Tag Archives: Arsene Wenger

2016-17 Managers – Barclays Premier League

It is packed, to say the least. Pretty much all the big name managers will feature in the Barclays Premier League this upcoming season. Let’s take a look at the current situation:

Leicester City FC – Claudio Ranieri (Italy)
The defending champions.

Arsenal FC – Arsène Wenger (France)
3-time Barclays Premier League winner.

Tottenham Hotspur FC– Mauricio Pocchettino (Argentina)
Finished third last season and went toe-to-toe versus the champions until the last two games of the season.

Manchester City FC – Pep Guardiola (Spain)…does he need any introduction?

Manchester United FC – José Mourinho (Portugal)…Him as well?

Southampton FC – Ronald Koeman (The Netherlands) was the manager but is on the verge of signing for Everton FC, this summer.

Liverpool FC – Jurgen Klopp (Germany)
Two lost finals last year (the Capital One League Cup and the UEFA Europa League) along with an impressive resume with Borussia Dortmund.

West Ham United FC – Slaven Bilić (Croatia)
The Hammers will move into the London Olympic Stadium and with Dimitri Payet and more players, they can become an even bigger threat.

Chelsea FC – Antonio Conte (Italy)
We assume that the Blues will come back and challenge for the title and they will try to do with a new manager and he is from Italy.

The only observation is the lack of British managers currently working, especially with the top clubs. We have to go down to Stoke City FC and Mark Hughes, a Welshman, to find the first British manager in the Premier League in last season’s table (9th). A trend that is worrying for British managers.

On a more positive side, it clearly shows that the Barclays Premier League can attract the best managers in the world. On the other hand, it can handicap the local and national managers. It was a phenomenon felt with the players for about 20 years (even since the Bosman ruling and the freedom of movement for workers, mainly). For a few years now, it is at the managerial level that a shift is occurring and we will have to wait and see where this will bring British managers into.

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Arsenal FC – What Is The Problem?

Season 2003-04: The Gunners did not know about it at the time, but the team from North London was going to make history in British football. The club went on to be unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League for the entire season. A feat that has never been achieved before and after, so far. The future was supposed to be promising. It yielded a F.A. Cup title against Manchester United and a second place in the league behind José Mourinho’s Chelsea in 2004-05; and a Champions League final, at the Stade de France in Paris, lost versus FC Barcelona thanks to a late goal from Julian Belleti. Since then, Arsenal FC has been struggling to win titles. They have finished no higher than 3rd in the league. No FA Cup titles until the triumphs 2014 and 2015. No European titles (the closest was a seminal appearance against the Red Devils in 2009 which was lost 4-1 on aggregate). In the League Cup, they appeared in one final at Wembley Stadium in London, Birmingham City, which were just promoted by the score 2-1 with a last-minute goal.

In the meantime, several big name players left the club such as Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Alex Song, Alexander Hleb, Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna etc. Others came in such as Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla, Nacho Montreal, Gervinho (left the team since), Marouane Chamakh (left), Nicklas Bendtner (left), Gabriel Paulista, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Petr Cech, Mohamed Elmeny, David Ospina etc. Young players have given Arsenal’s fans some hope such Hector Bellerin from Spain, Francis Coquelin from France and youngster Alex Iwobi from Nigeria. It is not enough to win the title though. This year was a year where, if done right, Arsenal could have challenged Leicester City FC most decisively. But now, with six games to play, they are 14 points behind with two games in hand. A task almost impossible to achieve.

Regrets and maybe frustration will continue to mount and the current manager, Arsene Wenger, will continue to be at the centre of it all. For years, fans and experts mentioned that the club was lacking several players to compete for titles a good defensive midfielder, a world class centre-half and a goal scorer. Interesting observations since Arsenal used to always field those type of players on the pitch (Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Robert Pires, Ian Wright, Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie). Where are those kind players been ? Why has Arsenal changed a winning formula? Is the construction of the Emirates Stadium good enough of an excuse to explain the lack of trophies by the former “Invincibles”? We shall see.

True, it is not easy to find those type of quality players, but Arsenal FC is not a club like any other. Based in London, England, with a successful history, big stadiums in the past and present and with ambitions, it is time for the Gunners to take that step ahead.

Stay tuned…