Where have all the managers gone….

By Walter Broeckx

Sometimes the strangest things can lead to a new article for Untold. I was sitting in my chair the other day listening to the radio when the old song “Where have all the flowers gone” originally from Peter Seeger came on. For some inexplicable reason it suddenly sounded in my head the lines: ‘Where have all the managers gone’. Meaning all those managers that the aaa have said that we had to get and kick Wenger out.

Over the years it rather has grown in to a long list. I don’t try to be complete but I just want to give a short list of the managers that people have told us that were much much better than Wenger.

At one point in time they shouted at us loyal supporters of club, players and manager, that we should sack Wenger and get ‘the better one’. Sometimes the shouting was even after only one win against Arsenal but that is completely in line with the behaviour of some fans who only look at the last match and even at just the last touch of a player to decide if he is good enough or not.

Let us see how they have done.

Villas-Boas: When he won in his only year at Porto all and everything there was to win,  he was hailed as the new Mourinho. No, as the more positive Mourinho as he did it with a much more attacking style than not-boring Mourinho.  However his tenure at Chelsea didn’t last long.

Then he went to Tottenham and  his spell was a bit longer there. In his first season they even made a historic gap but as usual Wenger got the better of Tottenham at the last day of the season. In the days of Tottenham being in front of us, lots of Arsenal supporters told us we should have gone for Villas-Boas. But at the end of the day Wenger was the far superior manager.

Pochettino: Last season at Southampton he was hailed as the new Messias in football land. And we do admit he didn’t do too badly at Southampton. And they had a good result against Arsenal so he had to be a great manager. They finished 8th in the last season he was there and then he went to…yes Tottenham.

Oh, how they would flourish under this manager. And at the start of February we could see the last uprise of ‘what a great manager he was and how much better he was then Wenger’. That was when Tottenham won their match against us at their ground.  But since then it once again showed that in the long run Wenger is better.

Moyes: I think his name has been around for many many years when it comes to saying that a manager is better than Wenger. Moyes was praised for keeping Everton in midtable. Okay that might have been a good thing from him but saying  as a result that he was better than Wenger was more wishful thinking than anything else.

When he went to United we knew we would see how he would do with lots of money and a great team that had just won their 20th title miles ahead of the rest. And we all know how that story ended…..

Martinez: The former Wigan manager and current Everton manager. After keeping Wigan in the PL for a good number of years against all odds people said he was better than Wenger.

Certainly when he got a few surprising results against Arsenal over the years. And he even won a prize! Well it was a prize in those days. He won the FA cup that has been scrapped off the list of prizes to be considered since last May when Arsenal won the FA cup.

Sam Allardyce: I kid you not that I have seen people just five months ago who said that Allardyce was superior to Wenger.  I don’t even know where to start on this one to be honest. Do I really have to show you what his achievements have been as a manager at his different clubs?

To start with the most important thing: he won nothing at the top.  And on top of that he was more relegated than Wenger won PL titles. And yet people, Arsenal fans FFS, claimed that Allardyce would do a better job than Wenger.

In those days West Ham was in front of us and as they judge managers on their last result they came to this ridiculous judgement. Maybe the best way to judge him is by a good friend of mine who supports West Ham. Even daring to compare Wenger and Allardyce has him rolling on the floor laughing out loud. He as a West Ham supporter all too well knows how much better Wenger was, is and will be compared to Allardyce. He would swap them in an instant if he had the chance.

Koeman: Shortly after Allardyce was flavour of the month it was then Koeman who should take over. Koeman who had a great start at Southampton and who around the turn of the year said that Southampton had better chance of qualifying for the CL next season as they had more points than Arsenal and had fewer games to play.

Now Southampton are 13 points behind us and we still have a game in hand. It is Arsenal that is sure of at least a 4th place finish and who is going to Wembley to play the FA cup final. Sure Koeman has done a great job at Southampton but based on the long run it still is Wenger who came out on top.

As I said this is only a short list. And probably after our match last Monday it won’t be long or some will claim Monk to be a better manager than Wenger. After all he did the double over both Wenger and Van Gaal. So according to the ‘specialists’ he must be better. But I hope you don’t mind if I do not get very excited by the prospect of seeing my team defend with 11 players for 95 minus 1 minute.

