Capello or Mourinho?

Let me make an leap of fancy just for this post. Let us say that the naysayers get their wish and Mr Wenger decides to hang up his tracksuit and take the riches on offer in Italy. What next?  Will the Board insist upon a continuation of the current expansive football policy or will they give way to the whims of a new disciplinarian manager?

The two most talked about and successful managers in World football are probably Mourinho and Cappello. What style of football do they both play? Precisely, and what does that tell us? It tells me that a pragmatic and disciplined approach wins matches. Inter’s remarkable season, which matched in every way the success of the Barca team who are supposedly the best team of all time, was based not on possession and beauty, but on defensive stability and team organisation.

Capello was removed from Real despite taking them to La Liga after the longest trophyless spell in their history, primarily because the Madrid fans detested his playing methods. It is already evident from his work with England that Capello is one hell of a manager, and a man who knows how to take an underachieving team and turn them into winners  – fingers crossed  (44 years is too long, but more recent than the Spuds last league success 😀 )

I have no doubts that either of them would take us to glory, but at what cost?

First out of the door would be Rosicky, Eduardo, Vela, Nasri, and Denilson. These are not the type of player whom one can rely upon to create a firm defensive shield in front of the back four. Gallas is too much of a footballing CB, he would be shown the door alongsde Djourou, and replaced with no-nonsense tough CB’s. Mourinho turned Samuel Et’o from an out and out striker to an all action second striker in the Stevie G mould and he looks an even better player than at Barca (which is a major compliment). Could RvP play such a role – I believe so. Theo can develop defensively and could keep his place.

Signing such a manager would change the ethos of Wenger’s years. It would bring with it the attendant media furore and be very expensive in terms of the new signings required to fulfill the wishes of the manager. However, in order to attain the success that Inter/Barca/ Real/Chavs have achieved , such an investment would be  essential.

But a regression to “1-0 To the Arsenal” ?  …….  what do you think?

52 Responses to Capello or Mourinho?

  1. The Law says:

    Mourinho didn’t turn Eto’o into a second striker, he turned him into a right back. Against both Barcelona and Bayern, Eto’o didn’t leave his own half! Now, you may say that defensive discipline wins trophies, but that was true for this season’s Champions League.

    Last season, Barcelona won it by playing expansive, attacking football, and there was no one left grumbling about the manner of their victory. Except Chelsea.

  2. dandan says:

    Nice whimsical post, well put together. But it ain’t gonna happen. What would I do if it did? Easy, Cancel Sky and ESPN. get all the fishing gear out, fill up the 4×4 and say bye bye football.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    The Law. You are right, but my point is that the only way to beat a team who are much more talented is by defensive discipline and team organisation

    I am not grumbling about Inter, they fully deserved their victory, – it is would we be happy with such a change in policy at THOF ?

    It was a variation on the George Graham v AW theme…..

  4. Morning all

    Apologies to anyone who has tried to read the first published post it will appear on another day.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Not for me. My addiction runs too deep. It is for life

    and of course it isn’t going to happen. For a start, the Board won’t pay their wage demands!

  6. th14 says:

    Interesting post. The desire for trophies can do weird things to people’s minds. Yes we do need to be more defensively sound, but not at the expense of entertaining football. We have the basis of a title winning team – we just need to do what we have failed to do for the last 5 years, spend money! If we had spent this and last January, I truly believe we would have been champions. You can’t lose key players for 2/3 of a season and expect trophies without replacing them. We lost RVP for 35 games. What would that have done to the finishing places of Manu and Chavs if they had lost Rooney and Drog for the same period?

    I don’t really know the answer at Arsenal. We say we are serious but don’t put our money where our mouth is. I think AW is a genious, but has his sell by date passed? There seemed to be an underlying discontent this season – maybe the fear of losing Cesc, but we need to do something or the gap will widen. I know that there are lots of people that hate Dein, but when he was at Arsenal we seemed to buy better, more regularly and negotiated properly. AW has taken on lots of the jobs Dein did, therefore he cannot be fully focussed on his ultimate goal.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    th14. Fine comment.

    My only contention being the Dein role taken up by AW. I believe that the arrival of Gazidis has reduced AW’s workload.

    We will discover this summer just how good Gazidis is, though football has changed considerably since DD left. At that time only the Chavs had untold wealth.

  8. kieran says:

    im a arsenal fan but the most respected manager in world football is without any question alex fergusson

  9. jeremy goldsmith says:

    You are spot on regarding defensive stability.Teams that have won trophies generally have a solid defence starting from the goalkeeper .You look at Brazil. Famed for their attacking prowess,they shd have won more wc.
    In 1982, Italy won the wc. First they had a first class goalie in Zoff.They had to play and beat the Brazilians,who were overwhelming favourites, to advance to the sf.Brazil came from behind twice to level the score at 2-2.Then the Brazilian rained shots at Italy but were unabale to score. Suddenly the Italians broke away to score.
    Sounds familiar to epl.Well if you are attacking make sure the defenders don’t go awl like the gunners in the matches against MU and Chelsea.
    I will sign off by saying unless Arsene fixes the defence the gunners can forget about trophies. A strong defence will win you matches/trophies.A strong attack can be neutralized as the the 1982 Brazil/Italy match showed and repeated by Barcelona against Inter.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Keiron I said successful. Capello has won titles in 3 countries as has Mourinho.

