The problem with sacking the manager: which players do we keep?

by Tony Attwood

All managers bring in players they rate and want to work with – and that leads to a fairly full squad.  Which means Arsenal’s next permanent manager will have to get rid of some before he can bring in more.

Which many supporters might feel is ok except that there is also a budget to be considered.  Buying clubs look for good deals, obviously, and so when there is a managerial change at a club, many other clubs come looking for a player or two who might be going cheap.  And as a result of that there is a downward pressure on prices.

Add to that the normal to and fro of buying and selling and what you have is a situation in which the club with a managerial change has a financial problem.  They have just spent a small fortune (in footballing terms) paying off the manager and all his staff that he insisted he bring in, and there might well be compensation to be paid to the club the replacement manager is currently at.   Now add to that the new manager saying “well, we need at least four new players so I’ll have to have that budget too” and changing managers gets more expensive than Christmas with a demanding girlfriend.

So who will the next man keep and who will go – bearing in mind not just the needs of the team, but also the budget?

Here is a list of the players that have come in during Mr Emery’s reign who I really think we would be crazy to get rid of.

1: Matteo Guendouzi

If you don’t feel that Emery needs thanking for anything else, you can surely thank him for Guendouzi.  He cost £7m, impressed in the first ten minutes of his first friendly game, and is now rated by Transfer Market at £40.5m.  Not least because he is still only 20, and so will go on improving for at least another five years.   And of course he has now been called up by France.

2: Gabriel Martinelli

I still can’t believe how Man U and the rest with their expert view of what makes a good footballer turned him down, or how we could have bought him for just £6m from Ituano.  OK he’s only risen to £7.6m so far, but give it another year and a new manager who has eyes wide open instead of eyes wide shut (an approach that some managers seem to have) and this guy will be a mainstay for years to come.   The only problem will be is that every time Brazil play, he’ll be missing for a week.

And don’t forget it is seven goals in ten games.

3. Bernd Leno

I also can’t believe that some scribblers doubted Leno at first.   Every keeper going to a new club has dodgy moments because of the new instructions and the new full backs – and life has been harder because of the injuries and changes made to our defence.

He cost £19.2m and is now quoted on Transfermarket at £27m, and that, like the two players above, can only increase.  This guy is not only super talented but also Mr Cool which gets the respect of the defenders around him.

And we look much sounder than we did in the last couple of years with Cech in goal.

4: Lucas Torreira

Virtually all players have dips in form at some time – and the fact that the three players mentioned so far have got is what it takes, keeps them at the top of the list for players who must be retained no matter what.

Any new manager who comes in and gets rid of any of those three would be in danger of losing all support in the club immediately.

And I would have added Torreira to that list at first, but he’s not maintained that standard.  So the issue will be, does the new manager see this recent dip as down to Emery or down to the player, or just one of those things that happens to everyone.   (Even Thierry Henry had off days).

TransferMarket is in no doubt however – he cost £26m from Sampdoria and they have him valued at £49.5m.   That might be stretching it, but it confirms what a lot of people who really study player form say; there is nothing wrong with this guy that a few weeks under a new manager won’t put right.  And indeed it could well be that the playing slighty further forward simply isn’t what Torreira feels good about.

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14 Replies to “The problem with sacking the manager: which players do we keep?”

  1. Tony – why do you keep referring to Emery as ‘the manager’. He was the coach and all player purchases were made by manager Raul the Snail(a slow moving slime ball) and his team.

  2. As Jeremy Wilson says in the Telegraph, under Arsene you had one person who had his eye on everything, athough he gradually had a large team under him. Now you have a group at the top, a group which itself has changed in the past two years. The coach is under them. Who is making the decisions?

  3. Freddie Ljundberg is already being slaughtered by all and sundry in the media and by some Arsenal supporters after just one match, regardless of the fact he had hardly any time to prepare for it.
    Absolutely pathetic and unbelievable.
    Paul Scholes (in a Daily Mail article) has even ‘slammed’ Freddie for not wearing a suit!!! Can you believe that.
    What an absolute dick, and we are supposed to take these idiots seriously.

  4. Frankly, we should really be looking at replacing basically every member of our midfield, and all of our center backs. I agree with your assessment of Leno, he’s been a great buy. I like Guendouzi, but he shouldn’t be starting at a team with real aspirations yet. Valuable role player, not a guy we should be starting. I feel the same way about Torriera as well, but I get the feeling he just might be genuinely unhappy in England.

    The central defense is a shambles. There’s not one guy of the bunch that should be seeing minutes in a 2-man unit. Luiz is certainly a useful part in a 3-man backline, but I’d be looking to bring in at least two starting caliber players back there.

    I love all that Ozil has done for us, but re-signing him to that contract was a massive mistake. Nobody is going to match those wages, so we’re probably stuck with his twilight years though.

