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Is Mourinho Auditioning For Arsenal Mgr?

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Seems to me during the BREXIT drama of the past week that many supporters of Arsenal Football Club have completely missed a most astonishing development in the life of the football club. Since the NLD there has been a charm offensive directed at the club by Jose Mourinho and the usual suspects in the media, including the clickbaiters in the Arsenalsphere, have been giving him plenty oxygen. In my essay below I may be accused of doing the same but hopefully readers will discern that my objective is completely different from those who are overtly and covertly singing the praises of Mourinho.

The final whistle had barely sounded when the Portuguese used his perch as a pundit in the Sky Sports post-match coverage to virtually tell the public he could have done a better job than Unai Emery in setting up the Arsenal team.

Speaking of the trio of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe, he said:

“I think they are very good players and normally they should be on the pitch all three together,

Comparing the Liverpool three with Arsenal’s:

“What happens at Liverpool is [Roberto] Firmino drops back, drops in between the lines, and then he gives more space for [Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane to attack these diagonals. I would see Aubameyang playing on that left side of Liverpool and scoring a lot of goals.

“At Arsenal, Lacazette doesn’t have that quality, but they have two options. One is to play, instead of like today with three midfield players almost in a straight line, to play how they played in the last 10 or 20 minutes with two [sitting midfielders] and one No.10 that can feed the three without bringing Lacazette in between the lines.

“Another situation that is very possible is to bring Pepe from the right and in many occasions bring him to the inside. …

“So if Pepe plays more on the inside, he can feed more that diagonal to Lacazette and do what Guendouzi did for the last goal [for Aubameyang], Pepe doing that from the right with his left foot finding Lacazette on the diagonal.”

As for the creative players that Emery seem to distrust:

“So they have lots of options. These three players are very good. They had on the bench [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan, [Mesut] Ozil, [Dani] Ceballos who are players also who can give things. I think from the middle to the attacking areas they have a lot of solutions to develop.”

From the length of my quotes this was an extensive tactical analysis which according to one writer left the other pundits speechless.

“Following his comments, there was silence from the other pundits. They knew Mourinho had more knowledge of the game than they would ever have.”

From the tone of the above one can easily discern a fawning and obsequiousness towards Mourinho which has been the pattern since he arrived on English soil. While he may have brought trophies to Chelsea and Manchester United and his previous European clubs, his arrogance and loutishness has left a trail of broken, splintered football clubs who were eager to see his back after he wore out his welcome.

The issue here is not the content of Mourinho’s analysis. Many of us said virtually the same thing during and after the game. According to our most recent blogpost by Omair Javed:

“It was a game of passion and tactical blunders. It was supposed to be the day when we would have unleashed the attacking talents of our front 3 but as it turned out we were left asking more questions about Unai Emery’s selection, his idea of football that he wants us to play, his unending search for finding the balance in the team, confused substitutions and his bizarre reluctance to chase the winner when Spurs were begging to be hit.”

Mourinho was more precise and more detailed, something he is absolutely more qualified to do having spent his formative years as an assistant to England’s Sir Bobby Robson during the latter’s time in Portugal and Spain, first as a translator and then as a tactical scout of opposing teams and subsequently a manager and trophy winner big clubs.

Contrary to many in the Arsenal fanbase, who still cling desperately to the idea that Unai Emery is somehow the bold, fearless manager who will radically transform Arsenal, Mourinho, who is known for his emphasis on defense, is covertly criticizing Emery for timid tactics and non-use of his creative players.

Who can dispute that Arsenal has “very good” creative players (Ceballos and Ozil) and that “from the middle to the attacking areas they have a lot of solutions to develop”?

Leaving a vacuum for anti-football

After 15 months of Emery-ball, except for rare instances, the football has been dire. Instead of pointing out the ‘damn obvious’, some prefer to keep quiet, not realizing that their silence is simply enabling the enemies of the Arsenal Way to gradually occupy the vacuum. After years of Arsenal and Wenger refusing to adopt the anti-football tactics of Mourinho and his acolytes, there is a steady drip-drip of articles and tweets now suggesting the Portuguese may be the right coach for the club.

