a few posts above is very good.

    He’s a man who appears very comfortable with, even to relish, the fact Gaston Ramirez chose Hull, because of money, over Sevilla who had just won the Europa league.

    I have a theory that very few managers are able to pick themselves up when faced with a large drop in the amount of money available to them. Rijkaard is my poster boy for the theory; Van Gaal who went again after Barca and won Eredivisie with a modest team is the great exception. Rafa also has the stones and love of the game for it.

    Blanc is yet to do anything after PSG, we await where Enrique goes, likewise Ancelotti. Pep sure hasn’t shown an inclination to test out his fabled skills anywhere other than in giant mega-money teams. Think Mou would sooner retire than go to a club where he is heavily outgunned financially. Villas Boas to his credit gave it a go, and then again in Russia, though admittedly at richest club there; then briefly in China, where he quit to pursue a passion for motorsports and compete in Dakar rally.

    Anyway, that interview with Emery suggests he is one who will embrace the challenge, without having lost something essential in drive and appetite.

    The most interesting thing at present is imagining how the current players will deal with the huge switch in prospect in terms of individual analysis and opposition analysis.

    I believe the picture of Wenger as someone who did little of that may be a false one, but am nevertheless confident he didn’t do it to anything like the extent Emery apparently does.

    12 hours of editing and cutting a video on opposition, done personally! Whoa. Some may benefit considerably from that new, radically different approach; some, logically, will not like it. Good results will bring almost anyone around though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy, when it comes to the PGMO, I refuse to follow the herd, deluded into thinking that with VAR there will be marked improvement. This will be much like UEFA who, after much protest about foul play in the box, put 2 more officials behind the deadball line. Did it change anything? Hell no. They are like the 3 stooges; see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing. Are the refs more accountable and transparent? That is what most football governing bodies refuse to allow. Note however when they want a certain result certain chosen UEFA referees always get the biggest games. I am convinced the footballing authorities want to have a say in the outcome of matches and the secrecy and privacy about refs and their decision-making is their method of their control. That is the conclusion I have drawn from this miserable, unsatisfactory state of affairs.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Well I suppose his first task will be to get players to buy into his methods. Based on the little ‘scouting’ I’ve done, it doesn’t seem like his tactics are too different from Wenger’s. A 4231 is his preferred formation (433 because PSG players insisted some claim) with the wingers coming inside and fullbacks pushing up to provide width. But apparently more proactive in pressing (from memory PSG didn’t seem great at pressing)

    If he can get the players more focused on their individual defensive roles, I think we might see some good results. Whether these roles allow Wengerball, that the players have formed an instinctive understanding for, to also be expressed remains to be seen.


  4. media, pundits, ITK’s, arsenal twitteratti all fucking mad as hell that Unai Emery seems to be the choice of the Arsenal board. Has to be a top top appointment if it has pissed off that load of shitheads

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Warming to idea already after initial shock.

    Took some big news to put Cazorla’s exit easily into second place for a while.

    Sad to see him go, sadder that injuries robbed us of seeing him more. Definitely think the good times with him will outweigh those thoughts as time goes on. Absolute gem of a footballer.

    Spare a thought for the weirdo and arch Wenger critic on Twitter who suggested Cazorla wasn’t a great player, and shouldn’t be held in same esteem as players like Perry Groves, because Groves won title.

    Must admit i enjoyed that take, as the guy in question is an uber twat, and that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt he isn’t a serious person, has shite for eyes and brains, and is actually punished appropriately by life for it.

    Would that all his type could reveal themselves so reassuringly and well.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Sad about Santi, but I hope he can prove his fitness and play for Villarreal. He deserves it after all he has been through.

    As for the new manager, that was unexpected! Let’s see how he adjusts to managing on a limited budget after PSG. Interesting times lie ahead, so we can only hope for the best.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. By and large I try not to feel sad for people, but I do feel slightly sad for all those outraged at the appointment of Emery. The concept of a management team maybe putting together a job description, employing Headhunters, compiling a long list, inviting applications, holding interviews, possibly then moving on to a second set of interviews before making their final decision – and then the HR and Legal Teams working out exact details of contracts and remuneration before the decision is made public is clearly alien to them. That all this has happened seemingly so quickly – remember Arsene only announced his resignation a scant month ago – suggests to me that the process, far from being the panicked rush that some claim, has actually been carefully managed and orchestrated.

