Hello Freddie: here’s your job description (but you might not want to read it)

by Tony Attwood

So just as the media and negative fans won with their campaign to get out Mr Wenger, which resulted in a decline in the club’s form, so now they have done it again.  “Who runs the club?” we might ask – well mostly the media it seems.

Will Freddie steady the ship and bring us an improvement in results?  Quite possibly yes because interim managers often do, as the players give their all and then some, in order to ensure they don’t just get thrown out on the scrap heap among all the changes.

Will Freddie or the new manager be the one who takes over in the long term? – maybe but that is not the key question.  Will the new long term manager be one of the 20% who takes on a Premier League club and takes them up the table, or will he be one of the 80% who oversees a further decline?   The statistics show that the chances are the latter.

Not least because it is clear for the second time in a year and a half that it is the media and negative fans who pull the strings.  Those of us who remain loyal to the club, who think booing and holding up placards is wrong; and those of us who can read statistics and know that changing the manager works one time in five, we are effectively disenfranchised.

The list of Arsenal managers who have failed since Tom Whittaker is horribly long – but hey who cares that it doesn’t work, let’s do it again and again and again – because it works one time in five.

Win %
Jack Crayston
24 October 1956 19 May 1958 81 41.98%
George Swindin
21 June 1958 1 May 1962 186 40.86%
Billy Wright
1 May 1962 13 June 1966 182 38.46%
Bertie Mee
20 June 1966 4 May 1976 539 44.71% 1 League, 1 FA Cup, 1 Inter Cities Fairs
Terry Neill
9 July 1976 16 December 1983 416 44.95% 1 FA Cup
Down Howe
16 December 1983 22 March 1986 117 46.15%
Steve Burtenshaw
23 March 1986 14 May 1986 11 27.27%
George Graham
14 May 1986 21 February 1995 460 48.91% 2 League, 1 FA Cup, 2 League Cup, 1 Cup Winners Cup
Stewart Houston
21 February 1995 15 June 1995 19 36.84%
Bruce Rioch
15 June 1995 12 August 1996 47 46.81%
Stewart Houston
12 August 1996 13 September 1996 6 33.33%
Pat Rice
13 September 1996 30 September 1996 4 75.00%
Arsene Wenger
1 October 1996 13 May 2018 1,235 57.25% 3 League, 7 FA Cup
Unai Emery
23 May 2018 29 November 2019 78 55.13%

Mr Emery had the second highest win rate – second only to Mr Wenger.  And of course it is not always a question of going through three duds to get a winner.  After George Graham we had one long term dud (Rioch) before the greatest of them all.

Josh Kroenke said, “The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required.   We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward. The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete.”

28 Replies to “Hello Freddie: here’s your job description (but you might not want to read it)”

  1. I’ve copied this over from this morning thread as it seem more appropriate here
    ‘Freddy’s coaching badges only allow him to be in charge for three months (and he will have to use the coaches already at the club instead of importing his own team), so unless he upgrades between now & the end of February we’ll definitely have to have someone else in place by then.
    Too bad about Emery, he seemed a decent bloke but clueless as to how to operate in the Premier League. His own fault completely and he’ll get a full pay off and a chance for a long holiday before starting again.
    Best of luck Uni.’

  2. That of course is true – except that we sacked Rioch because we had Wenger lined up, but Wenger wanted it kept quiet because he was keen not to let down his club in Japan, by talking about leaving before the end of their season. Changing managers does work 20% of the time – although Arsenal’s history shows the club has edged it up to around 25%

  3. For once I don’t agree Tony. I don’t boo or abuse the players and manager, (PGMOL employees are very much fair game though) or hold up little signs, etc. However, I don’t think things are working with Mr Emery and I’m not convinced things would get better with time. I don’t see a cohesive team plan or tactics in the way I could in the Wenger, Graham and even Rioch days. Might be it’s too subtle for me to understand, but the players do appear to be having the same issues !!!

    As to the media/fan groups, again I think that Josh Kroenke has very much taken over Arsenal as a project and I really don’t think the media and fan groups influence him as much as you suggest. I think we have become as demanding as most other clubs – rightly or wrongly, it’s what modern owners demand. Even Mr Wenger went when he could not sustain top four finishes every season.

    “The job description: Equal Mr Wenger’s win percentage, and win a trophy by your second year.” – for me it’s show progress, in terms of results and performances, learn from your mistakes, try new things if existing things aren’t working – I’m not sure I have felt I have seen any of those things this season. Sorry …

    Oh, and Mr Ozil did outlast Mr Emery !!!!