Of course there have been more successful managers around. But how many of them did it on a zero budget to spend? How many did it when building and paying for a new stadium?  Not that many and certainly not one of those in this little list of ‘managers who would do better than Wenger’.


A reminder of what it can be like without Mr Wenger, on this day

14 May 1977: Man U 3 Arsenal 2 left Arsenal without a win in the final three games as they finished the season in eighth position – a significant improvement on the 16th and 17th of the two previous seasons. Brady and Stapleton scored.

14 May 1995: Following the dismissal of George Graham mid-season, Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1 concluded the season with Arsenal finishing 12th in the league.  It was the lowest finish since 1976, when Arsenal finished 17th.

Untold Arsenal


32 Replies to “Where have all the managers gone….”

  1. i wouldn’t swap wenger for any of the managers mentioned above.i don’t think theres any danger of this happening though.
    just to mention that we never finished 17th in 1995.
    we actually finished 12th. it was still possible we could go down until we thumped villa at villa park.in late march.
    and to be fair this was under pretty bizarre circumstances with george graham leaving under a cloud after a certain harry redknapp style payment via a norwegan agent,lol.

  2. None of the above, thank you. Wenger has his faults but he’s still superior to most managers. The only managers I’d definitely swap him for would be Guardiola or Mourinho. Maybe Ancelotti. These managers know how to win the CL which I feel, maybe wrongly, that Wenger will never do. To win it a club like ours probably needs to spend in excess of 100 million in one transfer window, something I doubt we’ll do, or have a manager who has to be of the highest calibre. Wenger for me just falls short of that but not many, besides the three I’ve mentioned, could guide us to CL triumph because our ambition is not the equal of the Madrids, Barcas, Manus of this world. They spend freely and we’re still primarily a business over a football club, a position I fully understand and duly adjust my ambitions to suit so I’d be happy with a EPL title next year and who knows we might get lucky in the CL one day, hopefully with Wenger at the helm, despite my reservations.

  3. Not forgetting: Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup, Pep Guardole, Jurgan Klopp and Diego Simeone

  4. Alain Du Pardeau , was once mentioned as a suitable candidate too .

  5. Brendan Rogers, I am glad he will never be an Arsenal manager. I also remember Martin O Neil being on the Wenger critics wish list, along with a general begging up of Arry Redknapp, some saying he was a better manager than Wenger! Oh well, guess everyone gets a few things wrong.
    Still at least the Chelsea supporting chapter of the Arsenal fanbase can be happy with their manager of choice, despite increasingly dire football as the season progressed, and the manager reverted to type.

  6. Pardew…that is amazing. Then you consider all of the players critics have campaigned for Wenger to sign, and the howls of derision when he did not, players like Chris Samba, Jovetic, tiote FFS, Scottie Parkah, some Fulham Scandinavian defender

  7. Manager Arsene Wenger is undoubtedly a top high profile manager in the World who can apart of managing Arsenal, can as well manage any other top club in the World. The problem he has which has been pulling his hands back in last d 10 years as he has attempted to win more races, is he lacked and is still lacking d very top quality players in good numbers. I know football is not mathematics. But a good numbers of top quality players could bring him success 2 times out of 4 attempts in 4 years. If one look at the Juventus FC team that knocked out yesterday, the stars studded and more fancy Real Madrid FC team, one will be compelled to appreciate the fact that Juve have been building their team up with top quality players and it has paid off yesternight at the Santiago Bernabeu in front of a partisan home crowd. I know the Boss had been hampered with lack of enough money to recruit top quality players but a few. But which 4 top quality players will he buy now? A Right Winger, a Left Back, a CAM & a top Striker?

  8. One for the future will be Eddie Howe of Bournemouth or has he already been mooted

  9. well well, Looking at ARSENAL history. I see only one man. Steve Bould. And he is being trained by the best isnt he?

  10. @Rantetta,

    Wow, Did she write it herself!!

    Hope more players come out and speak out for themselves.

  11. Arsenal 13

    It seems Kelly wrote that as it’s on her Kicca page.

