By ‘#ABW Regular Columnist’ Jake Arsenal (@JakeArsenal1)
Welcome to Part 3 of our series on potential managerial successors to Arsène Wenger. In this part, ABW Regular Columnist Jake Arsenal (@JakeArsenal1) has a slightly different take on who should manage Arsenal once Arsène Wenger decides to move on. Give it a read and let us know what you think.
Also, you can check out Part 1 on Frank de Boer here and Part 2 on Roberto Martínez here. Our fourth and final blog in the series, written by none other than the ABW XI’s Kris Carpenter (@AFCfreddie8), will be published over the coming days. Be sure to keep your eyes out for it.
Making the Case for Keeping it in House
When I think of Arsenal, I think of class, tradition, the great players and managers who have come and gone, and most of all, I think family. It’s something that’s been around every day of my life for as long as I can remember. Whatever side of the fence you sit on in regards to Arsène, he is still a big part of this family. And when he goes, like it or not, he’s going to leave a big hole in our club.
But in this specific family, we don’t mourn the loss of a manager like the death of a loved one, we celebrate a new era and what it could bring, and for some that wait can’t come soon enough.
It just wouldn’t be honest of me to single out one man as the “right or obvious choice” to take Arsenal football club forward in future. As with the rapid hiring and firing of managers in football these days, there sadly just isn’t a knight in shining armour to come and propel us to the top of world football, and stay for as long as Arsène has.
And it’s this revolving door of modern football that worries me, and in specific, this worry correlates to the next manager. I’ve already mentioned that I think of Arsenal as a family, and I’m sure those who own the club “Kroenke” *Cough*, only see it as a business, and since the move to The Emirates, that’s all Arsenal has been is a business.
If you want me to give my heart to this club in future, keep it family. It’s bad enough we have to see players we once believed had a loyalty to us go off to pastures new and fulfill all of their highly paid dreams. But I’m not sure I can handle a manager who would come in and think “well I’m winning here, but if some other club come in and offer me more, this lot can F*** off”.
That just wouldn’t sit well with me. And maybe it’s a bit of being spoilt with Wenger because he has been so loyal to the club. Say what you want about the man, but his love for this club goes further than many of us will ever comprehend. Maybe it’s negative of me to assume the next manager will think of money only. And this is why my focus in this team up article goes the way it does.
I’m all for keeping it in house. And while I’ve already said I cannot name one specific man, the options in terms of doing things an Arsenal way, give us a lot to think about. Would the club allow Steve Bould a run with the team after Arsène is gone? Has he learnt enough? Is he experienced enough through what he has learned alongside the club’s longest serving manager?
Then there is the dream manager, Dennis Bergkamp. But we all know sadly that’s all it is, a dream. Just the possibility that he could bring that Ajax philosophy to the club along with his special Dennis touch makes my mouth water. But it just won’t happen. The mind then turns to someone like Thierry Henry. And I have to say, that passion, love and dedication the man has, along with great footballing intellect, he would seemingly be perfect.
We know he wouldn’t stand for the players not giving their all out on the pitch every game. And you never know who he would add to his staff? Maybe more daydreaming on my behalf, but wouldn’t it just be brilliant to see Henry with Pires as his assistant? How very non English I can see some thinking – but you can’t say that isn’t Arsenal can you?
Although it seems Tony Adams isn’t a superstar name in football management yet, none the less, it would be fantastic to have him at the club in a management capacity. Maybe if Bould took the reigns, Adams could be defensive coach? If anyone knows defence, in terms of Arsenal, you cannot look past Mr. Arsenal.
I could give you a FIFA mindset for a moment, and think we could have the Invincibles holding different roles in the club too. Imagine if you will, Henry as manager, Jens Lehmann as goalkeeping coach, Tony Adams and Steve Bould as defensive coaches, Patrick Vieira as a midfield coach and Henry working with the attackers? Nothing would please me more.
It’s the passion and tradition of the men that would give me a strong bond with the club in that case. That’s not to say that if we didn’t have a manager of Arsenal DNA I wouldn’t have the same enthusiasm and love for the club I do today. What I would like to see, is the club to take a similar approach as the Barcelona’s and Ajax’s of this world.
You think how Barca had Guardiola and how Ajax have De Boer as Geoff already touched on, and look at the success those managers have had and continue to have in De Boer’s case. Both came from those clubs’ academies and understand everything the club stands for. That could be the same winning tonic Arsenal could use in future. That’s what I’m hopeful of.
Maybe in Henry’s case he isn’t from our academy, but he is Arsenal through and through. For me, even when Wenger is gone, this club doesn’t change or lose its identity, but something will be gone for sure, I’d like the club to at least try keeping it in house.
And I’m sure there are many more “Arsenal men” I’ve not mentioned who are doing their coaching badges as we speak and even just starting out in management. It could be ignorance on my behalf to just want someone connected with the club – Arsène wasn’t connected with the club when he arrived, but when it’s all said and done, he has to at least be considered an Arsenal man.
My case as maybe doesn’t seem compelling enough to back as it’s too tough to predict what will happen after Arsène. But I hope some of you will agree with me that having a manager in place, (at least at some point in the future) that has a strong connection to the club, would be a manager we could all get behind. Something like that little extra meaning when we see Jack Wilshere on the pitch.
Whatever happens after Wenger leaves, I’m hoping the club choose the right direction in taking us forward and whether it’s someone connected with the club, or someone the lads have suggested, the best future is a bright one. And I’m more for that than anything else.
By ‘#ABW Regular Columnist’ Jake Arsenal (@JakeArsenal1)
Jake is one of our new Regular Columnists, go give him a follow and make him feel welcome!