Thursday, April 25, 2024

Report: Nuno Espirito Santo linked as Emery replacement

According to various reports this morning, Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has emerged as a potential candidate to replace Unai Emery.

The Portuguese, 45, has been the main man in the Molineux dugout since May 2017 leading them to promotion to the Premier League in his first season.

His side finished 7th last season, enough to qualify for the Europa League, and they’ve been working their way through that competition since July.

His squad looked like they might struggle to juggle the extra games but have stormed up the table in recent weeks and currently sit fifth.

Espirito Santo has been coaching for seven years, starting at homeland side Rio Ave and taking on stints with Valencia and Porto. He’s not won any major honours as a coach but he is a well-connected individual.

It looks as though his connections with super agent Jorge Mendes, his representative, that form the backbone of the link with Arsenal.

Nuno became Mendes’ first client in 1996 when he brokered a move for the then goalkeeper after a chance meeting in the nightclub he owned. The deal kick-started a new career and he’s not looked back. Since founding his agency Gestifute, he’s represented compatriots Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho and been voted ‘Best Agent in the World’ on numerous occasions.

Rather than run through Mendes’ career to date, we’ll point you in the direction of this fascinating Reuters investigation that details the links between Mendes, Chinese company Fosun who own Wolves and the agent’s history of third-party ownership.

How does any of this relate to Arsenal? Our Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi, is big mates with Jorge Mendes.

Having been reluctant to work with super agents like Mendes, Mino Raiola and Kia Joorabchian, during the Arsene Wenger era, it appears we’re now more than willing to cosy up with them. In fact, Sanllehi reportedly hired Mendes to help us sign Nicolas Pepe in the summer.

The papers were quick to jump on the link when Jose Mourinho was sniffing around Unai Emery’s job a few weeks ago. It’s therefore not wholly surprising that another from the Mendes’ stable is being tipped for the role.

Mikel Arteta, Max Allegri, Patrick Vieira and a few others have also been linked to the Gunners in recent weeks with Emery overseeing the club’s worst start to a league campaign since 1982/83.

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Coq au Vin

That Reuters Investigates story is amazing. Pure corruption.

Dave M

Things are getting desperate at Arsenal, we are looking to devine intervention to rescue our season by bringing in the Holy Spirit as manager. Why not, mere mortals aren’t getting the job done.

Heavy Gunner

Dave- I’m just waiting for the burning bush to speak to me- then we can look forward to some true revelations for the team. Must say I do like Nuno- he acts like he’s got some fire in his belly but with a level head..


Sure nuno has an impressive track record and wolves have an appealing style of football but Arteta has been putting out the cones and slicing the oranges for two years.


What impressive track record? 7 years of being a manager without a hint of a trophy. He’s improved Wolves but surely we must set our standards higher.


Pochettino had won nothing at Southampton when Spurs took him also.

Melvin Bryant

And he won What???


Headline: Arsene who?
Result: PL winners, record holders for FA Cup wins, invincibles.

You might be right and you might be wrong.

Who knows?

Not me and not you Rob.


Alex, Wenger had managed over 400 professional games before he came to arsenal. That’s 9 seasons. Including Monaco. Arteta has managed ZERO games. The one game he sat on the side line for with Manchester city he lost. He’s not ready for arsenal, we are the prize.


What is amazing about a guy who has never been close to success in 7 years of management?


Not really fair to say he’s never been close to success. Gaining promotion back to El was a big deal for wolves. Getting into Europe at first try, a massive deal. Being able to manage Europe demands with EPL with A small squad very hard (see burnley for example) and they seem to be going well now after an slow start.

Success is relative


Very very well put petey


Maybe he hasn’t won anything yet but what Nuno has achieved with wolves is remarkable. So you’ll tell me Emery is a better coach than Poch because he’s won trophies eh? And this doesn’t even mean I want Nuno but downplay what he’s achieved.


