Football: Final Week in the Job?

It is no surprise to hear that Ole Gunnar Sol… Ole’s job is once again at risk, and every time he looks like he is about to get the sack, somehow his team pull out wins and the cycle repeats itself. Being a Manchester United legend, and – as everyone puts it – “a nice guy” has give OGS more time than what would have been given to others, however, no one ever talks about how good a manager he is. Clearly being a nice guy hasn’t got his big guns, apart from Bruno Fernandes, performing at their peak week-in week-out.

Another manager facing the sack has to be Mikel Arteta at Arsenal. The season started in promising fashion, winning the first three games. Since then, they have picked up 4 points from a possible 24. Currently in 15th position, and trailing the league leaders by 12 points is not ideal. I’m sure it doesn’t help that the teams they are chasing are bitter rival Tottenham Hotspur and reigning champions, Liverpool.

What Is Going Wrong?

In the end, for both managers, it comes down to results. Man Utd are out of the Champions League, and are currently 7th in the league. Problem for them is that the performances are not good, especially in the first half of games. Their strikers are struggling. Rashford’s performances have dropped, Martial has scored a total of 0 goals and provided 0 assists in the Premier League, and Greenwood is getting over a major loss in his life. Defensively, Lindelof is a liability, and De Gea makes the odd error. Then you have Paul Pogba. Every now and again you get glimpses of his brilliance, but it’s clear that he has to leave for his career to finish in a positive light.

As for Arsenal, they are not a good side. Arteta has his way of playing, and wants to implement that, but they are a mid-table side at best. Their ‘star’ striker, and captain has done absolutely nothing since he famously posted on Instagram that he “signed the ting!’ In fact, he has scored only one goal in the last 5 games, and that was into his own net (vs Burnley). I think Roy Keane summed up their season so far when he said “I think they have enough talent to stay up” with a cheeky smile on his face.

Arsenal will continue to struggle because they just don’t have a good enough team. Aubamayang has always been too inconsistent, Lacazette the same, and the midfield are too defensive. Imagine being Thomas Partey, who left Atletico Madrid, to come suffer in North London. The team is is begging for a creative midfielder to unlock opposition defences. Most frustrating is that Arsenal have such a player in Ozil, yet for whatever reason, he is no longer wanted. I expect Ozil to be back in the side, either as the saviour of Arteta, or under a new manager.

What Will Happen?

The biggest issue for OGS is that there are other potential managers who could take over, one of which is Mauricio Pochettino. Luckily for Arteta, Pochettino won’t be after his job as it would ruin any legacy he left behind at ex-club Tottenham, however, Ole doesn’t have the same security. In fact, Pochettino was reportedly seen at Manchester United’s training ground for a meeting last month, and he has expressed an interest in managing the club in the past. It is only a matter of time before OGS is on his way, and Pochettino is in.

Luckily for Arteta, there isn’t an immediate successor that comes to mind, which may keep him in the job a short while longer especially as his side have done well in the Europa League, albeit in an easy group. Yet, the league form and position cannot be ignored. The demise of Arsenal in the league does make me happy, though. You see, Arsenal fans as a collective, are some of the most thickle around. Their treatment of Arsene Wenger was a disgrace. Wenger had made Arsenal a profitable club, with a brand spanking, new stadium, and a place among the top four teams in the world’s best league. He was in charge of the “invincibles” side, finished runners-up in the Uefa Cup and Champions League, and had plenty of success in domestic competitions. If none of that is good enough, at least they were entertaining.

So, imagine how funny it will be when Arteta leaves – I’m predicting around the end of the calendar year – and someone like Sam Allardyce takes over.

Hey, Arsenal fans, bet you wish Wenger was still around!


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