FA Post Job Vacancy After Jol Quits Role

The FA have announced that Martin Jol has resigned from his position as England manager, having taken England to the World Cup quarter-finals this year. England were the only nation in Russia to win all three of their group matches, before they went on to beat Ghana in the last sixteen ahead of an extra-time defeat to Spain.

The 62-year old Dutchman has decided to hang up his keys to the dugout for good, and retire from the game. He was appointed as successor to Brendan Rodgers following his sacking after England’s dismal showing at Euro 2016.

Luis Enrique is already considered by many within the game as the most likely person for the vacancy, though there is likely to be strong interest from several candidates who will see the job as an ideal opportunity to enhance their reputations.

Managers on the Move: International Changes

Former Lyon, Rangers and PSG manager Paul Le Guen has been announced as the new head coach of France, replacing Didier Deschamps who resigned following a disappointing World Cup. Le Guen leaves Oman after seven years, having most recently guided them to qualification for next year’s Asian Cup.

Elsewhere over the last week there have been new appointments for Kim Eun-Joong (South Korea), Michel Preud’homme (Saudi Arabia), Dan Walker (USA), Elvis Scoria (Croatia), and Sergio Almaguer (Mexico).

At club level, Marcelino has left Schalke after two seasons to take charge at Porto.

Post-World Cup: Heads Roll Across the Globe

FIFA have confirmed that ten nations who appeared at this summer’s World Cup have parted ways with their head coaches following the conclusion of the tournament. The most high-profile names on the list are Didier Deschamps who leaves the French set-up after six years in charge after their Round of 16 defeat by Brazil, and Jürgen Klinsmann who has stepped-down as United States head coach after seven years.

One coach who won’t be available for any of the newly-vacated roles is Vitor Pereira who has taken over the reins at Bayern Munich following eight years at Porto. He replaces André Villas-Boas who moved to Real Madrid last week after Jorge Jesus’s retirement.

Nation           Former Manager      Hired       WC18 Finish
CROATIA          Igor Stimac         Jul 2012    Group Stage
FRANCE           Didier Deschamps    Jul 2012    Last 16
IVORY COAST      Sabri Lamouchi      May 2012    Last 16
MEXICO           JM de la Torre      Oct 2010    Group Stage
MOROCCO          Rachid Taoussi      Sep 2012    Group Stage
SAUDI ARABIA     Frank Rijkaard      Jun 2011    Group Stage
SERBIA           Sinisa Mihaljovic   May 2012    Group Stage
SLOVAKIA         Stanislav Griga     Apr 2012    Group Stage
SOUTH KOREA      Choi Kang-Hee       Dec 2011    Quarter-Final
UNITED STATES    Jürgen Klinsmann    Jul 2011    Group Stage

First Press Conference for New Arsenal Boss

New Arsenal manager Gray Surman has been introduced to the media at the Emirate Stadium in club’s first press day with their new man in charge and the Canadian spoke assertively about his return to club football, and to the stadium he’d visited twice before with Wigan and Dortmund.

Surman’s first trip here was in November 2012 with his Wigan Athletic side winning 1-0 in the Premier League clash, and he visited again with Borussia Dortmund the following year in an entertaining 2-2 Champions League Group Stage draw in December 2013.

Surman has faced Arsenal on four other occasions: a 3-2 FA Cup win in Wigan in January 2013, followed by a 1-1 draw in the Premier League at the DW stadium. In the Champions League, Surman’s Dortmund side won 2-0 at Signal Iduna Park and – most recently – the clubs met in the 2014 UEFA Super Cup with Dortmund winning a five-goal thriller in Cardiff.

During the press conference, Surman revealed that midfielder Jos Verniers had signed a new four-year extension with the club on an increased wage of £50,000 p/w, and spoke about retaining the services of defender Laurent Koscielny and want-away midfidler Jack Wilshere who are both rumoured to be on their way out of Arsenal this summer.

Before Surman spoke, a representative of the Arsenal board announced that the club had sold 22,480 season tickets so far this summer and following Surman’s arrival they were anticipating selling a total of 41,000 before the season kicks-off on 18 August.

Rumours are that Arsenal are in talks with Dortmund over the services of right-back Julian Koch, and may have thrown their hat in the ring late on to scupper the deal taking Serbian striker Marko Obradovic® from Monaco to Manchester United.

FanTV reported afterwards that Koscielny, Vedran Corluka, and Santi Cazorla had all “liked” posts on the club’s social media that featured video clips of Surman’s Q&A.

journalist70Press Conference:
In attendance are Sky Sports News, London Evening Standard,
TEAMtalk, Guardian, Football365, Daily Mirror, and The Metro.

surman70Arsenal FC:
Introducing former-Wigan and Dortmund head coach Gray Surman
as the new First Team Manager here at the Emirates Stadium in London.

“I am absolutely delighted to be here, and be back at the business end of a top club. I’m looking forward to being involved from the seniors to the academy, encouraging attractive football in partnership with the key Arsenal philosophy of nurturing youth on their way into the first team.

“The achievements of the club in Europe over the last three seasons have been great, but my main focus will be on the Premier League and getting the club back in the top four and back in the Champions League. That’s not to diminish any cup competitions we find ourselves in, as a winning run always brings a great morale boost to any squad.

“The backroom staff here are part of a fantastic setup and I feel it would be foolish to meddle with that. They have the experience of the players here. As much as I am very fond of my staff from Dortmund, we haven’t worked with each other for three years and I don’t want to disrupt their various projects.

“I’m aware that Laurent has been linked with other clubs, but I feel he would be an integral part of any title-chasing defence and I’ll do my utmost to keep him here. Similarly, Jack had made his feelings known to the previous management of his desire to move on from Arsenal, but I will take time to sit down with him and see if we’re on the same page with regards to what we should be achieving this season.