*don’t downplay


We’re having sleazy agents run our clubs. This doesn’t sit well with me, and there a reason such a morally high person like Wenger refused to do business with them. This isn’t the Arsenal I fell in love with and I’m slowly slowly falling out of love with this club. On Saturday while people around me were going mad, I just sat back feeling so deflated and watched the shit show unfold. Definitely going tomorrow but fully expecting another toxic evening. I highly recommend the Athletic article written on Kia Joorabchian and our association with him. He’s someone with a… Read more »


I really wonder how different things would have been if Usmanov was in charge (not saying it would be better or that we wouldn’t have dodgy people making high-level decisions/funding)

Dave M

He wasn’t saying he is in support of usmaovs character, merely contemplating how things may be


I’m not sure it gets any dodgier than Usmanov.


I’m in the same boat as you Goooooooonnnnnaaaaaa – I can honestly say that my love affair with Arsenal is over. What the fuck has happened to make us feel like this? I know its not the dreadful shit that we’re having to watch every week – I remember the Don Howe years very well – it is something much bigger at play. I feel that our club has been taken away from us and, so long as Stan and Josh are in charge, this won’t change. Ho hum…


IF it happens, and it is an if, he should be judged on his own merit, rather than who his agent his. I’m sure most of us dislike the fact that we’re cosying up with the super agents now, but our recruitment when we avoided them completely was no better than it is now. He’s definitely a bigger personality than Unai. I can’t say I know an awful lot about his football, it seems like he’s keen on the 3 at the back and likes to use pace on the break. When you look at our squad, it’s hard to… Read more »


Of course he should be judged on his merit.. this issue is is he being recruited on merit or because hes mates with someone. If that’s how we’re going to do things it is a cause for concern

Bai Blagoi

Yeah, if the target is worthy, what is the problem if Don Raul’s friends receive some modest incentive?

/sarcasm off

Ray Smuckles

Kinda underwhelming if true. I’m desperate to see the back of Emery but hope the club doesn’t just rush into replacing him with someone equally mediocre.


It’s not at all underwhelming. Wolves’ style of play has been hugely impressive, as reflected by their league position in the first full season back in the PL last year. They’re continuing that strong streak now despite the distraction of Europa League.

Nuno’s teams:

*Build from the back
*Attack/press the ball aggresively
*Use the flanks well and encourage wide players to drift inside
*Counter-attack beautifully (seriously watchable stuff)
*Work hard and smart

I think Arsenal could use some of that…

Dave M

I’d sign up for ALL of that…

Ray Smuckles

OK, good to know. Maybe I can get on the bandwagon then.


Add to that:

He has brilliant man management skills; you can tell his players give their all for him.

Very tough but fair disciplinarian; demands the best from his team.

Is a great character and speaks incredibly well. We could do with an articulate voice at the head of the club again.

As a bearded man myself, I know when I see a beauty of a beard and this man has one!

And last but not least, his initials spell my favourite console of all time: NES… can also call him Super NES… level up!


We have a chronic lack of handsome beards at Arsenal now since the HFB left for Chelski… Maybe that’s all we’re missing!


Sounds like what emery used to do !


So many thumbs down for a truthful comment. We are desperate for change but surely must get a proven winner


What’s he going to do win the pl or European cup with a club he joined in the championship,as someone put it so well on here, sucess relative, look at what he’s done to wolves, if he took us up a gear like he has done with them we are all fucking laughing mate!

Ben Edwards

It can’t get any worst can it? Give him a go, if we can get him of course


Just hypothetically: Why will I ever listen to him? Why will my friends Laca and Mesut listen to him? We have big egos! Will he be able to lead? Arsene was the finest, the moment he says, everybody becomes quiet! I don’t know how this guy will handle the team. If he uses wolves tactics with us, it might not work with us. will he adapt to us, or adapt his tactics? Unai did not adapt, he stuck to his videos and videos, and see where we ended! I don’t think I and Laca will renew our contracts! This does… Read more »


whats your favourite cuisine?


I say get Allardici in – he’ll be able to save us from relegation for sure.


Bad idea, especially because of the Mendes link

There’s no way this scenario improves Arsenal and takes it back into the top 4 conversation.

its basically entrenching the ‘comfortably mid-table’ ethos.

There’s much better out there available and likely ready to take the job. A gamble with an unproven coach would even be a better choice…….


matter of fact, its precisely the wrong appointment for a club thats already in crisis and is having organization problems .

oh and this article is quite illuminating:


I feel dirty already after reading so much about Mendes and Arsenal connections to him now.


