What was my reaction to hearing Unai Emery had been sacked by Arsenal? “It’s about time.”
I know that seems harsh, and it isn’t easy being Arsenal manager, but after seven games without winning, and the shocking things we saw in the Frankfurt game, it had to happen. Emery had to be sacked, it’s as simple as that.
The behaviour of the players, the team spirit, the selection, the substitutions, everything was wrong.
And when you put yourself in the position of the owners and the shareholders, and you see an empty stadium, you know you’re losing money – and that was the last straw for Emery.
But the players need to stand back and look at themselves in the mirror with reality and honesty. It’s not just Granit Xhaka, and I don’t want to talk about him because he’s going through a difficult time, but it’s the whole squad.
Teams have bad games, it’s normal, but the way this team changed after half time, the players’ reaction, I don’t understand it at all. It was shocking. There was no desire against Frankfurt, and that’s been the case so many times this season.
Everyone who loves Arsenal has been thinking the same thing recently, with everything that comes out of the club and that we see on the pitch – we don’t know what is going on with this team.
I really hope, and believe, that the players will understand the gravity of this situation. This is my big hope. I still believe they have quality, but they are lacking confidence, they don’t know how to play together.
Ljungberg, Nuno, Arteta…Vieira?
We need a new manager to come in and change the mentality of the dressing room. Bring the team spirit with anger and what it means to wear the Arsenal shirt. To put the players on the pitch with confidence. Because things can change.
Freddie (Ljungberg) knows the team very well, inside the dressing room, but I don’t know what exactly he can do as a manager, because this is his first time.
Also, while all the mess was going on with the club, we didn’t hear anything from him. I’d have preferred that he’d communicated at that time.
So I’m not convinced he can be in charge for the long term.
I’m very impressed with what Nuno is doing at Wolves. Their progression has been perfect. I really like him as a manager, he has the right mentality for the club, and the results – after a slow start to the season – have been excellent at Wolves.
As for Mikel Arteta, there’s a reason why Pep Guardiola asked him to join at Manchester City, and that’s a very, very good sign. I really respect Guardiola’s judgement. To me, it says that Arteta definitely has the personality to be Arsenal manager.
They are amongst Paddy Power’s favourites to get the job, and they’d both be a good choice, but I would prefer to see Patrick Vieira on the bench.
He’s been managing for several years now and what he’s doing with the young players at Nice is impressive.
On top of that, we need to get the Arsenal brand back – in terms of playing style and club spirit.
Arsenal isn’t the same any more, I don’t recognise this club, we are losing it. I think some people will regret Arsene Wenger leaving, but Patrick can give us our identity back.
Next permanent Arsenal manager
5/2 – Freddie Ljungberg
3/1 – Nuno
10/3 – Max Allegri
6/1 – Mikel Arteta
6/1 – Mauricio Pochettino