The case for Ancelotti ……..

And so the search for a new coach just got very exciting with Ancelotti now released by Napoli.

Why shall we try to convince him to join us?

  1. He knows the EPL and he has been successful here. He also likes London.
  2. He is an experienced coach that comes with winning pedigree, having won the EPL, Italian league, French League and German league and has won a few Champions Leagues too.
  3. He is the type of coaches that players want to play for so he is not only going to have the current team’s buy-in but his name will also be able to attract new players.
  4. He is very tactically astute and likes his teams to play attacking football with a balanced squad.

From the start, he was my preferred option BUT he needs to work with Freddie in his staff.

So shall we finally hire an Italian coach? He gives me more confidence than Sousa for example



73 Responses to The case for Ancelotti ……..

  1. Thank you RC78.

    Good god that guy has a miserable face ……….. could only find one pic with him slightly smiling!!!!!!

  2. RC78 says:

    He is know for his eyebrows having a life of their own…

  3. Fat al says:

    Napoli have let him go for a reason, I think they’ve lost their last 6 games. Basically he’s failed at Napoli, I can’t see him doing a lit at arsenal

  4. Sue says:

    ๐Ÿ˜‚ RC… they’ll be a monobrow before we know it!!
    Whoever comes in, will have a helluva job on their hands! I’d like someone with experience.. as this is no time for experimenting… as I’m quite fond of the PL ๐Ÿ˜€

    Back to the previous post, VP.. loved your comment… and I say go for it!! Chris Hoy shaved his legs, I believe! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  5. Sue says:

    It said on Sky.. last night ended Napoli’s 9 game winless run…. ooh sound familiar?!

  6. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RC. Funny but I was going to ask you your thoughts on Ancelotti this morning and suggest you do a mini post on it, but had to nip off for a bit….and lo and behold.

    I have largely been singing from the same hymn sheet as you RC in feeling he may be the most ideal candidate for us, with 1 question I will ask you that I will come to later. I think we can add a point 5 and 6 as to why we should try and persuade him to come:

    point 5: He would be ideal for Freddie to learn from, and with Ancelotti we probably have our best chance of keeping Freddie with us. I actually really see something in Freddie but just not quite the permanent head job just yet. If anything I think he needs protecting from that job (which currently carries a high risk of failure for a variety of reasons) with a view to him being an option in the future when the time is more right.

    I think certain (younger) options as manager would have looked like too much of a sleight, in moving him back down under someone potentially his junior age wise, and he may have chosen to leave us under these circumstances. I don’t see that problem with Ancelotti and think Freddie would see it as an opportunity to work with, and learn from, one of the recent times most successful managers. In short, I want to keep Freddie at the club and also in the first team set up.

    Point 6: As already touched upon, anyone who can move their eyebrows like the great Roger Moore must have something of the 007’s about them so gets my vote.

    My one worry and question RC, and I bow to your greater knowledge on European matters, but why did it go wrong at Napoli? Was it just a one off bad experience with things outside of his control, and he still remains one of the best out there? Or is it that this is early evidence that his era and time has come and gone, and that it will end up being more like the Van Gaal Utd experience?

  7. GoonerB says:

    Sue, I will await RC’s report on what went wrong at Napoli to make final judgement. One thing though to consider is that in Liverpools last 28 games (going back to the final couple of games pre-season) they have 22 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses.

    2 draws were against City and Chelsea in the shield and super cup respectively. 1 draw with Utd in the league, and 1 draw with Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli in the ECL. The only 2 losses in those 28 games….both to Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli. Essentially no-one is beating Liverpool except this guy, and he has just become available.

  8. Sue says:

    Hi GB.. Well that’s sold it for me…. get him in now!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘

  9. GoonerB says:

    RC, all the points you make are valid and major reasons to ensure we get Ancelotti, this recent blip at Napoli aside, which I am sure you will shed light on later ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t think you can have an absolute guarantee with any manager these days that they will be successful and all represent a gamble to varying degrees for varying reasons. However, you can play the percentages and estimate the likely success vs failure rate of any candidate. On the balance of probabilities, with all the evidence at hand, Ancelotti would sit near the top end of probable success, so the gamble seems minimal.

    Perhaps what sells him to me the most is point 4:
    “He is very tactically astute and likes his teams to play attacking football with a balanced squad.” Three individual qualities present in all the best managers.

    We haven’t had all those three qualities at the same time since some time shortly after 2005. Arsene’s teams till 2005 had all three. 2005 till circa 2013 my feeling is that we started to lack in some of those qualities, but Arsene was working under severe austerity and it is hard to fully analyse this in that period.