The Mirror headlined: Jose Mourinho explains how Arsenal midfielder Mateo Guendouzi can get even better:

“Sometimes when I watch matches I am a bit critical – in a good sense, on the coaching side of it – because sometimes I think Guendouzi plays too easy and too many square passes when he can look forward.

 “His first control normally is immediately for a sideways pass. He played a good game today and this is a great example of what he can do, because he’s a kid with talent.

“But he needs that kind movement and Aubameyang made a fantastic run for him.”

Again, Mourinho called it as he saw it. (Just imagine if anyone at Uncensored criticized the newly christened golden-child of Arsenal social media for being a sideways passer.) Contrast J.M. with most of the current Arsenal big bloggers. Ten years ago they were ripping the “youth project” accusing any foreign player, not named Wilshere or Ramsey, as sideways passers. But now most of them are like the three monkeys; cannot see, hear or speak. How the wheel has turned to expose the real hypocrites, those who care not one-bit for being honest, balanced and factual in their critique of Arsenal Football Club. Meanwhile the Mirror is looking like a paragon of truth and not the serial purveyor of fake news and click bait when Wenger was in charge.

Similarly warm praise of Mourinho’s critique of Guendouzi is showered by O-Post who boast of nearly 50,000 Likes for their articled headlined: Why Mourinho’s Tempered Criticism Of Guendouzi Is Spot On

Not to be outdone in giving a positive spin to J.M. is Football. London, an Arsenal-oriented web publication who, dare I say, rely on very tabloid headlines to gain our attention. This time around they emphasize: How Arsenal can unlock the full firepower of front three under Jose Mourinho on Football Manager.

Heavy D for notoriety

It was inevitable therefore that the biggest and most unashamed click-baiters in the Arsenalsphere, i.e. that lot from AFTV, would sense the rising disquiet about Emery and grasp the opportunity to gain some notoriety. Defying all previous ad hominem criticisms of Mourinho and his association with some of Arsenal’s bitterest rivals (Chelsea and Man Utd), Heavy-D has gotten the ball rolling for J.M. to become AFC’s coach. The Express was quick to headline: AFTV regular wants Arsenal to replace Unai Emery with Jose Mourinho… after four matches.

“AFTV regular Heavy D wants Jose Mourinho to replace Unai Emery at Arsenal – just four matches into the new Premier League season.

“The Gunners have enjoyed a solid, if unspectacular, start to thecampaign by amassing seven points from their first four games.”

Obviously the Express has seen an opportunity to gain clicks at Heavy-D’s expense while at the same time suggesting that any criticism of Emery is a bit loony because he has had only four matches this season. They too conveniently missed the prior year of a “solid, if unspectacular” football.

If this pattern of unspectacular football continues it is a dead certainty that Heavy-D and his pals will gain traction in the fanbase. AFTV will seek out the most extreme loons among their followers to crank up the volume for Mourinho and against Emery.

Who will be the next big shoe to drop?

Who will be the next big shoe to drop? I suspect it may be one of the big-bloggers and podcasters, who, envious of the AFTV channel having a monopoly on the monetization any anti-Emery, pro-Mourinho sentiment, jumps on the bandwagon. It is pretty obvious that many Arsenal big bloggers-podcasters are no longer supporters and guardians of the Arsenal Way. They are increasingly focused on monetizing their various on-line projects. If pandering to a pro-Mourinho campaign will grow their Followers and Subscribers, thus increasing the balances in their Patreon account, then standing against J.M.’s notorious ego, arrogance and mechanical football philosophy will be the least of their concerns. Instead there will be plenty virtue signaling as was their #WeCareDoYou.

Mourinho’s ego will prevail

As for Mourinho, never forget he campaigned for the Inter-Milan job after being fired from Chelsea, campaigned for the Real Madrid job during his parting of ways with Inter and angled for the Man Utd job even when he was still at Madrid, the two-year spell at Chelsea was a mere detour. For such a vain, egotistic man nothing would please him more than to have the Arsenal management crawling and groveling for his services as week-by-week he gently sticks the knife in the back of Unai Emery for his failures. Meanwhile the English press will celebrate and venerate him for his ruthlessness and Machiavellian tactics. They would applaud as he metaphorically gouge the eyes of all those Arsenal fans who once ridiculed him, not the least for that “swerve” by Arsene Wenger when he tried to make himself the center of attention at that Community Shield final 4 years ago. This is a side-show, a melodrama that will play out from week-to-week. Stay tuned to this page!


