And other musings….
A question of class
Reflecting upon wild journalistic speculation about the future of our undisputed best-ever manager (regardless of what people may think about his current suitability for the job), and considering the repulsive conduct of Manchester United in jettisoning David Moyes, a few little thoughts have intruded upon my exam revision.
The first is this: what could be up Arsene Wenger’s sleeve?
Do we really need to win the FA Cup and qualify for the Champions League for him to stay? Or, does he already know he’s leaving?
I read a fairly well-reasoned article on goal.com that claimed that the top brass are basically of the opinion that if they have to appoint someone if AW was to jump ship, it will be for the relatively short term. Bearing in mind the (understandable) arguments being put forward in defence of the Glazers with regard to attracting top playing and coaching talent, namely that they needed to pull the trigger sooner rather than later, would AW, a man with Arsenal in his blood, who has nurtured the club for 18 years, and a man of no little insight, really do that to his baby? Douse his masterpiece in petrol and light a match? I don’t think so. I think whether he stays or goes, he already knows which he will choose. But why delay the announcement if he is going to stay?
I personally think a much classier thing for Man United to have done, would have been to line up a new manager for next season, take care of the legal stuff and then sit on it until the end of the season. But as soon as the thought formed in my head yesterday afternoon, I immediately started wondering whether that isn’t what Wenger and the board have done (which would be much easier to achieve with the current manager fully aware of the situation). Is Wenger’s gift to us more personally satisfying to the economist in him than to the part of all of us that wants us to win things?
My second question is: if Wenger has no intention of staying; not whom do we want, but what qualities would fellow Gooners like to see in our new manager?
For me, a lot more tactical dynamism would be essential.
Don’t get me wrong, I love AW and do not want to see him go. The breathtaking football we’ve produced in the past, coupled with the exceptional financial footing we now hav, convince me that Wenger deserves at least two more seasons (which according to reports is all he would accept in any case) to restore that kind of football – his lack of tactical manoeuvring notwithstanding.
However, who has not been driven mad by the times we fail to alter our style of play when the one with which we approached a match is manifestly not working? Or by what appears to be an occasional stubborn refusal to use substitutes sensibly?
Another thing I would like to see would be a willingness to drill the defence. Conceding 20 goals in four matches against the top five suggests to me that there is a basic lack of discipline in the defence, which has been exposed against teams capable of exploiting it. I don’t think we particularly need to change the personnel, but I think they are capable of more consistent competence than has been displayed this season (4 games conceding an average of 5 goals per game would not be consistently competent even if they were the only goals we’d conceded all season, although the blow would probably be softened by us winning the league).
My third question isn’t really much of a question, perhaps more of a muse: would AW really be that bothered by Arsenal fans turning on him?
I’m sure he didn’t sign Ozil because of the boos at the end of the Villa game. He’s a fairly resilient guy, as would I be if it was earning me £6-7m a year. He didn’t sell Vieira, Henry, Gilberto, Fabregas, etc because he thought they would be popular moves. I think he believes in himself enough to carry on if that’s what he wants to do and I don’t think a few fans wanting him out would be enough to influence his decision.
Final question: what would each of us prefer to happen?
I want him to stay. If he does stay I want fans to return the loyalty he has shown to the club and which the board has afforded him, and happily that is also what the decision makers at the club have done (although AW is the sole decision maker at AFC anyway). Then at the end of a glorious two years in which we win the quadruple twice, get someone in with the qualities I outlined above.
If he goes, I hope we’ve already dotted the lower case j’s and crossed the t’s on his successor, who will have more energy, more tactical and transfer nous, and a disciplined approach to defence than AW.
- What is up AW’s sleeve?
- What qualities do we want in our new manager?
- Would Wenger really run off crying because a few fans don’t share his vision?
- What would we prefer to happen?
What do my fine fellow Gooners think?
Written by: Josefos2013
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