    On reflection I felt he did us a massive favour by sticking with us in this period, and in reality had us punching above our weight relative to the financial resources at his disposal. He kept us relevant and somewhere nearer being in contention when he likely had no right to do so. I am as grateful to him in this period as I am for the previous silverware laden period.

    From about 2013, as the purse strings were somewhat loosened, we retained an attacking identity but slowly regressed in terms of team balance and tactical astuteness. Even the attacking identity was starting to regress at the end, I believe as the other two factors started to put pressure on our game so we became a bit forced and reactive in our play. However, the attacking identity was still largely evident, even if less so, but the other two were severely lacking.

    This eventually brought about the slow death to our greatest ever managers era, and we moved on to Emery. Despite a couple of purple patches last season it has become apparent that Emery (at least here and now in the EPL) was missing all three. No tactical astuteness, balance, or attacking football was in evidence in recent months.

    So our last 5-6 years has seen us have only one of those qualities for the most part, and more recently none of them. Now we have a golden opportunity to secure a manager who, a recent blip aside, seems to possess all three. What are we waiting for?

  10. GoonerB says:

    Oh and Sue, he apparently likes to include at least 1 Serbian beefcake in his teams, so your period of lecherous ogling will likely be extended ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Jonah 59 says:

    Slight background on Napoli’s recent struggles. Most of Napoli’s recent struggles should be placed squarely at the feet of club chairman Aurelio De Laurentis, a known maverick and film producer. To him this is showbiz and he totally loves to be the center of attention. He summoned the squad to a “boot camp” of sorts known as RITIRO in Italy, where players are kept away from their families and asked to train and work till results/performances improve. Rumor is Ancelotti disagreed with this approach and sided with the players, believing in a different approach to turn their season round. The sacking therefore was short sighted and Napoli will struggle to replicate last season’s performances.

    Ancellotti remains one of the greatest managers of this generation and for all the reasons mentioned by RC already, I would give him the Arsenal job. My own reasons below.

    1. Will have the respect of the dressing room and the larger egos because of his achievements and pedigree
    2. 3 time champions league winner (only Paisely & Zidane are level)
    3. Won league titles in Italy, England (IMPORTANTLY), Germany and France
    4. Has the reputation to attract big name signings
    5. Lastly was my favorite for the job when Wenger left

  12. LBG says:

    Out of sync, sorry, LB
    Ouzi should not be played alongside Torreira as holding MF but in front of Torreira + 1. A significant new plus one is required, but Chambers ( if Holding and Mavrapanos are both fit as centre backs) or, if we must, Luiz will do until we can find an experienced, powerful, creative Vieira/Ndidi type, will have to do.

  13. Sue says:

    Oh my, GB….doesn’t get any better than that ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜„

  14. LBG says:

    Freddie until end of season, Vieira and DB10 then, and get rid of deadwood this Christmas.

  15. Sue says:

    Tierney had dislocated his shoulder – ouch – won’t see him for a while then.

  16. GoonerB says:

    Some last thoughts before I disappear for a while so that others can come on safe in the knowledge they won’t need to engage with me ๐Ÿ™‚

    When I look at our side I see a lot of promise in the team. I recognise that we need maybe a couple of quality additions still, but we have also been playing at about 60% of our potential, so have massive potential for improvement with a change in mindset and the right coaching.

    In attack we have a couple of excellent strikers in Laca and Auba, but as important for me is we now have goal-scoring wing forward options in Martinelli and Pepe, with Nelson and Saka also waiting in the wings. It would be nice if our 2 forwards bought into any new manager and signed extensions, but if not we could get decent money for one or both of them to reinvest in the attack.

    We have young Eddie to come back and young John Jules emerging. If we were to lose both Auba and Laca we could go for another younger emerging striker with the funds secured (like Haaland), or an in their prime one (most expensive option generally, and who is out there available that fits this criteria), or a striker in their twilight but who still has a couple of good years to offer, while we assess the progress of our own young options.

    That latter category could include Cavani, but we could potentially even get Giroud back in. With goal-scoring wing forwards to play either side of him (which he didn’t have properly when he was with us) he could be even more effective for us in the next couple of seasons than he was in his first stint. It would buy us some time to assess what we already have and what we might need to get.

    In midfield we have many good options there already, and many coming through, but are massively imbalanced, primarily because of the deeper midfield position, so it is either an area for a new manager to find a solution from within with Luiz or Chambers, or an area we need to invest in. However this would likely see 1-2 current midfield departures anyway, so some funds should be secured for that investment if necessary.