  4. Oh come on. You sound like an embittered widow already. Emery was the wrong man for the job. This can happen. Live with it and do not act like you always know everything better than everyone else. Sticking with a manager the majority of the fans do not want and under whom the team declines obviously can not be the solution you have seeked either. Just accept that he was not the right one. In my eyes Wenger should not have been sacked anyway. He was an amazing coach, but Emery just wasn’t up to the task. So get positive, like always and not let an inevitable decision drag you down. The positivity was what I loved most about this blog, but in the last months you guys just keep mourning about everything.

  5. UE is still a young manager, so hopefully he will learn from this experience and bounce back one day. Good luck to him and his staff.

    I would like the club to hire a manager who could develop our current young talents. So let bring back AW 😃.

  6. For whatever reason the combination of coach and club didn’t match. Just happens sometimes. It happened to me in my career too where I was very successful, had a bad spell at a new company but then went on to have success elsewhere. I wish Unai the very best for the future.
    My only hope is Freddie gets the backing of the fans, because they are having a negative effect but I don’t think he has the pressure of a permanent appointment.
    COYG, fans and players alike show you do care about the club.

  7. I see that Per Mertesacker is at 25/1 to get the job. I don’t know if he has the necessary qualifications, but he’d be a good bet.

  8. Bruce Rioch..”a long-term dud”..??
    I don’t see that
    Basically, he had one season..if that’s long-term then I’ll get me coat
    Otherwise, Emery had ceased to be effective (never mind all the b*ll*cks about change only being succesful 20% of the time) and change had become inevitable.
    Le roi est mort, vive le roi
    Good luck Freddie

  9. I agree with Mike and Minesy.

    Tony, do you really and sincerely feel that UE was the right man for the job and that he could have improved the team and our ability to be successful?

    Do you really and sincerely feel that the decline in performances should have been allowed to continue until the end of the season or longer?

    I do not think so.

    Yes, holding up placards and booing is not the Arsenal Way, but neither is ostracising and embarrassing players.

    I have consistently said that UE was the wrong man for the job right from the start. It is a shame that the owners allowed the deterioration to go on for so long.

    The fact that the fans showed their displeasure by walking with their feet and leaving the stadium looking so empty was likely to be more of a final push than the booing and placards. The writing has been on the wall for weeks.

    I for one feel elated and that a burden has been removed from my shoulders.

    Yes, it is not nice to seemingly take pleasure from someone’s discomfort and displeasure, but, in truth, he is the author of his own misfortune and has left a disaster area behind.

  10. When UE is evaluated it is interesting for me that a very important and opvious fact is so easely forgotten. The fact that UE and the coaching staf’s preformance and stats was largely consentrated on during the last 7 games or so – excacly the time period when the anti-Arsenal troops (VAR,referees and press)was on its worst and full blast against us. For now they only loaded their ammonition. Surely they will come again!

  11. I feel a bit sad because I didn’t dislike Unai Emery but I think given the results, we all had a feeling that something had to give. So, now some optimism is called for, methinks. After all, I don’t think things can get much worse 🙂 . Let’s let the administration do their job search and in the short term. Let’s go Freddy! Show us what you can do!!

  12. Kobie Fourie, with respect, the poor tactics and performances were in evidence throughout UE’s reign.

    The 22 match run last season was a mirage and meant nothing.

    Throughout that time the first half performances were mostly dreadful so that we did not lead at half-time once.

    During that time we benefitted from the sort of luck that most managers would have bitten your arm off for.

    Please do not paint any rosy pictures about EU’s reign, because we all know from the performances and the results, that it was a disaster from start to finish and got progressively worse once the 22 match run ended.

    Please, with respect, don’t confuse sympathy for UE with reality.

  13. Tony stop whining. I wish Emery all the best. A very likeable guy, gave no excuses for poor performances. In the end, those performances weren’t good enough. I hope he’s learned a thing or 2 to take forward. Hopefully we go for Allegri or my first choice Simeone. I doubt Pochettino would be approached
    And oh, those requirements are yours Tony, fans I know would settle for improvement

  14. Per Mertesacker cannot be the solution to Arsenal problem as head coach of the Gunnersl this is because he was rhinoceros in the Arsenal defense when he played for the club. And beside this failing in him, he is also noted for is dodging the shots he should have blocked by throwing up his body to the shots to block them from going in into the back of the net for the opposition if it’s his face or penis he’s protecting from being hit.

    And for Mike Arteta notorious record of passing sideways and backward to never wanting to come forward to attack or pass the ball forward, he too cannot coach Arsenal successfully to win the PL title or the CL just Mertasacker can’t if Arsenal appoint him a head coach for the Gunners.

    Both Mertesacker and Arteta the two former Arsenal captains have an in-built incompetence football game playing mentality in their game that is ingrained in them as football players when they were at Arsenal. And should any of the duo is erroneously appointed as the Gunners head coach, I perceive their coaching methods at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground as the Gunners head coach will not be different from the incompetent way of playing football game for Arsenal that the duo used to play at the club. But could largely be hinged on it.

