By Bulldog Drummond
Two bits of fake news have dominated the media; one that the low crowd on Thursday was somehow Mr Emery’s fault, rather than being a wholly botched attempted by Arsenal FC to manage the number of people arriving without a ticket, and the second that Freddie could not manage Arsenal because he does not have the right coaching licence – or alternatively that Freddie does have the licence, or that the licence doesn’t matter as he’s allowed to carry on managing without it, as long as he is studying to do it, or as long as he does it in the summer.
I tried to look up the definitive rulings on the FA website (the FA being in control of such matters [I use the word “control” in its broadest sense – as in “not having a clue about”] across the whole of English football, but on “Coach – The website for the English football association” I got the message
The PFA site is a bit more helpful in that it outlines the Uefa Pyramid of regulations for coaching including
- Level 5, UEFA Pro Licence (focus on how to manage)
A mandatory qualification for managing in the FA Premier League and UEFA competitions.
Most candidates complete in 12 months
- Level 4, UEFA A Licence (focus on phases of play, 9v9 games and 11v11 match play)
Work as a manager/coach in the professional game, or Academy Manager.
- Most candidates complete within 2 years.
Those who doubt Freddie’s legitimacy to take over at Arsenal suggest he only has a Level 4 qualification.
I can’t find a definitive statement (as in a list from Uefa as to who has the qualification), but if he doesn’t have the qualification Freddie is going to have difficulty doing it locally. For as you may know if you are a regular Untold reader, the FA runs very few such courses, and they are far more expensive (largely because the FA is nigh on bankrupt and totally dependent on government handouts, meaning the hard working souls at Untold Arsenal are helping to pay for the FA through their taxes!) than in most of the rest of Europe.
Many just give up on the FA and take their qualifications (or “badges” as they are rather sweetly known in the press) in Wales. But of course they can be taken anywhere.
So, we have no answer on whether Freddie can carry on, or for how long. Some say yes, some say no, some don’t even acknowledge the question, and some say bananas.
Gilberto Silva as part of the staff?
As the invisible wall Gilberto was low profile on the pitch, and has been low profile ever since, although reports (stop laughing at the back – it is all I have to go on) suggest that he and Edu are very much in touch – what with Gilberto still living in England.
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Gilberto was quoted (when Edu came to Arsenal) as saying, “It’s worrying when you can’t compete with other clubs for good players but Arsenal need to sign around three or four players. A big difference from the national team, he will now face daily pressure. You play every week and you are tested every day. But little by little he will adapt.”
Gilberto was also quoted as saying Edu has the same style as Arsène Wenger, “Arsène doesn’t like to rush decisions. He had his own style, he took care of everything. All was very measured, despite having so many things to consider. I see the same in Edu. He is very careful and calculates every step.”
So Edu first, now Freddie, next Gilberto?
The problem with this tale is that Edu worked with Unai Emery at Valencia, so it could just be a bit of background chit chat derived from a newspaperman added two and two together and getting π. (That is a mathematical joke, but not a very funny one so just ignore it if you don’t know what I’m talking about).
But of course just a couple of days into the job and the knives are also out for Freddie saying he is too close to the likes of Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka, too friendly with the team by half, and the “senior players” to use the in phrase of the moment, do not take to him.
In short, Freddie’s honeymoon is over, and the knives of Fleet Street are out, with new names being circulated. Freddie’s probably got about two days to prove himself with a 6-0 win at the concrete pit before he’s being lambasted by the anti-Arsenal Arsenal.
Nuno Espírito Santo, which is not the embodiment of the Holy Spirit at lunchtime, but the name of a manager, is one that is kicking around as Freddie’s successor, but others claiming to be in the know say “no”. Or “nihil” if my memory of schoolboy Latin is correct.
So, normal service is resumed. Endless rumours, mindless gibberish.
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