Thursday, February 29, 2024

Reports: Marcelino travels to London – Niko Kovac also in town

According to a report in El Mundo Deportivo, Marcelino travelled to London yesterday for what were rumoured to be discussions with Arsenal about the vacant post of head coach.

The Gunners are whittling down their shortlist of 643 names as they seek a replacement for Unai Emery who was fired the week before last.

The former Valencia coach is one of the names on that list – as we reported last week – and his visit to London will add fuel to that particular fire.

It’s suggested in the article that he cannot manage another Spanish team this season, perhaps due to some contractual restriction over the terms of his departure from Valencia with whom he won the Copa del Rey last season.

He is also rumoured to be in the frame for the Everton job as they look for somebody to replace Marco Silva.

Meanwhile, Croatian Niko Kovac watched the Toffees beat Chelsea 3-1 on Saturday, and is expected to be at the London Stadium tonight, leading to speculation regarding him and the Arsenal job.

The former Bayern Munich boss stepped down from his position at his former club in November, after a similar tenure there to Emery’s at Arsenal (April 2018-Nov 2019).

He did win a league and cup double in his full season in charge there, and crucially for a hierarchy that is not inclined to pay to extract a manager/coach from a position they currently hold, he is immediately available.

Kovac has also managed the Croatian national team, and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Other reports suggest that Edu is pushing for former teammate Patrick Vieira to be given the job.

On Friday, the current Nice coach said swatted away rumours linking him with a return to North London, saying, “I get the feeling that it disturbs you more than me or the club.

“There is nothing to say about it, there is nothing serious, nothing real. I have no comments to make about that.”

Nice were 4-1 winners over Metz on Saturday, but have won just three of their last eleven games in Ligue 1 and currently sit 13th in the table.

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Not excited by either.

SB Still

With ManU and Spuds also picking up points regularly now, along with the teams already at in the top 4, our chances of Europe seems to rest with the high risk strategy of winning this year’s EL!

We probably need someone to come in to not necessarily rescue this season but show we can do much better, so players would be willing to sign for us. There is clearly atleast a limited rebuild required.


It’s just so obviously going to be another bloke from Raul’s little black book. I don’t know why we’re expecting any different. I’ve said it before that getting rid of Mislintat was the stupidest thing this club has done this decade. He was a different voice in the soup, now we’ve got an autocratic Spanish chef and some hapless vegetable yes-men.

SB Still

All Spanish speaking ex-Valencia managers to line up to meet Raul!


Point Raul to a nice Kebab shop and you’ll be in the black book as well. That’s what I did and I’ve got my interview for the job this Friday. Should I take hot wings to the interview or Krispy Kremes?


given the love of them in Spain, you’ll be a shoe-in if u take a bag of Jamon ruffles

Matt P

Yeah one of his mates. Don’t rate him,he’s a crony.


@lessthanthesum…why rate mislintat so highly? The players he brought in, with the exception of Leno, have massively under-performed.


I have to say im not excited by any name out there, maybe its me i dont know…
Who excites me the most is Arteta but im afraid its only because i fantasize about him being amazing which is hard to do with the others..


WTF has Arteta done to deserve to manage a club as big as Arsenal?
Answer: nothing. Following around Pep The Magnificant (Douche) like an adoring puppy isn’t accomplishing anything.

No Arteta, please.


What I don’t get is the way he’s ranked in a group of one. It’s not Vieira or Arteta or Nagelsmann or some other young coach.

According to his groupies only Arteta is the forward-thinking, imaginative choice. Makes no sense at all


I just don’t think anyone can fix the team as it is. Their confidence is shot and you can’t rebuild that in a team with no defensive spine. We desperately need a commanding midfield presence and two solid centre backs. It might cost a truck load, but it’s got to be better than watching a series of capable enough guys fail to do the impossible as we steadily slide down the table. Decisive action is required ASAP, and preferably not the sort that sees us buy David Liuz instead of Gary Cahill eh?

my name is bob

I know that we could really use a manager at the moment, however I really hope we don’t rush into a decision and pick the wrong individual. Personally, I’d be okay waiting until the summer to make the right appointment instead of rushing the process and hiring another Emery. Then again, I’ve made some rushed decisions in the past that ended up working out really well. Like that one time when I shat in the sp*rs stadium. It looks like a toilet so I thought “why not?” and it was probably the best decision I’ve made in the past two… Read more »

Gooner for life

I truly believe in this statement: “the next Arsenal manager appointment will show you the true ambitions of the club under Kroenke”.

Gooner for life

and its not a good sign if we really are competing with Everton over Marcelino…


I think the Kroenkes basically did their job this year. We brought in 3 defenders, 3 midfielders and 2 strikers in the last 1,5 seasons. I don’t think it is mainly their faults that we are unable to compete even with Chelsea, Leicester or Man United.