    I accept SAF is highly respected. (but not by some on this site!)

  11. Alfa says:

    I like Mourinho as entertainment but not for Arsenal. Not so much because of his playing style but because he is more important than his club, his team, the players and the fans, wherever he goes. He is already talking about coming back to England after Madrid, I think just to prove he can win the Champions League with anyone.

    He is the definition of a proven winner (even more so than Alex Ferguson, Kieran) but he wins for himself.

    Capello I always admired at AC Milan, he seems to have the dignity appropriate to Arsenal along with the talent.

  12. dandan says:

    Raddy I agree we need to strengthen the defence but to employ a modern day GG, Nah I have been there, I did not say I would leave arsenal, I said football, Arsenal is my team and as such if I cant watch them I don’t watch anyone, AW has shown all us long term fans just what horrors we put up with before he came, so its a football playing manager or nothing, Can think of a couple of Dutchmen or in a few years Owen Coyle perhaps, but you might as well suggest Fat Sam if we want defensive football of the 1-0 to the Arse variety

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Jeremy G. You are correct.

    Just look at the team who won the Double under AW. The Back 5 were awesome!!

  14. Big Raddy says:

    DD. God Forbid ……

  15. The bear says:

    Big raddy, which 3 countries has cappello won titles in? Remind me! Spain, Italy, ?
    Clever cnut!

  16. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Thought provoking post Raddy,

    I’d love to see what either of them could do with the team, then go back in time and find a manager who is somewhere between Arsene and Maureen 😉

    Actually, I’d like Hiddink but wouldn’t be disappointed with Capello – for just long enough to fill up the trophy cabinet 😉

  17. Rasp says:

    Hi The Bear, you’re on the wrong site I’m afraid – take that stuff elsewhere or come back after you’ve learnt some manners.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    The bear…… you clearly have writing talent. Would you please write a post for us?

    p.s. SO sorry for not checking on wiki for Capello’s stats.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. The thrust of the post is about our playing style and the attendant difficulties.

    I believe that in order to move forward we have to take drastic steps with the defence.

    The most important being the signing of a top defensive coach.

  20. dandan says:

    Mourinho would make a great coach, just take his teeth out and put 5 rows of seats in Raddy LOL

  21. Rasp says:

    I’m with you on that Raddy. You mean defensive coach rather than head coach then? 😛

    Actually, if I had to say what I thought might be the biggest flaw in Arsene’s make-up, it would be his reluctance to delegate.

  22. dandan says:

    You are bang on Rasp.I think that is self evident. In my experience that usually goes hand in hand with an over reliance on stats and normally indicates a control freak. I think that is a bit harsh for a description of AW and perhaps benevolent dictator would suit his style better

  23. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    Benevolent dictators always fail – to be a dictator you have to be ruthless!

    I prefer to think of AW as trying to get everyone to live in his ‘better football world’ but unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen … maybe his philosophy is 10 years ahead of it’s time?

  24. Zulu Gooner says:

    AW any day. entertainment before “trophy at any cost”. The new financial rules spell the end of the Fergies, Harrys and Mourinhos of this world

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Yes Rasp. A new Defensive coach with proven credentials. Not an ex-player no matter how good a player they were.

    Fans point to Keown and perhaps he could be the man, but I believe we need someone proven, and a short, successful run a couple of seasons ago is not enough IMO

  26. Rasp says:

    I’d go for that Raddy, and whoever it is should sit next to AW on the bench and have input during the game don’t you think?

  27. Rasp says:

    Looks like England could do with a defensive coach right now – 1 nil Japan 😦

  28. blake says:

    nasri? are you sure, you saying that every position needs to be defensive, nasri was our best player 2 years ago, dis yaer he was out injured for abit, and you saying we should sell, i think your nuts. this year denilson was one of the most improved players.

  29. Rasp says:

    Hi blake, welcome,

    Raddy wasn’t saying HE thought that Nasri or the others should go, but that they are the sort of players that Maurinho would replace for more physical defence minded players.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Rasp !

  31. Rasp says:

    Sorry Raddy, I didn’t know you were in attendance, I’ll let you speak for yourself next time 😳

  32. andy says:

    I dont think AW is genius, nor do I believe he needs replacing. What he needs is a re-think. He has got so focused on this pretty-football thing (and more importantly so have some of the team). I think it is just a case of having a couple more leaders on the pitch. A dominant keeper, another one like TV at the back and a disciplined central midfielder and they would do Arsenes work for him and not tolerate the lazy attitude from creeping in during games. IMO its all about personnel. 3 new faces all experienced leaders and all of a sudden its a different story.

