Who do you want as Arsenal’s next manager? Here’s the Top 10 contenders!

It’s clear to see that Unai Emery and Arsenal is a relationship that isn’t working.

When Unai Emery first came in, he talked a good game. Actually, scratch that, he talked a great game.

I remember when Ivan Gazidis revealed that Emery would be the next Arsenal manager, I was impressed with what the Spaniard had to say. He talked about having a detailed dossier on every Arsenal player, he talked about how he can improve each player and also discussed how Arsenal can improve overall as a team.

But since that faithful day 18 months ago, things have actually got worse. Much worse.

Under Arsene Wenger we were a free flowing attacking team, that couldn’t defend. Now, we’re a team that still can’t defend but now are sterile in attack. We have a player in Aubameyang who is a world class striker but he can’t score goals because he doesn’t get any service. If he was at Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City or even Leicester City, he’d be scoring at least a goal a game. Against Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, he’s been starved of any service.

It’s obvious things aren’t working out, and I would be stunned if Edu, Raul and the rest of the executive team weren’t sounding out possible replacements. They have to be surely?

And looking at the recent reports, there seems to be 10 names in the frame at the moment.

So below, I have listed the 10 managers who are rumoured to be on our radar:

  • Jose Mourinho
  • Massimiliano Allegri
  • Mikel Arteta
  • Thierry Henry
  • Patrick Vieira
  • Brendan Rodgers
  • Freddie Ljungberg
  • Rafael Benitez
  • Eddie Howe
  • Espirito Santo

But who would you like to see as Arsenal’s next manager? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

Why Jose Mourinho is the man to save our season and the perfect fit for Arsenal

The Special One…

I wrote a couple of days ago that the man to turn Arsenal’s fortunes around is Jose Mourinho. If you read the comments section, you will see the vast majority of replies (I think all of them actually) were negative.

Now, he’s emerging as the favourite to replace Unai Emery.

Should you just call me Mystic Mike from now on?

In a nutshell, here are the reasons why Jose Mourinho would thrive at Arsenal and bring us success (and a guaranteed Top 4 finish):

  • Proven winner
  • Excellent man-manager
  • Is tactically astute
  • Gets the best out of players
  • Will get the best out of Mesut Özil
  • Can coach defence

He’s available, has roots in London and can start straight away.

So what are Arsenal waiting for?

Fans who have concerns about his temperament have been watching Arsene Wenger far too long to realise there is more than one approach. Yes, Mourinho can be confrontational but he has also been proven to rally the troops, get the team together and give them that siege mentality, and most importantly believe that winning is actually important.

The last point is something that has been lost over the last 10 years, and it wouldn’t do us any harm at all to have a squad that actually values winning. How often have we been called mentally weak? How many times have we been told we don’t have any leaders?

Jose Mourinho, whatever you think of him, is a born winner.

Look at his first stint at Chelsea. That team was immense. Look at Porto – he won the UEFA Cup and Champions League with them against the odds. Look at Inter Milan – most of their squad cried when he left.

When he gets it right, Jose Mourinho is the best out there, and for me he is better than Pep Guardiola.

Mourinho has won the Champions League twice, both times with teams who were nowhere near being favourites in that competition. He’s won countless titles and has a more impressive trophy haul than Guardiola.

Guardiola has been at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City – all of whom have had the most money and the most talented players. There’s no doubt he’s a talented coach, but he’s had far more resources and help along the way.

Mourinho has a track record of winning with any team, with any budget and with any personnel.

If the Arsenal board have any real ambition, they will seize the moment and bring in Jose Mourinho before the chance is gone.

 

Why on Earth is Granit Xhaka Arsenal’s new captain?!

I don’t understand either, Granit.

What is going on at Arsenal?

We’ve known Laurent Koscielny was leaving Arsenal a long time ago so Unai Emery has had a lot of time to think about who should be Arsenal’s next captain.

This whole thing has just become a joke in the footballing world, when earlier this week it was revealed that Unai Emery held a vote to see who the Arsenal players wanted as the next captain.

And then it was announced that we were going to have 5 captains?!

We’ve struggled with our performances and results this season, so the last thing Arsenal fans want is a manager who is indecisive and can’t even make a fundamental decision of picking the captain of his team.

As this week progressed, reports emerged that Rob Holding was the man who had the most votes, something the vast majority of Arsenal fans were more than happy with.

But then, the news came through… Granit Xhaka, a man who makes mistakes on a regular basis and brings nothing to the team, was selected as Arsenal’s new captain.

WTF?

This is a man who brings nothing to the team. He can’t tackle, he can’t defend, he’s lost the ability to do the only thing he was good at – spray the ball across the pitch… it’s all a but of a joke.

There are about 5 players who I could name who would be FAR better choices as Arsenal captain.

The first being Rob Holding – a young, dedicated player who is consistent and can lead by example. We have Aubameyang, a player who has single-handedly carried Arsenal for most of this season and last, a player who gives 110% and more importantly – is a regular starter. Lacazette has passion and can lead by example, Hector Bellerin is also a strong candidate and then we have someone like Sokratis who is another player who gives 110% and consistently puts in good performances.

The problem I have with Granit Xhaka being captain is that it effectively means he can’t be dropped – when most Arsenal fans realise that he is the main reason we haven’t been performing.

To be a good defensive midfielder, you need several qualities. You either need to be quick and have the vision to intercept balls (like Kante), big strong and good in the tackle (like Matic) or have great positional sense and leadership qualities (like Roy Keane). Sadly for us, Xhaka has none of those abilities and if anything, is a liability.

For me, this is bad, bad news and could be the downfall of Arsenal this season (in terms of having hopes of finishing in the Top Four) and could also be the beginning of the end for Unai Emery’s reign at Arsenal.

