I am a huge Wenger fan and will always be thankful for the football he made Arsenal play, the successes he has given us and the unparalleled loyalty he has shown to the club over the last 20+ years. If he stays another year, I will support him with the same enthusiasm as always. But getting a new manager excites me too and, I must admit, a bit more than the prospect of Arsene staying on, right now.
We have been very lucky to have had a steady, high performing manager for more than two decades now. A manager needs to fit the club’s philosophy and values and we all know that Arsene has actually shaped these himself and then stuck to them religiously. For me, really good organisations are based around a fit-like-a-glove philosophy and values. Because of these an organisation will withstand easier the hard times and flourish more during the good times. And it will also attract and then retain the best talent.
But this does require that a club stands by their manager and maintain a long term vision, rather than sack them after a spell of disappointing results. Wenger, almost single-handedly, has, through his loyalty, dedication and miracle-working during the really lean times, transported the club to the highest financial echelon of world football. And the added, indirect contributions to the beautiful game in this country should also not be underestimated. Without Wenger football in England would be much poorer now, and in more than one sense.
Yesterday’s sacking of Ranieri is a sad day for football. It actually really puts me of football at the moment. What crazy Claudio has achieved with that club in such a short space of time is simply magnificent. He even got LC a more than acceptable result in the CL this week, with a decent prospect of making it into the last eight. Yet the club sacked him unceremoniously because they can, and they don’t care.
Like their most famous fan, Lary Gineker, I find this very shocking and most of all stupid. What a lack of vision and stamina by the board; what a lack of people management skills and PR handling! But LC do not stand on their own.
Watford’s gutless decision to not prolong the contract of the beautifully named and impressive football manager Quique Sanchez Flores, comes to mind. He had only been given a one year deal but still convinced his ex-wife and children to come and live with him in London…. Ten months later…he is told to Flores off.
And then there is the forever restless Liverpool who got rid of a manager that got them closest to the title in a very long time and made them play football that at times was better than Arsenal’s. In fact, some of the best football I have watched in recent years was when Rodgers came to the home of football with Liverpool and played us totally off the pitch for the first 45 minutes. Miraculously, they did not score though. 🙂
And of course there are many more ludicrous manager-sackings to report on.
Why do clubs not stick to these visionary and successful managers a lot longer but sack them as soon as there is a dip in performance? Where is the vision and with what sort of values do these clubs operate?
Wenger out or in is of course a big question. But whatever happens next, our class, philosophy and values of the club will be at the base of all our key management decisions, and we will see another long period of stability and sustained success, based around sexy football. It may not be another twenty-plus-years manager, though… 😉