    In defence I think we need to invest in another top CD even with Holding, Chambers, and Saliba arriving. We should however be able to offset some of that with departures in the form of Socratis and Mustaffi.

    Our keeper situation is absolutely fine and I am actually quite happy with our FB’s, particularly on the left (injury aside) with the Tierney / Kolasinac options. If anything we actually slightly weaker on the right. Despite 3 options (in whichever order you prefer) in Belli, AMN, and Chambers we seem to be lacking a bit of quality currently.

    However I do believe that the quality is in both Belli and AMN, but it doesn’t look to me like their coaching in how to improve their game in that specialist role has been good enough. In Ancelotti you would have a manger who boasted Cafu and Maldini for long stints at Milan, so I would make a guess that he could get a lot more out of our 2 young RFB options from work with them on the training ground.

    In essence we may only need to get 1 CB (Koulibally RC?) and the other improvements will come from tweaking the team so that it is more balanced, and improved coaching individually with players and as a team unit…..but, if players are to be leaving, then we should get decent funds, so the net outlay on quality replacements may not have to be too great.

  17. RC78 says:

    You have to look at Ancelotti’s overall tenure at Napoli and not only the last few months. Ancelotti did a great job at Napoli and really gave Juventus a run for their money. He took over from Sarri seamlessly, the players really liked him and some players really improved under his tutelage. So what went wrong? As mentioned above,
    – part of the issue is with the board and the President of the club who are used to flexing the muscle and acting tough. The club is very sound financially and did well in the last 5-7 years especially but the President/Board are not in touch with their squad – they need to understand that players also need to grow and develop – which may mean letting a player go. Allan, Callejon and Mertens wanted to leave this summer and the board blocked them although they had secured that Koulibaly stays on. So you start the year with at least 3 frustrated players…this is not good for the atmosphere. Then the board basically goes mental at the results and pushes for a military type of retreat and goes on not to pay players who disagree with them/their decision. Ancelotti sided with his players;
    – the fans are mafiosi. The fans went on to players’ houses and basically threatened to hurt their families (Allan, Mertens…);
    – some teams in the Calcio got better (Inter, Roma, Lazio) and some are overperforming (Bologna, Atalanta) or are just harder to beat (Fiorentina for example).

    All and all, you can see that the squad played very well in the Champions League but for some reasons (listed above), they did not apply themselves to the same level in the Serie A. It s a typical case of a team that does not trust the Board/President. Ancelotti stood his ground and as a result, his situation was untenable under Laurentis given Laurentis character. Gattuso is replacing Ancelotti and I wish Gattuso good luck but ultimately, he will be given the same role as in Milan – namely, ease some players out quickly and bring in fresh faces. Gattuso is good at this – he did it more or less successfully in Milano and his ruthlessness kindda helped Milano when he was in charge but especially after he left, because the squad that he left behind was mostly composed of players that wanted to play for AC Milan. So mark my words, Gattuso will not stay too long (maximum 18 months) and he will then be replaced by a top coach (Allegri? Klopp?…) so you can expect Napoli to do well again beginning of the year 2021.

  18. GoonerB says:

    LBG, Freddie and a Vieira/ DB10 combo all still carry a higher risk. I love them all as great legends of our club but there isn’t the evidence that any of those would succeed. Even Vieiras longer stint as 1st team coach hasn’t been shining enough or in an environment that leads to managing a club at the top end of the EPL as the next natural step. His experiences and successes to date feels like it still places him 2-3 rungs down the ladder. I also think the slide this season has completely altered the landscape in what we need.

    If we had gambled on one of those options instead of Emery at the very start, or even at the start of this season, we would have had some leeway to see how it went. However, that time has been used up, as we are now in a rather dire situation, and we don’t have that leeway anymore. There is no absolute guarantee anywhere, but we have to have something more that is more certain to turn this shite-fest around at this stage.

    Freddie, Vieira, DB10, Arteta, BFG, Henry or any combination of those should be considered as viable options for the future (when the club is more stable) but right now we are in the merd, despite that recent win, and we have just come off the back of our banker games for accruing points, and haven’t, and now enter a trickier run of fixtures where points will be harder to come by.

    As I said no certainty with anyone, but a gift horse has just presented itself to a struggling top club like ours, and if we turn that down for a different route we could feel the repercussions for a few years.

  19. RC78 says:

    If Ancelotti comes and if he can bring with him Koulibaly, Allan and even Mertens, we re good ๐Ÿ™‚

    CB – we need an upgrade. Koulibaly would be Top 8 CBs in the world in my books.

