Tag Archives: David Moyes

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.



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


Over the years many a blogger has written many a blog about who will take over from Arsene Wenger. My own version of this was written way back 2012, when I came up with a Dirty Dozen who could replace Wenger.

Long time favourite of many Arsenal fans, Frank de Boer, is set to be sacked by Inter Milan (or has already been sacked, depending on when I schedule this blog for)

With it being an international break, I thought it would be an ideal time to revisit some of the many men who have made up the list of Wenger replacements over the years. Starting with Frank de Boer.

Frank de Boer

The primary reason people wanted Frank de Boer to come to Arsenal was due to who his number 2 was. Dennis Bergkamp. Even without Bergkamp, de Boer looked like a good candidate whilst at Ajax.

A legendary player in his own right, in 2010 de Boer took over an Ajax side that had not won a league title for 6 years. He revolutionised the club, bringing in ex-players to take up almost every coaching position in the club. He led Ajax to 4 league titles in a row.

He then got itchy feet, and began linking himself with almost every half-decent Premier League job. He issued come get me pleas to both Liverpool and Spurs, neither went and got him. He also reportedly applied for the Everton job which went to Ronald Koeman, but failed to even secure himself an interview.

Then this, he said his goodbyes to Ajax. Having let the tile slip to PSV on the last day of the season, de Boer called time on his Ajax career.

He ended up taking a decent job at Inter Milan, where his current record is P 14 W 5 D 2 L 7. A 35% win ratio that leaves Inter Milan 12th.

With the bond between Bergkamp (who did not follow de Boer to Inter) and de Boer broken, it is unlikely bringing de Boer to Islington would also see a return of Arsenal’s greatest ever player. So we can basically now scrub de Boer off the list.

Jurgen Klopp

A long term favourite for many an Arsenal fan. If there was a checklist of what you wanted from a manger, Jurgen Klopp would have ticked every single box.

At Borussia Dortmund he built the club into a European powerhouse. Finding unearthed gems and turning them into superstars. He was basically Arsene Wenger, but 20 years younger. Since he joined Liverpool, they have been transformed.

There will still be question marks around him as to whether he can make Liverpool consistent title challengers, and win trophies with them, but he has shown himself as adaptable and is doing a good job there.

For me, he would still be on the list of Arsene Wenger replacements. Why can’t we poach him from the Scousers?

David Moyes

When I put David Moyes on my list, he had been at Everton for 10 years. Often getting them to bat above their weight, with 8 top 8 finishes in a row, including 3 top 5, he was at the time the best British manager around.

With his record of developing youth (the likes of Wayne Rooney, Jack Rodwell, Ross Barkley) he was set to get an opportunity at a big job, despite having failed to win a single trophy with the Toffee’s.

He went to Manchester United, didn’t last the season (in hindsight probably unfairly sacked), had a stint in Spain with Real Sociedad, where he was sacked with a 28% win ratio, and now finds himself at Sunderland playing boring, losing football.

Not only will he probably never get a top job again, you have to wonder where his next move might be as well.

Owen Coyle


It is unbelievable that 5 years ago people were calling for Owen Coyle to be next Arsenal manager. Based on what, I am not really sure.

Yes, he took Burnley up, took them to a League Cup semi-final (beating Arsenal and Chelsea on the way) and yes, Burnley won their first top flight home game in 33 years 1-0 against Man U, but it was, and is, laughable that the words “Owen Coyle” and “Next Arsenal Manager” were uttered in the same sentence.

Five years and 4 managerial jobs on, including a stint in America, Coyle now finds himself at Blackburn Rovers.

I read somewhere recently that, after being at Burnley, Bolton & Wigan, he is attempting to destroy every club in the Greater Manchester region.

Gary Monk

Was not on any sort of list very long. Basically his Swansea beat Arsenal twice in a season. Some idiots said they would take him as next Arsenal manager – the type of folk who would take anyone to replace Wenger, their hatred of the man is so high.

He got sacked and is now at Leeds United.


Up tomorrow: Jose Mourinho, Diego Simeone, Roberto Martinez and More


David Moyes and the implications for Arsenal

Sorry for the late blog today. Thought I would leave it a bit to let yesterday’s Liverpool Myths Exposed blog really hit home.

And how it has hit home. The Scousers, true to form, have basically justified everything written with their bleating. They filled up the comments section on this site, as well as ensuring that both SheWore’s and my own twitter mention’s were kept busy on the bank holiday Monday. Guess the truth hurts them.

My next sentence was originally going to be ‘anyway, back to Arsenal’. But it is impossible to ignore today’s big news, that David Moyes has been sacked.

The David Moyes saga has highlighted 3 factors that Arsenal need to take into account as, and when, Arsene Wenger leaves.

1) Do not listen to the fans – Last summer, before being appointed by Manchester United, he was top of the list for many an Arsenal fan to replace Wenger. And bring Felliani too. How many now are calling for Wenger to go as Moyes is available again? Very few, if any.

Recently, many an Arsenal fan have called for Roberto Martinez to come in, and bring Ross Barkley with him. De ja vu anyone? Whilst fans are passionate, and are the most important factor of a football club, they might not be the most knowledgeable. Let’s leave it to the board to pick Wenger’s replacement, hopefully using the 4 criteria he must fulfil, and hopefully they get it right.

2) Better the devil you know – Yes, Wenger is doing an average job at the moment. Yes, we have not won anything in 8 years. But that does not mean we should rush out and replace him. It is important that we get the right man in, and do our research when deciding who that man is.

As Manchester United have shown, if you get the wrong man in, the consequences can be disastrous. In the hope of saving his job, Moyes spanked millions on Mata, millions on Felliani, and gave Wayne Rooney a massive pay rise and contract. Only to be sacked. This ties up a lot of money for the next manager.

Add in that David Moyes is due to get £10m compensation payout, getting in the wrong man can be a costly exercise. Over the years, Chelsea have spent nearly £100m replacing managers. Whilst we might be cash rich at the moment, getting in the wrong man can be costly.

Whilst Wenger is perhaps not the best manager for Arsenal at the moment, he is the devil we know. Better to keep him and finish 4th, then replace him and finish 7th.

3) Wenger should not chose his own replacement – David Moyes was Sir Alex Ferguson’s man. He told the Manchester United fans to trust in him and give him time. It was the wrong decision. The outgoing manager should never pick his own replacement, no matter how great a job he has done.

Rumours are that Fergie deliberately picked Moyes as he knew he would fail, therefore reinforcing how great Fergie was. Whilst this is likely to be ludicrous, these types of rumours can be detrimental.

Too make matters worse, Fergie remained in the shadows as part of the Manchester United set up. Were Wenger to pick his own replacement, then move upstairs to be director of football, his shadow would cast long and hard over the replacement.

Not only should Wenger not be picking his replacement, when the time comes for him to go, he should step away from the club completely.


So what is my opinion on Manchester United? They got rid of Moyes due to lack of Champions League football. This means they pay out less compensation. They realised they got in the wrong man, so have sacked him swiftly ensuring the least amount of compensation paid. Why give him another year, where the highest they’d likely finish is 4th, and still have to sack him for more money?

With Luis Van Gaal available, he will surely come in next summer, scuppering Spurs plans – although they’d surely go for Moyes. With Van Gaal, Manchester United would have a very good manager with a lot of international draw. I would not be too surprised to see his first signing be Arjen Robben.

And what does this all mean for Arsenal? Other then getting to laugh at the Mancs, it highlights further just how careful we have to be when replacing Arsene Wenger.