Tag Archives: Brendan Rodgers

Who is in line to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

Yesterday we discussed who would replace Arsene Wenger in the short term, were he to leave his role before the end of the season.

The reason this was discussed was mainly down to top targets not being available in the summer. Someone like Joachim Low is busy with preparing to led Germany to the defence of the World Cup they won 4 years ago. He will not chuck that in to become Arsenal manager 4 months early.

The likes of Andres Jonkier, Marco Silva and Carlo Ancelotti were mentioned as possible short term replacements, if Wenger were to leave this week. So who are the long term replacements?

Carlo Ancelotti – The experienced Italian is immediately available and could come in as a short term option who could be kept on for the long term if the club performs.

He is a Premier League winner with Chelsea and is one of the most highly rated managers in the game.

However, he has only won 4 league titles since 2000, despite having managed AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Critics will say he is too similar to Arsene Wenger. That he does not concentrate on tactics to stop the opposition and leaves a lot to the players to make decisions on the field.

He left Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in similar circumstance, and there is talk that his methods are now outdated. Would he just be Wenger Mark II?

Leonardo Jardim – when you have unlimited funds, and manage the likes of Manchester City, PSG or Manchester United, you do not need to be a coach. You do not need to improve players. If someone is not good enough, you merely sign a replacement.

In 2017, Leonardo Jardim led Monaco to the French league title, as well as a Champions League semi-final, with a vibrant young team. Up against PSG in France, he had to bring through and develop talents like Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Fabinho.

His team knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League three years ago and he has a contract until 2020. At just 43, he is young and fresh, whilst also have 10 years experience as a manager.

Joachim Low – With a set up that is set to include Germans Sven Mislintat & Per Mertesacker, German national team manager Joachim Low looks a fairly natural fit. Add in Shad Forsyth, who spent 10 years working with the Germany national team, and Low could fit right in.

With Mesut Ozil,  Shkdoran Mustafi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolašinac all having come from the Bundesliga, German could be the new French at Arsenal.

The only question mark over Low is his club management credentials. He has not managed at club level for 14 years and he had 7 jobs in 5 years.

Brendan Rodgers – A lot of fans will mock any opinion that Brendan Rodger should be anywhere near the list of potential Arsene Wenger replacements. But it has to be remember he was one Steven Gerrard slip away from winning the title with Liverpool.

He has since gone to Celtic to rebuild his career.

Whilst any success in Scotland with Celtic is nothing to shout abut, his methods and experience would be suited to Arsenal. The biggest problem is the supporters. His appointment would fail to unify the fan-base following the intense and often angry debate that has surrounded Wenger.

Mikel Arteta – Currently working as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and, while he has no managerial experience and would represent a gamble, he is well regarded at Arsenal following five years there as a player, including two as club captain, between 2011 and 2016. He is well known to Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s new head of football relations, as well as to Gazidis.

Roberto Martinez – I thought Martinez’s name would no longer appear on lists involving “next Arsenal manager” after he was sacked by Everton, but he needs to be added back on. Not because of himself, but because of who he might bring in as an assistant.

Currently managing the Belgium national team, Martinez was joined in the set up by Arsenal Club record-scorer Thierry Henry, who saw working with Martinez as an opportunity to gain experience.

Henry returning would unite the fans. The only issue is having said that being managing Arsenal  would be a potential “dream” job , would he really give up that comfortable, warm, 2 days a week job with SkySports, for a similar paid job as Martinez’s assistant at Arsenal?

No Henry, no Martinez.

Keenos

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4 failed Wenger replacements: Klopp, Moyes, Martinez & de Boer

I have to start this mornings blog with some chat about Frank de Boer, sacked as manager of Crystal Palace after just 77 days.

Roll the clock back to 2013 and de Boer was top of many fans list as next Arsenal manager, alongside the likes of Jurgen Klopp, David Moyes and Roberto Martinez.

It is interesting to see how all 4 have performed in the last 4 years.

Klopp got his big move to Liverpool, where he has impressed a lot of people. But the impressive performances are more his own performances off the pitch, the way he deals with the press, the passion he shows, rather than Liverpool’s performances on it. They finished 4th in his first season, and trophyless. Fairly average.

And they have not started this season in sparkling form. Just 7 points from the opening 10 games.

Due to his relationship with the media, he seems to be able to live an easy life. Liverpool lose, he makes a joke, everything is right in the world. It will be the same if Liverpool do not win anything. He is able to create an illusion of success when there is none. He actually has a worse record than the much derided Brendan Rodgers.

