Paul Merson Says: Arsenal must look to replace Unai Emery with Mauricio Pochettino
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Last Updated: 27/11/19 7:41am
Paul Merson says Arsenal should look to replace Unai Emery with Mauricio Pochettino following his sacking from Tottenham, reflects on Jose Mourinho at Spurs and talks pressure at Everton and West Ham...
Will Arsenal stick with Emery?
Arsenal should go for Mauricio Pochettino. He's not won anything, but he improved Tottenham over five years, tenfold. He's a top manager and he is about at the moment.
I know he managed at Tottenham, but George Graham had been at Arsenal when he went the other way. You've got to get past that sort of stuff. These top managers don't come along too often, where you don't even have to pay anything for them.
Can I see it happening? No. Should it happen? Yes. But it won't happen. The days of the rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham are not what they were. When I was growing up, it was the big football match.
For some of these players, that's no longer the case. It's probably Chelsea or Manchester City or Liverpool. It's not the highlighted fixture anymore as there's not a lot of home-grown players in the teams.
You don't have to pay compensation for him, and if you are going to bring someone in, he's got to be better than the manager you've got. I still see Emery being there for a while. They had a chance to get rid of him before the international break.
They looked at the fixtures and saw Southampton at home, Norwich away. They thought they would win both and everything would be rosy in the garden again. But they were fortunate to draw with Southampton with some of the chances they had, and they'd lost 9-0.
Their confidence was low, but they never looked like they would be on a hiding. There wasn't too much respect and they came and thought they had a chance.
I'm a great believer in if you keep doing the same things, you get the same results. Something needs to change. The players are not that good, but at the same time, results have to be better than what they are.
If you're a football manager and you arrive at a club, the team must improve, and the results have to improve. If they don't then you won't be in the job for long. That was a fact when I was playing, and it will be a fact in 30 years' time.
It's worrying times, and with Norwich away this weekend, I think Emery will do well to get on the coach if they don't win that game.
What would be success for Mourinho at Spurs?
Jose Mourinho has been brought in at Tottenham to get into the top four. They've just moved into an unbelievable stadium, one of the best in the world. They can't be without Champions League football after one season.
Who's the best manager in the world in terms of hitting the ground running? It's Mourinho. He's the one person you're guaranteed to get results straightaway.
There's no six months of bedding in. He is a quick fix and he starts the season like it's the last game. You rarely see his team coming back from 12 points behind and he ticks the boxes for Tottenham.
But in terms of his goal, there's no point Tottenham finishing fifth and winning the FA Cup. This is a money business. Winning the FA Cup is a trophy, and they've not won one in a long time, but at the same time, the owners will be quietly sat there thinking we've brought you in to finish in the top four.
It's probably easier to get into the top four than to win the FA Cup. If they draw Manchester City in the third round then they're out. If they lose two more league games between now and the end of the season, they've got every chance of getting into the top four. Spurs can't afford to be playing Europa League football in that stadium.
You only need to look at what's happened at Arsenal. They've had to sell a player each year when Arsene Wenger was there. You have to get into the top four. I don't understand the length of the contract, but I can understand why they've got him in.
Who would take the Everton job now?
There's a lot of pressure on a lot of managers in the Premier League right now and all those owners know they would have to pay out in order to start all over again. Quique Sanchez Flores, Marco Silva and Manuel Pellegrini are all under severe pressure.
You have to stay in the Premier League, and owners have a problem looking for the right replacement. There's millions of pounds at stake so you can't just sack a manager without having a plan.
It feels like a game of poker at the moment with these clubs - do you stick or twist? They're all searching for that next game where a win would take the pressure off. But, let's be honest, who is going to take that Everton job now? It's a great job but look at the fixtures.
Who wants to come in now? It's a great job and it's a great club, but you could lose the first four games easily. Then, you're behind the eight ball before you've even started. When the easier games come, they become harder because you're already on a losing streak. Confidence is low and it will have a knock-on effect.
Pellegrini is quite fortunate with the two goals West Ham scored at the end against Tottenham, because if that had ended 4-0 or 5-0, I don't see how he could have stayed on. It's very easy to play when you're losing, the shackles are off. You've got to be playing at 0-0.
I watched them against Burnley (a 3-0 defeat) and he picked the wrong team with Pablo Fornals. He's a good player but he's not a Burnley away player. Newcastle didn't look like they would score for toffee on Monday at Aston Villa, but they scored three times at West Ham.
The problem we have is that many Premier League owners will turn to a manager who is unproven at this level. It would take them three months to settle in. These teams haven't got three months, they're struggling.
The likes of Sean Dyche, Chris Wilder and Eddie Howe are all good managers who have earned their stripes at lesser clubs, no disrespect, but were they to leave at present they would be moving sideways.
Who would you expect to finish higher in the league out of Sheffield United and Everton? And then you wonder how long they would be in that job for if things go wrong. A year? They have the respect and the confidence of the board at the club they're at and when they go on losing runs, they are given time to turn things around. Howe probably has a job for life at Bournemouth.