Opinion – Arsenal should only consider Rafa Benitez as a short-term option

the next Arsenal and West Ham manager

This could be a subtle reminder from the Spaniard, letting owners know he’s in the country till February and who knows, maybe one or two will be impressed by his analysis, especially talking about how he would make our defence better.

How much we are interested in the Spaniard really comes down where we are in terms of our recruitment policy. If, for example, we have identified a target but feel we can’t sign him till the summer, then Benitez would be a smart short-term option. That’s what he did at Chelsea, went in for a few months and got them organised again. That’s the only way I would have him at the Emirates

His ethos just contradicts our footballing values, which was one the accusations aimed at Unai Emery. It’s easy after 8 games without a win until last night to say you only care about results, but longer term you would become bored with his style. Rafa as interim boss would confirm that the Kroenke’s had no plan when sacking Emery, which would prove their lack of ambition. Yet the form was so bad that some gooners were worried about relegation, so could think that Benitez is an experienced option to steady the ship. Plus, in terms of getting results in two legged European Football, he’s an expert.

I’m not sure Benitez would walk away from his current salary just to manage in North London for a few months, but that’s the only scenario I would take him.

What do you think?

Dan Smith


  1. Pointless post, how on earth would we get Benitez until the end of the season? For me he is the best option full stop, pay what it takes to get him full time, a PROPER coach.

    1. I don’t think he’d come after watching MNF. Good coach though. Ancelotti all the way for me. Win the league in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and England. Oh, and 3 Champions Leagues. Won it all as a player at AC Milan too so would command the respect of any player.

      1. Bayern’s players rebelled against Ancelotti because most training session were just a warm-up followed by 11 vs 11. They felt it wasn’t good enough. And they were right. Look how he’s struggling now. 17 points behind Conte’s Inter and it’s only week 15.

        Benitez is good for a defensive team. With our squad that would not work ATM. We have a few top forwards but not a single top defender (maybe Tierney will become one).

  2. The board should trim the list down to 4. They should have had a prime target before sacking Emery.For now, they should try and tempt Nuno Espirito or Simeone.

    Simeone(I heard he could be sacked by Athletico Madrid any moment from now)
    Nuno Espirito

    We need a manager who can fix our defence. Defence is where the issue is. Our defenders are too soft and no leadership

    1. If that’s true about Simeone, I’ll be over the moon! He’s been my number one target for the last 2/3 years. He is exactly what we need.

      1. Simone is the most negative coach I know in football history,second only to maybe Jose,I won’t touch him…we deserve better

  3. The writer’s opinion on our so called “values” is exactly why we’re in this mess. It’s over a decade of shocking defending, and yet it still shocks me that many fans want to continue ignoring our biggest problem!

    Too many have this obsession with style over substance. Obviously in the long-term we all want both, but right now, style can take a distant back seat! We badly need a defensive manager. As Rafa said on MNF, you have a better chance of winning if you’re not conceding goals.

    1. Yeah your right our best period in our history had nothing to do with Positive football did it ?
      I bet Barcelona and Man City regret playing positive football

      Rafa said he has better chance of winning by not conceding goals?
      That style got hims sacked by Inter Milan , Real Madrid and even Valencia and Chelsea

      1. Actually our most successful period came under Graham’s negative football, not Wenger. Wenger won a little more, but did so over 22 years, and never won in Europe. Graham won everything domestically, and in Europe, in just 9 years.

        1. Well know
          Arsene Wenger is our most successful manager period
          That not a debate that’s a fact
          Know one more at Arsenal won more then him
          Saying yeah but George Graham got sacked isn’t an argument
          When you get sacked it means you done something wrong
          Both on and off the pitch George Graham was no longer being successful

        2. But I’m glad you send false information because it sums up the modern fan who feels it’s coo to disrespect Arsene Wenger
          Even if we go by your argument that George Graham only had mine years
          He won in that time 2 titles, 2 Leauge Cups , 1 Fa cup and a cup winners cup
          Mr Wenger in same period won 3 titles ,4 Fa Cups
          So again you lied to newer generation of fan to suit your own agenda
          In a 9 year period Wenger won more , that’s a fact
          Sorry not what you want to hear
          O h and you no the European cup / champions league only !an in our history who got us close to winning that was him
          So negative football was our most successful period ? Just a lie and not factual

  4. Benitez has the highest release clause in the world as a manager,Monday he said he will honour his 2 years left in his contract.do you think arsenal are going to pay its 20M clause not a chance,do forget about it!