“The facilities here are wonderful with a high quality of players and staff so it’s unlikely that I’ll be making sweeping changes at any level. Though with new management comes a new opportunity to inject new life into any squad. I’m keen to add two or three faces to add depth to the squad and provide some competition in key areas.

“We could be a little light at the back should any long-term injuries fall our way by the time the Europa League starts. A World Cup year is always one where some big names make moves, and I’ll be keeping tabs on who could be available for us. We have already made enquiries with a couple of clubs with regards to potential deals, and more details will follow should we enter deeper discussions.

“There’s money in the kitty, and the chairman has provided the facility to increase our current wage budget by about a third of current spending to accommodate additions to the squad, including any contract renewals this season. Jos is a player I’m looking forward to working with again, and I’m pleased to announce that he has agreed a new four-year deal after my arrival here.”

Surman Returns as Arsenal’s New Manager

Gray Surman has today been unveiled as the new manager at Arsenal, his first job in football since he stepped-down at Borussia Dortmund three years ago. It’s the former-Wigan man’s return to England after five seasons away, and he replaces David Moyes who, coincidentally, took charge at Dortmund a fortnight ago.

Surman boasts a 62% win rate from his time at Wigan Athletic, Borussia Dortmund and a brief spell as Austrian U19 manager. The Canadian has seven major titles to his name: two Bundesliga, two DFB-Pokal, and a trio of cups in 2014 including the FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup.

His Wigan Athletic side ended the Premier League season 6th in 2013, and Surman finished as runner-up to title-winning boss André Villas-Boas in the Manager of the Year Awards.

Surman will be reunited with midfielder Jos Verniers whom he signed for Dortmund for £8.5m from Club Brugge in January 2015, with the now 23-year old Belgian signing for Arsenal in an £11m move two years later.

It is understood that he has signed a five-year contract at the Emirates Stadium worth £72,000 per week, and has been handed a transfer kitty in the region of £40m by chairman Theo Brown, with current wages coming in under budget.

First chance for Gunners fans to see Surman in the dugout will come in the friendly at Scottish second-tier side St Johnstone on Sunday 22 July. The current squad are either on holiday or at the World Cup, with only ‘keeper Wojciech Szczesny an injury worry as he continues to recover from a broken ankle from the final match of last season at Stoke.

The Premier League campaign begins with a trip to Old Trafford followed by the visit of Liverpool in Arsenal’s opening two games, with the UEFA Super Cup clash against Chelsea rounding-out August. Arsenal will find out their Europa League opponents when the draw for the Group Stage is made on 31 August.

Minimum expectation is that the club qualify for continental football next season, but fans will surely fancy a top-four challenge if not a tilt at the title. There is hope that Surman will continue the club’s philosophy of bringing youth through into the first team, though an initial outlay on defensive cover and an experienced forward is expected.

                         NAT   YR    APP GLS    VAL£m   W£kpw

  1. Wojciech Szczesny   POL   28    36   43©    14.3    86
 35. Johann Tréguer   ®  FRA   18     3    4©     0.2     1.7

  5. Danny Wilson        SCO   26    38    3     12.5    51
  6. Laurent Koscielny   FRA   32    28    0      5.5    76
 12. Vedran Corluka      CRO   32    30    2      3.3    42.5
 13. Matija Nastasic     SRB   25    31    0      6.5    47

  7. Rubén Pardo         ESP   25    28    0     26.0    79
  8. Xherdan Shaqiri     SUI   26    29    7     26.0   105
 10. Jack Wilshere       ENG   26    38   11     30.5   115
 11. Coutinho            BRA   26    19    4     27.0    83
 14. Yann M'Vila         FRA   28    27    4     23.0   120
 16. Álvaro           ®  ESP   21    36   15     21.5    40.5
 18. Jos Verniers     ®  BEL   23     7    0     13.0    50
 19. Santi Cazorla       ESP   33    14    1      2.8    48
 29. Gökhan Inler        SUI   34    26    1      0.8    43.5
 39. Alexander Merkel    GER   26    36    8     13.3    58
 --. Hensley Siberie  ®  NED   17     7    1      3.3     1.5
 --. Carlos Álvarez * ®  ESP   20    29    1      3.8    15.3

  9. Gianluca Caprari    ITA   24    37   11     25.0    99
 20. Kenny Gordon     ®  ENG   21     9    2      3.8    19.5

* NB: C.Álvarez spent 17-18 on a season-long loan at Charlton

Jorge Jesus Hands His Real Reins Over to AVB

Real Madrid have stunned the footballing world today with the announcement that Bayern Munich manager André Villas-Boas will become the club’s new head coach following the retirement of Jorge Jesus after two years at the Bernabéu.

63-year old Jesus had held ten club jobs in his native Portugal before spending six years at Benfica from 2009, winning the league three times from an otherwise dominant Porto, and lifting the domestic cup five times in six seasons. He joined Juventus for the ’15-16 season where they finished 2nd behind Inter.

Jesus then joined Real Madrid and his two season there saw them in the FIFA Club World Cup and the Copa Del Rey en route to a 2nd place finish in the league, before winning La Liga this year.

Villas-Boas joined Bayern in November 2015 after three and a half years at Tottenham. At Spurs he guided them to the double in 2013 as well as reaching the Europa League Final, and later to the 2015 Champions League Final. His first season at Bayern saw them finish 2nd to Dortmund in 2016, before lifting the title in 2017 and then the double this year.

Bookmakers have the shortest odds on Schalke manager Marcelino taking the job at Bayern, though former-Dortmund boss Gray Surman has ruled himself of the running with the Canadian widely expected to be named the new Arsenal manager this week.