    Personally, I’d consider shipping out PEA. He’s obviously our best player, but he’s also 30 at a position that doesn’t age well, and he’d bring in enough money to patch several massive holes. We’ve already got a quality replacement in Lacazette, and Pepe and Martinelli would probably benefit from the opportunity. At least we’ve got young, talented options up front.

    I actually feel a little bad for Emery in regards to the squad Arsene left him. Emery didn’t exactly light the world on fire with his decision making, but the squad he inherited was old, unbalanced, and just lacking in many regards. That needs to change.

  5. MickHazel

    “What an absolute dick, and we are supposed to take these idiots seriously.”

    The problem is Mick too many of our fans do take them seriously

    Just as an example we have this straight after your comment:

    “Frankly, we should really be looking at replacing basically every member of our midfield, and all of our centre backs.”

    “I love all that Ozil has done for us, but re-signing him to that contract was a massive mistake”

    “Personally, I’d consider shipping out PEA”

    And then this:

    “I actually feel a little bad for Emery in regards to the squad Arsene left him.”

    Really !!!!

    Beggars belief.

  6. @Nitram

    I find it hard to believe these so called “experts” can tie their shoelaces in the morning. All of the tripe they utter is meaningless nonsense. Just think how much they could achieve if they had a brain cell that was active!

    I gave up listening to them ages ago.

    As I have said before I am not an Arsenal supporter but I do feel that if you believe what the TV “experts” say about your club then you have problems. Even as a neutral I can see the bias against Arsenal.

  7. I often reflect on the coaching / managerial expertise of the regular tv pundits.

    The majority have never had any experience of either. Those that have undertaken such roles have been failures (eg Souness), or spectacular failures (Scholes and Neville)

  8. Just a thought.
    Why bother employing a new manager at vast expense when we could just seek the advice of any of the expert pundits and ask them what system to play, what team to pick, etc etc.
    Think of the money the club could save.
    All these experts seem to know exactly what needs doing in any situation and lots of them have had managerial experience even if they did win bugger all between the lot of them.

  9. Sorry, my earlier post is being moderated. The reference to Shearer is linked to my view that TV pundits who have any experience as manager/ coach have been failures or spectacular failures (hence the second category mentioned)

  10. It is obvious that underwater breathing apparatus does not allow the brain cells to engage before comment.

    Freddie did a great job as did our players. Our defence needs to take one for the team occassionally but apart from that our boys did good. The ‘tackle’ on Guendouzi should have raised alarms in VAR and a red card should have been dished out. ‘But he’s not that kind of boy’ we hear as yet another young mans career is blighted by a broken leg.

    The playing out from the back is destroying our field position and our forward momentum. It is time to shelve that process to get our team on the attack.

    COYG it’s ours to win.

  11. Why would a new manager need to jettison any of the squad at this stage? We are one third of the way through a season with several new signings that were brought in by Raul and VInai to help Emery get top four. As it stands that looks very unlikely, meaning the EL is our only realistic chance of CL football next season. Surely the key for any new manager (assuming that isn’t to be Freddie and Per) is to galvanise what is a good squad into playing to their strengths (instead of playing out of position and with no real sense of purpose). We have an excellent set of defenders if only they could be coached to defend and a solid set of midfielders too. Any new boss will want to bring in one or two of his own players (and his own coaching staff) but if that means Chillwell and Maddison I could probably live with that. Players come and go and Emery would have got rid of Mustafi (for example) had an offer come in at a price we were prepared to accept. The fact that Brendan Roger (again, for example) is clearly interested in the Arsenal job also puts the lie to the idea that no manger would want to come to such a toxic club which sacks it managers. Arsenal are one of the THE top sides in world football, having CL football matters but we will always be a draw for staff, players and managers

  12. John the moderation was triggered automatically because your email address contained a typo meaning the system saw it as a first time poster. That is one of a number of settings within the system that helps us avoid hundreds of comments that are irrelevant.

  13. Blacksheep63

    Totally agree.

    This is a good, no very good squad.

    I don’t think there is any denying it is at the moment vastly underachieving.

    Why, I do not know.

    Coaching ?

    PGMOL ?

    Luck ?

    Confidence ?

    It could be any or all of them. Or maybe these players aren’t as good as I think ? Who knows ?

    2 things I do know is, whoever comes in must be given time to see what he can do with this group of players.

    The trouble is whilst PGMOL are acting as they are it will be difficult for anyone. That’s why I have sympathy for Emery. Yes things were wrong but judging him under such conditions was, as I said before, a little unfair.

    I also agree with you about the recruitment of both managers and players, in so much as despite Tony having a point about the toxic atmosphere not helping we are still Arsenal, we are still a major draw for any top manager.

    As opposed to toxicity, financial budget would perhaps be the bigger hurdle regarding certain managers. But by and large I think we would have the pick of available managers, as well as a pull on many ‘not’ available.

    Players are slightly different as there’s a multitude of factors surrounding them.


    Champions League football?

    Trophy potential?


    Can all affect their choice of destination.

    But as I say, I honestly don’t believe the players are the problem, but I could of course be wrong. Time will tell.

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