It is now nearly a week since Unai Emery was sacked and a replacement has not been bought in.
Within 24 hours of sacking Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham announced that Jose Mourinho was to be their new manager. It was quick, it was clinical.
So what is holding up Arsenal?
The old school fan in me that still calls us The Arsenal and remembers the days when we were a classy club makes me look at Spurs and think “stabbed in the back” with just how quickly they moved Pochettino out and Mourinho in.
The seat on the private toilet in the managers office had not even cooled down.
It does lack class agreeing a deal with a replacement manager before the current manager has been sacked. The “open secret” that the manager has been sacked and replacement already recruited. But it is hard to “stay classy” in business.
Regardless of the industry, if you are planning to sack a manager, CEO or director, you need to be talking to potential replacements before you give the incumbent the chop.
The firm I work for planned to replace the CEO a few years back. They employed his replacement as a Regional Director for 8 months before chopping the CEO. He was then installed as interim CEO before getting the job permanently 4 months later.
It might have “lacked class” but in business it is what needs to be done. Especially if that business is struggling.
You need to do what is in the best interests long term of the business, or football club, and not have to worry about “looking classy” in the short term.
I imagine the lack of replacement has nothing to do with the club deciding not to talk to a replacement for Emery before they gave him his P45.
The situation could further highlight a long term problem at Arsenal. That those running the club are simply incompetent.
We know the board is not fit for purpose and there have been talks to introduce fresh faces. We know Stan Kroenke is a hands off owner, leaving the experts he employs to do the job they are supposed experts in. That then leaves it to Raul Sanllehi.
Sanllehi was supposed to be a superstar. Recruited from Barcelona, he replaced Ivan Gazidis overseeing the football side of the club. Replacing the manager is his job.
Has he been infected by the incompetence that runs through others within the club? Is he not the big dog that we hoped we were recruiting? Or does he have a plan and it simply is not one that can be completed within 24 hours?
I hope it is the later.
New Manager is Currently Employed
Prior to Emery being sacked, we could have been having discussions with his replacement and/or his representatives. A contract could even have been agreed and he is ready to take over. But he can not take over if he is currently in a job.
What allowed Tottenham to replace Pochettino so quickly is that Mourinho was out of work. All they had to do is get a signed contract back from him and he was ready to go.
The situation takes longer if you are targeting a manager currently in a job.
If Arsenal want Wolves’ Nuno Espirito Santo, Brendan Rodger of Leicester or even poach Carlo Ancelotti from Napoli, they will have to enter negotiations with their respective club to buy them out of their current contract. This could only be done once Emery was confirmed as leaving.
A deal could have been agreed in principle with a currently employed manager, but it then takes time to do the deal with his current club.
And what if when going to do that deal, his current club refuses to enter discussion? Or asks for a huge fee? It can delay things further.
It is more complicated recruiting someone in a job than it is recruiting someone out of work.
My hope is that these delays are because we are talking to someone in work; and it is just taking a little longer. My fear is it is competence and we failed to speak to anyone before letting Emery leave.
Hopefully the situation is resolved over the weekend.