    Arsene’s announcement – the eloquent tributes already in place, the talk of the future and his replacement (and don’t forget all those other appointments made this year), the magic final match, celebrations and presentations, the secrecy since then, the poignant pictures of Arsene leaving Colney for the last time – and then only hours later the bombshell announcement from Ornstein. Impressive work, I reckon, and a sign to me that the club from Kroenke down have made some cold-blooded and logical decisions with the express aim of restoring Arsenal to its position as undisputed leaders of London football – and exceptionally well-placed to mount a serious challenge to all clubs, both English and further afield.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Sickening that the likes of Wright and Neville are given credence. Neville especially, Management flop Manc tosser.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Santi is not a great player because he hasnt won a title- these pundits really are idiots.
    Apart from his exploits with us and other clubs, he won 80 odd caps for Spain, and look at who he was competing against with that lot.
    Fantastic player, sorely missed by Wenger and other players for a couple years, all who appreciate the football Arsenal play will miss him.
    Can only wish him the best and that he comes back one day to coach and pass on his unique skills
    As for Emery, time will tell, but looks a very wise appointment to me

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ian wright seems miffed that we did not give the job to a black man, anything else is tokenism.
    Him and Neville can fuck right off. as can all the idiot Arsenal supporters who are doing nothing but character assassination of Emery, just as they funnily enough did to “weak” Arteta only days ago when it looked like he was getting the job. As I have said all along, well before AW announced he was leaving, there is a section of the fan base who will moan regardless, even if we appointed their first, second and third choice guys as a management team. whinging is their way of life, its how they stay relevant, its how they get clicks and likes from their fellow whingebags

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  11. FH

    I think there’s two things that concern me about Emery. One, as Rich suggested, it is going to be a culture change with video analysis and pre match video tactics obsessed over. How will players adapt to this change? Will they buy in? He himself says it takes time.

    Two, Was he always on the list? If not, why not? This really doesn’t have to do with Emery, but with the recruitment process. A week ago Emery went on radio and said Arsenal had not been in touch. The media, including Ornstein were saying Arteta was favourite maybe with Allegri. So either Emery was not on the shortlist then, or the club and Emery built up a smokescreen around this. Which seems… unnecessary seeing as everyone knew he was available.

    As it is, it doesn’t really matter as long as they got the right man.Maybe Emery impressed them with his plans for the squad more than Arteta did. You are correct that it was not a rushed process at all. And as we were saying with Arteta, any manager is a risk anyway. Emery does have a good CV, even if a bit of a mixed reputation.

    I’m also beginning to warm to his appointment. He seems to do better with smaller budgets but more committed teams. As long as the players buy in, the tactical preparation can add something to their game, hopefully while retaining their Wengerball flair. After the disappointment of it not being Arteta, I’m now feeling excited again. Unai Emery, Welcome to Arsenal! (hopefully that’s not premature)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Also on the plus side, he seems to be a good, decent man. Opposed to the likes of Mourinho. Can always get behind that.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Other than having seen his Seville team win 3 EL’s, and seeing a fair bit of his PSG team, I have little knowledge of Emery, but from that, I think he fits what Arsenal want from a manager, he promotes from within, he plays fluid attacking football, plays out from the back, through midfield, into a fast attack, he likes it played on the deck.
    It seems too that he is well used to the operation model AFC have put in place, a chief scout who recommends and recruits the players, along with a Dof, with the manager deciding on how to use the players, and not always having in put into who to actually sign.

    it will be interesting as to how much of a coaching team he brings with him and if there are players he can recommend we sign.
    Reports suggest that his favored formation is the 4-2-3-1 that we already mostly use, so we might see Ozil back at no.10, with Aubameyang on the left, Mkhitaryan on the right and Lacazette up front. Ramsey and Xhaka as the two in CM. Just he defense to sort out, simple

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  14. shard where does the “he seems to do better with smaller teams and limited budgets” come from, he won a domestic treble with PSG after winning 2 cups with them in his first season. Neymar and Mbappe were not signed on a limited budget.

    87pts in his first season got PSG second, 93pts this season got them the title.
    In the CL his PSG got knocked out by Barcelona 5-6, and by Real Madrid 5-2, exactly why this is seen as a major failure I’m not sure, Barca and Real are not some part time outfits.

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  15. I’ve seen some complain that Emery is only getting a 2 year +1 year contract, I wonder would they rather we did what Man Utd did and give Moyes a 6 year contract, he has been sacked by 5 clubs so far and still has 1 year left on his Utd contract.

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  16. eduardo

    What he achieved with Sevilla, despite the constant turnover in players and his prior history in Spain with Valencia and Almeria suggests that a small budget doesn’t tie his hands in the manner that it would for many managers. This is a positive for us.

    With PSG, I am less enthused about his achievements. The treble came after they added Mbappe, and Monaco were further weakened by various sales. Yes it shows he can do well, but I think his only remit was to win the CL with PSG. The disappointing part of those CL defeats was the way they came about (and yes, they were cheated at Barca for sure) That is another accusation aimed at him. That his teams are mentally weak. Maybe they’re also just as targeted as Wenger’s teams were? No idea.

    I think he can be a success for us. Top 4, and EL would be my preliminary targets. But his first task is to get the players to buy into his methods. Bould and Lehmann could help with the disciplinary aspect which reportedly is not Emery’s strong suit. Do that, and the club sort out the defense and I think we could have some good cheer the coming season.

    I am unsure that Xhaka and Ramsey as the midfield two work. But Xhaka is improving and maybe Emery’s detailed video sessions will help him further develop his defensive game.