    I watched a women’s match at the Ems 2 or 3 years ago. The ref carried on as though it was Arsenal men playing – allowing the opposition to foul at will – to the point that many of the youngsters in the crowd were singing/shrieking, ” The referee’s a w*nker”.

    As in the men’s game, it seems the games rulers hate Arsenal being on top, so any possible way will be found to stop them.

    Here’s a photocopy from DM:


    The comments following Kelly’s statement on Kicca are the usual mix of – wishing her a speedy recovery, to outrage about speaking out, Shawcross-esque.

  12. @Walter,
    Good list of managers that some fans claimed were superior due to the flavor of the month. As Mandy said, don’t forget about the dynamic duo of Rosie and ‘Arry!

    Patience and support from their fans is what Juventus has (even after Calciopoli), that allowed them to build their team.

    Look at some of those top quality players at Juventus you mention, Arsene Wenger would have been crucified by the aaa for “signing another youngster” if he signed 21 year old Alvaro Morata last summeror, a “United reject” if he signed Patrice Evrà, or both if he signed Paul Pogba for a free transfer in 2012 at age 19.

    In fact, in the last 5 years, Juventus only makes one big signing around 20 Mill €, rather than the 3-4 superstar priced signings some sections of Arsenal’s fans annually clamor for.

  13. Your comment is awaiting moderation, it always is. Seems like a dozen comments can go by before my comment passes moderation and I think I’m a good example of moderate.

  14. Funny how all these manages who are linked with us after a run of 5 or 6 good games fizzle out of memory while the everlasting Wenger seems to always be around. You’d think some would have learned by now….

    Madrid need to buy quick, after their abject performance last night 🙂 This may sound like a joke but I’ve actually just read an article on the ESPN website saying they need a goalie, central midfielder and a goal scorer. So there, if it’s not working throw some more money at it. Genius.

  15. Lynchy – you are getting me confused now! The anniversary files say

    14 May 1995: Following the dismissal of George Graham mid-season, Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1 concluded the season with Arsenal finishing 12th in the league. It was the lowest finish since 1976, when Arsenal finished 17th.

    1995: 12th
    1976: 17th

    Is that not right?

  16. Laughing Lizard, I don’t think you did yourself any favours when you tried to bypass the moderation system by changing your identity. It is like walking into a bank wearing a disguise. It doesn’t give the people behind the counter any confidence.

  17. I suppose it is possible that Abby Holmes had no malicious intent, but rather whoever taught her how to tackle only had malicious intent. The Nevilles spring to mind. But why hasn’t any of her managers not tried to get her to tackle in a manner less likely to injure?

  18. Rantetta
    Yes, saw that too. It looks like even our ladies are targeted too. And we’re supposed to be just imagining these things; there’s no vendetta against our players or club, we’re just paranoid.

  19. As I have said before in relation to AW leaving be careful what you wish for

    It is purely subjective to know if anyone else would have done better or indeed worse but as has been seen over and over long term appointees are far from easy to replace the key has always been succession planning and even at Liverpool, who were the masters at appointing from within (Shankley to Paisley to Dalglish to Souness) we see that their recent appointments such as Rogers, Dalglish (the return) Hodgson have all failed miserably
    I actually think your club is fast approaching a pivotal moment in that irrespective of what AW does or doesn’t achieve over the next say 2 years old Father Time is impacting and whilst he clearly seems to be fit and able there is little doubt that to manage at the highest level for so long will be taking its toll
    I can’t believe that your board haven’t put some sort of planning in place but as was seen at Man Utd their chosen one really was out of his depth after all to step up from a PL club to a CL club is no easy task nor is it easy moving from a Eureopean club to a a PL club especially when the club in question is run in a far different way to the vast majority of clubs in that yours really is the manager as opposed to just the first team coach

  20. Darwin Waratah’s is her original team, she has only been playing since 2012. Apparently she has had, or does have a boyfriend named Nathan Brown boyfriend, who is a footballer. I can’t pin him down. I am not sure what kind of football he played.

    Darwin is 146,000 people living on the north coast of Australia.

  21. I read something in yesterday’ Sunderland Echo about this, and the journalist Roy Kelly shows complete support for Holmes (well he would wouldn’t he) and one of the commenters goes so far as to say that Kelly Smith should now face a lengthy ban for her slur on Holmes. You couldn’t make it up could you!
    Back to the managers debate. For some reason Steve Boulds’ name regularly comes up and I truly can’t understand why. He’s a damn good coach but when the time comes I doubt that he will be a consideration for the top job.