I for one welcome our newest set of corrupt overlords


The FEC absolutely determined to prove to the fans that we’re a mid-table club now, I see


Would rather an ex player who will bring back the values and traditions of arsenal. We used to play beautiful attacking soccer, Nuno like Emery seems to be a defensive coach.
Better just give the job to Freddie, the players already like him and he played some good football with the U 23 team. He knows the club in and out too


Unai a defensive coach? I’m not sure what he is, but I’m sure he’s not that. He’s just not an attacking coach. Maybe more of a ‘pass it around the middle till you lose it’ coach?


So what you’re saying is Freddie at the wheel?

David M

Emery a defensive coach. Ha ha!

Dave M

This is awkward…Hi David M…

David M

Hmmm. Might have to change my moniker. Hi Dave M


Apparently Freddie hasn’t got his UEFA coaching licence yet so would only be able to take charge for 3 months max.


I honestly can’t believe Emery’s still here.

Saying that i thought he’d be gone after the Blades carved us up but whatever…


Esperito Santo.. seems like a decent bloke tbh


Arsenal web site quiet. Normally there are pics/vids of the lads training for next game, and a preview to the game.


Can Nuno handle a job where the minimum is more than what he achieved last season. Aside from the nauseating feeling of Mendes putting his hands over our club again I’d take the grit and work ethic he would likely bring. But still it feels a bit meh.

Naked Cygan

At this point I will be happy with a traffic cone replacing Emery, anything else will be a bonus.

Bai Blagoi

I would take the Inanimate Carbon Rod. He’s a winner.


Yes cant wait for attacking with 3 players at the time, and having 7 defensive minded players behind them. What an absolute joke. He is just as bad as emery, and will most likely not take us to any new heights. Wolves dont play attacking football, in fact every player he picks has to be able to back track. He worked with Mourinho at porto, and i dont doubt for a moment that he is his biggest manager influence.


I agree that Emery is no longer the right man for the job and that a change is needed. There is something wrong and a lot of it is down to him. I feel some of it has to do with Ozil (surely that divided the team in to camps, created dissatisfaction etc). How defensively fragile we are is shocking. But I found the following bit of yesterday’s blog way, way too simplistic: “KSE are the parents of a child who is ill yet refuse to take it to the doctor. Each week, the kid gets weaker and more infirm,… Read more »


But NOT changing is even worse. When things are clearly not working at a football club the one thing you simply can’t afford to do is to sit on your hands and hope things get better. The club are in deep trouble and if nothing is done will be facing a relegation battle in the new year. A change has to be made. Bringing in a new manager guarantees nothing, but it may make all the difference. Our last two great managers arrived at the club with a chorus of indifference: nobody predicted just how brilliant George Graham and Arsene… Read more »


I agree, a change is needed! Definitely, without a doubt. But taking a week or two longer won’t change things much (in the grand scheme of things). And to your point: I’m not that worried about the name (or track record), and I also don’t want somebody to be given a job just because they are an Arsenal legend (e.g. Viera – not a problem if he is given the job, but not on the basis of Arsenal DNA). But reading comments here I’m not sure what some people want/ expect, falling for the brand and thinking it that will… Read more »


I don’t know. Arteta is close to the club but Vieira at least has management experience. As I’ve said before there’s a huge difference between being a coach and being a manager. But you’re right: giving somebody a job just because they are a club legend is stupid. Henry, for instance, would be a disaster as Arsenal boss.

But you’re wrong with your first point. As we saw last season, a couple of dropped points made all the difference between CL and EL qualification. That’s why Emery needs to go now.

Da Boss

A week or 2 longer is possibly as much as 9 or 12 points – time isn’t the problem here, the points total is the ticking time bomb – and in the grand scheme, dropping say 6 points of a possible 12 and we will be lucky to get 6th or 7th place. The emergency chord needs to be pulled now. If the club get rid of Emery and make an appointment and it gets worse, then at very least they couldn’t be accused of settling for what they had. That is my biggest issue with the squad and the… Read more »

The Charma

They will neither pick Arteta nor Viera. They will pick a high profile manager because they are big club.

