Arsenal’s problems go way beyond who their next manager will be

first_imgARSENAL need to scrap the emotion — it is at the centre of all that is wrong with the club.It is why the Gunners’ greatest ever boss Arsene Wenger was allowed to remain in the top job far too long.1 Ljungberg has made a poor start so farCredit: Getty Images – GettyBut managers, like players, grow old and have to step aside.It’s not easy to part ways with a club icon but if they are not willing to move, they must be pushed.That takes strong leadership and, unfortunately, that is what has been sorely lacking at the Emirates for a number of years.And the club only have to look down the road to see what decisiveness looks like.SPURS CONTRASTSpurs’ chairman Daniel Levy made the controversial decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino last month, knowing full well that the highly-rated Argentine would be courted by Europe’s elite.Such a decision was sure to attract intense scrutiny yet he knew it was the right call for his club — and I’m in total agreement despite being a big Poch fan.Gunners supporters groups have accused their hierarchy of being ‘rudderless’ — which is fair.The fact that club greats are now being identified to restore Arsenal to their past glory only compounds such frustrations.Such romantic notions are nonsense.PRIORITIES MESSED UPIf the right manager has a connection to the club then great, it’s a bonus, an add-on.It should never be a high priority.Freddie Ljungberg is at the helm now but has already proved in just two games it must only be temporary.The fact that a single point was taken against Norwich and Brighton says it all but his team selection and thought process further compound it.To bring Shkodran Mustafi back at the Canaries, only to discard him against the Seagulls, shows he’s for the birds.WISHFUL THINKINGAnd the Swede’s statement of being “100 per cent” sure of a top-four finish is wishful thinking, Arsenal are 10th — 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.The Gunners are on their worst run in 42 years and a battle for the top six seems beyond them.There has been no upturn under Ljungberg and I can’t help asking, ‘Why would there be?’He was under hapless Unai Emery but I never understand why the assistant of a failed boss is given the job after his sacking.Surely he is culpable to an extent?INVINCIBLE REUNION?The ex-winger may be getting by on the fact he is an Arsenal icon.And that trend could continue with Ljungberg’s fellow Invincible Patrick Vieira linked with the vacancy despite uninspiring spells with Nice and New York City.Or it might be Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta who could also make an Emirates return even though he has never managed before.His association with Pep Guardiola has surely given him an intense footballing education.Like it has been for coaches and players under Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.ARTETA QUESTION MARKSBut Arsenal must be sure Arteta is special in his own right and not just a Pep Jr.That he’s his own man who has tapped into genius of those around him.The Gunners have been down this road before, discarding their template for a successful team in imitation of Pep’s Barcelona that saw them uncompetitive and embarrassingly labelled ‘Barca Lite’.Brendan Rodgers has extended his Leicester contract, Max Allegri has distanced himself and why would Diego Simeone leave Atletico Madrid for the Arsenal mess?SMALLER PROFILE CANDIDATESManagers who have been successful in lower leagues are unlikely to be given the chance George Graham got from Third Division Millwall back in 1986.Yet the likes of Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe and Sheffield United gaffer Chris Wilder have their sides playing in an Arsenal-esque fashion but with the accountability that has been lacking at the Emirates.David Dein previously set the standard for the Gunners.And it was no coincidence that the former owner’s departure in 2007 coincided with Wenger’s mid-decade decline.BLINKERED THINKINGThe fact that ex-chief exec Ivan Gazidis left north London post-Wenger was failing to learn from Manchester United’s troubles when boss Ferguson and David Gill left back in 2013.And recent rumours of David O’Leary travelling to games with the board once again show the same blinkered thinking regarding an icon’s association to the club.Although a hero of mine growing up as an Arsenal fan, it’s difficult to forget his OTT celebrations when his Leeds team ended Arsenal’s title hopes in 1999!MOST READ IN SPORTTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidThe Emirates hierarchy have to look past club ties.Wenger didn’t have any connections when he took over — nor did Klopp or Pep. It’s a massive call Arsenal have to get right.Will they? I’m not convinced.last_img read more

