Tag Archives: Diego Simeone

Diego Simeone fails Arsenal interview

With 12 minutes on the clock, the interview was over. Diego Simeone got up, left the away dig out and left Ivan Gazidis without a decision to make.

Simeone would not even make the short list to replace Arsene Wenger, let alone be given the job.

As he left the pitch, snarling and swearing at all those around him, he showed why most top clubs would not consider employing him.

There is a huge difference between passion and abuse. Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola show passion on the touch line. Simeone just abusing anyone and everyone.

Constantly arguing with the 4th official, abusing the referee, attempting to intimidate the opposition. He is not passionate, he is just abusive. And his back from staff and players take lead from him. Jumping up in unison at every tackle, demanding a yellow card.

Last nights performance by Simeone should not be a surprise. As a player he was cynical, a cheat. He was the type of player I truly despise. A fake hard man. Happy to rake his studs down an opponents Achilles, always leaving his foot in on a challenge, but you go near him, he would throw himself to the ground and cry, no matter how little contact there was.

We all remember David Beckham in 1998, sent off for a petulant kick against Argentina. Guess who the Argentinian was who went down like he was shot? Yes, your correct, Diego Simeone.

He was an expert in the dark arts, and his Atlético Madrid team have been built in the vision of himself as a player.

Now I know they were down to 10 men early doors yesterday, but the behaviour of their players is no different to if they had 11 men.

Simeone has set them up to be anti-football.

10 men behind the ball at all times, wasting time at every opportunity, and throwing themselves to the ground at the slightest of touches.

Some will say “but he wins things” but this is untrue. Atlético have not won a trophy since 2014. And even if they were more successful, there are ways to win things, and it is certainly not the Simeone way.

Look at Manchester City. The free flowing attacking football wining trophies. Arsenal under Arsene Wenger in the early years. Barcelona or Real Madrid now. These are winners, who do it the right way. That is what Arsenal need to aspire too. We should not be looking to dive and time waste our way to a Premier League trophy.

“But George Graham played defensive football” you cry.

That might be true, and Arsenal were often labelled “boring boring Arsenal” under Graham, but one thing he did do was uphold the class and tradition of the club. Simeone is happy to sacrifice who we are and what we represent to impose his own brand of “success” on the club.

Look around world football, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Max Allegri are often considered defensive coaches. But in comparison to Simeone, they play attacking football, football in the right way.

There are ways of playing the game.

I have been highly critical of Klopp in the past. His lack of success in the last 4 or 5 years is similar to Simeone’s, but what he does is he upholds the dignity of the game.

Klopp plays an attacking brand of football, shows passion on the touch line, intelligence off the pitch, and is a gentleman to the press, media and opponents. He understands the history of Liverpool, the passion of the fans, and he has connected and revitalised them. Simeone is the polar opposite of Jurgen Klopp.

The likes of Allegri, Leonardo Jardim, Luis Enrique and Joachim Lowe are the types of men we should be going for. Men who are intelligent, respectful, and will uphold the traditions of the club. And men who are able to do all that whilst being successful.

I have never been a “success by any means possible” type of guy. I want us to win, but believe we are The Arsenal. That there is a right way to win and a wrong way. Simeone only cares about winning. He would happily drag the Arsenal name through the mud to win a game.

He is a man who lacks the class, lacks the integrity to be an Arsenal manager, and he showed it last night.

We are The Arsenal, we do not need to resort to employing someone like Simeone to make us challengers again.


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

So yesterday, we looked at 5 men who were once on most Arsenal fans target list to replace Arsene Wenger. Frank de Boer, Jurgen Klopp, David Moyes, Owen Coyle and Gary Monk. Another day, and it’s still the international break, we look at the next 6, starting with Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho

Even as recently as this summer, Jose Mourinho was wanted by many Arsenal fans. The scenario was simple, are you willing to trade a bit of the clubs class, and ‘The Arsenal Way’ to get in perennial winner Mourinho?

The split was 50/50. Some happy to trade their dignity for a league title, others remaining strong to their principles.

Then this season happened with Man U.

He did it at Real Madrid, he did it at Chelsea, and now he is doing it at Manchester United. Not winning trophies but upsetting players, senior players. Model professionals like Bastian Schweinsteiger. His own singing in Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

He is failing to get the best out of Paul Pogba, signed an over the hill Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and is seeing the demise of club captain Wayne Rooney.

Mourinho has lost his touch. After United he will find himself with no where to turn. Big clubs won’t be on the phone to him or his management. All he has proved is he spends big, and makes favoured agents very rich in the process.

Diego Simeone

When I wrote my blog in 2012, Diego Simeone was 2nd on the list. He had only been at Atletico Madrid for 10 months, and had not even completed a full season. But his stock was high.