It is also worth noting that Klopp has not lead a team to a trophy since the 2012 German Cup, and in his last season with Borussia Dortmund, he led them to 7th.

It will be interesting to see the response if he delivers a 2nd trophyless season, as Liverpool close in on 30 years without a league title.

Like Klopp, David Moyes also got a chance on the big stage with Manchester United where he was sacked before completing his first full season.

I actually feel sorry a bit for David Moyes as it is almost like he was set up to fail. He joined the side on the recommendation of Sir Alex Ferguson, who left him an ageing squad. They were champions in Fergie’s last year, but pretty much that summer the squad collapsed.

At the same time that Ferguson stepped down, Manchester United’s key negotiator in the transfer market – Chief Executive David Gill – also stood aside. This led Man U to have a new manager and new CEO in Ed Woodward.

A poor transfer window which saw the club miss out in a host of major targets, most famously Cesc Fabregas, Leighton Baines and Ander Herrera (who they signed the next year) and secure just one senior signing. Marouane Fellaini.

Moyes was sacked with a win percentage of 52.94%, which is favourable to the likes of Klopp (7001514000000000000♠51.4%) and Louis van Gaal (52.43%) and not too far of Jose Mourinho (57.97), who’s win %age is boosted through Europa League success.

Having been let go by Manchester United, Moyes tried his hand in Spain with Real Sociedad, before returning to England and being the man to finally get Sunderland relegated. You have to feel his reputation is now tarnished enough that he will struggle to get another Premier League job.

Replacing Moyes at Everton was Roberto Martinez. Another with a big reputation that was perhaps undeserved.

His reputation was built on playing free flowing football at Swansea City, and putting in a lot of the groundwork that saw Rodgers take them into the Premier League.

He then joined Wigan who he led to the FA Cup in 2013. Often praised for continually keeping Wigan in the Premier League against all odds, it was kind of forgotten that every time they found themselves 10 points adrift, he was manager. He was the arsonist who sets a fire and then puts it out so he can be praised as the hero.

A good first season at Everton saw them finish 5th. But they quickly slid down the table finishing 11th in the next two seasons and he was gone. It was not just the results but also the performances. Everton were trying to play like Barcelona with players who were more suited with being at Stoke.

Interestingly his replacement, Ronald Koeman has re-addressed the balance at Everton finished a solid 7uth last year.

Martinez is now manager of a very talented Belgium squad, who he has led to World Cup qualification – the first European side to be in the hat for Russia 2018 (bar the hosts). It will be interesting to see if he can complete his rehabilitation by taking Belgium’s Golden Generation all the way.

And lastly we get to Frank de Boer.

Many Arsenal fans wanted him when he was at Ajax. Partly to do with Dennis Bergkamp being involved as his assistant manager.

de Boer led Ajax to 4 consecutive Eredivisie titles, breaking a 7 year drought. Ajax have also failed to win the Dutch league title since he left. But it was a record in an inferior league. Like Brendan Rodgers in Scotland. Does it really count? Possibly not.

He went to Inter Milan in Italy, where he last 85 days before being sacked on 1st November 2016. At the time he claimed he “needed more time” in order to make a mark as manager.

A few months in the wilderness where he linked himself to many Premier League jobs, but ultimately failing to get beyond the interview stage, he eventually got himself a job at Crystal Palace.

His 85 days at Inter was beaten by his 77 days at Crystal Palace.

In hindsight, he was probably the wrong man for the Palace job.

They wanted him to change their style from a defensive, counter attacking to a possession based game. But the wish was to change tactics but without investment, using the same players who had been at the club for years. They wanted him to teach old dogs new tricks.

When Arsene Wenger came to Arsenal, he did not overly change the style of play of the club. It was still based on a solid defence, and pace upfront. It was not until his second generation of players, led by the likes of Theirry Henry and Robert Pires, when Arsenal started to play a more attacking style.

Palace seemed to demand change, but did not give him the resources for change.

He was further hampered by their two best players from last year – Sakho (unsigned) and Zaha 9injured) – being out.

After 4 games and 0 goals, Palace did the brave thing and realised that de Boer was the wrong appointment for them, Rather than battle through and risk being cut adrift before the clocks go back, de Boer was dumped.

In 2013, Arsenal had gone 8 years without a trophy. Arsene Wenger was entering the last year of his contract. Since that time, 4 of the names linked with replacing him have failed to win a trophy, have struggled at jobs big and small. In that time, Arsenal have added 3 FA Cups to the trophy cabinet.