Ryan Colaco

I never thought I would ever say this in response to a Fatgooner comment but, by golly, I agree with every single sentence in that comment!


And he called Wenger a great manager!


He was for ten years.

Flavoured Rice

“Everybody knows how we play, everybody can see. It is the most important thing, an identity,” Nuno says. “When things don’t go so well, what are you gonna grab? Stick to it. It is like Coca-Cola, they never change the recipe. Diet, full sugar, no caffeine, maybe. But the recipe is always there.”” This is a quote from a 2019 interview with Nuno with the Guardian newspaper. Based on the that quote alone he already has something in his team’s that Emery does not. I’ve watched Wolves with the utmost curiosity these past few years and have been impressed every… Read more »


I actually think Rodgers would be the best managerial fit, possession football that is tight defensively and attack minded. Doubt we could get him now, should have got him 18 months ago.


I may be talking bollocks but I’ve had the (again, 100% unsubstantiated) idea that Wolves have benefited from whatever relationship their owners have with agents/clubs in Portugal to get very talented players that they shouldn’t otherwise be able to afford if paying their fair market value. I’ve never given much credit to the manager for their success. I’m not convinced he could replicate or improve on Wolves performances with another set of players. Again baseless conjecture on my part but that’s just the feeling I got, a bit like the Tevez and Mascherano affair at West Ham but slightly more… Read more »


That has nothing to do with anything though. They used their connections to get better players than a newly-promoted team from a part of the country that’s already very well serviced in football teams (Birmingham and Villa) should have been able to get at the time, sure. But it’s not like he got Van Dijk, Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappe and de Gea. They’re a solild team who he’s made- I would argue- exponentially better than their component parts. I’d love to see him brought in.

Mr majika

Deluded. Arsenal will never in a million years be able to poach nuno from Wolves at this stage. Wolves have a settled squad, an identity and a solid 10 year plan with money available for the right players. Arsenal have none of this but expect to win trophy. It will never happen, so expect to install a third choice coach


Would be surprising given Wolves’ style and preference for the counter attack over being more proactive which is necessary for top teams.


Jorge Mendes hasn’t been paid since May 2017 it seems.


At this stage Raul needs to swallow his pride and just bring back Wenger until the end of the season. And then reassess in the summer. He would be a quicker transition than anyone else available, the players respect him, we would get that new manager bounce, and we always out-shooted the opposition with him with offensive and exciting football. Players like Pepe and Torreira and Ozil have stagnated and would have a new lease of life under Wenger. Get Keown in to train the defence with Bould.


Pochettino would be my first choice but he’s probably holding out for Man United or a Champions League club. Espírito would be an interesting choice but can’t see Wolves letting that happen mid-season.


Why would you want a serial loser. 12 years of management without a trophy.


Emery has won countless trophies and he is not any better


Your parents stuck with you even though you are a much bigger loser, Martin.


Bring in the wolfman!


Will Özil get a starting place with this coach?

Dispossesed by Torreira



Will Özil have a starting place with this coach?

Dispossesed by Torreira


The optimist with little hope

I was a Valencia season ticket holder for his stint there & they messed up getting rid of him. The first season was fantastic. I’d still go for Arteta though…
Oh & Nuno has a track record of being able to deal with fucking idiots & still producing results which is an essential with our lot.

Kentish Gooner

I can’t decide whether this could be a good appointment or not…or even if Nuno would give up his position at a well-placed Wolves. The more I think about it, the less sense it makes to have appointed our current manager. I get that he’d won multiple Europa League trophies, but that came on the back of being eliminated from the competition we’re aiming to get back to the heights of – getting a wildcard entry into the elite competition on the back of extremely poor league finishes. We appointed Emery, who is essentially a ‘specialist in failure’, as Maureen… Read more »

Kentish Gooner

Why the downvotes?


If Nuno is appointed, prepare for a massive exodus of our players as Nuno seems to prefer his own set of players to suit his style. His connection with Mendes means he has a lot of options and back up. He has never managed a club with the capacity as big as Arsenal, so for us to see Arsenal back to top four might take some time(it is like when the club started hiring Unai). His Wolves team for me is inconsistent, playing well against big teams but dropping points versus lesser teams. Personally Rafa Benitez for me, with his… Read more »


We need Jesus…nope…no hat just an anorak.