None of the players the manager wanted apparently and not a strong protective “Cop” CDM. None ef the CM´s at the club fit the bill. Torreira the closest one but he´s lightweight and pushed way too easily


There is a core of weakness throughout the team, this since at least 10 years regardless which players we have. Is it Arsenal’s philosophy? Is it the training methods? Who knows.


I’d usually agree and say that waiting until the summer would be ideal, but the way we are playing we may be in the championship.

I suppose Kovac would be a bad option, not because of the double at Bayern as that is hardly a surprise. He did an impressive job at Frankfurt though including stuffing Bayern in the German cup.


Not be a bad option ^

Hamburg Gooner

Actually he is quite good and would fit very well with Arsenal. Made Frankfurt a team to be very tough to play against and pushed them from relegation fodder to the european places. And won the cup impressively against Bayern.
And we could do with his assistant, which probably would be his brother, Robert, again: he was a pretty tough no nonsense defender (in the Adams/Keown mould) and might teach our guys a thing or two …


Definitely hard nosed and that ultimately cost him with the Bayern bunch. However, another coach that has no experience in our league. Believe that leads a lot of risk to his appointment.

Mesut O’Neill

No manager can get through to Ozil. Guy is a pleb that is ruining the club.


Kovac’s Frankfurt were very tough to break down, highly organised, and the ‘big man, little man’ attack with Haller and Jovic and speedy direct counter-attackers around them would suit the modern Premier League pretty well.


PL and TV and refs would love that: Arsenal relegated.


waiting for the summer won’t do because better clubs will come calling for top managers. You think the likes of Poch, Allegri…etc will pick Arsenal out of a potential lineup of Bayern, Barca, City, Dortmund, Man utd, Napoli, Juve…etc
I think not.


IF we’re that crap they aren’t picking us anyway!


From what I read, could be wrong, but Freddie doesn’t have his Pro UEFA managers license. he can only be caretaker for 3 months unless he secures this license.


This was a red herring I believe.


Me too.
Not sure what the situation is. Sounds like anything BUT a red herring.
One needs to qualify to manage, thus the “coaching badge” requirement. IF that is needed, AND he doesn’t have it, THEN he cannot be a long term replacement.
But, WTF do I know.


When Freddie came and explained that it would be take a good preseason/few weeks of training to implement new ideas or change something in the current system. I am not a football expert , if someone can explain me how they changed in shit hart lane when their previous manager and the nasty one have different philosophies still the players were able to adapt and deliver results but not us?

Dave M

Key point is Freddie isnt coming in new he carries a lot of the problematic baggage that has been plaguing arsenal just from being assistant of this mess. He already has relationships and clearly many similar opinions of players as emery. Freddie needs to make a start to his managerial career elsewhere and then maybe in the future take charge of arsenal. IMO (if true) edu has the right idea with Vieira… Frag start, fresh relationships, and someone that will bring pride and passion back to arsenal and a Manager that won’t stand for many of the weak, mentally soft… Read more »

Pepe Le Pew

Viera is an average coach in a ligue where 2nd place is up for grab. Vilas Boas on in first season is doing better than him on a similar budget( it is Viera 3rd season and I’m not advocating for this Portuguese). I a big fan of the Monaco coach though


Their crisis and confidence wasnt as bad as ours. They have a decent defence, ours suck.

That being said, I believe we would have won the Norwich and Brighton game with Mourinho as manager.


We’d have lost our souls though…


Will be an unpopular opinion on here but some of Sp*rs players are rather good so maybe required less coaching. It also helps that Mourinho, for all his faults, is a successful manager and knows what he’s doing for the most part.

Pepe Le Pew

3 months before Deli Dali Punches humans the club implodes.

Matt P

Yeah and how about the bounce we saw from Everton post Silva sacking? We are a real worry


The Everton fans actually got behind their legend…

Mesut O’Neill

Yes it’s the fans fault that the club is run by morons who only care about profit & that the players are useless prima donna’s who only care about collecting their £18m a year.


Would imagine Big Dunc threatened everyone with their lives if they did not give a good performance. Then again maybe the real Chelsea is starting to show.