Whilst Wenger’s time at the club is really up .The journeys of Klopp, Moyes, Martinez and de Boer over the last 4 years show just how hard it is to get your managerial appoint right.

Changing manager is no guarantee of success. And Arsenal fans need to realise that. The years of managers being in charge for 5 years, yet alone 25 years, have gone. When a man does come in to replace Wenger, it will feel like a breathe of fresh air. Until he loses that first game of the season.

I want a new manager at Arsenal .The majority of us do. But a change of manager will not guarantee a change of fortunes.

What started as a mini blog has ended up over 1,000 words as I babbled on. Sorry about that, and up The Arsenal.

Keenos

What has happened to the heirs of Wenger’s throne? Part III

We have already seen where 10 potential Arsenal manager’s are now, what they are up to, and whether Arsenal have missed out (or dodged a bullet) by sticking with Arsene Wenger. From Jurgen Klopp to Owen Coyle and Jose Mourinho to Roberto Martinez have already been discussed. Today we look at the final 5…

arsene-wenger

Pep Guardiola

Like Jurgen Klopp, another long term Arsenal favourite, and he has every right to be.

We missed out on him when he left Barcelona, and as his journey at Bayern Munich started to end, the stars seemed to be aligned.

There was talk that out of all the English club, Arsenal were the one’s he wanted. Chelsea, Man City and Man U would all be in for him, but Arsenal were his dream. They were the ones who could match up to his principles.

But there was a spanner in the works. Man City had been on a boardroom recruitment drive over the last 4 years, and it became clear that drive was with the eventual goal of getting Guardiola in.

First came in Txiki Begiristain. He was Barcelona’s Director of Football during Guardiola’s period at the club. He also played with Guardiola for 5 years at Barcelona. Man City’s CEO is Ferran Soriano, former vice-president of Barcelona.

It was easy surroundings for Guardiola to come in and become manager. He bought into the project that the Man City owners are undertaking.

Man City were recently on a bit of a poor run. 6 games without a win before their 4-0 demolishing of WBA. But Guardiola is changing the club. Changing the team. It might take him a year or so to get right, and he will have to adapt himself and his tactics to the Premier League, but one thing is clear, he is a class manager and Arsenal missed out on him.

Unai Emery

For me, Unai Emery is one of the best young managers in European football. He is just 45 but already seems to have been around for a lifetime – having taken his 1st managerial job at 32.

He did a brilliant job at Valencia, and followed this up 3 UEFA Cup triumphs in a row with Sevilla.

He joined PSG this summer, which might mean replacing Arsene Wenger next summer might be too soon. But he is certainly one to keep an eye on.

Joachim Löw

I am still sceptical about Joachim Löw’s club management ability. At international management, his credentials are unquestionable.

In his 4 international tournaments, Germany have made the semi final each time, winning a World Cup and runners up in the 2008 Euro Championships.

This might be all to do with having the best squad in Europe, the most talented Group of Germany players in decades, but his leadership of those players is important.

He recently extended his contract with Germany until 2020, by which time he would have been out of club management since 2004, 16 years. It would be a big risk to take

Marco van Basten

Like Frank de Boer linked earlier, one reason people wanted him in was due to his relationship with Dennis Bergkamp.

In 2012, I said “Struggled with egos at Holland (who hasn’t), spent a lot at Ajax, only to finish 3rd, before walking away, In his first season at Heerenveen where he has only won 3 from 15 games. Probably not a good manager.”

In the time since, then, I have been proved right.

Brendan Rodgers

David Moyes Mark II.

Got his chance at a top English club with Liverpool. Messed it up. Now a Sunday league manager at Celtic. No thanks.

 

The latest list of favourites to take over from Wenger includes the likes of Eddie Howe, Thomas Tuchel, Martin Schmidt, Laurent Blanc, Carlo Ancelotti & Ronald Koeman. It will be interesting to see how they get on.

We have all heard of the Curse of Aaron Ramsey, maybe there is also the Curse of Wenger’s Repalcement?

If I were to come up with a new list of who I want to replace, it would probably contain:

Diego Simeone
Jurgen Klopp
Unai Emery
Thomas Tuchel
Martin Schmidt
Carlo Ancelotti
Ronald Koeman
Laurent Blanc
Dennis Bergkamp
Eddie Howe

I wonder if in 4 years, if Arsene Wenger is still at the helm (I hope not) I will be revisiting my list of 8 to see how they are getting on.

Keenos