Thursday, September 20, 2007

How does Mourinho's exit affect Arsenal?

I admit that I usually go to bed pretty late - well, for a non-student - so I saw the whole of last-night's events enfold on an almost minute by minute basis: the initial reports, dismissed; the BBC and SSN suddenly going into overdrive; the final, fatal confirmation from the club.

He's gone. And, to be frank, as Arsenal fans, we should be grateful.

People have talked about English football 'losing a personality'. To an extent this is true, but its also debatable whether he's the type of personality we really want to have around. Ok, he came out with the odd-quip that was amusing. And, ok, his ego-centric style of management very effectively took a lot of weight off his players shoulders. He was the star of the team; the players were merely his tools.

But this was also the man who branded our manager a 'voyeur', an unacceptable slight in light of the utterly odious allegations still sung about Wenger around the country, a man who bullied a senior referee out of the game, who criticised Britain's emergency services after they had saved the life of one of his players, who stood there and lied to the faces of reporters and fans around the country when asked about his role in the Ashley Cole affair. A man who accepted nothing with humility; a person who appeared to have been born without an inch of grace.

And then there was the style he implanted in his teams. To grind out a win with a deflected goal was the pinnacle of achievement in Mourinho's tactical landscape. And that he chose to play such boring, percentage football was made all the more galling by the enormous chambers of credit that lay behind him. Mourinho could, and perhaps his successor will, quite easily have constructed a team which had a style to match the substance he so clearly craved.

His tactics, his personality, the way he told his players to behave towards opponents and the bottomless pit of cash he had at his disposal will always demean his achievements. I always remember his irritation with reporters over the lack of 'respect' Chelsea had been given, despite the trophies he had won. Quite simply Jose, you never conducted yourself in a manner which would earn respect, and, hence, you were given none.

I was never truly envious of Mourinho's achievements because I felt he had earned them the wrong way, and I genuinely mean that.

But on a purely results-based level, his sacking is madness, absolute madness. Mourinho has never lost a home game. He has won five trophies in three years. And, most painfully for Arsenal fans, Wenger never beat him. Wenger vs. Mourinho was a reminder that style doesn't always win out in football, even if Mourinho was lucky to meet us during a prolonged period of transition. The 2004 crop would have beaten him, I'm sure, but I'm certainly glad to see the back of him in terms of his record against us.

So, and I'm sorry to continually bang on about this, but if any further evidence was needed that Russian oligarchs are not needed, look at Abramovich. He has just sacked the most successful manager in Chelsea's history over a whim, over the alleged failures in Mourinho's summer transfer market policy. Abramovich wants galacticos and style; Mourinho wanted hard-workers and power. There was only ever going to be one winner.

And in his place comes the stooge, Grant. And in the place of dull victories may come a serious period of instability, perhaps even dull defeats.

In the long-term, Chelsea may find a manager who can combine style and results, a Hiddink, perhaps. But such times are far in the future. For now, Mourinho's sacking should seriously dent Chelsea's hope of silverware in the coming season. Something that can only work to our advantage.


Anonymous said...

reasonable points. honestly i dont give a damn wheter he is there or not. chelsea suck now, like they always did.

Anonymous said...

Right on...

Anonymous said...

I think we should give Grant with credit, he won 9 trophies as club manager at clubs that had gone with a barren spell, his teams were quite attacking. As Isreal manager, his last team went unbeaten but seemed only able to get draws when one or two more wins could have taken them to Germany. If given the chance, he may be able to build them into an attacking side but given he is joint manager with Clark (sop to the fans?), it reeks of short termisim so he is going to have trouble there.

Anonymous said...

It's a shocking thought, but Arsenal should hire him as a "tactical consultant" and get him to train our squad for specific match-ups. I'm sure he'd do it just for a chance to stick it up Abramovich, and we really could use his tactical nous.

Never underestimate a manager spurned.

Anonymous said...

Thats a ridiculous suggesting WEG. How can a man who cant even accomodate a sporting director or technical consultant be an assisstant where his views could be ignored?

He will get a fat pay off and will choose a club that allows him to work as he wants to. ANd he will probably win more trophies.

United-Chelsea, gonna put 60 quid on United to win by one goal

Anonymous said...

If you dare, send your stupid suggestion to Wenger.

"It's a shocking thought, but Arsenal should hire him as a "tactical consultant""

Anonymous said...

I'm glad he's gone. He is a an arrogant man who thinks he is bigger and better than the game, and Im sick of seeing his smug face. Put him in charge of a team with no money and lets see how good he really is. On the down side, this affair shows that money now runs the game, its sad when a manager (who knows about football) is removed from a club by the bean-counters. Jol for Chelsea !!?

Anonymous said...

What it shows us Arsenal fans is the possible poison stew we could get into if we let Usmanov get control of Arsenal.

Anonymous said...

All depends where he ends up next -Totteringham, anybody? Him at the scum (he's a proven successful coach regardless of anything else) and Chelsea still with untold riches looking to buy success, might not be a particularly welcome outcome for Arsenal. Lots of reasons why it won't happen, but if it did might we be feeling just a little bit less smug and comfortable?

Anonymous said...

he did have a team....wid no money...PORTO...

Anonymous said...

i am glad the wanker has gone - his self promoting, egotistical, vulgar, insulting and smug way wont be missed by me. To say that he is the way he is, is because he is mediterranean, is total bullshit, I am mediterranean but I dont insult people the way he has.

He would have probably ended up like Cantona, and had a fight with a supporter or worst still with a referee.

Good riddance to bad rubbish - he couldnt handle the heat of kitchen, so he fucked off

Anonymous said...

With the exodus predicted, who out of the current team would you like to see at Arsenal. My selection would be:

Cech - this will sort out our goalie issue
Terry - wenger likes him and so do I. With Toure in the back, I think we will have the best Defence in Europe
Essien - great holiding player and endless energy
SWP - we miss wingers - we always do really well with natural wingers, Hleb isnt one.
Malouda - same as above with SWP

Irony is though, Wenger could have bouth all of these players - with the exception probably of Terry.

Anonymous said...

Being an Arsenal fan I am sad to see Mourinho go. For all his arrogance football needs heros and villans and he certianly gave us a bit of both.

As mentioned his achievments were tarnished by Chelseas endless funds but make no mistake he was a top manager. To go three years without being beaten at home is a amazing feat regardless of money.

One thing I am happy about is seeing Chelsea start to implode. Hearing the fans chant Ambramovitchs name is nothing short of sick. The guy is a crook with blood on his hands.

Somethings are more important then football and I hope and pray that we do not get taken over by another Russian oligarch. I would rather become a mid table team than turn into another Chelsea.