Freddie is fucking useless. EVERY caretaker manager always gets an immediate lift out of the team. Look at Solskaer in his first few games at United. Look even at Drunkun Furguson at Everton. But not Freddie. It’s become very clear that are problems with the squad are deep, and that Freddie was part of the coaching staff that are a big contributor to that problem. Seeing the season out with Freddie would be no better than seeing it out with Unai. I really hope I’m wrong, but i’m very concerned about how low we’ll go right now. We need a… Read more »

J to the C


Flavoured Rice

Please God no

Flavoured Rice

If we sign either one it should be categorised under self harm. This is frightening if true


I am Croatian but I would not want Kovac to manage us. Surely he developed since managing our national team, but I remember hiw stubborn he was in pursuing some of the ideas which seriously disrupted the structure of the team (i.e. playing attacking minded midfielders in DM role – sounds familiar? – and discarding good DMs that we had at the time).

Re Marcelino, he might be really good but somehow it is underwhelming to have an ex Valencia coach here again.


I got ills, they’re multiplying,
Our defence is out of control,
All the balls that we’re supplying
All come back flying

Raul better shape up
Cos we need a man
Someone strong to make his mark
Edu better shape up
And Josh just understand
We need a man with more than bark
A man who’ll bite them in the arse

Poch is the one the one I want
Ooh ooh ooh
Poch is the one the one I want
Ooh ooh ooh

The one who would
Annoy the spuds.

Poch is the one the one I want.
Ooh ooh ooh


Its highly likely that in 18 months we will be looking for another manager again.


As long as that? Look at Watford…on their 3rd manager and the season isn’t even half gone!


This is a bit like turning up to the sales 3 days late when all the good stuff has gone. We are accepting mediocrity because it’s all there is. These guys would surely be a massive gamble considering their average managerial records. I’d rather see Poch.


In the current situation of our team, Rafa Benitez, Pochetino and Max Allegri may be the best manager. If Allegri and Pochetino don’t want join Arsenal, the board have to pay Rafa’s emolument… When we look at our current situation, it seems difficult to participate in an European competition next year ’cause Arsenal arsenal is no longer favorite to win the current Europa League… For the next matchs, Freddie need to change CB, he can try the pair Chambers – Holding or Medley (academy) – Holding and make Chambers RB, Tierney LB. If he want watch Laca and Auba play… Read more »

Kampala goober ?

Given how Europa might be our saving grace im thinking Rafa. He always had his way around cup competitions.


It’s Arteta or Paddy for me. With Arteta i see a philosophy and a lot of new ideas, with Paddy it’s the mentality he will bring with him.

Bodie CI5

He’s just another mid table manager,, not good enough for our arsenal


I am so depressed by what is happening at Arsenal right now. I’m just going to stop reading things now.


The Arsenal head coach position is maybe the hardest job in club football right now. There’s probably no other team with as great a disparity between the club’s history – and fans’ expectations – and the quality of the squad, finances and club leadership. In short we are a complete shitshow and it’s hard to see why a top manager would want to have to deal with us the way we are carrying on at the moment. Who wants to ruin their reputation trying to coach Sokratis and Mustafi?


Totally agree. But if you found a top manager that looked at this club and said “I welcome a challenge, I want to bring them back to glory” then I’d jump on them immediately, well after checking their sanity


Imagine interviewing for the job and not saying “ I welcome a challenge, I want to bring them back to glory” . Based on your interview skills you would hire every manager interviewed except the one who says “ Arsenal has real problems, I refuse to lie about it but this is my plan. My number one goal is to impose a backbone into this group where you will never doubt their fighting spirit.


Freddie Ljungberg and we should be grateful he’s prepared to make that sacrifice….


Do not hire another one that cannot speak fluent English. It does not matter how great they are in their own country the PL is another world and the players must feel that they can converse immediately and clearly. My choice would be a surprise , Enrine Howe with his own team. I expect however, a foreign manager with a big record because that is what these boards go for and it only works if they throw a couple of hundren million at it. Not going to happen at AFC. I yearn for a manager with a proven record of… Read more »


How many players with english as their first language in our last XI? Willock which was replaced by a french lad. I get your point – communication skills are vital

Pepe Le Pew



But can dey speek da English lingo like what we do?



Eze Miracle

They don’t excite me one bit!


You just know Stan, Raul and co are going to completely fuck up this appointment, don’t you? Marcelino shouldn’t even be on the radar: he’s a worse version of Emery. We’ve made that mistake already. And please no Patrick Vieira: I absolutely love him to death but he’s done nothing in football management to justify being given one of the biggest jobs in Europe. No, what we need right now is an experienced boss WHO KNOWS HOW TO COACH DEFENDING to come in right now and steady the ship. This is no time for sentimentality or risk taking. How about… Read more »

Kampala gooner ?

Sam Allardyce. SAM ALLARDYCE. what the fuck has Arsenal done to its fun base. People are thinking Sam should have a go @ Arsenal. Fuck me thats the day i turn in card.


It was a joke. It’s called irony in England.