  1. Best Uncensored article ever. And they have all been good btw.

  2. The idea that we could even consider appointing him as coach/manager is nausiating.

    Even if he were to get us a trophy of some sort, he would never last a second season, as has happened with his previous clubs.

    At the same time, all that the supporters have loved about our team and our club will have been consigned to the bin.

    Never in a million years.

  3. The Ghost Of WengerSeptember 9, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    You, Sir Shotta, have knocked it out of the m’f**king park with this one. Perfectly incisive, unapologetic and condemnatory.

    I did notice Mourinho distancing himself from the routine tropes dished out by the regular pundits but the grey cells didn’t quite appreciate the import of the statements. He is the first mainstream TV figure to go against the grain of the “Wenger was shit, Emery is doing well” nonsense. Personally I feel the regular pundits are enjoying Arsenal’s self inflicted implosion and will continue to praise Emery as Arsenal performs way below level of the talent in the squad, safe in the knowledge that the average AFTV fan is a) quite easily led and b) too stupid to think freely.

    Mourinho, like every other football manager, knows that Arsenal is underperforming but, unlike the others, has no vested interest in sitting back watching the decline with a conspiratorial smile. He knows that Emery will not last long in the job at this rate. He also knows that Arsenal have an attacking prowess every bit as good as that of Liverpool and Man City and he could make us much more competitive without spending a penny.

    Take last season for instance. Every other manager in the league would have played to our strengths. Top *three* was quite achievable irrespective of the presence of condemned “Wenger era” players. Emery choose to be dogmatic, forcing us to play in a manner unsuited to our players, denying us both a top 4 finish and an EL win. Pragmatism should have dictated that Emery play to our strengths but recruit his style of player during the transfer windows. He could have gradually evolved the playing style towards his ideal. Rather than evolution, we had mutilated team selections and tactics. Pulis must have been proud – the mighty Arsenal setup to p[lay like Stoke.

    Mourinho is cunning (I loath the cnut by the way). He has seeded the clouds and Emery should expect rainfall by Christmas. I sincerely hope the new ruthless Arsenal will continue to be ruthless. I hope they do not consider Mourinho as the man for the job as many managers will do better than Emery with our squad. Nuno anyone?

  4. Shotta – interesting angle you propose regarding Mourihino and you are right about his media campaings for Real, Man utd jobs (can’t remember the Inter campaign but fits a pattern) and you are right about those who forget how much they despised him.
    I do not want him as manager at all though i have not got the same dislike i used to have for him when he was talking about us and specialists in failure but i never forget that talk and he cannot ever be Gunners manager for me, style wise, character wise and past history wise.

    Also regarding AFTV, i didnt know that heavy d geezer got his noteriety from there, he seems very annoying from what i can see, i cant give these new youtube celebrities any of my time, absolute jokers, more interested about being seen and being seen to be important than anything else. But yeah you are right there is a whole industry now dedicated to winding up and agitating the Arsenal fan base, just trawl through the headlines on newsnow to see the BS. These days i can only click sporting witness articles, positive, untold and maybe 1 or 2 more. the rest are just windups.

    Thinking of setting up my own youtube channel called eon emery out now, invite all you guys on there regularly and we can rep the whole fan base, do interviews outside the ground, get Phil Neville in for interviews etc. Get William hill and Talk sport sponsorship and away we go to the land of z class celebritydom, line our pockets while looking after the concern of our so called fellow fan.

    • That YouTube channel looks very tasty Gee. We should be able to rustle up a few thousands subscribers and pretty soon divest the lemmings of some of their cash with a creative Anti-Emery campaign.

  5. Nuno anyone – good shout!

    I like the way wolves are setup, I like the way he uses Moutiniho and Neves as creative deep pivots able to break up play and launch quick attcks, I like Jota, I like their keeper i like the way they play the game.

    We should be looking at inovative creative coaches

    • Problem with Wolves is they are at heart a counter-attacking team. They look pretty useless when they must take the offensive versus lower tier teams.