    The 2+1 year contract seems perfect to me. Just about the life-cycle of this team.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. great news, Arsenal and Puma have officially launched the new home kit, and it has as usual given the idiot fans something more to complain about, seems the Puma kit is not a Nike kit or an addidas kit, fucking cunts puma, how could they

    Liked by 1 person

  18. “I want to listen to all proposals and I will evaluate them according to three criteria. The first is sporting.

    “Within what is possible, I wish to continue to dispute the Champions League or the Europa League while also having the possibility to do something in the championship. It is clear I want a competitive sporting project.

    “The second is the quality of life and the third is the economic factor. With two of those three criteria fulfilled, I can accept a project. With all three, it is obviously easier and with only one of the three, more difficult.”

    I wonder how many he thinks we meet (banned smiley)


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  19. Having a look at history of his Valencia and Sevilla sides, as you do, on hunt for a few pointers.

    Interesting, though not sure I’ve seen anything particularly revealing of his ways.

    Appears to like Ever Banega, an exceptionally talented player. Also used Pablo Hernandez, ex Swan, hell of a lot for three years on bounce. Used and got a lot from Soldado for a couple of years. Jeremy Mathieu developed well there. Mata had two good years with him, Silva one. A good pointer he can work with your technical left-footed attacking types who aren’t there for bruising qualities.

    Has worked with a lot of well-known players – Mata, Silva, Alba, Aduriz, Albelda, Marchena among them, and i haven’t even looked a Sevilla days yet

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Santi Cazorla is one of the best footballers I have ever seen. He is that because that’s what I saw…

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I posted some time ago that the team was not performing so well because it might have been comprised of players that needed more prescriptive coaching. The latter approach to coaching appears to me to be counter to Wenger’s style. Maybe, he just couldn’t assemble enough highly intelligent footballers his style depended upon, that is, players who didn’t need much coaching at all…If so, Emery’s approach might just be what this team needs…


  22. Adieu Santiago Cazorla. One of the most uniquely gifted footballers to ever play the game. Enjoy the return home you always wanted and keep that beautiful positivity shining as bright as ever. We were so lucky to have had the pleasure of experiencing your special greatness. Thank you. Thank you. Much as gracias. Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Shard: I do not think that Emery will be the first Arsenal manager to use video analysis in his coaching. I do think that there have been a lot of myths propagated as to what coaching Arsene did or did not do and how he prepared the team. I also suspect that he has been in the frame for a while now and that his response on radio was on the economical side of whatever truth might exist. Obviously I do not know either of those things, but I choose to believe them.

    Another thing I do not know as yet is what players he will like and which ones he will be wary of. He would not be a very good manager at all if he did not think he could get a better tune out of the current lot (he may or may not be correct in thinking this), and I suspect he has already thought quite carefully about how he wants to do this. There will be several players (and their agents) who will be keen to understand how they might figure in his plans. And a couple who perhaps have already decided that they do not want to be managed by him.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. After taking in the idea, Unai Emery just might be the next great man to lead this wonderful football club. Kudos to the board et al for choosing a man who clearly ticks all the key boxes.
    Emery has my support.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. eduardo792
    May 22, 2018 at 9:22 am
    Ian Wright was correct it was tokenisim with the ‘after thought’ approches towards Henry and Vieira, it was embarrassing and shameful in the end. By the time the approches to two club legends, (not to bums of the street or non personally attached super managers) had finally been made that is all it could be seen as. The Rooney Rule would have had to been adhered to if this was America, as Arsenal are owned by Americans I hoped they would at least show some leaderhip, once again as Arsenal has been known to do throughout history. But no the last minute token gesture, to two legends sad, I would have prefered if they had not bothered at all.
    Even if they knew who they wanted it would have made for great PR, provided great content been a fantastic distraction. Arsenal could always use positive PR.

    As I have said before Arsenal are not golden.


  26. Fh

    Of course the media and bloggers overplayed the no tactical preparation bit about Wenger. Of course we had video sessions. To say anything otherwise is obviously stupid. But at the same time, Wenger encouraged players to figure things out for themselves. Which actually is exactly what a good teacher does. Provide guidance but do not teach just by rote learning. However, this approach needs talented, intelligent and driven individuals to thrive. Also, sometimes just a change of approach to switch things up can be good (I am almost certain this would be done under Wenger) When it came down to the crunch, Wenger would sometimes get the players to focus on just staying compact and building from there. But of course no one wants that permanently.

    With Emery, his focus on ‘homework’ seems to be a step above and set him apart from most other managers (while Wenger’s ‘teacher’ approach set him apart) To me this represents a change that not all players would be happy with. However, I think most will give it a chance. We have a good bunch at Arsenal, and some senior figures around who understand the culture of the club. So hopefully, should not be a problem.

    On the subterfuge, I don’t get it. Why would his name be the most protected? I think the truth is far simpler. After interviewing the initial batch of candidates, Arteta emerged the best and Gazidis’ favourite, but Sanhelli brought in Emery later (after Enrique earlier) and Emery impressed in his presentation. Enough to get Gazidis to change his mind. Which I think is a good thing. It speaks to a good recruitment process. Even if why Emery was considered so late is a mystery.

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