And while we’re at it lets phone Remi Garde, Avram Grant, Roberto Martinez, and, why not, Neil Warnock. That’ll be the ambitious, forward-thinking and proactive statement our club needs to make…


In another life where we aren’t as far down the toilet as we currently are, Marcelino’s achievements could be more warmly received but in our current situation we simply cannot afford to take any more risks.

Bring someone in who is coherent and a proven winner. Not necessarily a winner of trophies (because Marcelino, Emery & Kovac show they don’t mean anything in the right context) but a winner with their mindset & philosophy.

This is not a drill


We need an enforcer, someone like Ten Hag or Simeone also able to develop from within.

BUT with good solid foundations (particularly defensively)


I don’t like either of these, but we do have to get someone decisive in before the window opens. Changes have to be made and the sooner someone’s in, the sooner the analysis, dissection and rebuild can begin.


I think that anyone coming in will want guarantees that jan he can replace players, in fact i would demand the players be sold that i dont want and put suggestions for the type of player i want to happen by/in Jan. If they take the job otherwise, they are just doing it for the money, safe in the assurance that they will get fired soon and make a big windfall.


There is the rub. Emery seemed to capitulate on his player demands. (Maybe they would have been okay maybe not.) But the fear is that the appointment will just be another Emery type or “insider” without the strength or position to bargain for more resources. Totally agree with the need for player adjustments in January, IF the short term is of any importance to the club. We are sitting here thinking the heads will get someone in for the betterment of the team, when it could just be more politics with these blokes. As someone said, this posting will show… Read more »


Really what we need is a disciplinarian and someone who can enforce fundamentals. We see teams like Sheffield, Wolves, even Brighton out perform us off ball. Its not rocket science. We are under achieving and the players are not getting basics right or have a sound structure (particularly) in midfield to work with. There is too many changes between Emery going to diamond four to accommodate Ozil and Freddy experimenting with a 4 (Ozil wide, Willock pressing high) Personally I prefer to see someone like Erick Ten Hag or Simeone. Strong disciplinarians who develop a solid foundation for players (particularly… Read more »


The issue is not the managers being mooted, underwhelming as they may be. The issue is the team vis-a-vis the fan expectations. Guardiola and Klopp could come here, but they would still and wake up every night covered in sweat and screaming – well, the names of at least half dozen players. The fans expect top-level managers who will play attractive football. This is not an option we have. The squad is a shitshow. They’re not all bad, but most of them are deeply flawed. The chain is only as strong as Granit Xhaka, Mustafi, Ozil, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, you… Read more »


Great comment. We can still set our sights higher than Fat Sam though.

We probably missed a trick with Conte. I like the way he’s approached the rebuilding job at Inter which has been a basket-case club for years. Demanded the right to build his own squad, got rid of troublemakers like Icardi, built a tight defensive unit that’s keeping them ahead of Juve, and an attack where twin strikers as different as Lautaro Martinez and Lukaku can flourish together. And he has Prem experience. Pretty much exactly what we needed


I expect we are doing due diligence. Not ideal candidates either of them but if Freddy should continue not to find his way, we need some sort of solution. Frankly prefer a temporary appointment till the summer if we don’t find the right candidate. At the moment, my thoughts are on Erick Ten Hag at Ajax but he won’t leave till summer at very least. Otherwise Simeone apparently also not happy at Athletico (albeit still in far better position than us) Again I don’t see (unless there is a bust up) why he should leave till summer. In terms of… Read more »

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Despite numerous managers, coaches, scouts and ‘heads of footbal’ over the last 10 years, how have we STILL not bought that big, powerful box to box Midfielder/DM or a centre half in his prime that can actually defend?

Absolutely ridiculous state of affairs.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

The thing that annoys me is the lack of effort. Even the crap teams of the early/mid 80s put the effort in. There were crunching tackles going in everywhere, because the players cared. They just weren’t top drawer footballers, sadly

If we lose later but they give everything they’ve got, I wouldn’t get annoyed.


They should just google some stats for best football manager gamer and appoint him. Then sign will grigg and some irish fans. If we are to be shit we should at least be shit with a smile on our faces. Besides, i got a bet on freddie to manage aresenal for 10 games so leave him alone. Just need to find his red hair again. I know it and so do all of you. This clubs only chance is some oil billionaire taking over. Which wont happen. This crap we are into all started with chelsea and that abramovich fellow.


Marcelino! Omg. This “list” approach is nonsense. These jokers don’t have a clue. Spuds sacked poch and had mou in place in 24hrs. That’s called planning. We sack emery and proceed to flap and run around like headless chickens interviewing every body and his uncle. No forethought, no planning. We will end up with emery V2 because of these jokers.


Wenger recommended Kovac about 4 years ago.

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