So Spurs triggering the gun to fire Poch and replace him with Mourinho for instantly improved results two weeks ago has finally kicked the market into it’s annual festive domino as first Arsenal sack Emery then Watford sack Quique Sanchez Flores whilst the jobs of Marco Silva, Ralph Hassenhuttl, Manuel Pellegrini and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hang by a thread helped only by half decent results at the weekend.
For Solskjaer rumours are that he’s been given two games to save his job and as United take on first Tottenham on Wednesday followed by Manchester City on Saturday I very much wonder if he’ll still be in charge at Old Trafford by this time next week.
The merry ground at the Premier League circus continues but what next? Who should move where and what clubs should hold fort and why? It could be a confusing festive period as those without jobs look to ditch the turkey dinners for boxing day games whilst those clinging on to their jobs by the skin of their teeth might be advised to start looking at holidays in the sun?
Arsenal are perhaps the biggest club in limbo right now after sacking Unai Emery (statistically the second best Gunners Manager ever of those on over a season of games in charge). The Spaniard ‘lost the dressing room’ in the modern day motive that seems to lighten any blame on its players.
The Gunners in truth have under-achieved this season from their usual ‘fourth Champions League place assured’ and the fans rightly expect more. Eighth is not good enough for a team that has had 24 years of top five football until Wenger was sacked (sorry pardoned) in 2018 finishing a pitiful 6th.
So what now for the Emirates hierarchy? I don’t even know who the fans want these days? Allegri? Arteta? Brendan Rogers has said he’s happy at Leicester? Would Poch really go to ‘the other side’? Nuno Santo from Wolves has been touted but would he really solve the Gunners defensive issues?
What Arsenal need is a proven Premier League coach, one that knows the league but can attract big players and one that will see the club fighting for top honours. One that will keep the philosophy expected by fans on ‘style of play’ whilst stiffening up the back four and making the side hard to beat like the good old days of George Graham…. For that I only see one man, Mauricio Pochettino.
Whether Poch will take that step is another matter, myself not knowing what the Gunners want to achieve in football, as I don’t really know if the club have an end goal these days other than competing for prize funds? So the perfect man is a man who’s never won anything but has flirted with the biggest and best whilst keeping his owners bank balance bulging just by being consistent and solid. If that is what Arsenal want, then so Poch is perfect… Anyone else is simply a gamble with Allegri’s English as broken as Emery’s and Arteta’s experience as unknown as Ljundbergs.
Onto Watford who recently sacked Quique Sanches Flores (again) their thirteenth manager in ten years. A club known pretty much for hiring and firing unknowns whilst keeping relative stability behind the scenes… But I fear has this philosophy now ran its cause?
Watford could easily go down the route of giving ‘Giovanni Nobodi’ another chance for six months… But would that help them in a relegation scrap over a heavy festive schedule in the world’s toughest league (after the Championship perhaps)… One man mentioned on the radio earlier stuck out for me the absolute perfect fit for the Watford I know and love, one that dates back to John Barnes, Luther Blisset, Nigel Callaghan, Kenny Jacket and co… One that could make a team that punches above its weight by just being in the Premier League, to continue punching above its weight and to punch harder and more horribly for a few more years to come… That man is Sam Allardyce. A strong passionate no nonsense Englishman in the Graham Taylor mold who thrives off the ‘unfancied’ club by bringing his style and shrewd captures to what would all of a sudden make Vicarage Road a tough place to go. And we’ve not really said that for a few years.
The perfect fit for the Hornets is Big Sam although Chris Hughton could be a shrewd move too. More likely the fact that Quique Setien or Paul Clement fit the bill for a roll neck jumper under the suit jacket wearing type of appointment that the Italian owners would preferably want.
So whilst Arsenal and Watford ponder who’s next (thanks to my advice) the likes of Everton and Manchester United are probably thinking what to do next with their own men in charge?
Surely on current form both Marco Silva and Ole Solskjaer are touching cloth. Would sacking Silva invite calls back to Watford? I wouldn’t put it past them? Would sacking Solskjaer see Poch return to the Premier and take the job he’s been long earmarked for? Stranger things have happened.
Moyes to return to either anybody?
One thing we do know is to expect the unexpected and be ready for something we completely disagree with or can’t come to terms with, but be open minded enough to believe that the next appointment will be the right one. Whether it be Ralph Hassenhuttl or Steve Bruce, Manuel Pellegrini or Pep Guardiola be prepared and sleep with one eye open because the silly season has only just begun.