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