Ace Boogie

Nuno doesn’t exactly inspire me but for those bashing him obviously haven’t watched his wolves team play much.. defensively solid, midfield that works very well with top players in there, and pace to burn on the counter while still playing possession football. Again I’m not advocating for or against but for those comparing him to emery get a grip, he probably warrants a chance at a big club at this point with what he’s done with wolves the last few years. Do I want that club to be ya, not necessarily but it would still be an upgrade on emery.… Read more »


Vieira…he came from Senegal!!!! He changed arsenal when emery fxxxed it all vieira oh oh


Yup that’s Arsenal these days. Meh!


I like Emery. I don’t think he is clueless either, but his uneasy relations to Özil, Koscielny and Xhaka, all with a presumably high standing in the player group, has probably cost him a lot of goodwill. It is also very confusing to see him trying to communicate with the players during matches. I have a suspicion they don’t understand much of it either. Weighing pro et contra, not the least considering the great difficulty of getting a good replacement in the middle of the season, I would keep Emery. The tide will probably turn, but it might be to… Read more »

Jack Action

I don’t know if I’d want the type of manager who’d abandon his current team mid-season… especially when that team is higher in the standings and playing better football. Screams mercenary to me, and then you couple that with the Mendes representation and I feel confirmed in my distaste.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Players on strike, players wanting to leave, players not bothered, a totally disjointed squad, a tight fisted board and fans that have had enough (and who can blame them?)

It’ll be a brave manager who joins the Arsenal in its current state.

Perhaps that’s why Emery is still here. Nobody wants the damn job!

Toure Motors

I’m not a religious man but if you’re up there save us Nuno Espirito Santo


Somehow I’d prefer if we don’t find appropriate candidate to let Llungberg caretaker till the summer. Nuno is a decent manager but it may entail bringing some of his Portugese retinue over to make things work and I’m not sure how many he can bring. Off of Wolves, Ruben Neves is a decent mid we could well do with (I mentioned him last summer) BUT I’m not sure if things can be arranged with wolves (or if they should want to) this January window. This again goes back to what I mentioned before. People need to grow up. If Unai… Read more »


Santori up there on his high horse once again.

Tony Hall

Why would Nuno want to leave Wolves for a club with a shed load of issues that is doing far worse in the league? I really think we should try and get Rafa to steady the ship for the rest of the season and haul us back up the table. The Chinese football season finishes on Nov 30, he is experienced, well liked and if a deal can be done it’s a no-brainer. he was quite happy to help Chelsea out for a season so I can’t see why he would not be happy to do the same for us.


As long as Sanllehi is in charge we are stuck with people from the Iberian Peninsula. Wish Sven was here and in charge, at least we may get a decent German coach.


People saying “Why would we want the manager of Wolves” may I remind you all that Spurs got Pochettino from Southampton. In hindsight that doesn’t seem like such a silly move now does it.

Der Kaiser

Nuno worries me.

If you did a league table over ladt 5 yrs of points won against money spent I guess Eddie Howe woukd run away with it. Good communicator, attractive football and can clearly communicator. He also gets the best out of players & fevelops youth.

I say Howe with say Freddie as assistant.

I hate to think our club may be run by corrupt agents.

Why not Edfie Howe????


I can’t say this excites me – don’t get me wrong what Nuno has done with Wolves is a massive achievement, and yes Wolves are a very well organised side, I am not convinced he is who we need. I do find it interesting that we are potentially looking at managers in the EPL, and if this is the case, I personally think we’re looking at the wrong guy and I’d much rather see Eddie Howe’s brand of football at the emirates over Nuno’s. For me, if we are replacing Emery (which I think we should, and soon). I’d prefer… Read more »


He ticks all the right boxes. Why not..? Who dares, wins and fortune favors the brave. As for the Mended connection, it will be a contract dealing, not like we are selling our souls to the devil himself. It’s a question of necessities. If it’s possible, let’s get him. But Emery needs to go now!

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