Paul Merson questions the ability of Arsenal to attract a top coach

Paul Merson urges Arsenal to become more realistic in their managerial search because they are no longer a big club.

Arsenal needs to be more realistic of their managerial targets as they look to replace Unai Emery, according to Merson.

The Gunners have been searching for a new manager since they fired the Spaniard and most of the world’s best managers have been linked to the job, but Merson believes the Gunners are not being realistic with their managerial targets.

He believes that the North Londoners are no longer one of the big teams and they will struggle to attract a world-class manager.

He dismisses the reports that Max Allegri is keen to become the next Arsenal manager and he also predicts that Carlo Ancelotti won’t stay on the job long enough to overhaul the team and make them better if he is made their next manager.

In his Daily Star Sport column, Merson said: “Arsenal are going to struggle to find a big name to replace Unai Emery because it’s just not that attractive a job any more.

“Freddie Ljungberg has found out just how much work there is to be done at that club. Without being horrible, their game against West Ham was one of the worst I’d ever seen for 60-odd minutes.

“I think they want him to do well, steady the ship, get through the season and not panic into getting a new manager.

“But they are not a top four club. And they don’t need a ten-minute fix, they need a long-term plan.

“They won’t be getting Brendan Rodgers now. There’s talk of Carlo Ancelotti but would he be there for four or five years? Probably not.

“And why would someone like Max Allegri take it? He’s just managed Juventus. This league has Liverpool and Manchester City in it and Arsenal have no chance of challenging them.

“Arsenal get beat this weekend. I said last week that United would test City, and they did. But I can’t see how Arsenal do.

“Will Freddie get it full time? No chance. I’d be shocked if that happens. I think they want a big name. But they might have trouble finding one.”

I simply cannot agree with Merson here, in fact, I am not even sure he believes what he writes. It has to be remembered that he is writing all this for the Daily Star. Do you honestly think they would keep employing him if he wrote positive things about Arsenal?

He has to make a living somehow I suppose.


  1. To some extent i agree with merson, surely if we were going to get Allegri or Poch, the two biggest names available right now, we would have got them. Ancelotti is a big name but is he flavour of the month still, probably not. If we were city, Liverpool, utd or Chelsea, i think they could attract a big name quite easily, we are not in that calibre because of our owner and the perception of Arsenal as a competitive football club. We are a big club but being run as a mid table team. Our owner is not and does not have the ambition to take this club to the top and we are paying for it.

    1. ambition does not mean employing big name coaches

      Rodger is not a big name yet hes working well with Leicester

      Would the fans want Ranieri a proven name?

      1. I never mentioned Rogers and would city utd Liverpool or Chelsea have Ranieri, no, a bit of a silly coment really. Mersons rant was us not being able to attract a big name. What has rogers or Ranieri got to do with it. Rogers has just signed a new contract and Ranieri is not what i would call a big name. I dont get your reply one bit.

    2. Completely agree, untill Kronke is out we will remain a mid table team n will never fight for title. The hierarchy is not interested in winning titles or trophies they just care about the money rolling in. Arsenal are slowly loosing their brand attraction n with this absurd three man interview based system instead of going after n offering job to best managers in world is not going to get us far. We will end up with another UE or if we are lucky then a young manager like Arteta (gamble) might pay off.

    3. I think most arsenal aren’t truthful to The reality of what and where arsenal is today, not a big club anymore and not trying to be one either, it started during wengers time, the owners dont really care but forget that if they allow the club to keep sliding so is their investment until it ends up in the championship however that a bit too critical but I believe arsenal will just become a bit table team now, unless if they are lucky to get a hidden gem of a coach, I doubt any top coach would want to go to a club that seriously lack ambition like arsenal

    4. Partially right. We would have gotten Poch, yes, but Allegri is not taking ANY job right now in case you haven’t noticed. And Merson is not right when he says: “And why would someone like Max Allegri take it? He’s just managed Juventus. This league has Liverpool and Manchester City in it and Arsenal have no chance of challenging them.”

      Allegri is specifically learning English to manage in the Prem where the big bucks are.
      City, Liverpool, and Tottenham jobs are taken. The only 2 better options than Arsenal are Chelsea and ManU and there’s no guarantee they’ll want a new manager in the summer. Even if they did, there’s no guarantee they would choose Allegri.

      When Allegri auditioned for the Arse job the last time around he wanted ARSENAL to sell the idea to him – I mean why he should take the job. The trio in charge did not like that so they went with the ‘yes man’ as soon as he said good ebening.

      Allegri might not want to get rebuffed again (same for Arteta perhaps). Otherwise Arsenal job is probably the best paid AVAILABLE managerial job right now.

  2. He is right. We are not a big club anymore. Compared to United they continue to spend looking for a way to return to their previous heights. They continue to higher top coaches in search of answer. What do we do at Arsenal? Looking for a cheap way out of our self imposed problems. Let Kroenke sell the club to Usmanov who personally loves the game and is prepared to spend.

    1. Utd spend big on players and changed a number of managers

      and the end result is they won heaps of title since 2013

      1. Atleast they are trying to do something about it instead of burying their head in the sand. By de way they did win UEFA cup in this struggle era as well.

  3. World class n best managers in the world are approached, given sureties, provided funds, given the club sales pitch etc they don’t go and give interviews n run after the club so again the whole approach by the board is wrong….the reason simple they want to hire a cheap descent coach who can work wonders without asking for investment. Have you ever seen big clubs like Madrid, Barca, Bayern, Juventus n etc advertising the job n asking ppl for interview. No top manager in world would come n give onterview…we are not Madrid or Barca …hell they would struggle to land a world class manager like pep or Klopp if they go with this three man interview sh*t.

    1. Well, the world isn’t overflowing with worldclass clubs with manager vacancies either. Arsenal has been known to pay very attractive packages to managers. Wenger took home a reported £9M a year. Why do you assume every top manager would ignore the personal financial benefit of the Arsenal job due to some unsatisfactory budget? Didn’t Benitez go to China for the money? How much did Klopp spend in his first season at livarpool? £70M. Isn’t that what Emery splashed out on one player this season?

  4. But do we really need a big name coach/manager?
    Is a genius required to see what Arsenal’s situation is?
    Every one knows our offense is great our central defense is pants.
    So get top quality into DM and CB.
    You don’t need an IQ of 190 (slightly below mine 🙂 to figure it out?
    Emery knew the defense was shyzte and went ultra defensive to stop shipping goals.
    But transition from defense to attack (Xhaka) was too slow and goals dried up.
    So we ended up not losing but sans the goals there came the slew of draws.
    Fix DM and CB and let Freddie take it from there.
    It’s not exactly rocket science, it’s much harder because it’s football 🙂

  5. I completely disagree with Paul Merson and his ilk. There is no manager who cannot be attracted to Arsenal. Mourinho wanted to come and even Allegri was in the running to replace Arsene Wenger. Merson should know that Arsenal is one of the big football clubs in the world with supporters all over the world. The most populous African country in Africa is Nigeria and most Nigerians support Arsenal as do many other African countries. There is a big Arsenal following in Asia as well. Therefore Merson should move out of his British cocoon and see Arsenal for what it is, a truly world club. The only others in England are Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea Man City is just beginning to get followers. So Merson should spare us his ignorance.

    1. So what you are really saying is merse is right, we didn’t get moron and we haven’t got allegri. Spuds got moron like a shot and Allegri is avoiding us like rhe plague. The bit about Nigeria is totally irrelevant to the question.

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