    DM/CM – we need an upgrade. Allan is a good option but so would Fabian Ruiz (although he seems destined to Real or Barcelona). Allan is more of a CM than a DM but he is very good at recovering balls, breaking play and tackling. He is also a good passer of the ball. He is super active and although he is not the fastest player, he is not slow either. He is definitely an upgrade on Torreira and Xhaka. As part of a double-pivot, he would do well maybe with Douzi or even Luiz.

    Mertens – we have a good striking force but Mertens would bring this extra cunningness. The guy is quick, good with one-twos and link up plays and has a good delivery in terms of crossing and long shots. I think he d work wonders with Laca for example.

    Kouli is worth 85 Mln, Allan 45 Mln, Mertens 20 Mln (but he is free in June so…you could get him for less).

    If Ancelotti joins us and he manages to bring these players or even Malcuit, Ruiz, Zielinski, we d be doing well.

    I think we need two players NOW (Kouli + Allan) and we can definitely let Mustafi or Sok and Xhaka leave this X-Mas if we get these two players.

    Leno – Bello, Kouli, Chambers/Holding/Luiz?, Kola – Allan, Douzi – Pepe, Laca, Martinelli – Auba

    Leno – Bello, Kouli, Chambers/Holding/Luiz?, Kola – Douzi, Allan, Willock – Pepe, Martinelli – Auba

  20. Rasp says:

    Thanks RC. Previously I had been against the idea of Ancelotti, but you make a compelling argument.

    If he’s a man who can get the players and the supporters on board then I’ll be happy. Obviously having a man of his reputation as manager will help in attracting new players.

    Assuming we lose Auba (and maybe Laca) in the summer, we’ll need to be seen as a club who are on the up (meaning solidly top 4 and in the CL) and returning to former glory to be an attractive proposition to new players.

  21. seedeee says:

    I wasn’t initially convinced by Ancelotti but reading these comments have changed my mind! Let’s hope the Arsenal board also frequent AA…

    I’d imagine he wouldn’t be cheap, but you’re paying for the higher end of the performance-probability table as mentioned above so in my mind it’s fully justified.

    In any case, it would be totally out of the question for the board NOT to consider him, and so in doing so, should understand his attributes fully and as a result come to the obvious conclusion ๐Ÿ™‚

    Is it fate?

  22. RC78 says:

    Sousa, Pochetinno, Martinez, Arteta, Ancelotti, Vieira, Marcelino being considered by Arsenal board.

    Poch will not come to us.
    Vieira won’t move this X-mas and Sousa would also be a hard get.
    Martinez unlikely to get him – he s got a Euro coming up with Belgium.
    Arteta, Ancelotti, Marcelino would be the easer to get and then also as of today, Sampaoliโ€ฆ

    So for me the choice is easy…Not getting Ancelotti would be a massive mistake by the board. I think Freddie can learn tons with Carlo and I d even argue that Lehmann, Campbell and Anelka should join as staff and work under Carlo and learn from him. In 2 years time, they could replace him and Arteta and Vieira would also be good candidates so we could have a pool of AFC legends that could take the club forward.

  23. Sue says:

    Bloody hell.. thinking ahead to tomorrow (& Sunday) Tierney out… Mustafi suspended tomorrow… Bellerin out (assessed for Sunday)… Holding out… Ceballos out….Pepe out tomorrow (assessed for Sunday)… Xhaka will miss both. Injuries are in full flow ๐Ÿ™

  24. GoonerB says:

    Ok, so not gone quite yet ๐Ÿ™‚ That last paragraph explains it perfectly RC, and I am in total agreement.

    I also buy into both Koulibally and Mertens with one coming in to strengthen the deeper third and one the final third. I don’t however feel I agree on Allan from your description in your prior comment.

    Playing mostly as a midfield 3, I think we are already trying to cram in too many players who description would be they aren’t really defensive midfielders but are CM’s who put in a defensive shift and have a decent passing range. Douzi and Torreira are very decent and would probably be far better with the right specialist DM alongside them. Willock and ESR, despite some up and down games, still could turn into very special players as well in that position.

    All those 4 will put in a defensive shift, have ability going forwards and decent passing range as you described with Allan. Even Xhaka has the passing range if he had a holding midfield minder next to him.

    They, as well as Xhaka, have all been asked to do jobs that aren’t really their key positions. You say he is an upgrade but this is far from certain coming from another league. To me he sounds very similar and if he came in and was also asked to play in such an unbalanced midfield or to play as the deepest player which may not suit him, then how long before we are scratching our heads about him as well.

    Not for me another player of that type because we actually don’t know if we need something better than we have already got until we actually play those mentioned above in their best position in a balanced and complimentary midfield, and Allan could just as easily turn out to be a part of a failed malfunctioning midfield as the rest of them and would have set us back ยฃ45m.