    1. True. Dan Smith didn’t do his due dilligence before creating the article

      Rather than paying Dalian Yifang 23 M, Arsenal had better hire one of the unemployed managers like Pochettino and give him the money to buy a new player

      Also remember that Arsenal still have to pay Emery and his staffs loads of money

      1. Would it be easy to get Nuno Espirito from Wolves. i mean in terms of compensation Is he a candidate for the job? We need a coaching team that can teach our team how to defend.

      2. @got,
        Poch will cost us over £12 million to repay his spurs contract, then he wants at least £10 million a year.
        Did YOU do due diligence?

  5. AFC are NEVER going to consider RB
    Exorbitant Buy Out from his current
    club in China so this article is
    essentially a non Starter.

    Allegri, Simeone and B. Rodgers are
    Fairy Tale considerations IMHO and
    both Arteta and Viera just dont tick
    the necessary boxes atm.

    Although I think he’s holding out for
    the Manure job, Poch is the ONLY
    quality managerial candidate atm that
    would be beneficial to the short and
    long term PROJECT that is AFC.

    I wouldnt bat an eye if he was given
    the job and the financial backing in
    January to bring in a quality cdm
    (Sangare from Toulouse or Sander
    Berge from Genk) a top CB( Upamecano,
    Diaz, Ake, Torres, Kamara, Tah) and
    a young RB (Y Attel from Nice, Best
    from Ajax, D Dumfries from PSV) to
    challenge and hopefully beat
    out Bellerin Moving on Xhaka,
    Mustafi and Laca( El Neny, Miki,
    as well) would make these
    NECESSARY acquisitions more than
    financially feasible.

    I wouldnt mind this squad the 2nd
    half of the season under Poch.


    Just my worthless bit of 2 cents.

  6. Right now rumours are akin to seeing if the Pasta’s ready – throw it at the wall and see if it sticks !!!

    Latest so called “breaking” ;

    Arsenal have made contact with the representatives of Bordeaux manager Paulo Sousa as the north London club intensifies its search for Unai Emery’s permanent successor.

    Rubbish !

  7. Let’s forget about the idea of Arsenal hiring Rafael 8anitez as their next substantive head coach after their having to fire Unai Emery from continuing as the club’s head coach for his poor obtained results in the Premier League. But Freddie Ljungberg his assistant was immediately given the mandate to step in as interim head coach for the Gunners.

    Since Freddie Ljungberg has been told to sit on the club’s head coach hotseat by the club’s hierarchy but on the temporary basis, but do us Gooners think Ljungberg will not want his temporary sitting on the Arsenal head coach’s hotseat be for the long term? I think he’ll not only liking his sitting on the Arsenal head coach’s hotseat temporarily but will work very hard and gives it all it takes to see that the Gunners who he’s now coaching continue where they left off yesterday night at London Stadium when they beat West Ham in the PL to collect all points at stake in the match. Which has giving us Gooners a very good feeling in our heartthinking up till now.

    Admini Pat, if Freddie Ljungberg successfully coached the Gunners to win all their next 4 matches in the ELC at away on Thursday night, then beat Man City H, Chelsea A and Man Utd H. Honestly, the issue of Arsenal hiring a new head coach for the Gunners to replace Emery who they’ve sacked will be dead in the waters. For, the club hierarchy will appoint Freddie Ljungberg as the new substantive head coach for the Gunners and will give him a one and half year lucrative contact to see. Which could worth £6m PA with another yea option to it to take but at the discretion of the club accepting or refusing.

    If I may add, I think there is no way Arsenal will employ a new head coach now whose annual salary will exceed £6m. This is because the club as of now will be paying Unai Emery their former head coach weekly compensation salary equaling his Arsenal weekly wages to cover for the period his contract with the club will terminate I think next summer. But if along the line he gets another coaching job, say at Everton which he reportedly have downed down, Arsenal will stop continuing paying him his weekly compensation salary I should think. And us can notice Emery who is financially comfortable for the period that Arsenal continue to pay him till next summer is looking not in a hurry to take a new coaching job at a club immediately after he was sacked by Arsenal. But if in next January he gets a punditry job, say at Sky Sports or at any outfits to punditry, then of course Arsenal could minus whatever the weekly wages that Sky Sports or any other media outlets is paying him from his weekly compensation payments that Arsenal are paying him and pay him the balance.