Back then, I highlighted a “lack of experience managing in Europe & never having managed a club for any length of time means he has not really shown the European world ‘his’ style of management “. Since then he has done remarkable things at Atletico

Breaking the Barcelona / Real Madrid dominance in La Liga and twice making the Champions League Final.

He has reportedly cut his Atletico Madrid contract short by two years. It now reportedly ends at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Despite his un-Arsenal like persona, I would not be too upset for Arsene Wenger to stay on for one more year, with Simeone coming in to replace him.

Guus Hiddink

Now 69, he is no longer the short-term option that he was back in 2012.

Roberto Martinez

I am going to nail my colours onto the wall early on with this one. I have always found Roberto Martinez to be one of the most overrated managers in the Premier League.

For some reason, he was rated highly for continually keeping Wigan up against all odds. Yet he was also the manger who, year after year, sailed the Wigan ship into the relegation zone.

It is a bit like congratulating a man for saving another’s life after he has deliberately shot him.

He won the FA Cup with Wigan, and took them down, then he got the Everton job.

Evertonian’s hated him. They could not wait to be rid. He could not coach defenders, taught players to pass when they should clear, and he oversaw a gradual deceline in the Premier League positions.

Sacked when Everton finished 11th, despite having the talents of John Stones, Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy, Ross Barkley & Romelu Lukaku at his disposal. He just showed himself up as not being a very good manager.

Now manager of Belgium, it will be interesting to see how he does with their ultra-talented squad, and with Thierry Henry as his number 2, there will be some calls for him to become next Arsenal manager is the pair do well. But none of those calls will be from me.


Michael Laudrup

What is it about Arsenal fans wanting Swansea City managers? Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and Gary Monk have all appeared (or will appear) in this series of blogs. Michael Laudrup makes 4.

Another one added to the list after his Swansea side beat Arsenal. He won the League Cup with the Swans, then got sacked. He is now managing his 2nd club in the Middle East. It might be Dubai or Qatar, I’m not sure. But we have not missed out on him.

Martin O’Neill

Another long term favourite of Arsenal fans. His chance has probably gone. He is now 64 and managing the Republic of Ireland.

The biggest mistake the FA did was not making him manager. It is too late for Arsenal, is it also too late for England? Perhaps


Up tomorrow: Pep Guardiola, Joachim Löw, Unai Emery and more


Rating Le Grove’s future Arsenal managers

Before you read on, have a read of Le Grove’s blog yesterday The End is Nigh for Arsene Wenger.

I have been #ArseneOut for some time, but with a caveat, that it is time to for him to go, but as long as we bring in someone better, someone who can take the club forward. I felt there was no point of Arsene and Arsenal parting ways, for us to go and get in a Roberto Martinez, or Owen Coyle. What would be a Moyesesque decision.

When I first decided on my position, there was only a handful of managers I wanted in. Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti. I felt that no matter what happened this season, Arsenal should have been speaking to one (or all) of these 3 to discuss joining Arsenal in the summer.

Instead, we did nothing. Klopp joined Liverpool. Manchester City spoke to Pep. And Ancelotti spoke to Bayern Munich. All 3 gone, in the matter of weeks. And it concerned me, as looking around the world game, they were clearly the 3 class acts, everyone else was much of a muchness, not exactly an improvement on Wenger.

Then as 2016 rolled on, my personal list grew. As Arsenal performed worse, and Arsene looked more and more out of touch, it meant more managers who could clearly do a better job than Wenger were added. Still no room for Martinez though, who for me is one of the most overrated in the league.

Anyway, this is not about my list, it is about Le Groves. Many of the names on mine cross reference over, some are missing (Conte, Allegri) and there are some I would not have thought of. But it is a valid list.

What Le Grove did not do is analyse the list. He had already write 1,468 words. It is probably a blog for another day. Well this is the other day.

So who are the 10 managers on Le Grove’s list? What are their pro’s & con’s? Are tbhey a realistic fit for Arsenal? This is my view.

Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid

Who? Former Argentine International who until recently was most famous for going down like a sack of spuds after a petulant flick by David Beckham in the 1998 World Cup. Starting his managerial  career in Argentina, he joined Atletico in 2011 where he broke up the Real Madrid / Barcelona cartel winning La Liga in 2014. Made the Champions League Final the same year. Would maybe feel he can not to Atletico any further.

Pro’s: Clearly a winner. He has broken up the Real Madrid / Barcelona dominance not by buying and spending (ala Man City & Chelsea) but by managing well, being tactically adept and motivating his players.

Con’s: Can he speak English yet? At Atletico, he is in a unique job where his ‘bullying’ and ‘aggressive’ management style works. Could this translate to a new club easily?