    We are not a club that can do this unless it is really clear that this player will alter our play dramatically. Someone like Ndidi for instance I feel would have a dramatic effect on our team so a player like him is far more important if we don’t have a solution from within in Luiz or Chambers. Allan feels like unnecessary expenditure in the wrong area for me that doesn’t really strengthen where needed, a fault that has plagued us for many years.

  25. RC78 says:

    I agree that I d take Ndidi ahead of Allan. However, Allan is much better defensively than Xhaka and Torreira…so if Xhaka leaves, getting Allan is definitely an upgrade and he gives us more options in the middle because if you play him and Torreira together for example, I d feel better with Ozil playing in front of them.

    @Sue – Injuries are mounting up but tomorrow, we should find a right balance between youth and experience and I think we can do that:

    Martinez – Medley, Sokratis, Mavro – AMN, Douzi, Luiz, Willock – ESR – RN, Saka

  26. RC78 says:

    @GoonerB – Allan could be like our Wijnaldum in a way or Schweinsteiger

  27. RC78 says:

    There you go – a good summary on Ancelotti’s failures and successes since leaving Chelsea

  28. Who would like to volunteer for the prematch tomorrow?

  29. Donโ€™t you just love it when I pop in ๐Ÿ˜‚

  30. RC78 says:

    Based on her recent post, I nominate Sue :-p

  31. Aaron says:

    Ancelotti or Arteta.
    Viera is not ready for the big time. Yes, I know Arteta has not coached, but he is with a master who was won everywhere he has gone, and sees how to achieve success. Side note pup only takes the best teams with the most $. Caveat Emptor…

    Ancelotti has won everything with different types of teams.
    The entire Arsenal organization could learn something from this coach.

    Just go and get the guy!!!!

  32. Sue says:

    ๐Ÿ˜Š and I was going to nominate you, RC ๐Ÿ˜œ

  33. RA says:

    Good Afternoon, People, ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    I had some fish for lunch today and when I got to read AA, I realise that we and the fish are much the same.

    When I say I had fish for lunch, I meant I had very interesting fishy company, not that I ate them.
    I was given some ‘fish’ pellets and instructions to scatter them around the pond to give all the fish a chance to gorge, and even the little guys were able to have a nibble without being lunch for the bigger guys.

    When the pellets were nearly gone, I threw just one to my left, and every fish darted for it. So, like big Sally, I randomly threw another one over my right shoulder and the same thing happened, the pond became a frothing maelstrom of snapping fish.

    Sue is apparently very small, so if she had been around, I would have thrown her in too, and seen what the fish would make of her – but that is just an aside because she hates my beautiful singing. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    Then I came on AA, and was quite taken by a similar behaviour pattern when fishy food was lobbed around.
    RC threw a pellet, with Ancelotti’s name on it – shortened to Anc, (well, GB doesn’t leave much room when he is theorising) ๐Ÿ˜‰ and the AA snappers were on to the pellet of info in a flash with everyone wanting a taste of Anc, and desperately hoping to be convinced that the Anc pellet was for them.

    So, big, bad RA, feels that a little ‘balance’ might be acceptable – or probably not – and here goes.

    Disclaimer: This is not the opinion of some specialist in recruiting football Managers, far from it, and altho I know some of the factual achievements of Anc, and very impressive they are, I have never watched one of his teams on a regular basis, and remain unconvinced that he is the type of manager we should go for.

    This bit won’t take long.

    Ancelotti is somewhat younger than Arsene, but is in the same ball park, and has won championships at roughly the same age as AW did, not that AW won the CL once let alone three times.

    Age is a major factor in whatever walk of life, and there is the inevitability that having reached the apogee of his/her career, there is an accelerating and often cruel descent into the ‘over-the-hill’ reality of life, just ask AW once again how that goes.

    Arsenal have brought in a number of rapidly fading players in recent years, such as Lichtsteiner, Socrates, and Luiz and frankly it has never ended well. So, enough of the ‘last big pay day’ for such players, and god help us, ageing managers too. It just flies in the face of acceptability.

    We need gifted young players with ability to bring into the team, and make Arsenal great again.

    We need to discover and recruit a gifted young coach and give him the necessary players, to make Arsenal great again.

    Young people, whether players or managers, given the opportunity to be special will work their butts off to make themselves indispensable – older players or coaches – who have earned more than they can spend in a lifetime (ร”zil?) can set their own standards of commitment, as they have very little to lose.

