Arsène’s Successor: A New Era for Arsenal

On his 65th birthday, It’s time for a post on the legend that is Arsène Wenger.
A lot of speculation has circled the press this week on who may be Arsène Wenger’s successor when the Frenchman steps down at the end of his three-year contract signed last summer. Le Professeur has had a roller-coaster ride in charge of the mighty Arsenal and such a positive effect that it seems illogical to sack the man that’s brought so much success to the North London Club. I myself know that Wenger will see out his contract, and there is absolutely zero percent chance of a sacking, but you must plan for the future, something that was mentioned commonly at the AGM.

The day Mr Wenger joined Arsenal in 1996. A new era was about to be created.
The day Mr Wenger joined Arsenal in 1996. A new era was about to be created.but the question still looms as to what may happen to Arsenal when he goes, and who would be suitably poised to step in.

On the 30th of September 1996, it would be Arsène Wenger to take over from Bruce Rioch’s reign, stepping in from Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight. Arsène who? would have been the call on Twitter had the furious, naive Social Media keyboard warriors been around in that day and age, but soon would he show his doubters. I won’t go into Wenger’s career in too much detail, the prowess of such a respected gentleman seemed to dress the English League with dazzling beauty from the minute he took charge. The man who bought Arsenal fans King Thierry Henry, Marc Overmars and Patrick Vieira. The man who transformed right-midfield Lauren, Central midfielder Kolo Toure and Tottenham Hotspur star Sol Campbell and young Gunner Ashley Cole into a unbreakable back four. The man is indescribable when bringing legendary status into the mixer, but soon his time will come and Arsène may see his famous Arsenal managed by another.

Wenger looks on as Arsenal continue to struggle in his 18th year in charge.
Wenger looks on as Arsenal continue to struggle in his 18th year in charge.

It’s clear that things don’t seem to be clicking this season for the Gunners. With just two wins in eight, and eleven points behind the formidable Chelsea, a change is certainly needed. With cries for the bosses head, I myself believe some part of the missing formula is hidden behind the formation and injuries. The current 4-1-4-1 is a hindrance to the style, and missing the ability to adapt the game style when playing different opponents is still a worry. With Giroud, Debuchy, Ozil and Arteta all injured, Arsène has had to play a team who haven’t quite got it right yet, apart from showing 45 minutes of class at home to Galatasary. One defensive midfielder and defender away, Wenger must get that right in January in order to push on for what could be a fairly successful season, as long as there are improvements from now!

So what would the new boss be taking over?
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that whoever takes over will have immense pressure on his head. I mean look at David Moyes. Merseyside magician and hero up in Everton, but as soon as the big dogs came sniffing he was unable to produce the finery’s that Sir Alex once had. Arsène Wenger has won two league doubles, gone one entire campaign unbeaten and seen the remarkable transition for Highbury to the Emirates, and despite the glooming trophy drought, saw his side crowned FA Cup Champions in May 2014.

The British Boys who signed their long-term contracts.
The British Boys who signed their long-term contracts.

Arsène has left his successor one brilliant basis, however. An English core of Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck forms a distinctly important section of the current XI. Arsène has been tactically excellent in his latest signings, bringing in Alexis Sanchez (25) and Mesut Ozil (26) who are set to peak to their maximum potential, and will do so in an Arsenal shirt for sure. The side has quality, enthusiasm and great depth when injuries are no hindrance, and the talent of Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny still lay within the ranks. In my opinion, it would be for the boss to build around £42.5million man Mesut Ozil. Around him, provide the pace and power of Alexis, Welbeck and Oxlade and you’re set to go. The difference we may see would be the dealings of transfer activity. Within the past, Wenger has been extremely confident of his business but has always left the squad 2 or 3 short. This would change I feel, under the likes of a young and hungry boss, eager to knock Chelsea off the pinnacle of English football. A few holes here and there, and maybe a medical staff revamp, but not too bad for a successor. Smaller problems for sure than Moyes when he took over from United in 2013.

Who could it be?
Statistically proven, a younger boss is a more successful one. The average age of title winning sides from around Europe are as follows: Spain (45.1), Italy (44.3), Germany (51.7) and England (50) and that’s minus Fergie! There are some excellent choices out there as I see it, it all depends on who would be available when the time comes to draw a curtain on Arsène’s time. Here’s a small shortlist of those I and many others would consider:

Rudi Garcia: A Frenchman, so there’s one thing in common. A young and hungry coach who has taken charge of Roma and magically revived their downfall. His style is aggressive, something I feel Arsenal lack and he proved his worth at Lille too. He plays an active transfer market, something Arsenal are a mystery to. An interesting one to consider, despite his 7-1 misery against Bayern this week.

Is this Arsene and his new successor?
Is this Arsene and his new successor?

Jurgen Klopp: Well many would call him the favourite, and from his fondness of the Gunners I may call him that too. A strong relationship with the current Professor himself, he may be the man Wenger chooses. He asserts a passionate character on the touchline, and his crazy antics are what some desire. Despite his honourable status, he hasn’t done too well this season at Dortmund, struggling in the Bundesliga leaving them 14th with a number of injuries to key players. Well he fits the part then judging by that last bit of info, but he certainly shows his talents.

Diego Simeone: My favourite coach outside the Premier League, this young Argentine is a monster. His slick personality is matched by modern-day tactics that once again see his aggressive side press and push from the front. Maybe one to have a great influence on transfers too judging by his ego and status, he looks to be a manager that not many can top. To me, he was manager of the year last season, guiding his Atletico side to the Champions League final, and winning La Liga in an epic finale. He would be truly welcomed.

Pep Guardiola: And finally, I’m only going to include him for the sake of it, the mastermind himself. Pep declared himself he plans to work in England one day, and judging by his latest book he only plans of having short projects within his career. Maybe in two to three years his time at Bayern may be coming to a emotional end, and a new challenge may be tasty for the Spaniard. He would be the biggest coup in the history of football, and his reputation would help attract stars from anywhere. His experimentational side and exotic formations are delightful to watch, something us fans at Arsenal love to experience.

So whoever it may be they will not succeed in the finest moment of AFC’s history and perform a miraculous changeover from one stadium to another. On the other hand I’m sure a nine year trophy doubt is a millennium away. But what is now is now and Arsenal fans must respect the great man in charge and be confident that when that day does come, it will be a sad day, but a new day for an experience that one has never witnessed in life. Arsenal Football Club without Arsène Wenger. Enough of his successor for now. Back the team, and back the boss because he still has one more push to lead the great North London Club to silverware.

Thanks for reading,
Liam Baldock.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s