  15. The technical side of football escapes todays supporter. They want everything now. Wenger has left a legacy of excellent training facilities, great youth players and a superb infrastructure.

    Todays supporter need a coach like Chris Wilder currently at Sheffield United. Someone who coaches an agressive quick passing team. How he would cope with the PGMOL as Arsenal manager will be more entertaining than anything else.

  16. I don’t like seeing UE sacked. But, if management was the problem, I don’t think changes should be limited to UE. I don’t think Josh is going to get sacked, so what changes need to be made higher up the food chain than UE?

    I would think that a priority of some kind, is to find some way of dealing with PGMO.

  17. Honestly, I thought my above comment posting on Mertasacker and Arteta will be blocked from posting by the UA site’s comment moderator for my truly been hard and hash against Mertasacker and Arteta in my comment. Which if it’s blocked, there is nothing I can do about it than to grudgingly accept it in my heart but I’ll feel my rights to democratically express myself has been suppressed. But thanks it wasn’t.

    My passion for Arsenal as an ardent supporter of the club to see them rise up from their current mediocrity level to the position of Champions of the PL title again and any of the CL or the ELC titles for the first time. And to equalled the Man City’s record breaking season treble titles winning of last season and in the case of Arsenal be unbeaten to them. Then surpassed their 2017-2018 record breaking season of 100 points PL title win. And ultimately see Arsenal win the impossible quadrupled title of the Carabao Cup, the PL title, the FA Cup and the CL in a single season’s campaign know no bounds in me.

    Welcome to Arsenal head coach hotseat Freddie Ljungberg as interim head coach of the Gunners. You were a former dribbler on the ball for Arsenal in the midfield always scheming forward to score or give assist to score. I loved watching you but on recorded TV PL matches and Silvan Wiltot as it was then when you duo were playing for Arsenal always coming forward to take responsibility for the team to score or assisting to score. Then suddenly, I stopped seeing you duo playing for Arsenal. But by that time I cannot know why because there was no live PL matches showing but very late pre recorded off season matches showing on the TV station for free. And there is no any internet then to have access to it for current information as we are having now.

    So, how are you Freddie Ljungberg? I hope you are doing fine. And I wish you and the rest of the coaching staff at the club including the Gunners of course enormous successes in your collective assignments to move Arsenal forward and hugely fast forward incredibly in the rest of the 3 competitions the club are still in them competing for honours this season.

    And finally, my best wishes to Unai Emery, the former Arsenal head coach as he moves on in his coaching career job after leaving the club today to pasture new. Us Gooners are all witnesses to how hard he tried to move Arsenal forward this season particularly in the PL. But good fortune will just not smile to him to give the desired success to Arsenal that us and him want. That was hard to Emery from good fortune. I think I’ll stop here. I’ve spoken enough.

  18. UE’s sacking was inevitable. Following on from the disastrous run of poor results at the end of last season which ruined what seemed a nailed on 4th place and CL football, it’s been difficult to fathom his tactics, style and team selection this season. The odd selection process for captain, playing Torreira out of position, hardly ever playing Holding, the stand-off with Ozil, the treatment of Xhaka, the lack of closing down of the opposition midfield, all seem to exacerbate the lack of clarity in terms of the performance standards, professionalism and mental strength required from a top performing team.

    It’s sad because he has always seemed a decent human being, but ultimately he paid the price due to the irrational hate of the Anti Arsenal mob, the media and the PIGMOB. Do the AAA think their toxic behaviour will encourage top level candidates to apply?

    Whoever the board select, they should insist that Freddie remains a key part of the senior team. He is a key link with the Invincibles era and our current crop of excellent younger players

  19. JJIGSOLi think you understand me wrongly.All that i want to emply is the fact that Arsenal couches has much much more on their hands as only the opposition. Balanced evaluation is therefore very difficult in an upnormalenvironment

  20. JJIGSOLi think you understand me wrongly.All that i want to emply is the fact that Arsenal couches has much much more on their hands as only the opposition. Balanced evaluation is therefore very difficult in an upnormal environment and this is aclarifying comment and not the same as my previous remark

  21. UE is a good coach but his changes were forced on a successful team. His playing out from the back didn’t succeed but he kept pushing it. It led to his downfall.

    The initial success from last year played on his mentality and his changes went from bad to worse. He needed to step back from the dugout and observe from the stands.

    I still feel he doesn’t realise how detrimental to the team ethos his style of play was. The aa support all went against him as did the media, PGMOL& VAR.

    How we progress is anybodys guess. I hope we revert to Wengerball and long play from the back. Our defenders should never hold on to the ball & wait to be tackled. Our midfield should refrain from the backpass & promote forward momentum. Losing the ball when attempting to score is not as wrong as losing it when defending.

    COYG its now Gunner time!

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