  22. Everyone is looking to get the most advantage for their team. The players taking advantage of referees allowing rough play, the managers for seeing the other team but not their own, the medja, and so on.

    But if Amy has only been playing for 3 years, it is probably the fault of the current Sunderland manager that she is tackling in a dangerous manner.

  23. The player and manager have responsibility. All players (humans) are capable of doing wrong. The manager sets the tone. The manager makes clear what he/she wants from the players, and also makes clear what’s not acceptable.

    Arsene Wenger doesn’t want his players surrounding or arguing with refs, or diving/cheating. There are instances where Wenger has apologised for such a mistake from one of his players.

    Arsène didn’t defend Giroud when he was sent off for “headbutting” a player – despite the original push on Olivier G that could’ve caused injury – not even being acknowledged, and despite OG barely connecting with the “victim”, who’d put himself into a position where he could fall down as if he’d been pole axed.

    The very antithesis of moaneen, and most others, no?

  24. Spot on again, Rantetta. I said on a different thread, think one called ‘Is there such a thing as an Arsenal way?’, that the way the manager and club conduct their affairs reflects on the players’ behaviour on the pitch. I took Fabregas as an example; I had never seen him dive or try to win cheap free kicks in the last 8 to 10 years when he featured for us and Barcelona. But in the 9 months he’s been at Chelsea he’s been guilty of the above on numerous occasions. What has changed then, one may ask. I think the answer to that is very very obvious. Suarez may be a bad boy, and even though it didn’t happen for him to sign for us, but I honestly believe had that move gone ahead (regardless of the merits – am not trying to suggest it should have happened) he would not have done even a fifth of the stuff he was guilty of doing weekly at Liverpool. I could even add Arsenal would never print T-shirts in support of bad behaviour. Your example of how Wenger chose not to defend Giroud for his attempted headbutt just shows what an admirable club Arsenal is.

  25. Al.
    That’s an excellent example – Fabregas. How many cheaty moves did he make against us in that match recently? Amazing.

    Speaking of Suarez, there’s a theory that his WC bite was premeditated in order to move from Liverpool. I certainly don’t know if that’s true.

  26. As long as AW is healthy mentally and physically he will take the club further beyond that he will leave the club in a good shape for the next manager, who i guess will NOT be a superstar manager, but will most likely sit alongside AW some time soon. He surely will have to be able to embrace Arsenal’s vision too, just like AW did and does, i cannot see any one who does not do so being hired by Arsenal, do you? That’s it as long as Arsenal continues on their vision and i can’t see that changing any time soon either.

  27. Rantetta these sort of tackles go on weekly in the PL too. Although most of them do not really want to ruin a career, they do want to hurt the player so they will be out for a few weeks. It is so clear to see this sort of thing, AND when the commentators and the pundits ALL immediately defend the tackle, we know they have seen it too, they just have orders to not bring the game in disrepute in any way. Just the thought of a bad injury causing tackles being deliberate mentioned on air is enough to bring the game in disrepute they think.
    That is one of the things that takes the joy away from watching football, this is why i really like to watch teams who play football skillfully, not that there are many of them about. Football is still fighting that “thug” culture but media is silent about it. Someone once said, once a thug always a thug, because it is a mentality thing. All we can do is try to teach children to be different, but the media again puts a stop to that by glorifying thuggery again and again.

  28. We all know AW has been crippled by stadium debt, Oilers money and American redneck(not Kroenke, but the other guy from Liverpool). The top three clubs in the world at the moment, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich(sorry Juventus, not there yet) will gladly sack their manager for AW. Because they know, with the money, AW will win everything in style. Not to say, Arsenal don’t have money. The coffers bulk in cash of course, but annual fund generator is still pale compared to these clubs. So, it’s safe to say AW is making a top 4 list from the current top 3 list. Chelsea is gone once Roman packs his bag, Man Utd is struggling and making a lot of money for other smaller clubs through crazy transfers, Liverpool is still in dreamland and Totts are done once their stadium is on.

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