      • Rosicky@ArsenalSeptember 9, 2019 at 6:01 pm

        Great post shotts. Have the same feelings as every other poster have with regards to the odious one .
        His fued with Wenger will never allow me to have an ounce of good feel for him .A big NO ffrom myside I see him at the Emirates .
        Equally good post from ThThe ghost of Wenger .

      • Shotts that may be true but when Wolves played away at the Arsenal one team played good football on that day and it wasn’t Emery’s Gunners!

        The Wolves coach put Emery to shame.

  6. I agree with George Shotts this is the best post on the Arsenal since your Brutus piece on George’s blog IBSF!

    I mean it’s not like any of us ever saw Daddy Raul’s long term plan and relationships as head of Football Relations with some of the biggest muck in football, after he ruined the reputation of Barcelona. Yes. We know his game. It’s not Football!!

    Daddy Raul Montana

    Davide Brentery

    Gunner Gavin Blog

    What a collection that is right there!
    How far is the vomit bag?

    Lord help us.

  7. I think you did a splendid job in perfectly describing the situation surrounding Jose Mourinho’s post match comments, media reaction to those comments, and supposedly his own personal agenda behind it.

    I understand why you and many in the media has seen this as his job hunt for Arsenal. But a part of my mind that tries to judge things at its face value without trying to find the sinister in it, would say that anyone with a management experience of Jose Mourinho would have been able to see those issues in our play as clear as daylight and would have called Emery out on that as well.

    Let one thing be clear, I personally don’t like Mourinho as a person, neither his philosophy as a coach but as a pundit what he said in his post match comments, they were spot on. I don’t know whether he was auditioning for the role or not(though knowing his history, I incline to think that he was), but what he said, needed to be said by someone sitting in that studio. It was so obvious and as a pundit Mourinho has shown himself to be very good in his short spell as pundit to date.

    Now, coming to the point of whether he was auditioning for the or role or how some Arsenal fans and blogger have took to the idea. Personally, no matter what we say on the topic and no matter how long we talk on the topic. At the end, it all comes down to one question. How much do we care about our values? This is a question which rightly you raised as well in this article and one that I made in one of my articles as well. And if the answer had been positive to that question, than we would never have even heard the notion of this bizarre idea because in every sense Jose Mourinho is anti-Arsenal. The situation is same when it comes to Unai Emery but for some reasons we have chose to ignore it so far. Because you can not talk about Arsenal values and Unai Emery in a single sentence. He too has shown himself to be anti-Arsenal.

    But then my follow up to this would be that if we really do no care about our values than Mourinho is a much better option and a much better coach than Unai Emery but I am not one of those. I am willing to forgive every crime of Jose Mourinho against Arsenal and Arsene but even then I would never want to seem him as Arsenal manager simply because he is not the Arsenal way! Just like I would not want to see someone like Simeone at Arsenal even if he comes at Arsenal and wins the league with his own style of football!

    The fact that we are even talking about this shows you how far the mighty has fallen!

  8. Rosicky@ArsenalSeptember 10, 2019 at 4:25 am

    Well said Omair .Spot on.

  9. Guys, was just on here https://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/arsenal/2018-19/fixtures-and-results.html looking at results and lineups. Noticed something – emery was playing with 4 attack minded players up until the Bournemouth away tie when he declared to the wholeworld Ozil is weak away from home. Looking at the line ups since then it is noticeable that he only starts 3 attack mided \ creative players in the line up. The weird thing is the results were positive when he made the changes. The team seemed to be creating and taking chances as you can see by the results. My theory as i have stated before this was a power move by emey as there was no justification to change the system really

    Nov 25, 2018 1.30pm

    Look at the line up he played 2 attack minded players that day
    Dec 8, 2018 3pm

    I cant be bothered going through all the results but it looks like emery didnt shift the the tactic of 3 attack minded player followed by 8 defensive minded player for the rest of the season regardless of formation e.g 3-5-1, 4-3-3, 4-4-2 etc.

    The only reason i can think for the said shift is that we were not keeping clean sheets.

    Omar, Shotta or anyone want to try verify but i am pretty sure that is when the shift of tactics happened, coinciding with the Ozil cant play away BS.


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