Old Fort, Tigers, Vintage still surging ahead

first_imgGTT National Indoor Hockey Championships…YMCA Old Fort, Bounty GCC Vintage and GBTI GCC Tigers continued their dominance on the fourth night of the GTT National Indoor Hockey Championships.In the First Division Men’s category, YMCA Old Fort eased past Saints 5-0. In the First Division Ladies category, GBTI GCC Tigers surprisingly took down GBTI GCC Spice with a blistering 7-0 victory, while GBTI GCC Spartans found their form to defeat Woodpecker Hikers 4-0.Action intensified in the GTT Indoor Hockey ChampionshipIn the Second Division Men’s category, Bounty GCC Pitbulls defeated Saints Sensations 3-1, and Hikers Cadets defeated YMCA Old Fort Hard Ball 4-2.In the Veterans division, Bounty GCC Vintage retained top spot by defeating Antonio’s Hikers 5-2.In the Men’s First Division, Warren Williams of YMCA Old Fort impressed the crowds with his performance, scoring a hat trick against Saints. Teammates Omar Hopkinson and Jason DeSantos added to the final score of 5-0 to send the hapless Saints side — who were unable to score — back to the drawing board. In the Ladies’ First Division first match of the night, members of the crowd were on the edges of their seats as the young GBTI GCC Spartans defeated Woodpecker Hikers 4-0.Abosaide Cadogan easily distinguished himself as the player of the match, having scored all of the Spartans’ goals to register her first Helmet trick of the tournament.The Ladies’ First Division second match of the night was most anticipated, and left fans stunned, as GBTI GCC Tigers defeated GBTI GCC Spice 7-0.Continuing from the excellent performance of the previous night, both Gabriella Xavier and Marzana Fiedtkou netted hat-tricks for their team, and teammate Sonia Jardine added her name to the score sheet. This defeat means the GBTI GCC Tigers have now moved to the top of the Ladies First Division table, with GBTI GCC Spice holding a very close second place.Bounty GCC Vintage defeated Antoni’s Hikers 5-2 in another entertaining Veteran’s match. Kevin Spencer’s fine skill and quality saw him securing a helmet trick with support from the experienced Damon Woodroffe’s lone goal.Devin Munroe opened the scoring for Antonio’s Hikers in the 3rd minute of the game, but GCC Vintage quickly found form and, in the 8th minute, Kevin Spencer found the back of the net to even the scores 1-1.Bounty Vintage pushed forward and Kevin Spencer scored two quick goals in the 11th and 12th minutes to put Bounty Vintage forward on 3-1. Maria Munroe, however, provided an answer to those goals in an attempt to close the gap; and in the 14th minute, found the back of the net with an excellently placed shot.Showing grit and experience, Damon Woodroffe capitalised on a defensive error in the 29th minute, and made no mistake with his shot, pushing the score to 4-2.Antonio’s Hikers continued to fight, but in the final minute of the game, Kevin Spencer administered the coup de grace when he scored the field goal to secure his helmet trick and end the game 5-2.In the first Men’s Second Division match, Bounty GCC Pitbulls defeated Saints Sensations to produce another outstanding victory in the tournament.Baraka Garnett got Saints off the mark with his goal in the 10th minute of the game, butKareem McKenzie responded with two very swift and skilfully executed goals, both in the 13th minute, to shock the Saints and provide substantial entertainment for the crowd.Samuel Woodroffe then converted his penalty corner, and his goal whistled past Goalkeeper Edmond Chinian.Saints continued to fight, but some superb saves by Michael Hing kept Saints at bay and Bounty GCC were able to secure a 3-1 victory over Saints.In the second Men’s Second Division match, Hikers Cadets defeated YMCA Old Fort Hard Ball 4-2. Donnel Alleyne opened the scoring for Old Fort in the 11th minute with a quick-paced run of play that saw his shot hitting the back of the net. Hikers Cadets, however, quickly got their act together, and Colonel Heywood, Jason Clarke and Devin Munroe scored three quick goals in the 16th, 18 and 21st minutes to push Hikers forward 3-1.Old Fort’s Simeon Moore presented a spirited response by which he scored in the 24th minute. Hikers continued to press on, but it was Brian Asregado who saw his team comfortably over the finish line, with his goal in the 29th minute ending the game 4-2.Matches continue at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with the finals set for Sunday evening.last_img read more