Look, I wrote this before the news about Wenger dropped. It’s 900 words, and you’re going to damn well read it. Pop back in 1 hour for my damning assessment of the rumoured decision of Wenger to stay.
We’ll find out this week what Wenger is going to do (LOL), but the media frenzy and poor analysis flooding the web is a sight to behold. Few myths perpetuating.
1 year deal
The club before yesterday had no clue what Wenger was doing. That’s not guess work, it’s 100% fact that Wenger corroborated in his post-match press conference. The story Jezza Wilson penned in the week about what’s going on behind the scenes is the most accurate representation online at the moment.
There are two options, Wenger goes and the club hires a DOF or someone of that ilk and Ivan gets to show us that he’s more than a p
muppet. Or there’s the second option, where Wenger stays and the club builds out a modern infrastructure around him. What a lot of people aren’t paying attention to is that Wenger’s contract aligns with most of the coaching staff he has polishing his shoes and yes-ing at himTourette’s style. So this is a great opportunity for the club, if he signs, to kill off the bad eggs stinking the place out with tired ideas.
The Sunday Supplement ran with the narrative yesterday that Wenger might be signing a one year deal. Firstly, the only thing we know for sure is there is a deal on the table, there’s no doubt about that. That will very likely be a two year deal, not because I’ve seen it, but because the circle of access journos have that all over their papers. The idea that Wenger finished the game Saturday, announced that he’d made his mind up, jumped on the blower with his lawyer and Ivan, and ironed out a one year deal… then dropped this to the Daily Express of all papers is absurd.
The story went further though, the journalists on the Supplement then went on to say this would be a good idea, because it’d give Arsenal time to hire a new coach because they don’t have a plan.
I hate to be a bitch here, but that’s the talk of people either hugely inexperienced on how general recruitment in business works, or the talk of people that simply aren’t paying attention to the pace in which managers are hired and fired every month in football.
Two parts to this, it doesn’t take 1 year to hire a football manager. That’s a completely ridiculous idea of a timeline. You can do it the slow way, and speak to someone 10 times, like Chelsea did with Carlo. Or you can make a good decision by interviewing a candidate 3-4 times, ask for a presentation on how they would tackle the vision of the team, what the footballing philosophy would look like, how they’d use data and how they’d like to see the club specialist structure setup, how they deal with conflict, how they deal with star players, how they deal with losing, how they’d develop the culture… then ask around Europe for second opinions. Then make a decision.
It doesn’t take a year. An unreal statement to make.
Not just that, but I do wish the media would stop peddling this idea that the club has no plan for the post-Wenger era. What they’re basically saying is no one has shared it with them. It’s bollocks. I’m sorry to keep referencing the off the record meet with Ivan a few years ago, but he was asked about the succession plan and he said something along the lines of ‘I don’t have a manager, but there’s certainly a plan in place in a top drawer’, not verbatim, but you get the jist.
Our management aren’t sitting there waiting on the future of Wenger without a back-up. They’ll have spoken to the agent of Allegri. We know they’ve spoken to Hassenhutl. Rapha Honigstein has already told us we’ve been sounding out coaches in Germany about the role. It is completely baseless to say there is no plan and it is fucking absurd to say that we need to give a failing manager another year so we can take our sweet time.
How long do you think Barca will need? How long did Chelsea take? Was it tough for Liverpool midseason?
There is a plan, and it can be executed successfully.
What is true is that the longer the manager longs this out, the harder it is for the new man to be a success. That’s why knowing this week is so damn important.
A one year deal is useless. You can’t give another summer to a manager who doesn’t know what he’s doing. You can’t give £90m to someone who doesn’t have at least 3 more years invested into the club. You can’t let him continue to damage a club stuck in reverse. You just need to move him on and get on with the next project.
Bild are reporting we’ve made an approach for Thomas Tuchel. Allegri is not happy at Juventus and he’d love to take on the role. You have Jardim, Favre, Sampaoli and Sarri all doing very interesting things at their clubs.
There are plenty of choices when you have a £10m budget.
Then you map a Director of football. Monchi is on the move this summer, Zorc at Dortmund might fancy a change. Les Reed at Southampton has arguably one of the best setups in the country, great youth system, smart transfer approach, consistently outperforming budget and always able to switch managers in and out seamlessly. Ralph Ragnick is overseeing three clubs and two are doing very well. Moratta over at Juve consistently outperforms the transfer market.
When you have London, the offer of creative freedom and a f*ck off big salary offer, you’d be surprised at what you can do in a short period of time.
However, hiring a DoF into Arsenal, and giving them no power is utterly pointless. If Wenger has the authority to write his own contract, who do you think has the power to tell him to listen to someone 30 years his junior? No one.
Tune in for my post that’s coming in 1 hour.