Arsenal fit: Yes and No. It would be a risk, as he could come in an upset everyone. But it could also be a success. Players are too comfortable under Wenger. Someone who tells home truths might be an adrenaline shot to the heart of our talented squad. If he is proficient in English, has to be high on any list.

Tomas Tuchel – Dortmund

Who? Current Borussia Dortmund manager, he replaced Jurgen Klopp at the beginning of the season. Like Klopp, he was previously manager at Mainz. Has taken a Dortmund team who underperformed last year under Klopp back to second in the table.

Pro’s: Came in to a side which was under performing under its long term manager and turned things around.

Con’s: Only been at Dortmund one season, bit early to start comparing him to Klopp.

Arsenal fit: Not this summer. With just one season at a top club under his belt, he would be a huge risk. Could be one for a few year time, but we do not want to wait that long.

Martin Schmidt – Mainz

Who? Austrian manager who did not have a playing career of note. He has come up through management the hard way. Now at Mainz in Germany (what is it about Mainz and talented managers?), he has got a previously lower to mid-table side to 5th in the table. Just goal difference separates them and Champions League football.

Pro’s: There is something about a manager who has not had a stellar career. Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, they just seem to become very good coaches.

Con’s: Until he took over as Mainz’s head coach in 2015, he had only ever been a reserve team head coach. Not much experience.

Arsenal fit: With just over a years experience as a head coach in at any club, I would not be comfortable him taking on such a big job. Also he is clearly a coach, not a manger. Would Wenger stay to sign the players? Would we want him too?

Jorge Sampaoli – Former Chile

Who? The Argentinean manager who led Chile to the Copa America on home soil. He resigned in January this year. Was shortlisted for FIFA World Coach of the Year in 2015.

Pro’s: Plays a very attacking, and successful, brand of football. Knows how to get the best out of Alexis Sanchez.

Con’s: In his 22 year managerial career, he has never managed outside of South America. Has been out of club management since 2011.

Arsenal fit: Would bring a new view point, a new style of football to the club. Would surely know of a few gems from South America to sign. Clearly a good manager and would come with Alexis Sanchez’s approval. But can he adapt to club management and English football?

Frank De Boer – Ajax

Who? Legendary Dutch centre back, De Boer took over Ajax with them having not won a league title in 6 years. He then reeled off 4 titles in a row. Struggled last year, but back in the title race this. Has previously sniffed around the Liverpool & Spurs jobs. A Premier League move would be on the cards soon.

Pro’s: Would surely bring Dennis Bergkamp.

Con’s: Do we only want him because we want Dennis Bergkamp?

Arsenal fit: Yes. Because I want Dennis Bergkamp back.

Unai Emery – Sevilla

Who? Current Sevilla, former Valencia manager. He has won back to back Europa League’s with the former, and could be on course to win 3 out of 3.

Pro’s: Did a solid job at Valencia under difficult circumstance. Doing an equally sterling job at Sevilla.

Con’s: Knocked out of the Champions League group stages this season, although it was a group which contained Manchester City, Juventus and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Arsenal fit:  Would be a step up from his current job at Sevilla. I was surprised he was still just 44 (he seems to have been around for a long time). Certainly a good manager who carries no ego. Would be a good option.

Laurent Blanc – Paris

Who? Former France captain. Former France manager. Now in charge of PSG.

Pro’s: Managed at the top level with France and with PSG. Used to dealing with big ego, big players.

Con’s: Is he actually any good? Got to the QF of Euro 2012 with France. He might be used to dealing with ego’s, but he is not very good at dealing them. I could manage PSG to the title.

Arsenal fit: No.

Ronald Koeman – Southampton

Who? Over 600 games in management, he won it all as a player. Now at Southampton doing a remarkable job taking into account all their top players were stripped away from them.

Pro’s: Vastly experienced, used to working at the highest level. Will command instant respect with what he has won.

Con’s: In management for 16 years, why has a top club not yet taken the risk on him?

Arsenal fit: 2 years in the Premier League, he knows what it takes. Question mark over if he is good enough for the top, top level. Possibility that he would bring Bergkamp across. Would be a good choice.

Steve Bould – Arsenal Assistant

Who? Former Arsenal centre back who played 372 times for the club. Has been at Arsenal for a long time working his way through the youth systems.

Pro’s: Knows the club. Would be a seamless transition from Wenger to Bould.

Con’s: But do we want a seamless transition. We need something different, not more of the same.

Arsenal fit: Would be good to keep around the club in a Pat Rice role to help the new manager, but not as manager.

Ernesto Valverde – Athletic Bilbao

Who? I have no idea

Pro’s: I have no idea

Con’s: I have no idea

Arsenal fit: Probably Not. I have no idea.


From Le Grove’s list, I would happily take Simeone, Emery, Koeman & De Boer.

Let us know your thoughts