 

Thank You For Everything You’ve Done For Us, Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal played against Brighton yesterday in their last home game of the season but the match and result for me were irrelevant. Our recently form meant that we had already called behind too much and therefore blown the Top 4 before we even kicked a ball, so the main focus is the departure of a man who has given so much to Arsenal.

There will be the obvious talk about how we’ve managed to pay a player like Özil £350,000 a week, who has contributed with 2 assists all season, and with that managed to let a player of Ramsey’s stature leave on a free.

He will be going to Juventus, to play along world class players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, and I for one will be following his Italian adventure and the Old Lady will be the team I will be supporting in the Champions League next season – I would love it if Aaron Ramsey won the biggest prize in Europe.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, what about Aaron Ramsey’s Arsenal career?

He said it himself yesterday, he arrived a boy and leaves a man. In an emotional post-match interview yesterday with Sky Sports, he was clearly moved by the whole day and it is a big wrench for him to leave – making it blindly obvious if Arsenal offered enough money he’d still be in an Arsenal shirt next year.

He was a player who didn’t want or seek the limelight, but scored important goals big games, and always put in big performances. He scored the winner in our first post-Emirates move FA Cup Final, and did the same a couple of years later by scoring the winner against Chelsea. He scored some memorable goals against Liverpool, Norwich (twice), Chelsea, Hull City, Tottenham… in fact you can some some of his best goals here:

He was a player who was underrated and at times, under appreciated by the fans. He suffered the horrific leg break against that c*nt in a game at Stoke City and he had the mental and physical strength to come back from that a stronger, better player. I remember the whole thing like it was yesterday – and along with the Eduardo leg break against Birmingham City – was the most devastated I’ve been as an Arsenal fan. The club will always have ups and downs in terms of results and trophies, but when a player who has given so much to the club and is one of your own suffers a shocking awful injury like that, they are the moments that really hit you.

Unlike some other players who have left the club in the not so recent past, Aaron Ramsey will be one departure where every Arsenal fan will wish him all the best. He is a special player, a special man and someone who gave blood, sweat and tears for the club.

Thank you for all the memories Aaron, and I hope you go to Juventus and win everything there is to win there.

 

5 Players Arsenal Need To Sign This Summer (Including These Two Ex-Arsenal Men!)

Arsenal need to rebuild this summer and Unai Emery needs financial backing from the board to do that job. Whether that actually happens or not is a different question but after identifying 5 players which need to leave the club this summer, that should leave us with some money to go out and buy some new players and help improve the squad.

So below are the 5 players Arsenal need to sign to help us progress from the work done from this season:

Alexis Sanchez

For the 3 and a half seasons he was at the club, he was by far (and I mean by far) our best player, and if any Arsenal fan disputes that then they are simply deluded and blinded by his move to Manchester United because he was absolutely sensational.

His level of consistency was unreal and his level of performance was excellent in every single game. He is one of the few players we’ve had at the club who you could truly consider to be world class. He was the closest you could get to a player of Messi or Ronaldo’s level, he was that good.

He was instrumental in the two FA Cup wins he had with us and always gave 110% when he put on the Arsenal jersey. He knows the club inside out, and might respond well to Unai Emery’s emphasis on 100% effort from every single player, which was an issue under Arsene Wenger where certain players in the squad were going through the motions in matches.

If he can back to Arsenal, I have no doubt he would be a success once again and would push us up another level.

Olivier Giroud

His contact is up with Chelsea this summer so he would be available on a free (although there is an option for another year). He was a fans favourite and it was a strange situation when he moved to the blue part of London.

There have been games where we’ve struggled and Giroud has been an effective Plan B (and at times, a very effective Plan A) and he is a top top striker. He’s under appreciated at Chelsea and I’m sure he’d love to move back to The Emirates.

For me, bringing that sexy bastard back to Arsenal is a no brainer.

Harry Maguire

The England defender has gone on leaps and bounds and would relish a chance at a Top 6 club. At Leicester City his chances of challenging for trophies is limited and I’m sure he would succeed going up a level to a bigger club like Arsenal.

Central defence is somewhere we’ve struggled with this season and Maguire has Premier League experience. Rob Holding is the future of Arsenal’s defence and the only other top defenders we have at the club are Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, players who are 33 and 30 respectively. Shkodran Mustafi and Stephan Lichtsteiner are awful defenders who aren’t even good enough to be backup players (as we have seen this season) and Nacho Monreal is better suited to left-back. So Maguire would be a good fit and Holding would benefit from his International experience and it could only help him in his crusade to break into the England squad. Maguire is only 26 years old so would be an excellent addition moving forward and can only improve.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The 21 year old has impressed at Crystal Palace this season and what catches the eye is his excellent attacking runs as well as his defensive intelligence at such a young age.

He would fit in well at Arsenal and with Hector Bellerin struggle for most go the season with injury it would provide good competition in that position (with hopefully the departure of Lichtsteiner this summer).

He is quick, direct and versatile, and could play alongside Bellerin on the right wing if required. At only 21, he would be an excellent addition to the squad looking to the future.

Neil Etheridge

With Cardiff looking like they’re going to get relegated this season, Neil Etheridge will probably not want to play in the Championship after experiencing a season in the Premier League. This summer, Arsenal will be bare in terms of goalkeepers as David Ospina looks like he’s out the door and understandably won’t want to be Bernd Leno’s understudy, and Petr Cech will be retiring come May. So a backup for Leno is a must.

Emiliano Martinez has impressed for Reading this season but with two goalkeepers leaving then it would be naive to just have Leno and Martinez as our goalkeeping options for the season.

Etheridge has impressed in a Cardiff side struggling at the wrong end of the table and would be an excellent addition to Arsenal, and he’s only 29.