  33. Rasp says:

    Excellent comment andy – isn’t it about time you wrote a post for the site?

  34. Big Raddy says:

    What did the England game teach us?

    That Ashley remains a wonderful player, that Huddlestone, Bent are at best average and that Theo is better than Lennon or SWP. At least he knows how to retain possession, though none of them are dangerous enough.

    The first half featured Englands strongest back 4, and they looked like strangers.

    And Hart is the future GK of England.

    We are a long way from lifting the Jules Rimet trophy

  35. kelsey says:

    Afternoon all,

    BR the England game showed us that if England are to do well, they will be reliant on perhaps three key players being on top of their game for the whole tournament Rooney,Terry and perhaps Gerrard or Lampard. .As a team they look pretty disjointed.

    Rumour mill today features Joe Cole and Stephen Taylor.

  36. dandan says:

    Didnt see the England game, can I take it that Theo played well then BR.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Not really DD, just not as badly as the rest of the team.

    Kelsey. I agree, though if Capello can find a way to get Lamps, Gerrard and Rooney to play as they do for their clubs, we can do very well.

  38. musher says:

    do you guys know how much money you have to spend to buy players for Moaninoh to bring u success?

  39. kelsey says:

    Own Goal has defnitely proved he deserves a spot in Capellos squad! He’s had a great season with United, scoring plenty of important goals and now he keeps doing it for England as well. First goal today was top class, not even Rooney could have done it better! 🙂 🙂

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Musher. Real have spent over £50m just to bring Mourinho and his team to Madrid.

    That is before the signings!!

  41. ArsenalEyes says:

    I think that one of our weaknesses over the years has also been our strengths. That is cesc. Great player he is, he was never physically strong enough to compete in centre mid against the likes of Man Utd or Chelski. So perhaps if we get a decent wedge for him, we can buy someone maybe a little less creative, yet stronger.

  42. Martin says:

    Curious how Mr. Wenger’s “ethos” emerged only after the Board over-borrowed to pay for an unnecessary project (the re-development of Highbury) that benefitted the club’s largets shareholders particularly those on the Board far more than it has Arsenal Football Club so far.

    I would suggest and Mr. Wenger has indurectly as well – that the Highbury Re-development had more to do with the changes that he and the club had to make in terms of decreasing investment in the football team while selling profitable assets in the squad and less profitbale highly paid players leave for free.

    And unless the Arsenal Board was prepared to mandate MAJOR changes in out wage structure, the idea that either of these managers would consider taking the job at Arsenal is all but lauaghable.

    People who believe that we are simply dealing with a stubborn penny-pinching manager are being dangerously naive here.

    Its not an accident what’s happening, and unless the Board is pressured to address the problems and correct them they won’t do it – and as long as that happens – the best case for Mr. Wenger’s replacement is maybe David Moyes or Gianfranco Zola. Otherwise my money’s on Tony Adams or Steve Bould as Mr. Wenger’s replacement if the current Board remain in charge and continue running the club as they are.

  43. […] Capello or Mourinho? Let me make an leap of fancy just for this post. Let us say that the naysayers get their wish and Mr Wenger decides to […] […]

  44. plunkitt says:

    what about Hiddink

  45. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Capello was lucky that the Japanese were on target 😆

  46. Alfa says:

    Morning all.

    Plunkitt, I think Hiddink has said that he has finished with club management, he has said he is too old.

    Great manager though.

  47. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    It would be great to get Guuuuuuuuuuus back in Oz. He has cult hero status here 😆

  48. dandan says:

    GG9 beware the wrath of the Poms the Ashes are coming my friend.

  49. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

  50. Flint McCullough says:

    Mourinho is clearly a clever & successful manager. If a late Barca goal, incorrectly ruled out, had gone the other way, he may have been condemned for his tactics in that game. That is the danger of purely defensive football it can be undone in a second by any small lapse.

    It is noticeable that he doesn’t stay anywhere too long probably because his style of motivation cannot be maintained. That maybe typical in Italy or Spain but I personally like a bit of stability & for the men I support to have some sort of affinity for my club.

    Supporters will support “winning” football, that is for sure but after a while you do want a bit more than that, as Abramavic found.

    Capello is a different matter because his AC Milan side of the early 1990s was both attractive & successful albeit with a huge financial advantage.

    So Capello- yes, Jose- no; but for me I would rather keep Arsene than have anyone else. He is Arsenal style pure & simple, much more than just a football manager.

    If being in the top 4 is tough then that is what it has been for the past 5 seasons but it is a long time since Fabio & Jose have had to work under such constraints & unavoidable difficulties, so it is therefore impossible to calculation how they would have done, in such circumstances.

  51. Yes No doubt on him.

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