    Every year nature culls the previous summer’s beautiful blossom and the new blooms spring up in the following year — we need new blooms, not previous years detritus — come on, you must be as bored as me seeing the same old managerial faces going around and around, usually with limited success, and for me, Ancelotti fits that description!

    Sorry, pardon – but there it is – someone else’s old cast offs are not for me, we need new and fresh talent instead. ๐Ÿคช

  34. RC78 says:

    @Sue – great minds think alike. If you cant do it, I ll try to get smt to peaches tomorrow morning latest

  35. RC78 says:

    RA – good points you are making so who have your favours?

  36. LB says:


    It doesn’t matter that it is out of sync

    We both agree that we need a replacement for Xhaka and we both know that managers have to work with what they have now not what they might get in the new Year.

    So now we need two for Sunday

    If Luiz is picked where do you play Torreira assuming that you would go with the Uruguayan ahead of Guendouzi.

    See the point? Who is more able to be able to augment the attack and possibly get a goal out of all four names and this is a realistic need as the chances of us going behind and having to chase the game are surely very high.

    In fact we are going to see this in action on Sunday as Xhaka is definitely out.

    Is Freddie going to finally stumble upon a way of doing things that is so glaringly obvious to the rest of us.

    He might even try it on Thursday…………….

  37. Sue says:

    ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ would have thrown me in – bloody cheek ๐Ÿ˜†
    Love your stories, RA (or your way of explaining things!! Brilliant, much better than your singing, so please don’t give up your day job ๐Ÿ™)

    So you want the Spanish Ken doll? (aka Arteta)

  38. Sue says:

    I don’t mind either way, RC.. although i was hoping to see another RC masterpiece ๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. Aaron says:

    Ageist much… seriously what is all that about?
    Grandmaster chess champions in their 80’s, Linus Pauling publishing into his 80’s, Tom Brady NFL superbowl qb in his 40’s, and so forth.

    Ancelotti could do this job easily, please…

  40. LB says:

    “Spanish Ken Doll”


  41. LB says:

    It does raise the obvious question of why on earth does anyone think that Arteta is more qualified than Freddie to do the job, what qualifications has Arteta got that Freddie hasn’t?

  42. LBG says:

    Dont agree. All managers in this situation are a gamble. Ancelotti is too old. Youth rules for the future. Noone is coming in and reversing the current disaster. Progression, heart and soul, youth for the future together with established internationals with grit and determination is what I want.

  43. GoonerB says:

    RC, Allan sounds good but still sounds like competition for Torreira, Douzi, Xhaka, Willock and ESR rather than a compliment to them. If he is a better defensive midfielder than Torreira as you say, and maybe the others as well, then he would need to be the defensive cover for those other midfielders, not just sitting alongside them with neither one wanting to cover the other.

    This is what we have been witnessing for some time now, but as you say Allan likes to operate slightly further up the pitch than this, exactly where all the others mentioned prefer to be. It still leaves us missing that complimentary player that is happy to tuck in behind all other midfielders and be the screen in front of the back 4.

    I wouldn’t have a problem bringing in an upgrade on Xhaka and Torreira as a defensive central midfielder rather than a defensive deeper midfielder, but then I feel we should move them both on just due to the numbers we have for that position.

    I would rather invest in Douzi, Willock and ESR in addition to Allan. Moving on Torreira as well as Xhaka doesn’t have to be too far fetched though. I really like Torreira but there were strong rumours about him wanting out as his family weren’t settling, and he hasn’t quite looked the same player this year. Whether that was because Emery froze him out or it is why Emery froze him out (as he didn’t feel the total commitment) I am not sure.

    Maybe we should press the refresh button in midfield and bring in Allan but sell both Xhaka and Torreira (if he is unsettled). Financially it makes it more achievable due to the funds being brought in for our two.

    I have strong gut feelings on Auba wanting out as well, but also Belli and possibly even Laca, although I feel it would be better to persuade one of our two CF’s to stay. Having said that there is potentially a lot of funds to be recruited there that could be invested back into other key areas so maybe we are heading towards a bit of a revamp.

  44. RA says:


    I love it — you ask an hypothetical question about the merits, or otherwise, of why Arteta is more qualified than Freddie Ljunberg?

    Do tell – other than Sue, in yet another hypothetical question, based on a joking assumption, who else has raised that question?

    Did they need your permission?

    To help you, in the unlikely event that my opinion, expressed above, was what caused your usual “why on earth?” question — I never mentioned any such preference in my comment – I was simply promoting a preference for a younger rising managerial talent, as opposed to a possibly waning older manager.


  45. LBG says:

    LB – based on those still standing.


