Tag Archives: Joachim Löw

Arsenal look to Germany to replace Arsene Wenger

In the 3rd part of what has become a bit of an epic mini-series in this extended break between the AC Milan game and whenever the hell we play next, we round off who should replace Arsene Wenger by looking at who would be the best option as a People Manager.

If you have already missed parts of these articles, which have been labelled “The blogging version of the Peaky Blinders” then the rest of the episode are available on Catch Up.

We started by discussing what sorts of managers there are in the world. This came from a discussion I had in the pub with some mates over the lack of real top coaches in world football at the moment. And that top sides seem to employ managers who can cope and mould the egos of players, rather than improve them.

There are clearly two types of managers in the world, the People Manager and the Head Coach.

Depending on what you believe we need, and where we sit in the football spectrum, governs who you should be demanding we go for.

For those fans who want to see us develop players, rather than simply sign the best, Leonardo Jardim comes out as number one target. A brilliant coach who has shown on multiple levels that he is ready for a job like Arsenal.

But today we look at the complete opposite to Leonardo Jardim. A man with a relatively poor club coaching record, but has proven on the international stage that he can manage and mould some of the best players in the world into a successful team.

When Raul Sanllehi said: “Ivan explained the ideas he has got for the club and the people he wants to bring in, it was impossible to turn it down” at the recent Fans Forum, that was also attended by Ivan Gazidis and Mark Gonnell, He could have been talking about this man.

Joachim Low took over as German team national manager from Jurgen Klinsmann in 2006. He inherited a side that had just made the semi-final of the World Cup. Over the next 10 years, he would nail himself to the mast as the undoubtedly the best manager in international football.

In his first international tournament, he saw his side lose the 2008 European Championship Final to a brilliant Spain side.

In 2009, he saw the Germany Under-21 team win the UEFA European Under-21 Championship. With an ageing senior side, containing the likes of Michael Ballack, he realised quickly that he needed to integrate the talented youngsters that won that tournament into his senior squad.

The likes of Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer.

2010 saw Germany reach another World Cup Semi Final, and 2 years later they made the European Championship Final. Then in 2016 they reached the promised land.

In 2016, Germany destroyed all as they went on to win the World Cup.  Memorably beating hosts Brazil 7-1 in the final.

Germany are favourites to win the World Cup this summer, and Low has a contract signed until 2020, but he might feel time has come this year, after 12 years in the job, to move on.

At Germany, he has not really had to improve players. He inherits top players from clubs, and has had to mould them into a formation and motivate them to success.

Managing Germany is a bit like managing a modern super club.

You do not need to overly improve your current players, you just need to get the best out of them. Get the tactics right, and keep everyone happy.

This is why Low’s poor club career is insignificant.

At club level, he never managed a top club. He clearly struggled at a lower level, to improve players. People are suited to a certain position, a certain club.

David Moyes was brilliant at Everton, but struggled when he took the step up. Likewise, Pep Guardiola has done it at Man City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona, but could he do it at Everton? Probably not.

Arsenal need to make the move forward as a super club, and Low could be the man to lead that.

When you look at the men in Arsenal’s backroom, many of whom have only recently been bought in, there is a massive Bundesliga / German link.

Sven Mislintat has recently joined the club as Head of Recruitment. Per Mertesacker is set to take over the academy.

Then you have Shad Forsythe. The American Head of performance spent 10 years working with the Germany national team and was part of the coaching set-up during their 2014 World Cup success. Low knows him, he knows Low.

Our playing side also has a German / Bundesliga feel to it.

Mesut Ozil,  Shkdoran Mustafi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolašinac have all played in Germany at some point in the career. Ozil and Mustafi have played under Low in German.

Arsenal are also heavily linked with German goalkeeper Bernd Leno as a replacement for Petr Cech.

It just feels like a natural fit for where the club is at the moment.

A bit like when Wenger joined the club in 1996, Arsenal ended up with a Gaelic feel to it on and off the pitch, Low would be coming in to a club that already has plenty of Kraut’s in the set up.

Joachim Low could be the man to get the best out of what is a very talented squad.


So who should be next Arsenal manager?

Keenos

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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

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