  8. I think Dan, you are out of your mind for even floating the idea of another temporary manager. It would be foolish to hire anybody, save Freddie, who is already a temp and a very short lived one to be, in my view. You must be desperate for NEW articles to write about. THAT is what this silly article shrieks out to me.

      1. DAN, I BELIEVE YOU, THOUGH THOUSANDS WOULDN’T! All clubs managers are ALSO on TV when their teams play. But then you aleady knew that Dan!

        1. Yeah but I went along the thought process of he has been linked with the job
          Sorry if the article bothered you so much

  9. One 0 One on tactics.

    1. X………X……..X………X
    2. ………………X……………
    3. …………X……..X………..
    4. ………………………………
    5. X……………X…………..X

    Yesterday what we did well was play Toerria and ozil as the 2 in line 3. Toerrira was able to help break up play and support forwards. Passing with defence receives was assured and passing amongst the forwards was direct. His movement afterwards was to support but within a zone that considers defence cover.
    Ozil was able to receive passes and move forward. At times there was balls from xhaka which means opponent lines are broken. High pressing Xhaka when 2 receives are close by is hard to do. Not because we have xhaka but because of the formation.

    Liverpool have a flat 3 middle but shape like a 1 and 2 like above. So do city. Liverpool’s options there mean more reliance is on the top 3 to get the ball as early as possible. Henderson has good ball crosses, so do does their full backs. Cities 3 play more with silva and bruyne more forward thinking as a main default. I don’t mind having one of each with toerria the one defensive.

    But if gendouzi and willock learn off ozil in how to make that killer pass, they will go a long way in the game. They can both kinda defend. In actual fact willock is better then gendouzi at this.
    Gendouzi can get forward and shown glimpses of wonderful final passes, and Willock scores goals.

    The front line speaks for itself. Wide men pull back and sit on line 4 if their defence has the ball or line 3 if they have countered or advance with the ball.
    In attack if players from line 3 advance with the ball they must remain wide but narrow, so within the edge of their box corner. Central forward in line with their penalty spot. This line of 3 move forward together, the two wide men move backwards together.

    On the below option it is more basicially 442 but can be converted to from above tactics, especially if you are winning. I am happy with the type of 3 selected yesterday but if you have 2 up top with laca and auba then the middle 3 on line 3 can be Pepe Toerria and one of Ozil/Willock/Gendouzi. The idea is Pepe or alike (Martinelli on the LM) with their pace take the attack forward with driving into space. Space available because we play the traditional position in a 442 formation, so deeper wide wing. Naturally Pressing is on us (hence why when we are winning it’s good) and so we break into the spaces left open because of their high press and assurance for us left still with full backs tucked in and wide men deep in ready to attack mode.

    1. X……X……..X………X
    2. …………..X…………….
    3. …..X…….X……X…….
    4. …………………………..
    5. ……….X…….X……….

    As the Arsenal job is open, it’s worth them opening to what fans think, after all we been following a long time. This is just my 2 cents.

    Many talk about so and so isn’t working at Arsenal, but none of it is progress for me, just a god moan at the fact we have fallen. But we need to get back up, we are AFC and one thing we can control is the tactics we play and the attitude they show. We can only support their attempts are trying to find the right solutions. So it is ready for the next man to continue the work.

  10. Rafa? Not short term, why would he? Long term yes, In a heartbeat, he knows the Prem inside out and has won things with Liverpool. Also their fans love him and would be livid if he joined us. So, it’s, win win!

  11. I am an Arsenal supporter but we need to face reality and realize where Arsenal is right now as we search for a coach. How can a former Champions League and UEFA Cup winner Raphael Benitez leave his well-paid position and come take up coaching Arsenal on a temporary basis when we are considering coaches that have won nothing for permanent appointment? Benitez is bigger than that.

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