    AM-N(reluctantly)CHAMBERS, SOKRATIS(very reluctantly) Kolasinac( reluctantly)

    Torreira Luiz

    Pepe Aubang Martinelli

  46. LBG says:

    LB If all fit at end of transfer window. (Know this is unlikely

    Leno and Martinez
    Right backs
    New, AM-N, Bellerin
    Left backs
    Tierney, Kolasinac, New
    Centre backs
    Holding, Mavrapanos. Chambers (Saliba, if only)
    Midfield ( holding) Torreira, Luiz, New.
    Midfield (central / creative/box to box) Ouzi, Willock, Smith-Rowe, Ozil
    Martinelli, Pepe, Aubang, Laca, Saka, Nelson.

    Anyone not mentioned, get rid.

  47. I think the pre-match is yours RC ……. you do EL ones so well with your additional European knowledge. Thank you

  48. fred1266 says:

    I think we should keep Freddie until end of the season, let the heads look for a proper coach next season

    Exactly what can we do to save this season do u all think we can finish 4?

    Win FA cup

    Win Europa

  49. Sue says:

    Top 4, Fred? I think we’ll rue all of those dropped points!!

  50. RA says:


    I am totally undecided about who would be the best managerial appointment.

    I think I am leaning towards Barbie Doll. ๐Ÿ˜

  51. LBG says:

    None of those Fred.
    Top eight. Hopefully not in a Europa Cup spot.

  52. GoonerB says:

    LB, I guess the assumption between Freddie and Arteta is that Arteta has been a big part of a winning environment and has been learning from a modern great manager observing how he tactically and mentally prepares a team to win the EPL back to back hitting the 100 point level….whereas Freddie has been observing and learning from…..well you know, not exactly a positive winning environment.

    Of course it doesn’t mean this is how it would play out in reality LB and that Arteta, despite his time with Guardiola, would have anything better to offer than Freddie given that neither have been 1st team coaches. Arteta was my personal first choice initially but I feel right now that our regression and precarious position is such that if an experienced top rated coach was available then maybe we now need to defer a couple of years on our next younger coach.

    LBG and RA I can kind of answer your “Yooffullness is the way to go and the silver haired Roger Moore impersonator is past it” point as one.

    One first thought and question I would bring up is, do all managers have the same point of age when they are past it at the top level, or do some seem to have the ability to change and adapt to the modern game as it itself changes, while others, of the same age, seem to be more stuck in the past and lack that adaptability to change practices?

    That one I think will be subject to individual opinion. Personally I do think that some mangers embrace the new much easier, and then can add their valuable experience to this, while others just can’t let go of what they have always done before.

    Also in the Wenger comparison, Ancelotti is 10 years Arsene’s junior in age and 10 years ago many fans still thought Arsene had loads more to offer. More interestingly Ancelotti is less than 1 year older than Benitez and less than 4 years older than Maureen both of whom would have been on many fans wish list.

    He is also 14 years younger than Heynckes who was also mentioned as a shorter term possibility on here. Now Heynckes at the age of 66 won the treble of the Bundesliga, ECL and German league cup with what many consider as the best Bayern side ever breaking all sorts of records on the way including most points in a season and biggest points margin, most goals scored and the earliest in the season to win the league. They also dumped out Barca 7-0 in the semis of the ECL (before going on to win the final) in what was described (the semi final) as a tactical masterpiece.

    Now I am not saying that Ancelotti isn’t too old now at 60 and that we shouldn’t go a lot younger, but looking at what Heynckes did and Ancelottis more comparible age to Maureen and Benitez rather than Wenger, who is 10 years older, maybe gives another angle to that argument.

  53. GoonerB says:

    Sorry if any of that sounds a tad confrontational or patronising. It wasn’t meant to be. Just chewing the fat over a beer…or at least I will be in 30 minutes ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. Sue says:

    RA.. (Phew!! I vaguely remember you saying something about him, a while back. That’s why I said what I did – didn’t want to cause any grief ๐Ÿ˜ฌ) Barbie doll ๐Ÿ˜‚ That’s going to stick now, although I have to admit, I always call him Ken ๐Ÿ˜‚

  55. Sue says:

    Of the blow up kind, RA?! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

  56. Sue says:

    7-2 again tonight?! Come on Serge!

  57. fred1266 says:

    I will only be ok with Barbie if Ken is assistant manager

  58. LBG says:

    You confrontational bastard!
    I believe Arsenal as a Club are at the most important crossroads since George Graham arrived to manage us and changed……everything. ( Even Wenger built his early success on the ‘back’ of GGs back five!)
    Ancelotti should be able to carry all the future squad, current and to come. ( He has done it all). But how will he be with a new generation of very young talent? Aubang might be convinced to stay a little longer by his reputation, but what about Ouzi, Martinelli, Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Saka, etc?
    I believe all of them will know about Patrick and Dennis. (A brilliant World Cup winner and, despite that prat on Talk Sport, the greatest import to the Premier League ever.) And why not give new experimental managers( much patience and so Kroenke money will be needed) the opportunity to take us up a new ladder ((Wenger-like). Just my take on the mid term future.

