Tag Archives: Everton

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

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Bournemouth, Booing Sanchez, Title Rivals and Everton

Bournemouth

We won, expected us to win, we did what was expected.

A bit like I expected us to lose at Stoke and Liverpool, Saturday was a routine win. Not much to get excited over.

Good post-game drink up though.

Booing Sanchez

Title Rivals

Early doors I know, but Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea look streaks ahead of everyone else this campaign. I expect United and City to start breaking away as their first XI’s and squads are incredible. Chelsea will fall away due to a thin squad – there last two title triumphs have been due to being able to keep a core 14 players fit.

With regards to everyone else, it is much of a muchness.

Thousands of column inches have been written about Arsenal’s crisis. And things are not great. But also a lot has been written about how great Tottenham and Liverpool are. That they are upwardly mobile, forward thinking clubs. 1 point splits the 3 clubs after the first 4 games.

It just shows how the media can spin your perspective on things. Arsenal are not as bad as many make out. Liverpool and Spurs are not as good as they make out.

Expect it to be close between all 3 for 4th place spot.

The caveat is however that Arsenal will not be in the title race this season. It is OK being like Nelson Muntz and pointing and laughing at others misfortune, but we are in a bad position. We should be talking about competing with City, United and Chelsea, not small clubs like Liverpool and Spurs.

Everton

Talking of small clubs, it seems to have gone unnoticed about how poor Everton have been this season.

The talk over the summer was about brilliant they had been. Their new majority shareholder – Arsenal’s ex share holder Farhad Moshiri – had breathed new life into the Scouse club. Attracted massive new investment and made funds available to buy in players.

And they bought in a lot of players. 14 in total. £133,100,000 spent. There was talk about how they would be a threat this season. That they were showing Arsenal how to do it. That with a top manager and funds spent, they would be challenging for the top 4.

After 4 games, they have 4 points.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have both spoken in the past about buying too many players. Admittedly Arsenal did not buy enough this summer, but I laughed in August when people were demanding the club buy an additional 5 or 6 players. They pointed at Everton as a club doing it the right way.

But the fact is, Everton were like Spurs when they lost Gareth Bale. They sold their best player (Romelu Lukaku) and replaced him with a load of mid-table averageness.

4 points in 4 games and just 2 goals scored. Well done guys.

Keenos

 

Who would Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain start central midfield for?

So Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has turned down a move to Chelsea.

According to the BBC;

Oxlade-Chamberlain believes the Blues planned to use him at wing-back, and his primary reason for wanting to leave Arsenal is to play in central midfield.

This backs up the thinking that I have had all along with Oxlade-Chamberlain, that he thinks he is a better player than he is. That he sees himself as an action man central midfielder at the highest level. He has delusions of grandeur.

He is not good enough to play central midfield for Arsenal, so what makes him think he can play their for Chelsea? In fact, going through the top sides, who would he play central midfield for?

Oxlade-Chamberlain is not a central midfield, so the reality is there are 3 positions he could play. Box to box, attacking midfield, or as a winger.

Would he get into any top sides playing this position?

Chelsea

Box to Box – Recently signed Tiémoué Bakayoko will partner N’Golo Kante in central midfield, with Cesc Fabregas backing them up.

Attacking Midfield / Winger – Eden Hazard, Pedro & Willian.

Chelsea might not have many options in their dangerously thin skin, but the options they do have are all better than Oxlade-Chamberlain. He would provide good cover for Bakayoko, Fabregas, Hazard, Pedro & Willian, but, like at Arsenal, he will find himself at right wing back, then back up for positions further forward.

Tottenham

Box to Box – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a very similar style of play to Mousa Dembélé, but is not as good.

Attacking Midfield / Winger – Christian Erickson and Dele Alli are guaranteed starters. Son Heung-min and Moussa Sissoko are options for the other wing if Spurs play 4 at the back. They are a similar level to Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Oxlade-Chamberlain might get a chance to play for Spurs if they play 4 at the back, but the favoured formation at the moment is 3 at the back. That leaves Oxlade-Chamberlain in the same position as at Arsenal, playing right wing back.

Manchester City

Box to Box – Central midfield options of Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, İlkay Gündoğan, Fabian Delph and the option of playing Kevin De Bruyne deeper.

Attacking Midfield / Winger – The aforementioned Kevin De Bruyne, plus David Silva, Bernard Silva, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus.

Manchester City have an abundance of options in midfield and attack. Oxlade-Chamberlain would not even get into their 2nd team

Liverpool

Box to Box – Georginio Wijnaldum is the type of player Oxlade-Chamberlain could become, but the Dutchman is better. Chuck in Emre Can and Oxlade-Chamberlain would be 3rd choice. They have also just spent a world record fee on Naby Keïta, due to join next season.

Attacking Midfield / Winger – Even without Coutinho, Liverpool had enough going forward to destroy Arsenal at the weekend. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane were electric on the wings. Add in Adam Lallana.


The side Oxlade-Chamberlain wants to play for. But do they even want him? They are also targeting Thomas Lemar. They have better options in their squad, and better options set to sign.

Keenos