  59. LB says:


    We have no idea what Arteta has been learning; he could be just colouring in on that pad of paper he always has in front of him.

  60. LB says:


    Is that a typo or did you mean Guendouzi over Ozil?

  61. LB says:


    Well there is a lesson for me — read comments above before writing my own — I confess that I did not do that before asking the question which, looking back, still seems reasonable.

    “Why on earth does anyone think that Arteta is more qualified than Freddie to do the job.”

  62. LB says:

    The idea of “colouring in” still makes me laugh.

    A friend of mine was on a Sainsbury add with David Becham, there is always a lot of time to kill on those things, so someone asked him what he likes to do to fill time and he said he likes to colour in.

    It brings tears of laughter to my eyes every time I think of that.

  63. LBG says:

    Here’s hoping today’s the day oven-ready Boris Johnson gets burnt to a crisp in his own oven……..and Arsenal win in Belgium.

  64. LBG says:

    No typo. Ouzi is the future. Ozil is approaching his sell by date.

  65. RA says:


    That’s a fair question, and my answer is that I do not know who is better qualified to manage Arsenal betwixt Freddie and Arteta,

    I did admit in my comment that I am not qualified myself to know anything about how to select a football manager.

    I was responding to RC’s Post re Ancelotti – and as you know, sometimes trying to engender comment we (or maybe it is just me) do so with a somewhat tenuous theory, and I was attempting to make it humorous, again. Groan.

    ‘Why on earth’ did you not know that after all these years? ๐Ÿฅบ

    I blame Sue — of course– for choosing Barbie Doll’s brother, Ken!! ๐Ÿ˜

  66. GoonerB says:

    LB ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the concept that the culmination of Arteta’s two and a half years experience as Guardiola’s right hand man is that he has become a grandmaster in dot to dot.

    “So Mikel, will you be able to bring some of that winning mentality and development of promising players into world class ones, and the squad into an EPL challenging one?”

    “Well Edu, I don’t know about any of that, but I’ll tell you what I do know” ……with a triumphant grin…..”I know where number 26 is now. That was a tricky one, lucky I’ve been practicing”.

    LBG, I actually really want to see a promising young manager succeed at Arsenal, and preferably an ex player that will resonate with us all. This is why I championed an Arteta appointment before we appointed Emery, and wanted that until recently, when my mind-set has slightly altered.

    What I don’t want is for their “shot” at it to be at the wrong time, and recently I feel the club has regressed to a point where it heightens the chance of a young promising coach failing, or at least not doing as well as they could have done. Ancelotti should at worse steady the ship and put it in a better place for those that follow.

    You are right that we are huge crossroads. I am with you on short term and medium term plans. I would say our medium term plan is for that progressive younger coach to take us into the future but lets give them a solid base to start this from.

    As far as the youth are concerned, Freddie has done a good job and all the youngsters like him so a combined team of him and Ancelotti feels right in the short-term. By the end of next season we can re-evaluate but hopefully with the club back somewhere near its normal position.

  67. RA says:

    Morning, GB,

    As usual, your comments have been very good, both yesterday and today.

    I think you have put forward a good case re the state of the coaching/team etc and the possible problems that could put too big a pressure on any young manager appointed.

    That could, of course, also badly affect even a more experienced manager, once the impatient fans let rip.

    Having considered the situation, it is obvious we have to write off this PL season, and hope we can do well in the EL tonight.

    So, given that the appointment of a young manager would benefit from understanding fans, I think we have nothing to lose by appointing a manager with an Arsenal background and with promising potential.

    We should go for that — maybe Freddie will do well in what is left of the season — if he is not booted out to appoint Anc — and will make the decision for the Board by turning things around.

  68. VP of Oz says:

    my preferences to coach in order –
    1) Rafa
    2) Freddie
    3) Ancelotti
    3) Arsene
    4) Ange Postecoglou
    5) Joe Montemurro
    6) Sue
    7) Arteta

  69. RC78 says:

    As some of you will be busy voting, I sent out a post to Peaches for tonight’s game ๐Ÿ˜›

    @Sue – you owe me a beer but I d settle for coffee as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. Rasp says:

    Hi folks, apologies for the delay ….

    … New post …

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